In the fast-paced and dynamic game of Pickleball, one of the most overlooked, yet critical aspects of gameplay, is footwear. The right shoe can significantly enhance your performance on the court, offering the required stability, traction, and comfort necessary to stay competitive.
Given the growing popularity of Pickleball, many athletic shoe companies are designing Pickleball-specific shoes, catering to the unique demands of the sport.
How to Choose the Right Pickleball Shoes?
- Traction and Grip: Pickleball courts, whether indoor or outdoor, require shoes with specific traction. Proper pickleball shoes offer non-marking rubber soles designed to grip pickleball court surfaces effectively. This grip minimizes the risk of slipping and provides better control over your movements.
- Support and Stability: Due to the rapid side-to-side movements and quick directional changes in pickleball, it’s essential to have shoes that offer excellent lateral support. Pickleball shoes are designed to provide that, ensuring your foot is secure and stable during every pivot and sprint.
- Injury Prevention: A shoe that doesn’t offer proper support or has inadequate grip can increase the risk of injuries like ankle sprains, knee problems, or foot strains. The right shoe can act as a preventive measure against such injuries.
- Comfort and Cushioning: Playing Pickleball can put a lot of strain on the feet, especially during extended matches. Pickleball shoes come with specialized cushioning to absorb shocks and reduce the impact on joints and muscles. This makes gameplay more comfortable and reduces fatigue.
- Breathability: Intense games can cause feet to sweat, which can lead to discomfort and even blisters. Pickleball-specific shoes often feature breathable materials that allow for adequate airflow, keeping your feet cooler and reducing moisture build-up.
- Enhanced Performance: Just as running shoes can improve a runner’s speed and distance, pickleball shoes can enhance a player’s performance on the court. The added grip, support, and comfort can enable a player to move more confidently and swiftly, getting to balls faster and with more precision.
14 Best Pickleball Shoes
(*Indicate professionals who use the same brand but may or may not wear the exact same shoe)
1. Skechers Vipor (Best Overall)
- *PROS: Tyler McGuffin, Catherine Parenteau
The footbed is roomy, allowing my slightly wide foot to fit comfortably. They provide excellent arch support and cushioning, but unfortunately, they don’t fit snugly around my heels. These shoes are great with no need for breaking in. Many reviewers have commented on the support and comfortability of the shoe. And for the price, they are a great value Pickleball shoe.
2. K-Swiss Supreme (Best For Women)
These shoes fit great and provide excellent midfoot support! They are my favorite pickleball shoes. The shoe has a wider toe bed and the design offers both mobility on the court and stability. Overall, they are sturdy, durable, and very comfortable. Plus they look great!
3. K-Swiss Express Light (Good For Wide Feet)
I have wide feet and these shoes felt great from day one. They fit true to size and didn’t have a breaking in period. As far as the court grip and feel, its good and I never slipped. So far, they’re very comfortable and gave excellent stability & performed well on the pickleball court.
4. FitVille Wide (Best For Wide Feet)
If you have wide feet, the FitVille shoes are perfect. This shoe is well-constructed and is designed more lightweight and breathable than most pickleball shoes. The material is very comfortable and it has good arch support. Plus, it looks great for a great price. Lastly, they offer cushioning and shock absorption for a softer experience on the court. I would highly recommend it for those with wide feet. Highly rated on Amazon.
5. Mizuno Wave Exceed Light (Good for Women’s Indoor)
- *PROS: Lea Jansen
These shoes feel ultra-lightweight and provide good support where I need it. Furthermore, they are durable, comfortable, and look great. There requires no break-in period. Plus, they can be used for indoor pickleball court play as they have non-marking soles.
6. Babolat Men’s Jet Mach 3 (Pro’s Favorite)
- *PROS: Ben Johns, Riley Newman, Callie Jo Smith, Federico Staksrud, Collin Johns
Many professional Pickleball players prefer wearing Babolat shoes. They are lightweight and fast, with a supportive woven upper material. The fit is athletic and true to size, although slightly narrow. Keep in mind they are on the pricier side.
These shoes are designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and optimized for speed. They are made to boost player confidence and enhance speed on the court. Just the ultimate weapon to help you reach the ball faster.
7. Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 (Most Expensive)
These pickleball shoes are on the pricier side, but they are truly amazing. They feel great, fit great, and play great. They are comfortable and have excellent cushioning. The abrasion protection is sufficient and in the right areas. They prioritize padding and provide good lateral stability, even if it means sacrificing some weight. So although slightly heavier, these shoes look awesome and are a great choice for picklers.
8. New Balance Fuel Cell 996V5
- *PROS: Jessie Irvine
These Court shoes are excellent for Pickleball, with great cushioning, comfort, and lightweight design. They are perfect for wide feet. Although on the pricier side, I’m pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and light they are! Also, the “NDurance rubber outsole technology” ensures long-lasting durability in high-wear areas. Overall, they look great on/off the court and perform very well on the court.
9. Babolat Men’s SFX3 (Best For Men)
For those with a plantar fasciitis issue, they are comfortable, minimize foot pain, provide good traction from the Michelin soles, and have lightweight performance on the court. They are well-made and not heavy. I think they are suitable for individuals with wide feet and those who wear orthotics because the shoes have a wide-toe box and offer great ankle support.
10. Adidas GameCourt 2 (Best Value)
Another shoe for those that have experienced plantar fasciitis and knee issues. These shoes provide excellent relief while playing. The construction is solid, providing good lateral stability and grip. The width is not noticeably wide, in fact they are a little bit tight. One drawback is that the size runs a little short. Also, I found the “breathable mesh” above the toe area to be not very breathable at all. Overall, for the price these are great shoes and bang for your buck!
11. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8
- *PROS: Anna Bright
The support and comfort while playing are the definite strengths. These shoes offer excellent support, fit nicely, and have a great appearance! They are a bit pricey, but I really like them! From other reviewers, these shoes run a little heavy and narrow.
12. Fila Women’s Volley Zone
- *PROS: Anna Leigh Waters
Worn by the #1 Women’s Pickleball Professional. These shoes offer a great balance between support and flexibility. They are lightweight, provide good arch support, and look great! The cushioning is also quite nice for a low-top shoe. Overall, these shoes are comfortable, and lightweight, and most reviewers love the color and design!
13. Wilson Rush Pro 3.0
- *PROS: JW Johnson
I’ve tried many pickleball shoes, and these fit perfectly and require minimal break-in time. They were comfortable from the moment I wore them and provide good ankle support without feeling stiff. Overall a great choice and I really like the look of the shoe too!
14. FILA Double Bounce (Most Affordable)
These may be the most affordable pickleball shoes on the market, but they perform well above their price tag. They are lightweight and comfortable, with a grippy outsole that helps you stay in control of the court. The cushioning provides good comfort and lateral support while still allowing for some flexibility. Plus these shoes have a great design and look great on/off court.
Do I Need Special Shoes For Pickleball?
Absolutely! Pickleball court shoes are specifically designed for pickleball players. They offer excellent traction and stability. Shoes with non-marking soles are also important as they won’t leave any marks on the court surface. The best pickleball shoe should be lightweight, comfortable, provide enough cushioning and arch support to prevent injuries, and also allow good breathability.
Investing in a good pair of pickleball shoes can make your game more enjoyable and help you stay safe on the court. If you don’t want to buy a new shoe specifically for pickleball and you already have a tennis shoe that you enjoy playing with and using, then go ahead and use it!
Are Pickleball shoes same as Tennis shoes?
No, Pickleball and Tennis shoes are not the same. Pickleball shoes tend to be lightweight and designed for lateral movements with good traction on the court. The outsoles of the shoes should also be non-marking since this is an important feature for pickleball court play.
Tennis shoes tend to have a thicker sole which provides more cushioning but is not suitable for pickleball.
Pickleball shoes also typically focus on providing arch support and lateral stability, which tennis shoes do not offer. Thus, it’s important to select the right pickleball shoes if you want to get the most out of your game.
But hey, you know what? You can use Tennis shoes while playing Pickleball. Especially if you’re diggin’ your tennis shoes and how they handle on the court.