Picking the Best Tennis Shoes For Kids – The Ultimate Guide

Aside from the ball and the racket, tennis shoes are a must for playing effective and enjoyable tennis games. The right balance between comfort, stability and support from the shoes is also crucial in the power, precision and fluidity of each stroke.

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The importance of a good choice in tennis shoes for junior players, whether with beginner or intermediate skills cannot be overemphasized.

Tennis shoes, which are also known as sneakers in street slang, are primarily designed for playing tennis games but these can also be used for other sports and for daily wear. The flexible sole is typically made of either a synthetic material or rubber while the upper can be made of either synthetic materials or leather.

The overall design of these shoes is tailored for the unique needs and wants for footwear among tennis players so there will be differences between them and other types of athletic shoes for track and field, soccer, and baseball.

When choosing the best tennis shoes for kids from among my list, I suggest considering your child’s unique needs and wants first. Your child’s feedback about the color, comfort and support from his shoes should always be a main consideration. You will find that it’s always the wearer’s opinions that matters the most – yours will come in second.

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My Favorite Tennis Shoes for Junior Players

1. ASICS Gel-Game 5 GS

ASICS Gel-Game 5 GS

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The white, silver and onyx color combo of the Gel-Game immediately attracts attention yet it’s still within the white-preferred tennis dress code. The gel and foam cushioning system provides optimum comfort even after hours of play while the mid-foot support system enhances stability when running.

The shock-absorbent capacity of the shoes also allows for fluid transitions from start to mid-stance positions, a safety feature in fast-paced games where even a single misstep can cost the set.

What’s Great About It: This is a great pair of shoes for beginners who are establishing a consistent rhythm in their game. Plus, the synthetic material is so easy to clean so the white parts stay white even after several uses.

2. New Balance KC996

New Balance KC996

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The combo of 75% synthetic material and 25% mesh material in the KC996 means the right balance between support and comfort. The rubber sole, IMEVA midsole, and thermoplastic polyurethane material for the cage are sufficiently flexible that the shoes feel like extensions of the feet.

Walking, running and jumping during play becomes so much more movement-efficient because of such quality, aside from the mesh material promoting more air circulation around the feet.

What’s Great About It: The shoes provide support for kids with normal arches and larger-than-average wide feet so there’s none of the pinching of the toes effect. Your kid will also be likely to complain about being “hot in the feet” due to the better air circulation.

3. ASICS GEL-Solution Speed 3 GS

ASICS GEL-Solution Speed 3 GS

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The cushioning system at the shoes’ heel reduces the shock when running after the ball and contributes to fluid transitions between strides.

These benefits increase the effectiveness of the swing and stroke and, thus, to the overall success of your junior player’s game.

The upper part keeps feet comfortably inside the shoes while also enhancing optimum support, especially on the arch.

What’s Great About It: These shoes contribute to faster speed during the game due to its combination of shock-absorbent cushion, form-fitting design, and wide toe with protector feature. Plus, the pair really looks attractive on court!

4. Adidas Performance Response Approach K

Adidas Performance Response Approach K

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The Adidas brand is known for its high-performance athletic shoes so it isn’t surprising that the Performance Response shoes hold up nicely to high-pressure games.

The rubber sole withstands hours of running and jumping after the ball, a must for competitive amateur junior players. The ventilation feature – perforations in the upper – promotes air circulation for feet breathability while the lace-up closure allows for customized fit.

What’s Great About It: The synthetic leather upper adds to the flexible quality of the shoes so the feet can perform its natural motions from bending to turning with maximum stability. Even the padded collar and tongue have their purpose in added support. Your junior player will feel more confident with his foot movements.

5. K-Swiss Classic Vintage PS

K-Swiss Classic Vintage PS

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

These shoes are unique in terms of the material used for its upper – premium full-grain natural leather – that gives the pair an uncommon elegance on the court. The sturdy rubber sole complements the sophisticated leather upper such that wearing it on center court doesn’t seem far-fetched.

The recognizable K-Swiss look also adds to the prestige of wearing the pair and the cushioned foot bed makes it so easy to wear for hours on end.

What’s Great About It: I like the D-ring lacing system, which makes it easier to wear and remove the shoes, as well as get a snug fit over the feet. The sturdy and strong stitching means the shoes will outlast its wearer’s multiple games over several months.

6. K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5

K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5

Suitable for: 4-12 years old(Little Kid and Big Kid)

These shoes are as lightweight as can be yet still provide stability and support where necessary, especially on the arch, heel and toes. The support chassis and Y-beam provide arch support, a must for players who have high arches, so turning becomes more efficient.

There’s also the Drag Guard feature that, at its core, means that toe dragging becomes less of a risk. The other features including the rubber outsole, padded collar and tongue, and perforated holes make the Bigshot truly a bug shot in tennis shoes.

What’s Great About It: Look beyond the 5-stripe image and you will appreciate the world-class craftsmanship that comes into each of these tennis shoes. Your junior player will even say that he feels lighter, faster and better with these shoes on although it may only be his improved confidence due to his shoes’ excellent quality.

7. Adidas Performance Stan Smith J

Adidas Performance Stan Smith J

Suitable for: 8-12 years old with varying Big Kid Sizes

These shoes have the competitive tennis player in mind from its full-grain natural leather for its upper to its rubber sole. The leather upper has a beautiful sheen to it, too, which is surprising in modern tennis shoes.

The soft terry lining has a cozy and airy feel so there’s a sense of the shoes being so light your player can fly. The sock liner has an antimicrobial quality coupled with an outstanding ability to draw moisture away from the skin.

What’s Great About It: I like the excellent traction from the rubber sole, a quality that many inferior tennis shoes cannot deliver. The traction aids in efficient movement around the court while the attractive design means the shoes are great for running around town

8. ASICS Gel-Gamepoint GS

ASICS Gel-Gamepoint GS

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The ASICS tennis shoes are characterized by their easy-to-clean quality and the Gel-Gamepoint isn’t different. Parents like it because kids can make their shoes dirty faster than adults no matter the type of court.

These shoes are best used on hard courts, thanks to the effective traction from the molded rubber outsole, which feature lateral wraps. The shoes’ lightweight quality belies its durability, both of which are due to the EVA midsole, and stability under shock conditions even during prolonged running.

What’s Great About It: Your junior tennis player will find the synthetic and leather combo unusual, but it’s a combo that contributes to its uniqueness. These are also shoes that will take him from practice to tournaments and deliver on the expected performance from high-performance shoes.

9. New Balance KC996V2

New Balance KC996V2

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The KC996V2 is an improved version of its predecessor — and it shows in its better craftsmanship, including its stitching and style. The 100% synthetic material makes it so easy to maintain, even for kids who have yet to learn about good stewardship over their things.

The midsole and rubber sole are designed to move with the feet’s movement, so there’s always the sense of being protected in the feet.

What’s Great About It: These are great for junior players with wide feet, a concern that many parents and coaches have expressed.

10. ASICS Kids’ Gel-Resolution 7 GS

ASICS Kids' Gel-Resolution 7 GS

Suitable for: 4-12 years old (Little Kid and Big Kid)

The gel cushion at the rear of the feet helps in shock absorption and in feet movement, especially during transitions, including turning on an axis.

The toe protector decreases the risk of stubbing the toe accidentally, while also making the toe part of the shoes last longer.

The ASICS design also assures parents and coaches that their players’ feet are well-protected from the hard ground.

What’s Great About It: You can imagine your child actually playing while wearing these shoes for his championship match!

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Reasons for Getting the Best Tennis Shoes for Junior Players

Every junior player who wants to improve his game must invest in the best possible tennis shoes for his unique needs and preferences.

When I speak of the “best tennis shoes,” I’m not speaking about the price tag because a high price doesn’t automatically equal quality. I am instead taking about tennis shoes that provide maximum stability, support, and comfort for the wearer’s feet and ankles, as discussed below.

Tennis shoes also consist of four parts, all of which are designed to complement each other for the benefit of the wearer. They are the outsole for traction as well as protection from the toes to the heels; the midsole for cushioning for the feet; the insert for arch support and stabilization; and the upper for holding the feet in place.

When all of these parts are carefully designed, the tennis shoes become more than just a fashion statement, but a piece of safety gear and a performance tool, all in one.

Tips on Buying Tennis Shoes for Kids

With dozens of tennis shoes to choose from, even experienced parents with multi-awarded junior players for children will find it challenging to choose the best possible pair. But don’t give up, as I have these tips in choosing excellent pairs for your own tennis wards.

Choose only from shoes especially designed for playing tennis.

I recommend it because running shoes, for example, are only designed for forward movements, but not for the lateral movements involved in tennis. The frequent starts and stops involved in tennis also influences the choice in materials and features for tennis shoes.

Consider the junior player’s playing style.

I suggest that parents and coaches look at the junior player’s playing style before looking for shoe styles. Baseline players require more lateral support from the sole and sides of the shoes, while serve-and-volley players will benefit from sturdy toecaps and medial arch support. You, the adult, must observe the junior player for an hour, discuss his playing style, and look at the specific features in the tennis shoes being considered.

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Select the shoes according to the type of surface.

I must also emphasize that each type of court has its benefits and challenges for players. Therefore, you must consider the type of surface on which your player will be practicing or competing.

Your best choice for hard courts are shoes with leather or vinyl materials for their upper and outsole, since these surfaces can quickly wear out shoes. You should choose another pair when your player will play on soft courts, usually a pair with non-damaging traction.

There are also shoes that can be used for both hard and soft surfaces. However, these aren’t as effective as their specially-designed counterparts, although their versatility makes them popular.

Look at your foot type

Each foot is different, so its unique shape should always be considered to ensure optimum support, comfort, and stability. Many tennis players actually get customized shoes, but, in most instances, customization isn’t necessary since manufacturers make footwear that addresses the three basic types of foot:

  • Overpronated feet require stabilizing shoes so that the foot doesn’t roll inward with each stride.
  • Neutral feet can be accommodated in all types of shoes.
  • Under-pronated feet will benefit from flexible shoes to prevent them from rolling outward with every stride.

Of course, the best judge of whether a pair of tennis shoes is suitable for a junior player is the wearer himself! You have to listen to his input and feedback before buying the shoes.


Tennis is a competitive game characterized by quick starts and stops, frequent horizontal and vertical movements, and short sprints. The shoes worn should be able to stand up to the abuse, or else they will fall apart on the court.

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