Kids are great.
Until you need to buy clothes for them.
Then kids are not that great.
The problem with buying tennis shoes for the young adults in your family is that they’re very quickly going to grow out of them, leaving them without shoes again and you with egg on your face.
There’s not too many ways to solve the inevitable growth spurt problems other than finding a shoe that grows over time as well. Sadly, scientists haven’t yet created the necessary materials for such footwear and so you’ll have to focus on finding the next best thing…
Tell them to give up playing tennis in order to save you money!…
No, but seriously, the only thing we can really recommend is taking a read through of this list of 7 of the best tennis shoes for kids currently on the market.
Best Tennis Shoes for Kids
ASICS Kids Gel-Game 7 GS
ASICS have been making waves with their Gel range of shoes lately and so it’s no surprise to see them produce a pair for junior players.
The color options here are fantastic, although for children, a few more wouldn’t go amiss to satisfy all preferences. However, the all-round look is good and sporty enough and shouldn’t leave your precious little angels feeling too embarrassed to be seen wearing them.
Made from a combination of mesh and synthetic leather, these are durable and tough and should be able to withstand being dragged about a hardcourt by a child attempting to mount a match comeback.
The ASICS gel is immensely useful and will provide a cushiony shock-absorbing feel to the player’s feet as they sprint around. No painful bashes and smashes with these shoes!
The removable sock liner is a great little added feature, meaning that sweat will be easily soaked up and managed, leaving the player to be able to focus entirely on perfecting their shots.
With these, ASICS has provided a shoe that focuses heavily on keeping the feet of the wearer comfy and relaxed. If the player regularly complains of aching feet after a lengthy day of beating their opponents, these could be just what they’re looking for…
ASICS Kids Gel-Resolution 8 GS
Another of ASICS Gel range, this time with slightly less color variety! Only 3?! How are you going to find something that goes well with little Timmy’s sweatbands with only 3 options available?!
On a more positive (and serious!) note, the size selection here is great, with 13 different individual sizes available to choose from. Also, these look great, with the ASICS logo popping out well on the dark colors that are available.
The flexible upper offers form-fitting and adaptable comfort and structure for the player’s feet. This will come in handy primarily in heavy and lengthy baseline rallies.
A toe protector covers… well… the toe area and does exactly what it says on the tin, offering a good defensive shield from any natural toe-draggers in your family.
Of course, the gel technology makes an appearance here as well, offering freedom of movement and good all-round vibration controlling levels. The gel range will suit players who like to move quickly up at the net, helping them to plant their feet smoothly in preparation for knocking out incoming volley winners.
A molded removable sock liner is here as well, once more offering sweat management necessary for any highly energetic young player.
Another great offering here from ASICS. The Gel-resolution is a slightly more durable model than the Gel-game up above and should provide a good starting point for any junior player keen to get their first proper pair of tennis sneakers.
Wilson Kids Rush Pro
Where are the colors, Wilson?! A blue, black and white model isn’t the greatest here but a decent size selection just about makes up for it.
These shoes look good enough though, with a big W Wilson logo printed on the side of a very comfortable looking foam chassis that should allow for enough flexibility and give as the player throws themselves around the court.
The quick-lace up-and-go feature on these is a great addition for kid’s shoes, offering an easy pull-on and off design. This means that the player won’t be running to you for assistance every time they are in a last minute mad rush to get to the courts. It also makes the laces themselves immensely durable, a valuable asset on kid’s shoes!
Rubberized soles and anti-torque mechanics allow these shoes to be bent, twisted and tossed around a great deal so your child can maneuver themselves quickly around the court without concern for their brand new footwear.
A cushioned inner midsole is also added to help player’s push off with that bit of extra spring in their step.
One of the best parts of these shoes is undeniably the price. The fact that they’re manufactured by a well-known and trusted manufacturer makes these a solid option if you’re looking for a pair of the best tennis shoes for kids.
K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 Junior Tennis Shoe
K-Swiss have steadily been producing more and more sports shoes in the last few years and this is a good solid kid’s tennis offering.
The design is nice, if a little simplistic, with the K-Swiss speed-striped running down the side of an all-white under-layer. Unfortunately, there’s only a pink and white option to pick here so hopefully more colors will be made available in due course! WE WANT MORE COLORS!
There are enough sizes here to fit most slightly older children and with a nice casual fitting synthetic leather upper, they will sit comfortably on the player’s feet and provide them with a good base to push off consistently in long rallies.
The textile collar lining is a great padded feature to have on kid’s shoes to make sure that their ankles don’t get irritated and sweaty from extended play. Getting distracted at match-point down because your feet are feeling awkward isn’t pleasant and the collar here will help them avoid that.
A bright rubber herringbone tread brings the entire look of these shoes together and makes for a particularly durable look that will survive extended play sessions across hard courts.
The low price point for these shoes makes them a valuable pick-up for any young budding junior player. There’s no fancy comfort technology here and that’s absolutely fine for a child looking to pick up a racket to experiment with tennis for the first time.
Babolat Junior Jet All Court Kids' Tennis Shoes
Babolat like to do things a little differently and this Junior Jet kid’s tennis shoe is no different.
With an eye catching design that sits low to the ground and a nice clean white pattern that wraps around the heel, these shoes are sure to help any child feel like the next Rafael Nadal when they step out on the court. The lackluster color palate is a bit of a problem here as the light blue model isn’t the most typical of shades but still. The overall look is a good one generally.
These shoes have been put together with speed in mind so that the player can get from A to B as quickly as possible.
A synthetic mesh material covers the sides to help with breathability and to offer easy air flow around the feet. Cutting excess weight by removing excess foam around the chassis, Babolat have provided a strong compressor system to help support the player without feeling constrictive.
The rubberized outsole of these shoes is actually produced by the Michelan company. Yes, the tire manufacturer! While these shoes may not offer players the speed of a Formula 1 car, they will come with specially designed tread and a level of guaranteed durability that not many kid’s shoes can match.
If the child you’re looking to buy for often complains about their shoes feeling unnecessarily weighty on the court, this is an option you should be considering. It helps that these are fairly cheap as well, coming in at a budget price that should make these a valuable pick-up.
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
And K-Swiss round out our list of 7 of the best junior tennis shoes!
This model is a mini-version of their best-selling Hypercourt adult shoe and it’s no wonder because these look fabulous. A highly sleek, side-stripe design will help player to feel confident and at ease in their new footwear as they take the court for that must-win game!
Frustratingly, the colors are lacking here as well, with only a dark navy blue being readily available for purchase. Still, it should go with most kit combinations without looking out of place.
Featuring thick spongy durable laces that can be tightened up and fitted to size, these shoes offer comfort with the added feature of a synthetic leather upper and textile collar lining that will hold closely against the player’s ankles. This will prove beneficial for helping them find an easy and relaxed rhythm when it comes to their movement on court.
A thick rubber sole with herringbone tread is featured and brings with it the usual level of durable flexibility built to withstand long-term usage.
K-Swiss know that this make of shoe sells and so have done well to downsize it into a compact and durable kid’s version. The modern stylistic look of these will appeal to a good range of young players.
Fila Junior Axilus 2 Energized Tennis Shoes
Fila have spent a lot of time downscaling their adult version of these shoes for a junior fit and they’ve done a fantastic job of it… Still only two color options to choose from though! Both the red and white should admittedly go with most match kits but please. More variety, Fila! Not everyone can rock red and white!
The design is great however, with ventilated mesh covering the majority of the chassis in an effort to keep feet cool and help with general on-court flexibility.
The frontfoot is moulded specifically to offer that added bit of protection and is built to withstand excessive and external weight repeatedly being pushed up against it. Even the most consistent of player will find it difficult to tear through these in a hurry!
Rubber cushioning is used to pad out the heel and forefoot areas to offer an element of shock absorbing technology. This will be most noticeable in moments where the player is required to plant their feet, either to volley away winners up at the net or swat back at a big first serves.
With the addition of a few different size options and color offerings, Fila could well have produced the best junior tennis shoes with this. As it is, The Axilus 2 provides everything a young player could need to help them relax and have fun on court.
How to Choose Tennis Shoes
As with any clothing, easy comfort for the person wearing it needs to be at the top of your priority list.
This is even more important for feet that are still growing and changing. Anything that continually gets in the way or restricts easy movement could lead to some uncomfortable long-term muscular problems, most prominently around the arch of the foot.
Check the inside of the shoe for cushiony comfort that will help feet naturally sit within them even in the middle of intense sessions of exercise. Your child will not thank you if they find themselves getting distracted by the uncomfortable feeling of their brand new shoes in the middle of a must win tiebreak set!
Kids are going to fall over. It’s a fact of life and as long as the sky is blue and the grass is green, kids will fall over and skin their knees and blame anyone but themselves.
To try and avoid a screaming match and their new shoes getting thrown at your head in anger, make sure that you buy them footwear with a decent grip that offers them easy traction as they go stumbling after balls on the court.
Like most adult tennis shoes, treads for kid’s versions will have a thick herringbone design. This will look blocky and thick and should offer comfortable easy movement across hard, flat and smooth surfaces. This should be fairly durable and be able to withstand consistent pressure without wearing away.
Children have the ability to recover from injuries and breakages far quicker than you or I.
That being said, you probably shouldn’t simply let them wander around a tennis court for hours in a pair of flip-flops. For one thing, they’ll look ridiculous and for a second thing, they may well trip, fall and twist their ankles…
So yeah, make sure you double check the inner walls of any tennis shoes you’re considering buying. There should be some kind of padding in specific areas to help their feet hold them steady as they rattle back and forth across a baseline.
Also, check the laces and how the shoe comes together when all tied up and ready for play. Many shoes have form-fitting designs that sit tightly against feet to offer that extra support when exercising!
Now this! This is important when it comes to buying for children.
The stitching of kid’s shoes needs to be well done, otherwise you’ll very quickly see rips and breakages at the seams start to appear. Double check these to see if they’ve been done properly and in the correct places where the different panels of the shoe come together.
On top of that, again, check the sole of the shoe. Make sure the thickness at the front, middle and back of the tread is of a good quality and isn’t likely to start rubbing away for a while.
With that all said, kid’s shoes do automatically have a much shorter lifespan than adult shoes. A lot of that comes down to how the shoes are generally treated. If you see the pair of $100 Roger Federer tennis sneakers that you’ve just bought them on their feet as they head out the door to play football, chances are they won’t be last all that long…
Kids are gonna’ smell and they won’t care so it’s up to you to buy them a shoe that will do the caring for them.
Many sports shoes have synthetic mesh wrapping around the body of the chassis itself and this will help their feet breathe and sweat without feeling massively uncomfortable. Any added ventilation seams that work to direct fresh air around their feet is an added bonus to try and look out for.
There will come a point when they tear off their shoes after a long day of punishing rallies in the heat of the day and you’ll wish with all your heart that you sense of smell wasn’t so good. So try and find a shoe that prolongs those moments for as long as possible.
Obviously you want the best possible shoe, the best looking shoe, the highest quality shoe for the child in your life… But you also want all that at a reasonable price!
That’s understandable as well. What’s the point of parting ways with hundreds of dollars, simply for a shoe that will be outgrown within the year?!
What we would suggest is trying to find a basic all court shoe that does everything at least reasonably well while also not breaking your piggy bank. Your kid may well think they want the new Nadal branded sneakers but they’ll also manage to just about survive if you buy them something that’s at least the same color.
The end of the line is here and we hope you feel somewhat more prepared to head out into stormy unknown waters to purchase the best tennis shoes for the future US Open champion in your life!
What we would say is that you shouldn’t panic or over think a huge amount when it comes to buying tennis shoes for children. As long as what you’re buying is secure and seems to tick all the right boxes, then generally you’ll be fine.
With any luck, we’ve been able to provide you with a few options up above that you’re now considering!
And so the last thing we’ll say is that, basically, don’t buy a pair of plimsolls and think that will be enough because it won’t be and your child will tell you.
To your face.
Possibly while screaming.