Tennis Shoes Vs. Running Shoes – A Detailed Comparison

Many things in the world increase your productivity drastically. Often, people don’t realize that just doing the same things every day is not productivity. That is counter-productivity. Being productive is doing stuff that energizes you, doing different things, and doing things differently.

One might decide to work-out for an hour daily or run daily for 2 and think you might as well buy a pair of shoes because of safety before any! The dilemma of the distinction between tennis shoes and running shoes and which one is preferred over the other probably caught you up from going any further so what’s holding us back?

What makes them similar?

  • The sport is catering to play a major role as it has different demands on the joints and the foot, which is why different shoes are catering to different sports.
  • While going to purchase a pair, make sure you are wearing a pair of socks (anything would do). Select the pair which is most comfortable while walking or running by doing so in the store. This way, you can tear up your receipt because you will not return it!

About running shoes

Running shoes are meant to support the pressure of your feet, alleviate them, and at the same time, provide comfort while running.

Based on the type of land form you are running on, they are of three types

  • Cross-training shoes: Gym and work-out spas
  • Trail-shoes: Obstacle-filled and rough roads
  • Road-running shoes: Smooth pavement and concrete

Differences between them

  • Tennis shoes: Tennis shoes are designed and manufactured to facilitate requirements other than running. Tennis court pavements are taken into consideration which includes grip (not useful for running). The soles are flat with a non-rigid upper sole with different materials.
  • Running shoes: Running shoes are designed not for one or two different types of terrains but a whole range of them because who knows where you prefer to run! Common cater is that it comes with extra padding for joint-protection and shock-absorption.

Other Considerations

  • Running pattern of the user: The shoes are designed for different running patterns as well. The pressure put on the shoe is distributed to the different parts of the foot, which is supported by the shoe. Depending on this, there are 3 types:
  • Neutral: Joint-pressure relief
  • Supination or under-pronation: While running, you move your foot inwards, thereby putting your weight on the ball-part of your foot and then pushing the toe towards you (pronation). To facilitate this, the outer edge of the sole is rolled outward.
  • Over pronation: If you over pronate, then chances are your heel touches the ground first. To avoid major injuries or pain, stability is regulated.

What to Consider When Buying Running Shoes

  • Shoes to be preferred based on running style – Basically, you need to choose shoes best for your running style. For instance, a foot that under-pronates or neutral needs a neutral pair of shoes for better shock-absorption, a neutral or little over-pronated foot needs stability shoes, the over-pronating foot needs shoes that control motion, etc.
  • Material for the upper-soles – If free air for your foot is what you are looking for then nylon meshes is the best along with TPU for durability enhancement.
  • The height difference of heel-toe – This difference majorly affects the drop-angle of the foot. High-low drop shoes affect the striking of the foot, depending on what is chosen.
  • Heel base – The rigid and hard material covering the heel promotes the control of the motion, especially if your heel-calf muscles are weak or injured.
  • Midsole – The midsole region of the shoe is made harder catering to stabilization. It will provide heel-protection as well as protection from strikes using shanks and plates, respectively.

What to consider when buying tennis shoes

  • Game-play technique- Backline players and the frontline players, have a different kind of shoes. The baseline or backline players are the ones standing behind in the court, which require sole-durability in the sole due to major horizontal movements. The frontline players, who are close to the net, need toe-durability as they are charged front and back frequently.
  • Tennis court pavement – The most obvious one is to check which kind of court-surface you are playing on. While hard-courts are made of concrete that wears out the sole’s durability, soft-courts get damaged if proper shoes are not worn. So opting durable shoes made of leather-vinyl for hard-courts is a good option. Multiple different courts need multi-utility shoes.
  • Shoe fit and foot type – While under-pronated feet require flexible shoes, over-pronated feet stabilized shoes. Any shoe works best for neutral feet.


Like mentioned earlier, different shoes cater to different needs of the sport or exercise. Tennis does not require immense movement, and hence the shoes cater to the grip of the position where running shoes are the total opposite. They are adapted to be worked on specific requirements of the sport. Hence, using shoes that are from an entirely different sport for running and vice-versa is not a good idea.

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