Tennis can be hard on your feet and ankles since it requires a lot of running, side-to-side motion, sudden stops, changes in direction, and quick pivots. These movements, as well as the different court surfaces, can place a considerable amount of stress on your feet and ankles – putting you at risk for injury and foot pain. So it’s important that you give your feet some “love,” so you’ll have the “advantage” during your game.
How Different Tennis Courts Can Affect Your Feet
There are five different types of tennis court surfaces you can play on. Grass courts provide a softer surface, which means the joints in your feet and lower extremities won’t experience as much wear and tear. However, grass counts tend to be uneven since the ground underneath the grass isn’t perfectly level. Clay and crushed stone “fast-dry” courts also provide players with a softer surface to play on and allow players to slide around more which actually reduces the risk of injuries. Carpeted courts and hard courts, made of asphalt or concrete, don’t allow for much sliding. Hard courts also increase your risk of injuries because of the lack of shock absorption on the joints in your feet, ankles, knees, and back.
The Stress on Your Feet and Ankles from Tennis, Can “Set” You Up for Injury
In addition to the stress on your feet and ankles due to hard court surfaces, other factors can raise your risk of injury, including:
- Improper training.
- Not warming your muscles up before playing.
- Increasing the number of sets you play too quickly.
- Changing the intensity and duration of your tennis routine too rapidly.
- Wearing tennis shoes that are worn out.
- Wearing tennis shoes that don’t provide enough cushioning or arch support.
- Wearing tennis shoes that are improperly fitted for your particular feet.
Some of the most common injuries from tennis include:
- Achilles tendonitis or a raptured Achilles tendon
- Ankle sprains
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
- Tennis toe
Win Your Match with the Right Footwear
In the U.S., even though we tend to call all athletic shoes – “tennis shoes,” not all athletic shoes are designed for playing tennis. It’s important that you wear proper tennis shoes for the type of court you play on in order to prevent injury. Typically, tennis shoes have padded toe boxes and provide lateral stability so you can slide from side to side. The shoes shouldn’t be too stiff or too flexible, and should provide sufficient shock absorption. The heels of the shoe should have adequate cushioning and be snug-fitting to prevent slippage. The arch of the shoe should provide your foot with proper support. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you get an accurate shoe fit. Since your arch length is your reference point when choosing your correct size it is important to understand the fitting process. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for more complete information.
For clay courts, you should wear shoes with a soft, durable outer sole. On hard courts, you should ensure the shoe has a good shock-absorbing inner sole. A shoe with a smoother outer sole is good for playing on carpet and gravel courts. And, tennis shoes for grass courts will have small nubs on the outer sole to prevent slipping.
If you suffer from any biomechanical imbalances in your feet, a custom orthotic like the ezWalker® Performance Insole can help to stabilize your balance and evenly redistribute your weight on your feet. The ezWalker® Performance Insole is specifically made for each of your feet to strategically raise your arches, so you have proper support for more shock absorption, especially on hard courts. The ezWalker® Performance Insole is biomechanically designed to help guide your feet, so you walk from lateral heel to medial forefoot, creating better biomechanics for your entire body with every step you take. This creates better balance and stability, reduces stress and strain on your joints, delivering improved posture giving you the edge you need to “score”.
So maintain the perfect balance during your power shot with the ezWalker® Performance Insole. Visit our website for more information and to order your ezWalker® insoles today.
Stay in step and stay on top of your game with ezWalker® by WalkEz.
Because…When your feet feel good you feel good.