Do you play tennis and badminton? Maybe you wonder if you can save money by just using your tennis shoes on the badminton court.
It can be frustrating having many different pairs of shoes for each sport. But, there are some good reasons why you should have separate shoes for badminton.
You can wear tennis shoes for badminton but it’s not ideal. Most tennis shoes will leave markings on badminton courts. Tennis shoes are designed for side-to-side movement. Badminton shoes, however, focus on back-and-forth movement.
In this article I will be covering:
- The differences between tennis and badminton shoes
- How certain tennis shoes will leave marks on the badminton court.
- Whether you can actually use tennis shoes for badminton
I will be sharing with you all the key reasons as to why you should have separate shoes, so stick around!
Badminton Shoes vs Tennis Shoes
The first difference comes with the surface the shoes are designed for. The majority of tennis shoes are made for use on hard courts, which are mostly outdoors. On the other hand, badminton is an indoor sport usually played on wood or a PVC/PU synthetic surface.
The PVC/PU synthetic surface still has a wooden base.
The soles of tennis shoes vary hugely depending on the surface they are designed for. What they all have in common is that they are not made to be used on the wood that badminton is played on.
Badminton shoes are made with non-marking rubber designed to protect the wood. None of the surfaces tennis is played on require this. The manufacturers, therefore, do not include the same non-marking rubber.
Badminton shoes come with anti-slip; rubber soles designed to deal with the change of direction on the court. This material allows you to slide to a certain degree. This will reduce the risk of injuries by making it harder to trip when making quick movements.
The shoes’ tread is also different.
Clay tennis shoes are designed to allow players to slide and maintain balance on clay. The surface that badminton is played on is nothing like it, and the shoes will react differently.
Clay shoes are just one example. Nonetheless, no tennis shoe is designed to be used on a badminton court either.
You may get away, however, with using hard-court tennis shoes on a cement badminton court.
Tennis shoe manufacturers make no consideration for damage to badminton courts. They are concerned with making sure they don’t damage the tennis surface they are designed for.
There is, therefore, no guarantee that they won’t damage the court.
Dynamics and Construction
Tennis shoes weigh anything between 9.4 and 16.2 ounces. Badminton shoes typically measure between 8.9 and 12.3 ounces.
Tennis shoes come with thicker padding designed to reduce the impact on the foot from all the side-to-side direction changes.
Badminton shoes are thinner, made to deal better with the back-and-forth motion.
The bottom line is, tennis shoes offer less shock absorption than badminton shoes as the movement is different.
So from a safety aspect, it is also better to wear badminton shoes.
Both tennis and badminton shoes are tight to avoid the foot moving within the shoe.
The issue is that tennis shoes are tighter around the outer edge of the foot, which can be restricting for some movements in badminton.
Volleyball shoes are often used as alternatives for badminton due to their similarities. Both have gum rubber soles.
Even using shoes as similar as the ones designed for volleyball is not advised. Badminton shoes will offer small features that would be otherwise neglected.
At the end of the day, most sports are won on small margins. The shoes worn could make all the difference.
Are Tennis Shoes Leaving Marks?
The truth is, most tennis shoes will leave marks on badminton courts. Some more than others.
Tennis today is never played on wood. Even if a tennis shoe is advertised as non-marking, this means it is non-marking on a tennis court.
It once again comes down to what the manufacturers are focusing on.
I have mentioned it already, but let me stress it again. Tennis shoe manufacturers are not interested in how their product performs on a badminton court.
If you were to wear tennis shoes, grass court shoes would cause the least damage to the court. The grass is a delicate surface itself, and surface protection is essential for shoe manufacturers.
The sole is softer than that used for clay and hard courts. The pimples will also leave a less defining mark if it does cause damage.
Clay and hard court shoes have much harder soles. They normally also come with either a partial or complete herringbone pattern. This pattern, combined with the harder sole, will increase the risk of marking and make the marks clearer.
Can You Use Badminton Shoes To Play Tennis?
On the other hand, you can wear badminton shoes to play tennis. It is not recommended, though.
Wearing badminton shoes will make the lateral movements more challenging. As badminton shoes are not as curved on the sides, it will make pushing off harder. It will also increase the risk of you rolling your ankle when changing direction.
Badminton shoes will react even worse if used on grass. This is because grass has nothing in common with badminton surfaces.
The shoe will thus give minimal traction, and the risk of slipping will be higher.
It is less likely that you will mark or damage a tennis court with badminton shoes than the other way round. Badminton shoes have a softer sole, and except for grass, tennis courts are harder.
If you are just starting out with tennis, you are okay with any type of shoe as long as they meet certain conditions.
The criteria are that they give a good range of movement and have appropriate ankle support. They should also be non-marking.
I would always encourage you to buy tennis-specific shoes once you know you like tennis and want to continue. Tennis shoes are not as expensive as rackets, and they are definitely worth the investment.
The ultimate issue with using tennis shoes for badminton is that they are designed for different purposes. Badminton shoes focus on badminton and tennis shoes on tennis.
If manufacturers were concerned about making shoes work for multiple sports, they would have to sacrifice some essential features.
Yes, you will be fine wearing tennis shoes if you forget your badminton shoes one day. If you are going to play badminton properly, tennis shoes will not meet your needs though.
Do you ever use non-sports-specific shoes? Perhaps you’ve played football with classic sneakers. How did you find it?