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Basketball Shoes vs. Tennis Shoes: What is The Main Difference?

If you prefer your comfort zone more than anything, the differences between basketball shoes and tennis shoes should not bother you even the slightest. But when you want real performance, choosing the right pair of shoes for your preferred sport is a must.

While both basketball and tennis shoes seem similar, there are some fundamental differences between these two categories that are always worth knowing when you want to maximize the performance.

The primary difference between a basketball shoe and a tennis shoe is that tennis shoes will be much lighter than basketball shoes. Besides, you will always notice some technical and functional differences in the construction between these two categories. In general shoes in the market, tennis shoes are similar to paddle tennis shoes.

If you are someone who is involved in both sports and would like to find out whether you will need to shift to another version of shoes or not, this article is here to give you some essential insights regarding your queries.

So without making the intro much longer, let’s get into the real discussion-

Basketball Shoes vs. Tennis Shoes (4 Key Difference)

Tennis Shoe vs Basketball Shoe

In the intro, we have already mentioned that tennis shoes will be lighter than basketball shoes. We have also mentioned that there are some technical differences as well that you will notice while checking both categories. Here goes a table that will show you the three most distinctive differences between basketball and tennis shoes. We will also discuss each of the categories elaborately. That means if you want to learn more about the differences, you can always move to the next section. if scanning through the whole writings is a tough choice, you can skip to the last where we have also discussed the ways you should be following to pick up the right sports shoes for your preferred sports.

CategoryBasketball ShoesTennis Shoes
WeightHeavierLighter
TopMid/high/low topLower top
Sole  designHeavier soles.Lighter soles/herringbone pattern.
CushioningHeavy cushioningMedium cushioning

1. Basketball Shoes Are Heavier Than Tennis Shoes

The most important distinction you will notice between a basketball shoe and a tennis shoe is that tennis shoes tend to be lighter than basketball shoes. Why so? 

Well, a tennis player needs to make more lateral movement than a basketball player. That is why having a lighter weight always brings forth convenient support.

On the other hand, a basketball player needs to jump, run, and move quickly. Besides, the physical attire of most basketball players tends to be bigger than a tennis player.  That is why the thicker weight always helps them to get into the flow. Some of the basketball players also prefer playing with lighter shoes, depending on their position. Why? Well, that will be discussed in the following sections.

For now, let’s finish this section by saying that tennis shoes tend to be lighter than basketball shoes.

2. A Basketball Shoe Can Have a Mid/High/Low Top, Whereas Most Tennis Shoes Will Have a Lower Top

A tennis player needs to move from one position to another to hit the tennis ball, whereas a basketball player needs to play according to his position.

That is why most tennis shoes will come with a lower top so that every player can move with comfort. On the other hand, a basketball player can choose any type of top according to his position.

For instance, if you are playing basketball in the guard position, having a mid-top should bring forth the most convenient experience.

On the other hand, when you are playing in the forward position, having a higher top should make you comfortable with your stance.

3. A Basketball Shoe Will Have a Heavier Sole Design, Whereas Most Tennis Shoes Are Lighter in Construction

You probably have noticed that many basketball players tend to gift their pair of shoes to dedicated fans.  But they remove the sole before giving it to them. Why so? Because the sole is so important that it can dramatically alter the performance. When a player is comfortable with a particular type of sole, he used to play with the same variety. The higher price range of the sole might be another reason why players do so. Besides, some of the players also customize their own sole. That can be also an issue why they do so.

Anyway, the heavier sole of a basketball shoe aids a player to constantly jump to keep the essential lateral balance.

On the other hand, the medium or lighter sole design helps a player to move fast so that they can hit the ball with enough proficiency.

Everything has a reason. When you consider the shoe construction, the sole design should make a logical judgment.

4. A Basketball Shoe Will Have Thicker Cushioning Than a Tennis Shoe

The cushioning inside of your shoe plays an important role in determining the comfort zone. While playing basketball, a player needs to constantly jump back and forth or make a fast forward movement to take the into the appropriate position. That is why the thicker cushioning property of a basketball shoe always brings the most convenient experience.

On the other hand, a tennis player needs to make fast lateral movements. That is why having a thinner cushioning helps them to be faster and more authentic on the course.

How to Choose Basketball Shoes?

How to choose basketball shoe

Follow these simple steps to choose a basketball shoe with more proficiency-

  • While choosing a basketball shoe, you need to give priority to your physical attire and playing position.
  • You may choose a lighter or mid-shoe when you play in the guard position.
  • Playing in the forward position should bring a more convenient experience with a thicker and heavier shoe.
  • If you are a bigger player with a higher height and weight, a heavier shoe always makes you comfortable.
  • Choose a lighter shoe when your physical attire is average. 

How to Choose Tennis Shoes?

Tennis player tying shoes

If you want to be better at tennis, these are the ways to choose a better shoe for playing tennis-

  • Unless you are a bulky player, a lighter shoe should always be the perfect choice for a tennis player.
  • A thicker sole design is never an ideal choice while choosing a tennis shoe. If you do so, making faster movements will be harder than your anticipation.
  • Prioritize your physical attire first to be comfortable on the court.

Final Summary

  • The weight, top design, sole, and cushioning are the four major aspects where you will see differences between a basketball and tennis shoe.
  • Tennis shoes tend to be lighter in every aspect of their presentation, whereas basketball shoe is heavier.
  • Giving priority to your physical attire and strength should also get enough concentration to choose the perfect shoe according to your preferred sport.