Comparing Padel Shoes and Tennis Shoes - Your Comprehensive Guide

At first glance you may not think that there is a difference between padel and tennis shoes - but there is, and we're here here to show you. From movement, to court surface, to comfort, it’s important to play tennis and padel with the correct type of shoe. Let's dive in.


Padel and tennis players are so deeply focused on choosing the best racket for their level of play that the shoes they wear is often an afterthought. While the racket is very important, your feet are just as important (if not more). In order to feel and play your best, you need great shoes that will complement the way you should move on the court. But why should you use specific shoes to play a particular sport?


Overall, using sport-specific shoes is crucial for optimizing performance, feeling comfortable, avoiding injuries, and prolonging the lifespan of your footwear. Here are our top 4 reasons why you should stick to sport-specific shoes:


Each sport has different movements, and its shoe was designed specifically for the type of movement you would expect on that particular court. For example, padel players typically perform quick movements that involve sudden changes in direction. As the ball comes back from the wall, they have to turn and rotate more often than tennis players. The main idea behind our padel shoes is to provide maximum comfort, lightness, and flexibility for padel players.

Tennis, on the other hand, requires both small, explosive steps and long lateral strides. It also involves more abrupt shifts than padel, so our tennis shoes provide added lateral stability and protect your feet and ankles when sprinting across the court.

If you want to reach your peak and perform your best in a certain sport, whether it be tennis or padel, we highly recommend that you wear sport-specific shoes. Like we mentioned earlier, padel shoes are designed for padel movement, and tennis shoes are designed for tennis movement. By interchanging the shoes, you are making it more difficult on yourself to move to the ball efficiently and effectively.


To perform well and enjoy your training, you must feel comfortable with all your gear. With the wrong shoes, you may suffer from discomfort AND end up with injuries or blisters. Comfort is key, and our footwear designers have studied all movements on the court so they can understand what your feet need to feel great when chasing down one more shot. Later, we’ll explain the key features and technologies in our padel and tennis shoes.


Wilson’s padel and tennis shoes provide targeted support and are engineered to protect your risk of injury when playing.

For example, our Bela Pro Padel Shoe went live after a year and a half of studying all the movements of padel legend, Fernando Belasteguin. After the testing, the team discovered that padel shoes should have a specific cushioning in the back to reduce the overload in a player’s tendons due to a high number of jumps.


The materials associated with your shoes are a key factor in how long they will last and how well they will protect your feet. The movement and surfaces for padel and tennis are slightly different, so the construction and outsoles accommodate that particular sport.

For example, padel surfaces are less abrasive than tennis, so some reinforcements and pads are removed on padel shoes to make them lighter and more flexible. While padel shoes still need reinforcement on the sides and the forefoot, tennis shoes often have more stability toward the front of the shoe to complement longer strides and explosive steps.

An important note. Shoes that are not specified as either “padel” or “tennis” may not have the required reinforcements that avoid premature wear and tear, and they most likely won’t last as long. We do not recommend that you wear these shoes because not only will you wear out your shoes, your chances of getting injured become much greater.


Also, different court surfaces like clay, grass, or hard court need different types of shoes. The difference between padel and tennis shoes essentially lives in the outsole.

As tennis is usually played on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt, the sole tends to be flatter and less grippy than padel soles to allow sliding on these surfaces. However, padel requires more traction and grip on surfaces like slippery artificial grass. In the past, the typical padel outsole featured a herringbone design like clay-court shoes. Many padel players were using clay tennis shoes while they were playing because they helped with sliding on the artificial grass. However, new padel courts are now built with very little or no sand, so there’s no point in using clay tennis shoes, which are less durable and compromise performance on padel courts.


We have taken another step forward by designing innovative padel-specific outsoles. Our Bela Pro Padel Shoe has a circular outsole design and provides grip in all playing conditions, with maximum flexibility at the front.

In tennis, our shoe collections include clay-court and all-court options. The clay court shoes contain a herringbone outsole, which offers a perfect grip on the clay and allows players to easily slide all over the court. The all court shoes, on the other hand, have a Wilson-specific outsole that provides a perfect balance between grip and durability.


Now that you know why you should use sport-specific footwear, here is an overview of the footwear technologies in each shoe. The technologies in our padel and tennis shoes were designed to enhance performance, comfort, stability, and durability. Some of them include:

  • R-DST+ in the midsole, which is a foam that gives players extra cushioning and rebound for a more dynamic performance.
  • 3D Arch Support: feature designed to supply added stability and support to the midfoot, minimizing the risk of rolling or twisting during quick lateral movements.
  • Duralast: outsole technology that provides abrasion resistance for increased longevity and ensures better traction during aggressive movements on all court surfaces.
  • Two-way Chassis: one internal and one external chassis that enhances natural foot movement and increases stability.
  • Sensifeel 2.0: layered upper with a mesh that provides enhanced breathability, feel, comfort, and a homogeneous fit.
  • Endofit: full inner sock construction that administers enhanced comfort, stability, and an intuitive fit.