Good tennis shoes will protect you from the injuries and help you to endure the rigors of the game's quick stops and starts, short sprints and frequent lateral movements. When it comes to proper shoe selection, you need to take into account playing style, the type of court you usually play and your foot type. Finding a shoe with a sole that is durable enough to meet your particular needs is very important.
There are two basic playing styles: serve and volley player, and baseline player. Serve and volley player tends to frequently charge the net a lot, tends to slide back foot along the court during the serve, so a shoe with a durable toecap, otherwise known as a reinforced toe is essential. It is an extra piece of rubber that is added to the inside of the outsole at the toe area of some tennis shoes to increase their durability. On the other hand, baseline player primarily plays along back line of the court, so shoes need a lot of lateral support to handle constant sideways motion and needs a shoe with a highly durable sole.
The type of the court you will be playing influences significantly the shoes you will need. When playing on a hard court, look for shoes with more durable soles, while softer surfaces are more forgiving on shoes, so your durability requirements aren't as great. Determining your foot type is very important to help you determine how much lateral support and cushioning you will need.
There are three basic foot types: supinated, pronated, and neutral. If your feet are supinated, the soles of your shoes will tend to wear most on the outside of the heel and the forefoot. Something about 30% of the population has supinated feet. If your feet are pronated, your shoes will tend to wear most on the inside of the forefoot area and many types of overuse injuries are associated with this foot type. More than half of the world population has pronated feet, even 60%. If you have neutral/ideal feet, your shoes will wear fairly evenly. This type is the rarest, only about 10% of the population has neutral/ideal feet.
If you are not sure about the type, you can perform a so-called “wet test”. You will do this by getting your foot wet, then stepping on a surface, such as a sidewalk or a piece of dark construction paper, so you will be able to see an imprint of your foot. The characteristics of the imprint will determine your foot type. Your feet are supinated if there is a large open area on the imprint where the arch of your foot didn't touch the ground. Your feet are pronated if a complete impression of your foot can be seen. Your feet are Neutral if a moderate space is visible in the arch area.
With its quick stops and starts, tennis is pretty demanding. Finding a shoe with proper cushioning and shock absorption is essential for comfort for all players. Baseline players typically need more cushioning than serve-and-volley players, as well as hard-court players when compared to soft-court players. If your feet are supinated, shock absorption and cushioning are very important.