6 Best Lightweight Tennis Shoes: Men's & Women's 2020 Guide

6 Best Lightweight Tennis Shoes

Men’s & Women’s 2020 Guide

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

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

In this guide, we’re discussing the pros and cons or weight and sharing our picks for best lightweight tennis shoes for men and women.

Men’sWeight @ Size 10.5
Babolat Jet Mach II11.8 oz
New Balance 996v412.3 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF12.7 oz
adidas Adizero Club 212.7 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 213.7 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor X14.0 oz
Women’sWeight @ Size 7.5
Babolat Jet Mach II9.1 oz
New Balance 996v49.4 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF9.9 oz
adidas Adizero Club 210.4 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 210.6 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor X10.6 oz

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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.

There are a few different factors that contribute to this trend, but perhaps the most prominent are player demand and advancements in technology.

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 and durability.

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

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 also 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.

For players of all ages and levels, that means excellent performance with less weight to help players move at lightning speed around the court.

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 demands of the most advanced tennis players, but are lightweight nonetheless.

For this reason, some of the higher-end tennis shoes aren’t always the lightest, but some do emphasize low weight compared to others.

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, then some of the less expensive shoes might serve as excellent lightweight options.

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 help 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, then 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 make or break a player’s success on the court.

Although small 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 like lead 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

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

Here are some of the top complaints that tend to bubble up.

Durability

One area where lightweight tennis shoes tend to suffer most is with regards to 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 help resist abrasion. In some cases, these materials are minimized or dropped entirely to decrease weight.

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

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

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 the amount of EVA foam or substitute it with alternative technologies, such as Nike Zoom Air, to reduce weight, but many argue it doesn’t provide the same level of comfort.

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

6 Best Lightweight Tennis Shoes for Men & Women

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

We’ve included a table of our favorite picks below for a quick comparison of each shoe’s weight based on a men’s size 10.5 and women’s size 7.5.

On the men’s side, each shoe had to equal or fall below 14 ounces to make our list. For women’s shoes, we set the mark at 12 ounces.

ShoeMen’s @ 10.5Women’s @ 7.5
Babolat Jet Mach II11.8 oz9.1 oz
New Balance 996v412.3 oz9.4 oz
Asics Solution Speed FF12.7 oz9.9 oz
adidas Adizero Club 212.7 oz10.4 oz
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 213.7 oz10.6 oz
Nike Air Zoom Vapor X13.8 oz10.6 oz

Lightest: Babolat Jet Mach II

Baoblat Jet Mach II: Lightweight Men's and 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 a ridiculously impressive 11.8 ounces for a men’s size 10.5 and only 9.1 ounces for women’s size 7.5. All in all, 10 grams lighter than the prior model.

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

The Jet Mach II 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 upper, which weaves Kevlar and Polyamide fibers into strategic areas to provide maximum durability and lightweight stabilization dubbed Stability Cage.

Specs

SizeShort
WidthNarrow
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight11.8 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight9.1 ounces @ size 7.5

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 provide increased energy return to the player as they push off while maintaining torsional stability through the center of the shoe with a mid-foot shank.

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

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthMedium
Arch SupportSlightly low
Men’s Weight12.3 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight9.4 ounces @ size 7.5

Asics Solution Speed FF

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

The Asics Solution Speed FF is one of our picks for the best tennis shoes in 2020, and they also happen to be one of the lightest men’s and women’s tennis shoes available too.

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 lightest midsole that Asics has ever produced.

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

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthMedium
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight12.7 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight9.9 ounces @ size 7.5

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 for lightweight comfort and maximum shock absorption.

The upper is where the Adizero Club 2 saves a good 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 Weight12.7 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.4 ounces @ size 7.5

K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2

K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2: Lightweight Men's and Women's Tennis Shoe

As one of the lightest weight offerings from K-Swiss, the Hypercourt Express 2 offers excellent all-around performance.

For the outsole, K-Swiss puts to use their Aösta 7 high-density rubber to provide players with durability as well as traction.

The Hypercourt Express 2 takes advantage of K-Swiss’ Surgelite to provide lightweight cushioning throughout the midsole but also incorporates a mid-foot shank to help cut down on twisting, which increases the shoe’s stability.

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

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthSlightly wide
Arch SupportSlightly low
Men’s Weight13.7 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.6 ounces @ size 7.5

Nike Air Zoom Vapor X

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

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

The outsole of the Vapor X is one of the unique areas where the shoe cuts down weight. Instead of using a consistent thickness throughout the entire length of the shoe, 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 heel of the shoe to absorb shock and shed weight while providing responsive comfort that’s low to the ground.

At the top of the Vapor X, 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, the Dynamic Fit lacing system offers customization to help keep your foot secure during sharp movements.

Specs

SizeTrue
WidthMedium
Arch SupportMedium
Men’s Weight13.8 ounces @ size 10.5
Women’s Weight10.6 ounces @ size 7.5

Wrapping Up

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

Although, in some instances, you’ll be making concessions in the durability and stability of your shoes, we think it’s a reasonable tradeoff that we’re willing to make for extra speed we 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 us know in the comments below which model you’re using and, of course, feel free to post any questions you might have about the shoes below.

Home > Gear > Shoes > Lightweight Tennis Shoes

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