Best tennis shoes for UK astro turf with sand?

Dynamite86

New User
Hello tennis clan,

In the UK more and more tennis clubs are turning towards astro turf courts or artificial grass for their preferred surface. From what I gather it's to do with them being low maintenance and more importantly, longevity. I've played on various types of these surfaces; ones covered in sand, others with longer grass (called tiger turf) and others which are so worn it's like playing on highly polished wood flooring. I am not at all a fan. In my current league, I think 50% of the teams have astro turf. Personally, I hate the stuff. I think it encourages poor technique, it's difficult to move effectively, it's not at all like actual grass and is best suited to someone with a big serve. Being 5ft 7, I don't benefit too much! Also, the next person to tell me "It's good on your knees" - it just makes me laugh! Granted, when I'm about 60 I probably will appreciate the fact it's good on my knees, if not slightly sooner!

However, last year, in a league match I played at a club I'd never visited before. The courts - astro turf covered in sand. Me and my partner, both with a lot of court speed as an integral part of our game were absolutely shackled. Pushing off was a huge no no, sudden changes of direction resulted in falling @SS over t!t and the score always edging in our opponents favour, although did manage to stage a miraculous come back in one of the matches.

I've been scouring the web trying to find footwear suitable for this type of surface. Do I need something with a lot more grip? Do I need more pimple type grass shoes? Clay shoes? Do I need industrial boots? At a push, Ice Skates? My shoes at the time were Lotto Mirage 300. I would normally use Nike Air Zoom Vapor. I was slipping all over the place and just couldn't get any traction whatsoever. Does anyone have any advice in this area? It's likely I'm going to play on this stuff a number of times a year, so I might as well invest in a pair of shoes that will at least enable me to play a little bit!

Any advice would be very much appreciated :)

Thanks,

Dyna
 

uk_skippy

Hall of Fame
At my club we have artificial clay & artificial grass; but not the real sandy one. I found that clay shoes were probably the best. We also have real grass, but I've not tried my grass shoes on the artificial grass. They could work, but you may wear the pimples down quickly. Plus they're difficult to get hold off at the moment due to the companies not making shoes for the pros for the grass season. Only Head and Babolat have been available in the UK this year; and I'm still waiting to get the rest of my stock of Head shoes.
 

Dynamite86

New User
At my club we have artificial clay & artificial grass; but not the real sandy one. I found that clay shoes were probably the best. We also have real grass, but I've not tried my grass shoes on the artificial grass. They could work, but you may wear the pimples down quickly. Plus they're difficult to get hold off at the moment due to the companies not making shoes for the pros for the grass season. Only Head and Babolat have been available in the UK this year; and I'm still waiting to get the rest of my stock of Head shoes.
Thanks for the response :). I have also read on several old posts that clay shoes would be pretty decent on astro turf. It's such a pain. I've also read that Omni shoes would be good, but they aren't often that easy to get hold of, or in a brand/size that you want. I'll consider clay shoes because some of the teams we play against also have clay.
 

Dynamite86

New User
Would the soccer shoes made for indoor turf be appropriate?
Tell you what, that's a bloody good idea! I already have a pair of these from playing astro football as well. I do wonder if someone may say something to me for wearing these on a tennis court. I also wonder how much support they would give me! it's funny because on all of the forums I've looked at, there isn't a 'perfect shoe' for this type of surface. I.E The surface is absolute crap and no one wants to make a shoe for it! Thanks for the response :)
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Tell you what, that's a bloody good idea! I already have a pair of these from playing astro football as well. I do wonder if someone may say something to me for wearing these on a tennis court. I also wonder how much support they would give me! it's funny because on all of the forums I've looked at, there isn't a 'perfect shoe' for this type of surface. I.E The surface is absolute crap and no one wants to make a shoe for it! Thanks for the response :)
Our indoor harcourts are next to an indoor turf soccer field. One club had two artificial grass courts and after players slipping, no one would play on it. Club ripped them out. We had/have rubber coated courts. Forgetabout your toenails. Thank goodness no shoe blowouts like on wooden racquetball courts.
 

Return_Ace

Professional
I generally use clay court shoes for any matches that i end up playing on the artificial grass/astroturf and sand surfaces. Mainly because i once had a match on artificial clay using my normal does, and i was still finding sand in them 2 weeks later :mad:. Depending on how well sanded the"grass" courts are, i still have to empty my shoes after each set.

The only clubs i ever see use them are the ones with a large demographic of "older" players and side from being softer on their joints, it helps to nullify the modern topspin game and accentuate their stupid slice based game :rolleyes:

If you can't tell, I'm not a fan :cautious:
 

Frisbeepop

New User
Proper pimpled grass shoes. I picked up a pair off the auction site that were made for a pro. Best buy I ever made as no grooves to clean sand out of and good traction on the top layer of artificial grass.
 

Dags

Hall of Fame
Which is best depends on your playing style. If you want to embrace the slide, clay courts shoes are the way to go. If you're like me and just want anything that might help to stop you from ending up on your arse, grass court shoes are better. Unfortunately there's very little choice in recent years, even before the rona.
 

Sardines

Professional
Possible options are, of course, the already mentioned herringbone clay court and grass court shoes. I would not recommend wearing turf shoes, even trainers, because the chunks are pretty high and too grippy for a slide, which the fake grass with sand allows quite well, unlike normal grass.
And unfortunately, grass court shoes are rarer now, as "lawn" tennis clubs continue to ban pimpled soles.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
Yonex Eclipsion 1s and 2s and previous models had a sole version with cylindrical elements; these were listed on Japanese web sites as being specifically made for artificial grass and were called a grass court or Omni court sole, although they were also called a clay court sole in other countries. These could actually be almost too grippy to slide properly in unless the artificial grass sand levels were maintained; they also had the added benefit over most variations of herringbone sole in that the cylinders maintained a relatively sharp edge as they wore down. The Eclipsion 3s have a new pattern on the grass/clay court sole variation which I haven’t tried yet.
 
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Dynamite86

New User
I looked at football boots too but they are reinforced around the toe so I ended up buying astroturf hockey boots - rock solid grip and relatively light and flexible. Bottom right of this old photo from my pre-Asics & TF315 days:

Thanks for the info. That's probably about the only shoe I haven't seen mentioned throughout the forums. I'll deffo check them out.

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Dynamite86

New User
Cheers all for the info.

I'm going to do a bit more research, but it seems that Clay shoes might be a possibility, or hockey shoes. I do play on artificial clay too and they are more readily available than grass/pimple shoes.

It would be so much better if they just got rid of astro altogether, but I highly doubt that would happen.

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bertrevert

Hall of Fame
IN Australia most rec tennis, most tennis clubs, play on artificial grass, ridiculous but true.

Anyway, clay court soles often don't seem to provide enough cushioning because I find clay is softer underfoot than what underlies astro/artificial (concrete/compacted fill and rubber)

YMMV but I've always used OMNI or hc soles therefore and most club players do.

ps. get used to the low/uneven bounce
 

corvax

New User
We have a lot of these courts where I live as well (Cyprus). I used to use all court shoes on them but found I slipped a lot, so I've since switched to clay court shoes. Not slipped once after switching.

I'm sure proper omni court shoes would be even better suited but they're pretty difficult to find. Also if you look at the tread on Yonex's clay court shoes, it looks very similar to an omni court-specific outsole, so you could try those if you want.
 

Dynamite86

New User
We have a lot of these courts where I live as well (Cyprus). I used to use all court shoes on them but found I slipped a lot, so I've since switched to clay court shoes. Not slipped once after switching.

I'm sure proper omni court shoes would be even better suited but they're pretty difficult to find. Also if you look at the tread on Yonex's clay court shoes, it looks very similar to an omni court-specific outsole, so you could try those if you want.
Thanks. Yeah, I've struggled to find Omni shoes unless I want to spend about £130, which I don't want to! Clay shoes deffo sounds like the way to go. I'll checkout the Yonex range, thanks :)

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corvax

New User
Thanks. Yeah, I've struggled to find Omni shoes unless I want to spend about £130, which I don't want to! Clay shoes deffo sounds like the way to go. I'll checkout the Yonex range, thanks :)

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No problem, hope it helps!

I should say however I've not actually tried using Yonex's clay shoes on one of these courts before. I'm sure they'll perform well but it was just an observation about the tread similarities. For the record, I've used the solecourt boosts, the gel resolution 8 and the diadora blushield fly clay court versions, and they all felt great on the artificial grass and sand courts.
 

McGradey

Semi-Pro
I play on artifical grass (in Australia) several times a week. I was recommended to buy clay-soled shoes by my local specialist shop, and followed their advice. Been using the Adidas Solecourt Boost, and looking at the Babolat Propulse Fury next.
Herringbone sole gives you decent traction on the surface but will allow you to slide if you're into that.
 

ARaj

Rookie
I used to play on 2 artificial grass / synthetic courts regularly. One was sandy the other was relaid with a better surface.

On the sandy court, my zoom vapor 9.5s would be a bit slippery but the vapor x seemed to have better grip
On the less sandy court any all court shoe was fine for me to be honest, even when wet

I prefer playing on these courts when conditions are damp as I feel safer/less likely to fall over than on the usual hard/tarmac courts which become a disaster zone for 48 hours after any amount of drizzle. The ball does tend to keep lower and skid though, so tests a different part of the game
 

MattCrosby

Professional
I play on Astro Turf through th year, I've tried Full Grass shoes but they're not great if I'm honest, they wear down very quick. I just use Vapor X in the hard court sole and they seem fine. Clay court sole ones work well too.
 

Fedinkum

Legend
Would the soccer shoes made for indoor turf be appropriate?
I know you are joking but the biggest problem with Astroturf (for me anyway) is not the unsure footing. The biggest problem for me is getting your foot caught up with the carpet like surface, which can really twist your knee or ankle. I think a pair of clay court shoe is good, aside from the treads which allows you to slide confidently, it also provides sand proof cover (for the Nike Vapor clay version).
 
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Dynamite86

New User
It seems that Clay shoes and standard hard court shoes with herringbone pattern are best options. It's funny really, it's only at this one particular club where it was like an ice rink. On other astro courts it's generally been fine and my hard court shoes did the job. I remember it had been quite hot last summer though, so maybe they were overly dry? Either way, if I have to visit again, I want to be prepared. They were a good team anyway, so it would have been a difficult match without the court as it was!

Maybe next year I can report back on my findings :)

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Tennease

Legend
Tennis shoes that are made specifically for artificial grass / astro turf surface are called "omni court tennis shoes".

I play on the surface at home everyday for years. I've been buying omni court tennis shoes from rakuten online as they have so many of these shoes. But now rakuten app is closed / discontinued.

I also bought omni court tennis shoes from online shop in Australia and also from UK ( tennis n*t).

Omni court tennis shoes' soles last the longest on astro turf surface.

Lately I've been using herringbone patterned soled Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 3 because this shoes is just so comfortable and light.... The soles seem to hold up well on astro turf.

Just google "omni court tennis shoes".
 
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Dynamite86

New User
Thanks for the info. Omni court shoes had been recommended previously but trying to find them was quite difficult. I've never really liked Tennis N*TS after a bit of a crap experience with them, so I wouldn't get them from there anyway. However, being as Clay shoes were recommended and the fact I occasionally play on clay I bought some Nike Vapour Prestige Clay shoes yesterday (they were on offer). I'll be keen to see if they are any better. I'll have to wait until next year now though!

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Mitcheson

New User
One great thing about decent astro courts is that they are playable soon after heavy rain and dampness. Yes, they help slice and "serve and volley" and net play, but this encourages versatility and variety.

I have found that "omni" shoes clog up quickly when the sand is damp and even with a good regular whack of the sole takes a bit of shifting. Herring bone needs a deep tread to grip well but Mizuno have produced some such shoes which are excellent in this respect and the sand falls out of them much harder better than with "omni".
 

Dynamite86

New User
Thanks for the info. hopefully the Nikes will help. If not, at least I've got some clay shoes. I like the Mizino brand too, I like their style.

I'd agree with astro courts being playable nearly whatever the weather. They're still playable even during heavy rain. However, there's a reason they aren't used on the pro circuit. Imagine Karlovic Vs Isner on it, the match would never end!

If people enjoy playing on it then I'm not going to begrudge them obviously, but if you don't have it at your club (I don't want it either!) I think it offers a significant advantage to the other team. Some clubs have both astro and hard, but as soon as they know you don't have astro at your club, 99% of the time you'll be playing on it when you meet in the league! It takes at least a set to even remotely get used to the bounce and it can also vary so much from club to club.

As you can tell, I don't like astro! [emoji23]

Thanks for the help :)



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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Thanks for the info. hopefully the Nikes will help. If not, at least I've got some clay shoes. I like the Mizino brand too, I like their style.

I'd agree with astro courts being playable nearly whatever the weather. They're still playable even during heavy rain. However, there's a reason they aren't used on the pro circuit. Imagine Karlovic Vs Isner on it, the match would never end!

If people enjoy playing on it then I'm not going to begrudge them obviously, but if you don't have it at your club (I don't want it either!) I think it offers a significant advantage to the other team. Some clubs have both astro and hard, but as soon as they know you don't have astro at your club, 99% of the time you'll be playing on it when you meet in the league! It takes at least a set to even remotely get used to the bounce and it can also vary so much from club to club.

As you can tell, I don't like astro! [emoji23]

Thanks for the help :)



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Recall guys refusing to play on that surface claiming it was too slippery.
 

Dynamite86

New User
It depends where you go sometimes and whether they've been looked after. If they haven't, prepare yourself to play the most static tennis you've ever played!

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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
It depends where you go sometimes and whether they've been looked after. If they haven't, prepare yourself to play the most static tennis you've ever played!

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Never saw a single player use those courts
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
I love the stuff, but then I'm a lefty with a heavy slice serve - I like it even more when there's not much room between the doubles line and the side fence in the ad court lol!
 

swizzy

Hall of Fame
i live in the states and never saw another astro turf court beyond the two courts in my small beach town. baffling surface. the skids, irregular bounce, and the sand. i will say the court lasts forever. I'm 52 and i played on this court since I was a kid. it was resurfaced 5 years ago and they went with a traditional hardcourt. Still, it lasted decades and played consistently [poorly] all those years. i wish i had a shoe that that performed better during that time. Falling was something that you just had to be prepared for. The scrapes, and nasty abrasions were awful. Instant infections of any cuts caused me to add peroxide to my tennis bag to try and flood the wounds immediately.
 

elsk

New User
Horrible surface that I play 99% of my tennis on :( Clay is the way to go! We are resurfacing soon and will choose artificial clay which seems to have all the benefits of artifical grass (can play when wet) but actually has consistent bounce.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
Look you can play on clay when it's (semi) wet, but afaik you must roll it afterwards otherwise your shoes will have left small indentations everywhere and they will bake hard as it dries.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Look you can play on clay when it's (semi) wet, but afaik you must roll it afterwards otherwise your shoes will have left small indentations everywhere and they will bake hard as it dries.
Is this the same as using a drag mat or brush on Har-tru, green clay court?
 

NickJ

Professional
A friend of mine uses cricket shoes. Not the ones with spikes, but rubberised nodule soles. He says they're very effective.
 

Dynamite86

New User
I love the stuff, but then I'm a lefty with a heavy slice serve - I like it even more when there's not much room between the doubles line and the side fence in the ad court lol!
It can make your serve look amazing! Put some extra swerve on it, send it into the fence/wall! With that said, it just feels like it takes away from the tennis game rather than give anything to it.

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Dynamite86

New User
Horrible surface that I play 99% of my tennis on :( Clay is the way to go! We are resurfacing soon and will choose artificial clay which seems to have all the benefits of artifical grass (can play when wet) but actually has consistent bounce.
Couldn't agree more! The courts are everywhere, particularly in the UK. My former club opted for 2 clay courts and they play really well. They're swept properly and they're good when wet. They are becoming more common place, which I like. I bet you can't wait?! I'd still prefer hard courts, but maybe because I'm used to them.

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jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
It can make your serve look amazing! Put some extra swerve on it, send it into the fence/wall! With that said, it just feels like it takes away from the tennis game rather than give anything to it.

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Yep, especially if the balls/conditions generally are too quick, it can turn the game into a mono-dimensional serve & volley/chip & charge fest.
 
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