Vans has seen some rises and dips with its popularity in today’s era, but one thing is for certain—it never goes out of fashion. In fact, it’s been seeing a lot of play in the tennis world. This is quite a surprise since it never really was intended for tennis.
Or is it?
I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of their target demographic—skaters. Go to the nearest skate park and tally their shoe brands. You will notice that one brand comes out on top, and it’s always Vans. All the time.
So, what gives? What makes Vans so popular across skaters?
The answer is simple—grippy rubber soles. Of course, you don’t want your skateboard to fly off because of poor traction.
Seeing this answer, it’s easy to see why it’s shooting up in popularity for tennis. It gives good traction, and with tennis being a swift-y kind of sport, the grip is all the more important.
But are Vans Good for Playing Tennis?
Well, the answer is not as simple as answering with a yes or no. It depends on a lot of factors.
The better question is—is Vans ideal for tennis? And to that, the answer is NO.
Vans is a skateboarding shoe brand, and while this makes them somewhat of a good tennis shoe because of the traction, it doesn’t mean they’re the best ones to use.
Here’s the thing, Vans is really not a comfortable shoe for running. And tennis requires a lot of running. And by a lot, I mean 5 miles per game. And that’s not even considering the added stress of quick starts and stops.
If you’ve worn a Vans before, you know how stiff they are. They’re solid and durable. But stiff.
Are Vans Even Considered as Tennis Shoes?
Before we answer that, let’s first discuss what tennis shoes are.
Most sports shoes today can technically be considered tennis shoes. After all, if you can perform well using any sport shoe you like, that means it’s a good tennis shoe. It doesn’t matter if the shoes are regarded as a basketball, running, or even skateboarding shoe.
If you search online though, you will find that there are specific shoe models that are designed to be tennis shoes. Ideally, you should only pick out your tennis shoe from that collection.
Now, Vans usually promotes a tennis-inspired collection once in a while. While you may think of these as ‘real tennis shoes,’ they’re actually not. These shoes are more of a promotional material than actual performance shoes.
But then again, everyone is different.
Regardless, there are 4 qualities that you should find in a tennis shoe. I will discuss these qualities down below.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Tennis Shoe?
Tennis is all about changing direction quickly and decisively. Good shoes should make turning and twisting easier and smoother.
No wonder I’ve been seeing some tennis players play with Vans. Vans is one of the grippiest shoes in the market. No wonder it’s been seeing some play on the court. It’s stiff though, so you have to consider that.
Now, this is where Vans fails the test. Vans are not known for being comfortable. In fact, they’re actually quite uncomfortable, thanks to their flat-heel design.
A stiff shoe will give you blisters. And with tennis requiring you to run for hours, having a breathable and somewhat flexible shoe is preferred.
Since in tennis, you’re dealing with swift movements, you need a court shoe that can accommodate the stress that comes along with it.
A cheaply made tennis shoe will literally rip itself apart the moment you make a quick stop and turn. Durability doesn’t come cheap, though.
Support and Stability
You would want a shoe that offers full support of your feet. A shoe without good stability and ankle support is a risk for injury.
You can go with high, mid, or low-top shoes, depending on your preference. Most professional players go with mid-to-low top shoes for better mobility, though.
So, Can I Still Use Vans for Tennis?
Well, yes, but should you?
Of course, you can play wearing your favorite Vans, but it might not be such a good idea after all. Vans may provide better traction than most shoes, but what it provides in grip, it takes away in comfort.
You may get away with using Vans when playing tennis recreationally. When you skill up though, you will find shoes like this limiting.
It’s like bringing a knife to a samurai fight. Sure, you can still work it, but you’re basically just handicapping yourself.
The best recommendation is to always go for shoes that are tagged as ‘tennis shoes.’