A well-made, quality footprint can extend the life of your tent by adding an extra layer of protection to the tent floor. It keeps the bottom surface clean and helps to prevent punctures and tears from any ground debris such as sticks or small stones. A footprint allows for a peaceful night's sleep by not allowing you to have direct contact with the ground that can sometimes become cold, damp and muddy.
If a footprint is larger than your tent and has edges that stick out past the floor, it acts as a carrier to bring water underneath the text. A well-fitted footprint is cut a bit smaller than the tent floor so that it prevents rainwater from pooling. If the footprint is not included with your tent, take the time to ensure the exact measurement of the tent so that you can make a purchase that is going to work for you.
Buying a footprint that is manufactured by the same brand of your tent means that it will be already cut to the right size and with many brands, they can be attached directly to the tent with clips or pre-attached string.