Illegal Shoes?

shoesWhile we were playing our Florida Sectionals in Daytona, teammate Steve Morris said his opponent was really digging up the court with his shoes. Which leads to the question, ARE ALL SHOES LEGAL?

Steve said that every time they switched sides of the court, he had to work to smooth out the HarTru on his side to prevent bad bounces. So assuming that his opponent did have some kind of raised tread on his shoes, is that OK?

The Rules?

I searched through “Friend at Court” and the ITF rules and could not find anything that speaks to the issue of approved footwear.

Does anyone know?

PS Bob Wilkie once forgot his shoes and played (and beat me) barefooted!

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6 thoughts on “Illegal Shoes?

  1. The only thing I know is that they must be tennis shoes. In other words, no running shoes, walking shoes, training shoes, etc. I have often looked for a sole that would work well on grass because they rarely allow you to use grass court shoes, although usually the grass court shoes dig up the court less than any other kind of shoe.

  2. Had this problem a an ITF seniors event in llfranc in Spain .After knocking up on the red clay court before our doubles match the next morning my partner was told his footwear was damaging the court surface and he would not be allowed to play the next day using the shoes.We had to rush off and purchase new tennis shoes.It seemed a strange request but we did not seem to have much choice.

  3. I believe that the facility determines the shoes! Our rule is tennis shoes only – flat soles. No running shoes with ribbed bottoms. The running shoes are not only tough on courts but are not built for side to side movement. I have seen significant injuries due to playing in running shoes.

  4. Most clubs won’t allow track shoes on clay because they dig up the courts, which was probably the case. However, I think it’s a house rule not rule book rule. Since Fred brought up grass , why is it they won’t allow grass courts shoes when most of all of tournaments are played at the end of the season the the courts and the grass will need to be reseeded in the spring. I’v actually heard that they even scrap them at the end of the season. If true, why not allow grass court shoes, the courts will be torn up anyway? One of big reasons I don’t like to play on grass is it is dangerous without good footing. There is that thing about the ball not bouncing, but I guess it’s the same for both. Any grass court groundskeepers out there ?

  5. George, It is simple, tennis shoes for tennis. Use good judgment on what surface you are playing on. There are special shoes for bowling , table tennis, jogging, basketball,
    etc. I have done all of the above, and there is total merit to wearing the proper shoe.

    Anthony Rasile

  6. I understand that Wimbledon digs up their courts at the end of each season and replants with Rye Grass. The grass court that I play on is bent grass and is not torn up and replanted each season. After the very difficult winter it came back in great shape!

    I find the most difficult change from Har Tru to grass is picking up my feet. I am so used to sliding around on the Har Tru that when I switch to grass (I am fortunate to have an available grass court about 1 mile away) I find it difficult to move.

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