Nike is arguably the most renowned athletic shoe company in the world. While the company’s mainstream takeover began with an iconic running sneaker, they were shaking up the tennis shoe industry by the 1970s. By partnering with edgy players like Steve Prefontaine and John McEnroe, the company tore the game of tennis off its one-way track and sent it charging in the opposite direction.
To this day, the company continues to shake things up with cutting-edge technologies and bold colorways. If you’re a tennis player looking for comfortable and supportive footwear, then Nike is probably already on your radar. Still, the company’s tennis shoe collection includes thousands of different models.
Best Nike Shoes for Tennis in 2021
We’ve tried out several customer favorites before settling on our top three designs. Read about these and important Nike tennis shoe considerations in the sections below!
1. Nike Men’s Air Zoom Vapor X – Best Nike Tennis Shoes (Editor’s Choice)
Settling in nicely at the top of our list, Nike’s Vapor X tennis shoe features a responsive and lightweight core that promotes quick lateral movements.
What’s more, this tennis shoe slips on like a sock thanks to its Dynamic Fit system, padded collar, and adjustable lace-up closure. Furthermore, the shoe’s heel-to-toe TPU foot frame provides players with exceptional stability and support.
On top of that, the Vapor X boasts a patented Vapor X phylon midsole and a Nike Zoom cushion in the heel. As such, this shoe absorbs an ample amount of court shock while upping an athletes toe-offs and landings.
Finally, this shoe boasts a rugged XDR Rubber outsole with a dynamic herringbone tread. Not only does this sneaker provide players with stability and traction, but it wears evenly and slowly. The outsole even curves up onto the sides of the uppers to promote easier direction changes and back-and-forth lateral sprints.
We love how well these shoes wrapped around our feet. While they were a little tight out of the box, it only took a few rounds to break them in properly. We also loved how lightweight and breathable these shoes were. They certainly felt like vapor. We also felt that the shoes offered wide and grippy lockdown. With that said, these shoes do lack a bit of durability. As such, we recommend them for match-only wear if you’re on the court daily.
- Nike Zoom Air cushioning platform
- Mesh and synthetic overlays
- Padded tongue and collar
- Adjustable lace-up closure
- TPU midfoot shank
- XDR rubber outsoles with herringbone print
- Dynamic herringbone tread
- Several unique colorways
- Somewhat narrow
- Slides easily
2. Nike’s Women Court Lite – Top Nike Tennis Shoes (People’s Choice)
Nike even bulked up the toe area with a few additional layers of material to ensure that drag-induced abrasions wouldn’t be this sneaker’s downfall.Yet another comfort and supportive Nike tennis shoe, the women’s Court Lites provide structured support on and off the court. These impressive sneakers feature lightweight leather and synthetic uppers paired with breathable padded mesh heels and tongues.
On top of that, these tennis shoes feature full-length Phylon midsoles for added support and comfort. With the Court Lites, you’ll never have to leave the court because the bottoms of your feet are sore!
On top of that, the sneakers’ durable GDR outsoles provide exceptional underfoot traction and support. Finally, players can choose from a never-ending rainbow of custom colorways to ensure that their tennis shoes fit their personal vibe.
These shoes definitely prevent you from slipping during rapid lateral movements. They’re also super breathable despite their solid exterior. As such, there’s no reason to worry if you break a sweat. With all that said, our favorite thing about them is their durability. The Court Lites will protect your feet through countless rallies. As such, they’ll also look great for extended periods of time.
- Durable GDR outsole
- Heel-to-toe Phylon midsole
- Breathable leather and synthetic uppers
- Extra toe panels to fight against surface abrasions
- Padded mesh tongue and heel
- Lace-up closure
- A wide range of custom colorways
3. Nike Men’s Zoom Cage 3 – Most Comfortable Nike Tennis Shoes
Last but certainly not least, Cage 3 tennis shoes offer ample on-court support and stability. To start things off, Nike gave these shoes a tongueless bootie-shaped upper made from one of their proprietary synthetic materials.
Below that, the shoe features an encapsulated Nike Zoom Air unit for exceptional wear-resistance and cushioning. On top of that, the shoe features an exterior heel-to-toe TPU shank for enhanced stability.
As if that were not enough to make this an all-star tennis shoe, Nike went ahead and added their proprietary XDR outsole with a direction-boosting herringbone tread. What’s more, they boosted the durability of their sock-like uppers by adding a molded heel clip made of hard wear-resistant material. In most cases, players can slip these amazing shoes on without ever having to think about adjusting the fit or breaking them in.
We couldn’t be happier with the Cage 3’s on-court performance.
This shoe is ultra grippy and reliable. Not to mention, its TPU shank makes it rigid enough to withstand those frequent lateral movements you’re drawn to on the tennis court. On top of that, these shoes allow players to shift endlessly without slipping or sliding.
Also, players can toe-off and land without streams of shock running up their legs. On the downside, the upper materials tend to wear quickly. Still, this tennis shoe looks fresh and modern, making it a showstopper we can most definitely get behind!
- Heel-to-toe TPU shank
- Nike Air cushion
- Rubber XDR outsoles with herringbone tread
- Molded heel clip
- Lightweight bootie-shaped upper
- Secure lace-up fit
- Breathable synthetic material
- Wears easily
How to Choose Best Nike Tennis Shoes – Buying Guide
Are you wondering what to consider when purchasing a pair of Nike tennis shoes? Read along for helpful pointers!
Tennis Shoe uppers need to be durable enough to withstand repeated abrasion and high-friction moves.
While traditional tennis shoes boasted all-leather uppers, newer models are often made of strategically placed synthetic and mesh panels.
This opens up the shoe for ventilation while adding support where it is needed most. Nike’s tennis shoe uppers range from booties to traditional lace-ups.
Nike’s midsole technologies are some of the best in the industry. Their encapsulated zoom cushions and TPU shanks provide torsion support and shock resistance.
The best part is that they are exceptionally lightweight.
Thick rubber soles with herringbone tread are an obvious choice for the tennis court. Even the most high-quality rubbers wear quickly, so invest in a pair that has extra buffers in high-wear zones.
Nike’s 1970 foray into the tennis world may have come as a shock to some long-seated tennis enthusiasts, but the company has inarguable popularity speaks volumes about their influence on the sport.
In fact, Nike, which is named for the Greek goddess of victory, has spent years developing its renowned tennis shoe technologies. As such, they’ve come to sponsor some of the world’s most celebrated and edgy tennis players, including Serena Williams, Maria, Sharapova, and more.
If you’re someone looking to up your on-court appearances while maintaining your comfort and prowess, we hope you enjoyed a look at our top three Nike tennis shoes.