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As a teenager, I played badminton to a fairly high level.
My years of experience playing this sport is probably a big factor as to why I like volleying in tennis and being more at the net than the baseline.
Anyway, the reason for this blog post is, after a 20 year gap, I played badminton last month.
One of my work colleagues needed another player for a doubles match.
So I thought why not give it a go!
I put on my old badminton shoes (yes, they actually still looked surprisingly ok after all these years –after I brushed away the cobwebs!)
It felt such a strange feeling compared to wearing tennis shoes.
Differences between tennis and badminton shoes
Firstly, badminton shoes are so much lighter.
In badminton you play a lot more overhead shots than tennis during rallies, so you need something which isn’t too heavy so you feel light on your feet.
Also, the padding is a lot thicker around the heel of my tennis shoes compared to my badminton ones.
This is because in badminton you shuffle and lunge a lot more, where as tennis involves more running, mainly side to side and only sometimes forwards and backwards.
The thicker padding around the heel of the tennis shoe helps to protect and cushion the joints during impact with the ground, like running shoes.
The grip and the grip patterns are also different which also reflects the different movements in each sport.
Tennis can be played on many different surfaces i.e clay, grass, carpet or hard courts, so tennis shoe grips will be different depending on which surface you’re playing on.
For example, a clay court tennis shoes has a zig-zag grip pattern as you’ll slide a lot more. A grass court tennis shoe has a pattern which features more pimples on the sole of the shoe.
With badminton, there’s not much variety in what surface your play on. Most shoes have a radial pattern which provides good grip in all directions.
NB – Badminton is often played on wooden surfaces and many tennis shoes aren’t made out of non-marking rubber, so you’ll face the wrath of the sports club if you decide to wear tennis shoes that leaves a mark on the badminton court!
So can you wear tennis shoes for badminton?
Yes, you technically can (with some tennis shoes)
Would I recommend it?
No, absolutely not.
Do the right thing and invest in some good badminton shoes! Your body will thank you for it.
P.S – I enjoyed my game of badminton. I played doubles and after a shaky start I was really getting into it. I still prefer tennis though 🙂
I’ll be hitting the courts this weekend…weather permitting of course.
The weather’s pretty gloomy in the UK at the moment.
Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a “little noise” about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.