Racket sports have quite a lot of similarities. This is exactly why I get questions involving whether or not badminton courts are the same as tennis courts. It’s also why I’ve been asked about whether or not badminton shoes can be used on a tennis court. Can they?
Badminton shoes can be used for tennis due to their cushion profile and lightness. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that badminton shoes should be the footwear of choice for tennis. To ensure that the shoes last, badminton shoes should stay on badminton courts.
Badminton shoes are fine for tennis since tennis courts will hold up to most kinds of shoes. In other words, shoes don’t need to be non-marking for a tennis court. On top of that, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) makes recommendations on shoe selection but states nothing about prohibiting badminton shoes on tennis courts. For these two reasons, you can, in theory, wear badminton shoes to a game of tennis.
But here’s why you shouldn’t. Badminton shoes lack the heel cushioning that’s found in tennis shoes. This means you’ll be risking foot impact injuries by sprinting and decelerating on a much larger 8.23-meter wide court (10.97 meters for doubles).
The other reason you ought to reserve your badminton shoes for a badminton court has to do with longevity. A tennis court — especially one that isn’t wood or acrylic — will consist of highly abrasive materials like clay, synthetic turf, or grass. As a result, if you wear badminton shoes on a tennis court enough times, you’ll need another pair in no time.
In short, you can use badminton shoes for tennis, but you shouldn’t. Read on to the end to see why you’d be better off investing in specialized footwear, regardless of which racket sport you’re into.
Are Badminton Shoes Okay for Indoor Tennis?
Badminton shoes should stay on badminton courts, and the tennis shoes should stay on tennis courts. This has a lot to do with the surface of a tennis court. But what if the tennis court is made of the same material as a badminton court? If that’s the case, here’s my answer:
Badminton shoes would be alright for indoor tennis. The non-marking gum soles of badminton shoes would grip the acrylic or wooden surface of an indoor tennis court well. This means that traction or potential court damage will not be issues. Because of the surface of an indoor tennis court, badminton shoes would also hold up better compared to if they were used on a clay or turf court.
Does this mean you should just stick to your badminton shoes if you’ve got a recreational indoor tennis game planned? Not quite!
Sure, your badminton shoes will hold up on an indoor tennis court covered with acrylic. What won’t hold up well are your ankles and knees. This is because of the dimensions of the tennis court and the cushioning of badminton shoes (or lack thereof compared to tennis shoes).
Tennis courts are larger than badminton courts. The width of a tennis court is roughly 8.23 meters for singles games. This is three meters larger than the width of a badminton court which is 5.18 meters for singles games. In a game of tennis, you’ll need to cover a larger area. Needless to say, the impact on your ankles and knees will add up as badminton shoes don’t provide the same level of cushioning as tennis shoes.
Tennis is a sport which involves more running than jumping or leaping. This brings us to the issue of cushioning and the build of badminton shoes.
Badminton shoes aren’t built for sprinting forward since badminton finds leaping and moving laterally more crucial. The priority towards these two movement patterns influences the way badminton shoes are designed.
To help players move well on a badminton court, whatever cushioning the shoe has will be on the sides of the midsole and outsole — not in the heel or the front. Once again, this may result in impact injuries to the ankles and the knees if badminton shoes are used in tennis games.
Thus, it’s fine to wear badminton shoes in an indoor tennis game, but only if your games are few and far between — and by few, I do mean few!
Are Badminton and Tennis Shoes the Same?
Badminton and tennis shoes might seem similar on the surface, but here’s the truth:
Badminton and tennis shoes aren’t the same. The two types of shoes differ greatly in the distribution and amount of cushioning material at the midsoles. One look at the soles of both will also expose the vast difference in the materials of tennis and badminton shoes.
To go more in-depth about the differences between badminton and tennis shoes, check out my article on badminton vs. tennis shoes.
If you’d prefer to see more details on the differences between badminton and tennis shoes here, continue to the next section!
What are the Key Differences Between Badminton and Tennis Shoes?
As mentioned earlier, badminton and tennis shoes differ in their soles and cushioning. Here is a more detailed comparison:
Badminton shoes have much less cushioning compared to tennis shoes. In addition, while badminton shoes have non-marking soles, tennis shoes don’t, making them ill-suited to a badminton court’s surface. The differences in cushioning also carry over to the weight of both shoes. That is, tennis shoes weigh more than badminton shoes.
Let’s look at the details.
Cushion and Weight
Because of the need to sprint forward and decelerate quickly on a larger court, tennis shoes have much more cushioning compared to badminton shoes. The higher heel drop of a tennis shoe can be attributed to the thicker cushioning material at the heel.
The part of the shoe with the least amount of cushioning material is the front since too much cushioning in this area will result in slower sprints on a clay or grass court. This amount of cushioning can make tennis shoes slightly heavier than badminton shoes.
Badminton shoes, on the other hand, have less cushioning compared to tennis shoes. This is because tactile feedback from the ground is crucial to be able to leap and spring laterally. These movements are common and necessary in badminton.
Too much cushioning can create a damping effect on jumps due to “give.” As well, it can result in reduced stability on a badminton court, causing injuries.
One look at the soles of badminton shoes and tennis shoes will reveal vast differences in material. This is because badminton shoes need to have non-marking soles. Non-marking soles are a must for badminton courts since these types of soles won’t damage the court.
Even with thousands of skids from decelerations, non-marking soles won’t leave a single mark on a court. Trust me, all badminton court owners appreciate this!
Tennis courts need little to no protection. Actually, it’s the footwear that needs protection from the court, oftentimes! To ensure that a tennis shoe holds up on the clay or turf, manufacturers outfit tennis shoes with nubbed rubber soles.
These soles not only ensure maximum traction but also keep the shoe in one piece. Unfortunately, these are marking soles, meaning you can’t wear them inside badminton courts.
You Can, but You Shouldn’t
In closing, I’d say that you can wear badminton shoes to a tennis court. However, keep in mind that there’s a difference between what’s possible and what’s advisable.
While wearing badminton shoes to a tennis court won’t get you ejected, you’ll be risking injury and damage to your shoes. If you want your badminton shoes and ankles to last, keep your badminton shoes off the tennis court.
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