Are Squash Shoes Different From Tennis Shoes?

Before playing your first squash game, you may realize that there is quite a lot of equipment you’ll need for squash. Among this equipment is squash shoes. But if you have a pair of tennis shoes lying around, you may wonder if squash shoes are different from tennis shoes.

There are several differences between squash shoes and tennis shoes. Squash shoes look different and are also made with practicality in mind. Because squash has more rapid movements, squash shoes aren’t built the same as tennis shoes. Therefore, it’s not recommended to wear tennis shoes for squash.

Since many people only have one pair of shoes for racket sports, they might want to know if you can use tennis shoes for squash and vice versa. To help you decide, we will discuss the differences between squash shoes and tennis shoes and if you can use them interchangeably.

Do Squash Shoes Differ From Tennis Shoes?

Before getting to the part where you learn whether you can use tennis shoes for squash or squash shoes for tennis, we must first consider how squash shoes differ from tennis shoes. There are a couple of reasons why people think they are the same.

The biggest reason is that both are racket sports and look somewhat similar at first glance. After a closer inspection, you will see that there are actually several differences between these shoes regarding their appearance and functionality.

While squash is played inside on shiny, hardwood floors, tennis is played on hard, clay, and grass courts. This means that the surfaces you move while playing squash and tennis are remarkably different, requiring different shoes.

There are 6 primary differences between squash shoes and tennis shoes. To understand how squash and tennis shoes differ, you must consider these aspects first. So, let’s see precisely how squash shoes differ from tennis shoes.

Squash Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes: Appearance

Squash shoes and tennis shoes look a lot alike. Still, there are some differences to notice. The primary difference between squash shoes and tennis shoes regarding their appearance lies within the soles. Tennis shoes have harder soles that are often black.

This is because they must be durable enough to withstand the hard court surfaces while providing sufficient support. On the contrary, squash shoes are made of a rubber base. The soles are usually light brown and non-marking since they can’t scuff the squash court.

The sole of both squash and tennis shoes often extends to the front of the shoe to prevent damaging the shoe when you drag your toes across the court. Like the soles, squash shoes also have a light-colored front panel, so they don’t mark up the court.

Depending on the type of tennis shoe, squash shoes may also appear narrower than tennis shoes. Many squash shoes are built on the narrow side, so they fit snuggly and don’t hinder players while moving. Tennis shoes sometimes have broader soles to give players better stability.

Unlike squash shoes, which are all the same, you also get different tennis shoes for each type of court. Furthermore, you get different tennis shoes based on how you play on the court (from side to side or front to back).

These tennis shoes also look different from each other, helping you distinguish between squash shoes and tennis shoes. But there are other differences between squash and tennis shoes, too, including how they function.

Squash Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes: Functionality

Because squash and tennis are both so hard on your knees, ankles, and feet, it is important that the shoes you wear offer sufficient support. This is where the differences between squash and tennis shoes are even more important.

A tennis court is much larger and therefore requires longer steps. In addition, you must move from front to back and side to side when playing tennis. As such, you require shoes that allow you to play tennis safely and comfortably. Fortunately, tennis shoes are specifically designed to protect your feet and knees.

Squash also involves a lot of running, but since the court is much smaller than a tennis court, you’re stopping often and abruptly. These actions take a heavy toll on your knees and ankles, meaning that you will need squash shoes with sufficient support.

Additionally, squash shoes must be tacky enough to keep you from slipping on the court. They also need to be lightweight to allow you to move your feet faster.

Because these sports have different requirements, you must wear the correct shoes for each type. For example, although you could play squash in tennis shoes and vice versa, you will see that the way these shoes are structured is more suited to their specific sports.

Squash and tennis shoes also differ in the support they provide. Since the shoe’s support is imperative for the safety and comfort of the sport, we must consider how squash shoes and tennis shoes differ in this regard too.

Squash Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes: Support

As you may well know, tennis is a long sport. This means that you will need shoes that can handle the court and offer you enough support so your feet don’t get tired while on the court. Squash games also tend to last for some time, which is why the support of their shoes is equally important.

Squash shoes have a low profile and even cushioning. This means that your weight is evenly distributed throughout the shoe, which means shocks are better absorbed, and your feet are more supported. In addition, this prevents certain parts of your feet from feeling sore during and after playing.

With tennis shoes, the cushioning is strategically placed in the shoe based on where most of your weight is. When playing tennis, most of your weight rests on the balls of your feet since you typically don’t play tennis flat-footed.

This means that you will also see the most cushioning in this part of the tennis shoe. However, tennis shoes usually don’t have as much cushioning as squash shoes, and many people consider squash shoes to be more comfortable overall.

Still, both types of shoes are designed to offer support and comfort when participating in that sport. Therefore, you should feel comfortable and supported in each shoe when using it for the sport it was designed for.

Squash Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes: Durability

Because you spend a lot of money on your shoes, you need them to be durable. Also, because of how abrasive the courts are (especially tennis courts), you need a shoe that can stand up to the challenge.

This is one of the areas where there are the most differences between squash shoes and tennis shoes. To play squash, you require a shoe with light-colored and soft-sticky soles. This will protect the court and yourself since the sticky soles prevent you from sliding and getting injured.

Fortunately, squash shoes are expertly designed with durability in mind. They have rubber-based soles that keep your feet steady on the ground. The rubber is elastic and durable. If you only wear the shoes for their intended purpose, the squash shoes should last a long time.

Tennis courts are vastly different from squash courts. Depending on the type of court on which you play, you will also require specific tennis shoes made for that court. Hard courts are the most abrasive. This means that you require shoes with a hard and durable sole to prevent them from getting damaged.

Both tennis and squash shoes have reinforced toe areas (made from a similar material as the sole) to protect your shoe when dragging your toes along the court. This often happens when striking the ball.

Finally, squash and tennis shoes are made from durable upper materials and laces to keep the rest of the shoe intact. This helps ensure you get plenty of use from tennis or squash shoes. However, this only applies when using them for their intended purpose.

For example, don’t be surprised if your tennis or squash shoes don’t last when you go jogging with them, as this is not what their soles, uppers, or cushioning was made for.

Squash Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes: Price

Another difference between squash shoes and tennis shoes is their price. Specialized sports equipment, like the gear needed for squash or tennis, can be quite expensive. Because of the research and technology needed to make squash and tennis shoes, they aren’t the cheapest shoes on the market.

Of course, many brands have squash and tennis shoes, and the make and model you purchase significantly influence the shoe’s price. Tennis shoes start at about $80, and most midrange shoes cost between $100 and $150.

As you may know, this is about the same price as many other shoes, like gym shoes or running shoes. This means that tennis shoes aren’t too expensive by comparison and are known to last a long time with proper care.

Squash shoes typically run more expensive than tennis shoes. So while you can get a pair of squash shoes for around $100, the widest variety costs $150 or more. But, again, if you properly care for your squash shoes (use them only for squash), they should last a long time.

Overall, squash shoes last longer than tennis shoes because a squash court isn’t as abrasive as a tennis court. But each type of shoe is specifically designed for its purpose, and using squash shoes for tennis doesn’t mean you will have a longer-lasting shoe.

Squash Shoes Vs. Tennis Shoes: Variety

Finally, you can also consider the variety of squash and tennis shoes available. In most cases, tennis shoes are easier to find and purchase because there are more tennis courts and people who play tennis. If you go to a sporting goods store, you will likely have more tennis shoe options than squash shoes.

However, most brands that design tennis shoes also manufacture squash shoes. You will find a larger selection of squash shoes online by visiting each squash shoe manufacturer’s website. Here, you can see exactly what shoes are available.

In general, there are more tennis shoes on the market. This means that there is also a wider variety to choose from, especially considering that there are 3 types of tennis courts. Considering that squash shoes are somewhat harder to come by than tennis shoes, you may find yourself with the urge to buy tennis shoes to use for squash.

But can you use squash and tennis shoes interchangeably? You may already know the answer to some extent based on their differences. But let’s consider the question in more detail, starting with, can you wear tennis shoes to play squash?

Can You Use Tennis Shoes To Play Squash?

There aren’t many situations where you can use tennis shoes to play squash. This is because of one key distinction between squash and tennis shoes – their soles. To play on a squash court, you must wear non-marking shoes. This is a firm rule enforced at many, if not all, squash courts.

Unfortunately, since tennis courts don’t share the same requirement, tennis shoes often have black soles that will mark up a squash court and cause problems. Apart from the soles, tennis shoes may also not offer enough grip on a squash court since the court is much more slippery.

Tennis shoes also have their reinforcements in different parts of the shoe than squash shoes. Therefore, you may find that your tennis shoes feel uncomfortable when playing squash. So, if you buy tennis shoes for squash, you must ensure that the shoes are non-marking and won’t affect your performance on the court.

One positive thing about using tennis shoes for squash is that you won’t damage the tennis use when playing squash. This means that the tennis shoes may still last the same time as they would when using them for tennis. Possibly even longer, as the court isn’t as abrasive.

Can You Use Squash Shoes To Play Tennis?

When it comes to using squash shoes for tennis, there are many conflicting opinions. Many consider squash shoes more comfortable and supportive than tennis shoes, so they prefer using them instead.

However, squash shoes have much softer soles than tennis shoes, meaning they may not (and likely will not) last as long as tennis shoes. Squash shoes also don’t offer support in all the same places as tennis shoes, which may further shorten the shoes’ lifespan.

Because squash shoes also tend to be more expensive than tennis shoes, you will spend significantly more on your shoes, especially since they won’t last as long. Still, there aren’t any rules against playing tennis in squash shoes. So if you truly prefer squash shoes to tennis shoes, you are welcome to play tennis with them.


Squash shoes are different from tennis shoes in several ways. They tend to be narrower, have light-colored rubber soles, and offer shock absorption for the entire foot. This makes them ideal for squash, a sport that requires a lot of stopping and turning.

Although squash shoes differ from tennis shoes, some people prefer using them for tennis because they find them more comfortable. While you can play tennis in squash shoes, you typically aren’t allowed to play squash in tennis shoes because tennis shoes will mark up the squash court.


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