Professional and recreational tennis players often change their style of play when switching from hard courts to grass to clay. They should consider changing their shoes for the different surfaces as well.
Athletes playing on hard courts require cushioning from their shoes more than grip. These surfaces place tremendous stress on the feet, ankles and legs. More cushion throughout the shoe can help decrease the wear and tear on these body parts from months of hard court tournaments and matches.
Clay and grass courts absorb much of the stress from players running back and forth across the baseline and charging the net. These surfaces are more slippery, so players must wear shoes that provide better grip. Many tennis pros recommend a rubber sole with a herringbone pattern for clay courts and outsoles with nubs or pimples for grass.
Buying multiple pairs of shoes, like the pros do, might be daunting for recreational players. But the right shoes for each surface can decrease injuries and improve performance.
To the tennis players reading this post, do you change shoes and equipment for different surfaces? Do you have any recommendations for other players? Share your tips!