Whether you have recently decided to take up pickleball, or you have been playing it for a while, the best way to ensure your game is on point is to have the correct shoes.
Not only do high-quality shoes help to keep your feet comfortable throughout your game or practice, but they also help to protect the joints in your lower body and can improve your game.
Finding the perfect pickleball shoes for you is a very personal decision and it can be overwhelming to look through all the different types of shoes that are available on the market.
Thankfully, we have put together this guide to help you find the best pickleball shoes to improve your performance. In this article, you will find some of the best shoes for pickleball as well as a helpful buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions.
Best Pickleball Shoes
If you have been playing pickleball or other racquetball games for a while, you will be familiar with the brand Wilson.
The Rush Pro Ace Pickleball shoes have been specifically designed for both indoor and outdoor court surfaces. Because of this, they provide expert levels of grip to help avoid slips and trips while you are playing.
The shoes also have a 4D Support Chassis built into the base of the shoe. This provides support for your ankle during pivots and helps improve your control and stability.
This additional support also helps avoid ankle fatigue and injury so you can play for extended periods.
The shoes boast a cushioned midsole and produce a rebound-like effect that is similar to that of high-performance tennis shoes. This helps propel you around the court rapidly to meet the ball.
The Rush Pro Ace Pickleball shoes are great value for money with a price tag below $100 dollars.
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts
- Additional ankle support built-in to prevent injury
- Cushioned midsole for comfort and additional spring
- The structured sole can feel heavy for some players
Another popular pickleball shoe is the New Balance 696 V4 Hard Court Tennis Shoe. One of the biggest selling points of this shoe is the super breathable mesh upper.
The ventilation offered by this shoe is superior to many others on the market thanks to the larger ventilation holes in the design. The mesh material does make the top of the shoe more prone to tearing or scuffing.
The overall weight of this shoe is minimized by the REVlite midsole material. This revolutionary material allows your foot and ankle to be supported and cushioned with each lunge and pivot without being too bulky or weighing you down.
The sole of the shoe is highly durable with a herringbone pattern. It has been specifically designed to withstand the wear and tear of hard courts which means that it will last a long time, no matter how much abuse it gets.
- Lightweight and breathable shoe
- A large variety of sizes is available
- Herringbone sole helps to improve lateral movement
- The mesh upper material can be prone to tears
Another popular brand in the world of sports shoes is Asics, and there is a good reason for their popularity. The Gel-Venture 8 sports shoes began life as tennis shoes and have quickly been adopted by pickleball players.
As the name suggests, gel plays a significant role in the comfort of this shoe. A layer of gel technology has been added to the sole of this shoe.
The gel provides superior cushioning and shock absorption which can help protect your joints during the high-impact sport.
The Gel-Venture 8 is a super versatile shoe that is great for beginner or intermediate players. Because of the styling of the shoe, it can easily be worn off the court as well as on the court. This makes it better value for money for occasional players.
- Trusted and well-known brand
- Gel sole technology provides superior shock absorption
- Lightweight and breathable material
- Not as supportive as other Asics sports shoes
This pair of sneakers from Under Armour was originally designed for cross training. However, the pickleball community saw the benefits of these shoes and took them on.
The tread of these shoes in particular provides the level of traction required for pickleball.
The outer sole of the shoe is made from full rubber. It has multiple flex grooves in the tread that move in all directions to provide additional grip on all surface types.
These shoes boast exceptional performance on both indoor and outdoor courts. It is also an incredibly lightweight shoe at under 11 ounces.
The midsole benefits from charged cushioning which provides additional comfort and shock absorption for your ankles and knees.
- Lightweight structure to avoid ankle fatigue
- Charged cushioning to protect joints
- Flex grooves in the sole to provide exceptional traction
- The fit of the shoe is quite narrow which can be uncomfortable for people with wider feet
If you are familiar with the Skechers brand, you will know that their shoes are designed for comfort and practicality.
That is why the Go Train Arch Fit Viper Court Pro sneakers are perfect for pickleball. In fact, they are even trusted by professional pickleball players.
The outsole of these sneakers is manufactured by Goodyear. The wealth of knowledge and expertise that underpins the design of these soles can be seen and felt in the amount of grip the sole offers on the court.
On the inside of the shoe, the trademarked ArchFit insole is a savior for any players who have high arches. The structure of the Skechers insole has been designed to offer the ultimate support for your foot, no matter how intensely you are playing.
- Outsole made by Goodyear
- Worn by professional pickleball players
- ArchFit insole to provide superior support
- Common sizes are often sold out
Another offering from Asics is the Gel-Renma pickleball shoe. This show is particularly popular among the pickleball community thanks to the well-built structure and the responsiveness of the sole.
The sole on these sneakers features the flex-grooved design that is common with many Asics court shoes. The grooves in the sole flex under pressure and tension which helps to provide superior grip when you are pivoting around the court.
One of the most impressive things about these shoes is the TRUISTIC technology that has been built into them.
This helps to reduce the risk of harmful twisting that can result in injury to your knees and ankles.
Gel technology has also been added to help improve shock absorption. This makes these shoes particularly good for players who are prone to injury.
- TRUISTIC and gel technology helps to reduce injury risk
- Outsole designed to improve grip, perfect for hard outdoor courts
- Lightweight shoes despite extensive support
- These sneakers take a while to break in
Although you may be less familiar with K-Swiss, they have been making tennis and court shoes for a while and have become a trusted authority on supportive sports shoes.
In fact, the brand has many types of pickleball shoes available. The most affordable of their pickleball range is the Express Light shoes.
The most impressive thing about these shoes is the 180-degree Plantar support chassis that has been built into the structure of the shoe. This helps to avoid strain and tension on the Plantar area of your foot which can lead to injury.
These shoes also boast a DURAWRAP cover that offers additional support to the rest of your foot. This helps make sure that your feet feel secure throughout your game or practice.
Not only does this help to protect your feet and joints, but it also helps to improve your confidence on the court.
- 180-degree Plantar arch support chassis in the structure
- DURAWRAP cover provides additional support
- Available in a variety of colors to suit any style
- More common sizes can often be sold out online
If you are an experienced pickleball player who plays at a competitive level, these are the ideal shoes for you. The Babolat Propulse Fury All-Court Shoes have everything you need from your pickleball shoes.
The outsoles of these sneakers are manufactured by Michelin. The insoles are Ortholite molded to ensure that they provide adequate support throughout your game. There is also a power belt built into the shoe to provide lateral support.
The shoe has been specifically designed to withstand the pressure of intense, competitive matches. The heel features a foam protection zone designed to provide additional shock absorption to reduce heel fatigue.
Because of all the structure and support in the shoes, they are quite heavy which can be a shock if you aren’t used to it.
- Highly durable outsoles made by Michelin
- Built-in power strap for additional lateral support on the court
- Highly durable and cushioned for additional comfort
- Only suitable for competitive players who are used to heavier shoes
Purchasing a pair of shoes for any reason is a very personal experience as we all have different needs and requirements for our shoes.
However, when you are purchasing pickleball shoes, there are a few standard things that you should consider to make sure that you are getting the best product for your needs.
Strong Outsole And Supportive Midsole
One of the most important things that you need to consider when it comes to pickleball shoes is the quality of the outsole and the midsole. This is something that applies to everyone.
Pickleball is a demanding and physical sport, even at the beginner level. Because of this, you need to make sure that your shoes can withstand the wear and tear they will face on the court.
When looking for pickleball shoes, make sure that the outsole is made from durable material and has decent tread. Having flexible grooves is a huge plus as it will help to improve the grip of the shoe.
Although you want the outsole to be tough and durable, you want the midsole to be much softer. Ideally, you will want to look for a midsole that is made from gel or foam.
Both of these materials provide superior shock absorption which is important when playing intense matches. They also provide additional comfort in general when wearing the sneakers.
Finding pickleball or tennis shoes that have this combination of outsoles and midsoles is a great place to start your search for suitable shoes that will keep you comfortable during practice and matches.
Consider Where You Play
Another important factor to consider when you are looking for pickleball shoes is where you tend to play. Some pickleball players will exclusively play on outdoor courts, while others will play exclusively on indoor courts.
There are also players that will play on a combination of indoor and outdoor courts. Whichever you prefer to play on, there are shoes that have been specifically designed for that environment.
If you know that you want to play exclusively on indoor courts, there are many shoes available on the market that have been designed for use on indoor court surfaces.
Indoor courts are generally made of softer materials that have a little more give in them or that may be sprung for better shock absorption.
Indoor pickleball shoes will have a strong rubber outsole that is similar to the grip that you would see on a volleyball shoe.
Pickleball shoes that are marketed for indoor courts will have been designed specifically to grip the materials that these courts are made from, even when they are dusty.
If you are going to be exclusively playing on an outdoor court, you will need pickleball shoes that are designed for the harder surface of these courts.
Shoes for playing pickleball outdoors don’t have to have such a strong rubber outsole. Although they should still provide a high level of grip on asphalt or concrete surfaces, they should also prioritize breathability and remain lightweight.
If you aren’t sure which surface you prefer playing on, or you are going to be playing on a combination of indoor and outdoor courts, there are plenty of pickleball shoes that are designed for the best of both worlds.
These types of shoes don’t necessarily provide the best grip on either court, but it is better than wearing outdoor shoes on an indoor court and vice versa.
Consider Injuries And Weaknesses
Another thing that is important to consider when you are looking for pickleball shoes, or any sports shoes for that matter, is any injuries or weaknesses you already have in your feet and joints.
Unless you have been incredibly lucky in your life, you are likely to have picked up injuries, weaknesses, and issues in your joints over time. These should be taken into account when looking for pickleball shoes.
An example of the things you should consider is Plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that affects the part of your foot that connects your heel to your toes.
This can be a common injury that affects court players due to the pressure that is put on their feet and joints.
If you suffer from Plantar fasciitis, you should look for pickleball shoes that offer adequate support for this area of your foot. There are some brands that specifically add support for this area as it is such a common problem.
Other injuries such as knee issues should also be taken into account. There are many types of shoes that are designed to minimize the occurrence of awkward or sudden twists and jolts that can irritate past injuries or cause new ones.
This is a particularly important consideration if you want to be able to play pickleball and other sports on a regular basis without being laid up with an injury for weeks at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions
For many people, purchasing pickleball shoes online is fine.
If you have purchased similar shoes before and know what your needs are and trusted brands, this can be the easiest and most convenient way of buying pickleball shoes.
With that being said, if you have never bought pickleball shoes before, or you have some special requirements, it can be easier to visit a sporting goods store to find what you need.
If you suffer from recurring injuries or if you have wide feet, visiting a physical store can be the best way to get comfortable and appropriate shoes that will support you and feel comfortable when you play.
I am Michael Wanner, an experienced and educated expert in the field of pickleball. I hold a degree in Sports Science from Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA. My expertise lies in the technical aspects of pickleball and how to play it effectively. I have spent many years playing and coaching pickleball and have a wealth of knowledge to share with my readers. I am a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their pickleball skills and strategies.