All Court / Hard Court Tennis Shoes
If you play on hard courts, it is recommended to play with durable shoes made for hard courts. Regularly playing on hard court surfaces wears out the sole of your tennis shoe quite quickly and will eventually cause you to lose traction tear through the rubber sole.
Hard court shoes are made with reinforced toe-box areas and a harder, more durable outer sole. It is normal to grate the front of the shoe during certain movements like dragging your foot during the follow-through of your swing.
Without reinforcements in the most sensitive areas of the shoe, the lifespan of the shoes can be greatly reduced due to the rough surface of the court.
Brand manufacturers commonly refer to Hard Court shoes as All Court shoes because the grooves and lines in the sole are designed to minimal grip on the occasional clay court.
Think of this as an all season tire on a car designed for everyday use in clear conditions but offer a little added security in the rain or snow.
Clay Court Tennis Shoes
To play tennis on clay courts or on a similar surface such as "soft", "classic clay" and even synthetic turf, it is recommended to have special clay court tennis shoes.
The soles of clay court shoes are generally flat with a herringbone pattern, quite flexible, which provides excellent grip. The additional grooves provided from the herringbone pattern offer more grip while moving on loose tennis surfaces such as clay.
For tennis players who liked to slide up to their shots, clay court shoes provide a more controllable feel beneath your feet while offering the much needed grip to recover back and chase down the next shot.