People are always talking about getting in better physical shape, which may involve taking up new sports. Selfishly, we hope that many people hit the indoor courts or the outdoor courts to fall in love with basketball.
But we realize we can’t be too picky here. Perhaps you are interested in playing another sport to increase your level of cardio conditioning, such as tennis.
That would work too, but you’re probably wondering if those basketball shoes you received over the holidays can be repurposed for a tennis match.
Before you awkwardly approach the relative who bought the pair of shoes to see what the return policy is, let’s take a deeper dive to find out if basketball sneakers will hold up well enough on a tennis court.
Key differences between basketball shoes and tennis shoes
Before we get into the feasibility of using shoes designed to play one sport for competition in another, let’s first understand how most basketball shoes differ from tennis shoes.
We can start by literally picking up both pairs of shoes in both hands. It will be pretty clear that basketball sneakers tend to be heavier shoes, while shoes made for tennis tend to result in lighter shoes.
Additionally, basketball shoes tend to be high-tops, which offer more in the way of ankle support. Traditional tennis shoes usually don’t, as their low-top style only covers your feet.
Another difference between the different types of shoes involves the level of padding. You will find a lot more cushioning in a basketball shoe than in a tennis shoe, and this is because of the nature of the movements that basketball players make.
Basketball players run in every direction and jump during the game. Tennis players’ movements are a little more limited, and they are not subject to jumping during every set when the ball is in play.
Last, but certainly not least, is the difference between the bottom of each type of shoe. For the most part, basketball shoes use a herringbone design on their soles.
Tennis shoes have soles that vary depending on the surface on which the game is played. Although basketball shoes can also be checked based on whether they will be used for indoor or outdoor play, tennis offers a few more flavors such as hard courts, grass courts, or clay courts.
Read also: Best Basketball Shoes For Wide Feet
The sole of a tennis shoe may be smoother or feature a similar herringbone pattern to its basketball shoe counterparts. It all depends on the surface it is made for.
Benefits of wearing basketball shoes while playing tennis
The primary benefits of wearing basketball shoes to play tennis include:
- save money
- Landing relief after the jump
Re-purposing enthusiasts, multi-purpose fans, and resourceful readers rejoice. You have a pair of basketball shoes and aren’t particularly interested in buying a pair of athletic sneakers specifically for tennis.
There must be some redeeming qualities that shoes made for hoops on a tennis court have, right?
For one, basketball sneakers have extra cushioning compared to many other shoes, and the main reason for that is the constant bounce that hoops do. There is much less jumping in tennis than there is in basketball, but the latter sport is not entirely without players leaving their feet.
There are at least two situations where players leave their feet.
When tennis players serve, they throw the ball up in the air and hit the ball hard with their racket as they come off the ground.
Some players jump higher than others, but it stands to reason that foam and other basketball shoe-specific technologies designed to cushion the impact of landing can help tennis players feel a level of comfort when they hit the ground.
Additionally, tennis players will sometimes attempt to volley a shot over an opponent who has come close to the net. When successful, it forces the opponent to jump back to their original position in hopes of returning the shot.
Sometimes an opponent may want to jump high enough to reach that arc shot to avoid that extra run. If they can get high enough in the air, they can hit the ball back to their opponent and win the point.
Giving careful consideration to the type of playing style you will use in a tennis match can help you figure out if wearing basketball shoes is the right move.
Read also: Are Basketball Shoes Good for Running?
Disadvantages of wearing basketball shoes while playing tennis
On the other hand, the disadvantages of wearing basketball shoes for tennis are:
- An obstruction of lateral movement
- Durability concerns your shoes
Using a product intended for another discipline comes with its fair share of concerns. There are a few reasons why you might want to avoid wearing basketball shoes while playing tennis.
We delved into how a certain type of tennis player might want to wear basketball shoes to compliment their high-flying game. The reverse of that scenario also exists, where basketball shoes can serve to hinder a player’s effectiveness.
As we detailed earlier, basketball shoes are heavier and bulkier than traditional tennis shoes. They are designed to catch your ankle if a player steps on someone else’s foot, which often happens in hoops.
In tennis, there is virtually no chance of this happening, so the need for shoes that devour your foot and ankle is not there. Playing multiple sets in a large sneaker can leave a tennis player running out of steam by the end of a match.
The added weight of a basketball shoe can slow down a tennis player on a point-to-point or set-to-set basis. If tennis players can’t get to return shots effectively, the match is over before it even starts.
There’s another practical reason why wearing basketball shoes to a tennis match can be a little unsettling.
Think of the time and testing that goes into creating athletic shoes, for basketball or any sport. Manufacturers want to make sure that the shoe will last in the traditional environment it is exposed to.
With that in mind, can we honestly say that basketball shoemakers spend a lot of time making sure their creativity works well on clay and grass? That’s quite a reach, considering basketball isn’t usually played on those surfaces.
The shelf life of your basketball shoes, which you may want to use to play basketball, can be dramatically affected if you use them to play tennis in these different environments.
So… Are basketball shoes a good substitute for tennis shoes?
There are many things you can do in life. Sure, you can wear your pajamas to class or your workplace and let the chips fall where they may.
But does that make it a good idea?
While the example above may be somewhat comical, the point remains that there are crazier ideas than wearing basketball shoes to play tennis. Despite weighing the pros and cons outlined above, there may be other factors that guide your decision, such as the lack of flexibility to pay for separate tennis shoes.
The road map to convincing yourself that it is quite logical to wear basketball sneakers to play tennis. Both sports involve lateral movement, changes of direction, and sudden stops, which could lead any reasonable person to conclude that the same type of footwear can be used for both sports.
It’s hard to argue with the deals offered that way, but it’s still probably not ideal for grabbing your racket while putting on basketball shoes.
The chances of something bad happening to you if you do this don’t seem that great, but the degree of efficiency one might want on a tennis court can be remarkably hindered by the construction of basketball shoes.