One of the most iconic tennis courts is called clay court, also known as clay or red clay in other Spanish-speaking countries. It is the most popular surface in Spain and the most versatile. Its unique characteristics make it essential to buy good tennis shoes for clay court to avoid injuries and maximize the player’s performance.
If you play on this surface, we will tell you more about the best shoes. Learn more about the best tennis footwear for clay court, including their unique features for better play.
How is tennis on clay court?
On clay court, the surface is made of a mixture of stone, clay, and shale. In Spain, red clay is used, which is slower than the green clay in the United States. The game on this court is slower and higher, resulting in long and physically demanding matches that require extraordinary physical preparation.
Clay court favors players who are more resilient and excel in baseline play, dominating shots with spin. As such, tennis shoes for clay court are needed to minimize fatigue and optimize energy usage for the player.
The most iconic tournament on this surface is Roland Garros, the only Grand Slam played on clay court. Rafael Nadal is the greatest expert on this surface, with 14 titles at Roland Garros and 63 titles playing on clay.
What are the best tennis shoes for clay court?
Clay court is closer to hard court than grass, so the shoes will be more similar to those used on hard court. They share a flat heel and rubber sole, as they also seek good durability and grip to compensate for the low traction.
Additionally, they need to be resistant because matches are long and involve changes in rhythm, leading to significant wear and tear. Therefore, they often feature highly durable upper mesh materials.
At the same time, they provide good cushioning to withstand the wear and tear. For this purpose, GEL technology is commonly used. Given the lateral movements, the shoe’s lateral support and stability are crucial to prevent injuries and foot problems.
However, there are some differences. The main one is the sole design, which should prevent the entry of clay into the shoe. Combined with a snug fit, this prevents sliding and maximizes the player’s comfort. Moreover, EVA midsoles are used to enhance performance in longer matches by providing cushioning, protection, and a slight boost.
In conclusion, the best tennis shoes for clay court are those that allow the player to move comfortably in long matches, preventing the entry of clay while maintaining speed and stability. They are versatile footwear that is also seen in other sports like paddle tennis. However, they will wear out quickly on hard courts, so we recommend using specific footwear for that surface.