All you need in platform tennis is a paddle, a ball and a pair of tennis shoes. Not a huge list of equipment, and one of the reasons why platform tennis is such an easy game to pickup and play in winter.
You might want to consider carefully that last item, as a mistake that many new players make is thinking they can take to the court in any old pair of sneakers or running shoes. However, this is a mistake that can cost you more than just the game, as normal shoes are just not made for the types of movement and footwork needed with platform tennis. Having the right pair of shoes can not only improve your game, as you have the right cushioning to support your feet and ankles, but they can reduce the risk of you injuring yourself and not being able to play at all.
Platform tennis is a popular sport across the US, with the amount of men and women swelling the ranks everyday, as they look for alternatives to traditional tennis outside in winter. Because of this growth, sports shoe manufacturers have produced a huge choice of footwear for both men and women, which can be confusing as there are a lot of options to consider, making it hard to know which are good, and which should you avoid.
To help, I have reviewed the most popular options and created a list of the best platform tennis shoes for men and women, so you can find the perfect fit for your feet and playing style.
- Best Platform Tennis Shoes for Women
- Best Platform Tennis Shoes for Men
- How to choose the right platform tennis shoes
- Platform Tennis Shoes Buying Guide
The best platform tennis shoes for women should firstly provide comfort, they also need to be made from quality materials and durable. The soles should allow your foot change direction quickly and you should have plenty of padding and cushioning to ensure proper support and comfort.
With these features in mind, the top three ladies platform tennis sneakers are:
- Take your performance to the court with the ASICS® GEL-Rocket® 9 volleyball shoe!
- Lightweight mesh upper with synthetic overlays provide structured support and comfort.
- Foam-padded collar and tongue.
- Trusstic system reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe
- NC rubber outsole compound containing more natural rubber content than traditional solid rubber, resulting in enhanced traction on court systems
- Forefoot gel cushioning system attenuates shock during impact phase
Men require the exact same features in their platform tennis shoes as women. They need comfort, mobility and support for their ankles and instep. You should consider shoes which have flat soles for playing both indoors and outdoors. Ideally you are looking for a shoe that offers support from the tips of your toes back through the arch and midfoot, to the heal of your foot.
Again, with these features in mind, the top three mens platform tennis shoes are:
- Take your performance to the court with the ASICS� GEL-Rocket� 9 volleyball shoe!
- NC Rubber Outsole compound that contains more natural rubber content than traditional solid rubber, resulting in enhanced traction on the court
- Forefoot Gel Cushioning System reduces shock
- Lightweight air mesh upper for maximum breathability
- Abrasion-resistant Adituff wraps around the toe and medial forefoot to help protect against foot drag that occurs during serves, volleys and extreme lateral movements
- 360-degree TPU support foil for durability in key abrasion areas and superior lateral stability
- Volleyball shoe with lightweight mesh upper featuring synthetic overlays and cushioned footbed
- Molded-EVA midsole
- Court-specific Forefoot GEL Cushioning system
How to choose the right platform tennis shoes
Platform tennis shoes are both fashionable and essential to your game. They can look great, effortlessly blending with the rest of your kit to give you that killer look, and lets be honest, who doesn’t love looking good on the court?
However, arriving at the perfect choice of platform tennis shoes is more than buying the most expensive or the most dazzling tennis shoe in the shop. There are many other significant considerations and aspects you should consider, that will improve the overall satisfaction you get from wearing these sneakers, in addition to their durability and suitability for your playing style.
How do you know which one to buy to ensure you are getting the best value for your money?
If you are looking to buy that perfect platform tennis shoe, there are some things you should consider before going ahead with your purchase.
Platform Tennis Shoes Buying Guide
Some might say that the paddle is the most important piece of equipment for any player, but I would tend to disagree. Whilst a paddle is obviously crucial to playing, without the right footwear, you are not going to have the support and mobility to reach the ball in the first place, never mind hit it with a paddle. So before you take a the court, even with the correct shoes, make sure they are broken in and ready to give you their best, as playing with blisters is not going to help you win any points!
What to look for when buying tennis shoes?
You need to know what you are buying so you don’t end up with the wrong pair of sneakers. With this in mind, I have written this guide to help you find the right platform tennis sneakers both for your playing style and budget.
The first step to finding the right platform tennis shoes is to pick the right size. I know this sounds obvious, but you should not wear tennis shoes that are too tight because they will be uncomfortable and ruin your game and hurt your feet.
Below are some of the things to look out for if you want to buy a good tennis sneaker.
Depending on where you plan on playing, you have to consider the outsole of the tennis shoes. Are you buying these shoes for playing platform tennis only, or do you intend to use them for indoor sports as well?
If you intend on using them purely for platform tennis, consider a tennis shoe with a modified herringbone pattern. If you want to use them on other surfaces like a grass court, get an outsole that has small rubber studs on its sole to provide extra grip.
It is essential to get a tennis shoe that is made with quality material. If a tennis shoe has a quality sole, you should be able to twist the sole back and forth and not notice signs of deterioration or cracks. Also when you are wearing the shoes, you should not be able to feel any stones under foot, which would mean that their is insufficient padding and support for your foot.
Another important thing to look out for is getting value for your money. Most times, cheap tennis shoes do not last long. After a while, they begin to fall apart. You should get a tennis shoe that has a reputation for quality and durability. You can find out if a shoe will last by reading reviews from customers who have bought these shoes. Always bear in the mind that the flashiest platform tennis sneakers aren’t always the most durable.
Comfort is very important when buying shoes generally. A good platform tennis shoe should have the right type of cushioning material to protect your feet. It should be able to bear your weight, so you don’t feel the rough ground underfoot.
You should be looking for a shoe that has traction on the outsole to prevent you from slipping on wet or slippery surfaces.
Flexibility is important, and a good tennis shoe should feel light and flexible when you are charging for a ball at full speed or coming to a quick stop as you change direction.
The tennis shoe should also be designed to have good shock/impact capabilities, and be able to absorb any vibration without automatically transferring it to your feet. This way, you are able to play for longer without causing injuries.
Breathability in a sports shoe is essential, and any sneaker you consider should have sufficient airflow. Most designs usually come with a mesh fabric that allows air to circulate and reduce sweating when you are playing tennis, even in cheaper options.
The sports shoes you find today usually come with a unique method of attaching laces. For ankle support, you can get shoes that have a plastic gizmo where the shoelace can pass through to cover your foot up to the arch area.
Shoes to Avoid
It is important to avoid buying extremely tight platform tennis shoes (with poor breathability) because it would not only affect your carriage but also make you feel uncomfortable, which would undoubtedly effect your game.
You might want to save a few dollars, but avoid going for the cheapest sneakers on display. Instead, look for quality and durability, after all, you want your shoe to stand the test of time? More importantly, you will want to find a pair of tennis shoes, that are comfortable, support your style of play and improve your game.
Can you Play in Grass Court Shoes or Running Shoes?
Checkout this great video which explains why playing in running shoes is not a good idea and will likely lead to an injury, and how hard court shoes are a necessity for your game and wallet!
There are a lot of options available to both men and women, and remember cheaper does not always mean bad. However, you need to buy sneakers which work for platform tennis, have good grip, allow you to change direction quickly, support your ankle and the arch of your foot, provide cushioning and are durable. Each of the options reviewed above give you all of this and much more.