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7 Best Lightweight Tennis Shoes | Men's & Women's 2022 Guide

7 Best Lightweight Tennis Shoes

Men’s & Women’s 2022 Guide

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By Jon Crim
TennisCompanion

The lighter your tennis shoes, the faster you can move, so it’s no surprise that a tennis shoe’s weight has become one of the most highly sought-after features when buying a new pair.

Luckily, technological advancements have made it possible for companies to make lighter shoes without sacrificing too much in other areas, including stability, durability, and comfort. Still, most players will find there’s a tradeoff.

In this guide, I’ll review the pros and cons of weight and its impact on a shoe’s performance, along with sharing my picks for the best lightweight tennis shoes for men and women.

Men’sWeight @ Size 10.5
Babolat Jet Mach III12.1 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF12.3 oz
New Balance 996v412.4 oz
adidas Adizero Club 212.6 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme13.1 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro12.9 oz
Women’sWeight @ Size 8.5
New Balance 996v49.8 oz
Babolat Jet Mach III10.2 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF10.1 oz
adidas Adizero Club 210.4 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme10.8 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro11.0 oz

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Lightweight Tennis Shoe Trend

Lightweight Tennis Shoe Trend

In recent years, top tennis shoe brands have continued to push the boundaries by offering lighter footwear while maintaining the stability required to perform and keep players safe.

A few factors contribute to this trend, but player demand and technology advancements are perhaps the most prominent.

Player Demand

Historically, one of the more significant complaints tennis players have had about their shoes is the weight, which to a degree has always been a necessity to provide sufficient stability, durability, and comfort.

However, as the game has become more aggressive and faster-paced, so has the demand of players looking to shed weight to help them move as quickly as possible on the court while also enhancing movement during lengthy matches.

Technological Advancements

The challenge has always been to shed weight without sacrificing other vital attributes, including durability, stability, and comfort.

However, I’ve seen significant improvements in lightweight tennis shoes through advancements in materials and design.

Asics Flytefoam midsoles are a great example of lightweight shoe design. According to Asics lab tests, Flytefoam is 55% lighter than traditional EVA midsoles while providing 76% better cushioning.

In the Babolat line, you’ll find the Jet Mach II with its Matryx upper that takes advantage of high-performance Kevlar and Polyamide fibers to produce a durable and stable offering without the extra bulk.

That means excellent performance with less weight to help players move more quickly around the court regardless of age and level.

Inexpensive Lightweight Shoes

Inexpensive Lightweight Shoes

Contrary to what some players might think, many of the lightest tennis shoes on the market are the least expensive.

That’s because inexpensive tennis shoes tend to shed some of the features offered by higher-end shoes for added durability and stability. The result is tennis shoes that might not stand up to the most advanced tennis players’ demands but are lightweight nonetheless.

For this reason, some of the higher-end tennis shoes aren’t always the lightest. Regardless, you’ll still find some of the higher-priced options emphasize low weight, especially compared to other premium options.

As you evaluate new tennis shoes, keep in mind that you’re likely going to have to make some tradeoffs when it comes to the weight of your shoes. However, if you’re learning how to play tennis, some less expensive shoes might serve as excellent lightweight options.

Tennis Shoe Weight Ranges

Tennis Shoe Weight Ranges

Let’s compare a handful of the most popular to help provide some context around the weight of various tennis shoes.

Although this list isn’t exhaustive for every tennis shoe on the market, they’re some of the most popular as a point of reference.

Of the shoes I’ve included, men’s tennis footwear weighs anywhere between 11.7 and 16.2 ounces in size 10.5, while women’s shoes fall between 9.4 and 13.7 ounces for size 8.5.

Although you may not wear a men’s 10.5 or women’s 8.5, the relative weight comparing one to another will provide you with a helpful basis for comparison.

Men’s

ShoeMen’s @ 10.5
Babolat Jet Mach III12.1 oz
Babolat Jet Tere12.4 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF12.3 oz
New Balance 996 v412.4 oz
adidas adizero Club 212.6 oz
Wilson Rush Pro 3.512.7 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro12.9 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 213.1 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme13.1 oz
adidas adizero Ubersonic 413.5 oz
adidas SoleMatch Bounce13.7 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor X Knit14.3 oz
Asics Court FF 214.7 oz
Asics Gel Resolution 814.7 oz
K-Swiss Ultrashot 215.3 oz
Babolat Propulse Fury15.4 oz
New Balance Fresh Foam Lav15.4 oz
adidas SoleCourt Boost15.5 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage15.6 oz
Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo16.2 oz

Women’s

ShoeWomen’s @ 8.5
New Balance 996 v49.8 oz
Babolat Jet Tere10.0 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF10.1 oz
Babolat Jet Mach III10.2 oz
adidas adizero Club 210.4 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 210.8 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme10.8 oz
Wilson Rush Pro 3.511.0 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro11.5 oz
adidas adizero Ubersonic 411.6 oz
adidas SoleMatch Bounce11.6 oz
New Balance Fresh Foam Lav12.3 oz
Babolat Propulse Fury12.3 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor X Knit12.4 oz
K-Swiss Ultrashot 212.4 oz
Asics Court FF 212.5 oz
Asics Gel Resolution 812.8 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage13.5 oz
Nike Air Zoom GP Turbo13.5 oz
adidas SoleCourt Boost13.7 oz

Unfortunately, the order of weights differs slightly for the women’s models of the above shoes, so they don’t perfectly line up from lightest to heavier.

Regardless, these tables should provide you with a solid snapshot of what to expect from the weight of tennis shoes across various brands.

Lightweight Advantages

Lightweight Advantages

For some players, lightweight tennis shoes are a must. Here are a few reasons why you might consider this type of shoe yourself.

Speed

Without a doubt, the main advantage of using a lightweight tennis shoe is that there’s less weight holding your feet down, which means all else equal that you can move around the court faster.

You’ll also find that some lightweight models feature modified designs to improve the heel-to-toe transition required to move quickly.

Whether you’re taking an explosive first step or scrambling to retrieve a ball, a lightweight tennis shoe has the potential to give you that slight edge that enables you to get more balls back to your opponent.

Ventilation

Although it’s not necessarily true across the board, most lightweight tennis shoes tend to have breathable mesh uppers that provide terrific ventilation to help keep a player’s feet feeling fresh.

If you play in hot climates or have trouble keeping your feet dry, ventilation is another reason to consider a lightweight pair of shoes.

Stamina

Tennis can be grueling, and although you might feel fresh early on in a match, being able to keep your feet moving in the later stages often makes or breaks a player’s success on the court.

Although the slight differences of a few ounces might not seem like a lot, it can begin to impact a player’s movement when their legs start feeling heavy in a third-set tiebreaker.

The lighter your shoes, the easier it will be to stay on your toes when you’re feeling the fatigue of a hard-fought match.

Mental Edge

Even if a lightweight pair of tennis shoes have a negligible effect on a player’s movement, the fast and agile feeling they instill can translate to confidence and better overall performance.

There’s no doubt; tennis is as much a mental game as it is physical.

Lightweight Disadvantages

Lightweight Disadvantages

Despite many improvements in lightweight footwear for tennis, there are still drawbacks worth keeping in mind, which often stem from reducing the amount of material.

Here are some of the top complaints that tend to bubble up. As you review these, keep in mind that I’m discussing these disadvantages relative to the performance of the best shoes with a bit more weight, so it doesn’t necessarily mean lightweight shoes are awful in these areas.

Durability

One area where lightweight tennis shoes tend to suffer most is durability. To keep the weight of footwear down, companies will reduce the amount of protective material available.

The outsole, which is the dense, durable, and heavy rubber at the bottom of a shoe, tends to be part of a shoe where less material helps reduce weight but results in players wearing through the shoes faster.

Similarly, many tennis shoes provide protective materials that wrap or cover a shoe’s upper to resist abrasion. These materials are minimized or dropped entirely to decrease weight in some cases.

The net result is that a shoe’s durability tends to decline as the shoe’s weight decreases.

For this reason, you’ll typically find many of the lightest weight tennis shoes don’t come with durability guarantees.

Helpful Tip
Although durability may not always be the strong suit for many lightweight tennis shoes, if you go with an affordable pair that costs less, you may be able to justify purchasing shoes more regularly.

In some cases, you’ll be able to purchase two inexpensive shoes that are lighter weight for less than the cost of a premium offering.

Stability

To a degree, added material in a shoe’s sole and upper can help increase its overall stability. Therefore, as companies reduce the amount of material throughout the shoe, they tend to lose a bit in this department.

Creative shoe design has enabled less material to provide adequate stability, but most players agree that the most stable shoes typically aren’t the lightest.

Comfort

The majority of a shoe’s comfort will stem from the midsole, which is usually a lightweight EVA foam. However, to an extent, if the thickness of a midsole decreases, so does the comfort and shock absorption.

Some shoes will reduce EVA foam or replace it with alternative technologies, such as a Nike Zoom Air unit, to reduce weight, but many contend it doesn’t provide the same comfort level.

Compared to other disadvantages, this is arguably where advancements in technology have allowed lightweight tennis shoes to be as comfortable as any other, but it ultimately depends on the shoe.

7 Best Lightweight Tennis Shoes for Men & Women

Let’s take a look at my favorite picks for the best lightweight tennis shoes for men and women, starting with the reigning champion for the lightest.

I’ve included a table of my favorite picks below for a quick comparison of each shoe’s weight based on a men’s size 10.5 and a women’s size 8.5.

On the men’s side, each shoe had to equal or fall below 14 ounces to make this list. For women’s shoes, I set the mark at 11 ounces.

ShoeMen’s @ 10.5Women’s @ 8.5
Babolat Jet Mach III12.1 oz10.2 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF12.3 oz10.1 oz
New Balance 996v412.4 oz9.8 oz
adidas Adizero Club 212.6 oz10.4 oz
Wilson Rush Pro 3.512.7 oz10.8 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro12.9 oz11 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 213.1 oz10.8 oz

Lightest: Babolat Jet Mach III

Babolat Jet Mach III Lightweight Men's & Women's Tennis Shoe

The lightest-weight tennis shoe currently available on the market for men and women is the Babolat Jet Mach II, which weighs in at an impressive 12.1 ounces for a men’s size 10.5 and only 10.2 ounces for women’s size 7.5. The third generation of the shoe is a few grams heavier than the second generation, but it still clocks in the lowest weight overall.

This shoe features Micheline DIN20 rubber for the outsole, the same advanced material you’ll find on car tires, which provides excellent traction and durability you’d expect for your vehicle.

The Jet Mach III offers an updated Kompressor midsole, also known as KPRS-X, which provides lightweight comfort and helps ensure improved shock absorption when a player strikes the ground heel first with more cushion toward the back of the shoe.

The shoes also keep things lightweight with Babolat’s Matryx EVO upper, which weaves Kevlar and Polyamide fibers into strategic areas to provide maximum durability and stabilization dubbed Stability Cage.

If you’re looking for another exceptionally lightweight option in the Babolat family of shoes, be sure to check out the Babolat Jet Tere. They weigh 12.4 ounces for a men’s size 10.5 and 10 ounces for a women’s size 8.5.

Specs

SizeShort
WidthNarrow
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight12.1 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.2 ounces @ size 8.5

New Balance 996v4

New Balance 996v4: Lightweight Men's and Women's Tennis Shoe

If you’re looking for a lightweight tennis shoe from the New Balance lineup, then the 996v4 is going to be the shoe to check out.

For starters, this shoe features New Balance’s NDurance rubber compound for the outsole to provide maximum durability and traction. However, to cut down on weight, they’ve also incorporated their Lightweight Solid Rubber (LWSR) into areas of low wear.

At the shoe’s midsole, you’ll find FuelCell foam throughout the entire length of the shoe. This unique EVA foam helps increase energy return to the player as they push off while maintaining torsional stability through the shoe’s center with a mid-foot shank.

The upper for the 996v4 is all about lightweight design and uses Hypoknit that’s breathable and stable. A simple toe cap at the front of the shoe’s upper helps provide extra abrasion resistance for foot drags.

As a bonus, you’ll find some retailers offering a six-month outsole durability guarantee with this shoe, which is a significant benefit for anyone considering a lightweight offering.

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthMedium
Arch SupportSlightly low
Men’s Weight12.4 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight9.8 ounces @ size 8.5

Asics Solution Speed FF

Asics Solution Speed FF: Lightweight Men's and Women's Tennis Shoe

The Asics Solution Speed FF is one of my picks for the best tennis shoes in 2022, and they also happen to be one of the lightest men’s and women’s tennis shoes available.

The shoe’s outsole takes advantage of Asics’ High Abrasion Rubber, also known as AHAR, which splits into two pieces separated by a Twistruss stabilization system – one at the forefoot and another at the heel – to deliver traction and durability.

At the toe of the shoe, the rubber wraps higher to form the toe guard to increase protection at this high wear area.

The midsole for this model shoe uses FlytFoam, one of the shoe’s significant upgrades from its predecessor, which is 55% lighter while also delivering 76% better cushioning than conventional EVA foam. The result is the most lightweight midsole that Asics has ever produced.

The Asics Solution Speed FF’s upper delivers form-fitting comfort through its FlexionFit technology and wraps the outermost layer with abrasion-resistant polyurethane for added protection.

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthMedium
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight12.3 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.1 ounces @ size 8.5

adidas Adizero Club 2

adidas Adizero Club: Lightweight Men's and Women's Tennis Shoe

The Adizero Club 2 is a mid-range tennis shoe from adidas that offers lightweight comfort in an affordable package.

For the shoe’s outsole, you’ll find Adiwear rubber for impressive traction on a wide range of surfaces and the same technology you’ll find across most tennis shoes from adidas.

At the midsole, you’ll find an EVA midsole adidas calls Adiprene, which offers lightweight comfort and maximum shock absorption.

The upper is where the Adizero Club 2 saves a fair bit of weight, featuring a mesh bootie construction along with Climacool to help keep your feet fresh and an outer layer of Adituff for protection against abrasion.

Specs

SizeSlightly short
WidthMedium
Arch SupportSlightly low
Men’s Weight12.6 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.4 ounces @ size 8.5

Wilson Rush Pro 3.5

Wilson Rush Pro 2.5 Lightweight Men's & Women's Tennis Shoe

Wilson has been making inroads into tennis’s footwear and apparel space for the past few years. The Rush Pro 3.5 is the latest evolution of Wilson’s flagship offering that’s light yet performant in other areas.

Wilson uses high-density Duralast rubber for the outsole, which provides top-notch traction and surprising durability for its weight. Plus, it’s the only shoe on this list where you can find an outsole durability guarantee.

The Rush Pro’s midsole uses R-DST+ for responsive comfort, while the 4D supporting foot frame helps prevent twisting for confident movement.

Finally, the upper uses Wilson’s SensiFeel 2.0 mesh for lightweight ventilation, while the shoe’s Endofit sock-like construction enhances comfort and aids stability.

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthSlightly wide
Arch SupportSlightly low
Men’s Weight12.7 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.8 ounces @ size 8.5

Nike Air Zoom Vapor X

Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro Lightweight Men's and Women's Tennis Shoe

One of my favorite shoes, the Nike Air Zoom Vapor Pro, an evolution of the Vapor X, is the heaviest of my lightweight selection but is an excellent all-around package that provides one of the best blends of performance. Plus, it comes in a hard and clay court model.

The outsole of the Vapor Pro is one of the unique areas where the shoe cuts down weight. Instead of using a consistent thickness throughout the entire shoe length, Nike has reduced unnecessary rubber in areas that have proven to be low wear.

At the midsole, the shoe combines an EVA midsole with a Zoom Air package at the shoe’s heel to absorb shock and shed weight while providing responsive comfort that’s low to the ground.

At the top of the Vapor Pro, you’ll find an ultra-breathable mesh that’s lightweight for maximum comfort. However, the shoe maintains its stability by incorporating a TPU frame at both sides of the shoe.

At the same time, an asymmetrical lacing system offers a snug fit to help keep your foot secure during sharp movements.

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthMedium
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight12.9 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight11 ounces @ size 8.5

K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme

K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme Men's & Women's Tennis Shoe

As one of the lightest-weight offerings from K-Swiss, the Hypercourt Supreme offers excellent all-around performance.

K-Swiss uses their Aösta 7 high-density rubber for the outsole to provide players with durability and traction.

The Hypercourt Supreme takes advantage of K-Swiss’ Surge 7.0 to provide lightweight cushioning throughout the midsole and incorporates a mid-foot shank to help cut down on twisting, which increases the shoe’s stability.

Finally, the upper for the shoe offers plenty of ventilation, as you’d expect in lightweight tennis footwear. However, the shoe doesn’t skimp on durability by covering it with its DuraWrap Flex technology, which also helps improve the shoe’s stability.

Add to that a molded bootie construction for maximum comfort and support, and the K-Swiss Hypercourt Supreme is a worthy contender for the best lightweight tennis shoe.

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthSlightly wide
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight13.1 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.8 ounces @ size 8.5

Wrapping Up

These days, there’s a greater variety of lightweight tennis shoes that deliver excellent all-around performance than ever before.

Although you’ll be making concessions in the durability and stability of your shoes in some instances, I think it’s a reasonable tradeoff that many players are willing to make for the extra speed they get around the court.

If you do take the plunge into the lightweight shoes on offer, keep in mind that you’ll likely need to replace yours a bit more frequently.

Are you using a lightweight tennis shoe? Let me know in the comments below which model you’re using, and, of course, feel free to post any questions you might have about lightweight shoes below.

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