The best shoes for pickleball should offer exceptional comfort, grip, and ankle support. Additionally, they should have rubber soles and a tread pattern instrumental to quick lateral movements. I’ve seen many pickleball players sustaining injuries like ankle rolling, pulled hamstrings and Achilles tendon strains, etc., just because of wearing the wrong pair of shoes.
Look, pickleball borrows from tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton. Therefore, there is a lot of quick turns and sudden starts and stops. The best shoes for pickleball should support your feet regardless of these movements. Few shoes are labelled – pickleball shoes. But that doesn’t imply getting any shoes for your next pickleball game.
So what’s the way forward?
Tennis shoes are the best shoes for pickleball. However, the type of court also determines the type of shoes to wear.
Outdoor courts or hard, gritty surfaces need tougher shoes. In this case, tennis shoes like the Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce, ASICS Gel-Resolution 8, and Wilson Rush Pro 3.0 are ideal options. On the other hand, indoor courts, both tennis and volleyball shoes, are great options – for instance Gel-Tactic 2 and Wave Voltage.
In this write-up, I’ll show you:
- The best shoes for the pickleball 2021 market offers
- How to choose the best pickleball shoes for your foot
I’ll divide the first part into two:
- First, Outdoor/hard surface pickleball shoes.
- Second, best shoes for pickleball layers for indoor/Composite Gym floor.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Outdoors/Hard Surfaces – Men and Women
The category features tennis shoes. They include:
Wilson offers but men’s and women’s pickleball shoes. The Wilson Rush Pro 3.0 is, undoubtedly, one of the best shoes for pickleball players of all kinds. The shoe will do the job day in day out.
I put it in one of the shoes with a rating of above fur when it comes to stability, durability, and comfort. The fantastic part is the Rush Pro 3.0 is lighter and better ventilated than the 2.5.
It has a new upper – with more mesh for better adaptability and breathability. And its streamlined design doesn’t sacrifice anything.
Sadly, the shoe has some persistent toe jamming.
- The shoes are soft and lightweight
- Very responsive cushioning
- Six-month durability guarantee
- The TPU shank and the upper lock your feet securely; hence, top-notch support/stability.
- Toe jamming
The 6-month outsole warranty is one thing that will give you confidence in these shoes. But it comes in both men’s and women’s versions. The outsole features AHAR Plus material. The material is abrasion-resistant and has to cushion in decent amounts. You get two things:
- Durable outsole
- Decent cushioning
Typically, the shoe lasts 50% more than ordinary ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. I find it exciting that the outsole pattern offers a 7.2% more dynamic braking force than its predecessor.
Under the mid-foot, Asics utilizes TPU acting as a brace to enhance stability and flexibility. When you break to change the direction, the upper stays over the midsole, consequently, it prevents slippage or ankle rolling.
There are some things you should note:
- The shoe might fit tight, but after a few minutes, it gets comfortable.
- The Dynawrap lacing system ensures a snug feel.
- Gel-Resolution 8 is a mid-weight shoe. The new sole technology minimizes the sole weight but retains structural integrity.
Sadly, the lacing system holds the tongue down against your foot to enhance performance. However, it may squash the top of your foot and pulled through the laces towards the toes. This is uncomfortable.
- They are wide, giving room for foot joints and muscles to engage
- It doesn’t result in hot spots
- Plenty of support
- It fits perfectly without heel slippage
- 6-month outsole warranty
- Poorly ventilated; hence play hot.
Adidas barricade classic bounce offers formidable stability and durability. Additionally, it is comfortable and naturally conforms to your foot.
The upper is synthetic leather with a full mesh. The synthetic construction contributes to stability and durability. On the other hand, the flexible mesh upper allows you to perform maneuvers without injuring your feet smoothly. That means easy movement on the court.
The built-in torsion system technology features lightweight arch support. The support allows the independent forefoot and rear-foot movement. As a result, players have excellent adaptability to the ground and stability.
The outsole has excellent traction on the court. And, the strong mid-foot and low to ground form let you hit the ball from any angle.
Sadly, the shoes may play hot, and the toe box may feel narrow for some people.
- Mid integrity courtesy of Torsion System
- Bounce cushioning mean every step you make is comfortable.
- The first few days can be painful to wear shoes.
There is a K-Swiss men’s and women’s version. K-Swiss is light, fast, and offers a low to the ground ride to pickleball player. This should qualify as one of the best shoes for pickleball players.
The shoe molds to your feet quickly and easily. Hence, you don’t need a break-in period. They are comfortable thanks to the soft EVA midsole cushioning system. Primarily, it offers ample cushioning beneath your feet. Still, there is plush padding around the tongue and ankle collar.
The Hypercourt Express won’t suffocate your feet. Therefore, you won’t feel hot, thanks to top-notch breathability.
Did you know outsole durability is a standout feature in these pickleball sneakers?
Sadly, the Hypercourt express may not be a nice option to toe draggers. The front end is less durable. Again, the arch support is just average.
- Offers plenty of grip on pickleball courts
- The upper has a synthetic coating for comfort and strength
- Textile collar lining
- Devoid of shock-absorbing features
New Balance Fresh Foam Lav V1 Hard Court is engineered for pickleball. Therefore, they are the best shoes for pickleball.
First, the shoe offers the right blend of cushioning and support to players. The fresh-foam cushioning in the midsole ensures a high bounce with each step you make. Besides, the plusher heel, wider spaced axis and responsive front provides that you are in control with every move you make on the pickleball court.
Second, the outsole durable but emphasizes traction. The 6-monthly durability guarantee is a show of New balance’s commitment.
Surprisingly, the kinetic stitch upper is lightweight. But also, provides unmatched flexibility while locking in the foot for secure and comfortable play.
Sadly, the kinetic stitching doesn’t provide much stability for fast-paced pickleball players. Still, they are not kind on your feet right out of the box.
- Have an awesome response on the court
- Outsole is durable
- The upper material can be too tight, making it uncomfortable.
Best Shoes for Pickleball for Indoor Courts – Men and Women
For this category, tennis, basketball, and volleyball shoes are a nice option. They include:
The Nike Zoom KD 12 is a leap forward compared to its predecessors. The shoe packs tons of response and bounce, which is a nice feature for pickleball players.
I place this among the best shoes pickleball players can buy for three reasons:
- First, it has a full-length zoom cushioning. When you wear the shoe, you feel the air transferring from heel to toe.
- Second, the heel’s impact or strike zone features a heel Hex Zoom Air for additional cushioning.
- Lastly, the cored out Phylon midsole. It allows the foam to compress inward since the TPU cage restricts outward compression.
However, you’ll notice that the cushioning is a little divisive/inconsistent, especially on dusty courts.
Again, the material isn’t premium both in looks and feel. Nevertheless, the flywire upper has top-notch performance.
- Full-length Zoom cushioning
- Excellent stability
- Material is a bit flimsy
Here is another shoe design with options for men and women.
Saucony grid excursion TR12 Sneaker is the best court shoes for pickleball because they have a wide toe area. This allows natural toe splay, which makes them comfortable to wear. They aren’t water-resistant or waterproof. The Grid Excursion TR12 uses the GRID cushioning system.
Apart from cushioning the heel, the system also stabilizes the shoe. When you strike the ground, it cups the heels and provides a rebound. Subsequently, the shoe offers a balanced blend of springiness and cushioning without adding stiffness.
Traction is decent, thanks to the triangular rubber lugs on the outsole. They are efficient, even on uneven courts. The upper has supportive overlays. They are firm to ensure your feet remain in place regardless of the maneuver.
Be warned: The shoelaces are ridiculously long, which can be dangerous if you do not tie them well.
- Very comfortable
- The cushioning is decent
- Breathable and washable
- Superior stability
- They seem not to last long.
The Young Pickleball shoes utilize KPU Technology alongside the air mesh material. The combination promotes breathability and durability. Besides, the shoes’ frame is injected with TPU to promote stability. This lets you be in control of your foot movement.
Best shoes for pickleball should offer decent cushioning, performance, and comfort. The Young Pickleball shoe features a thick insole. It is 5mm at the forefoot and 9mmthick at the heel. Undoubtedly, this offers adequate cushioning.
The foam at the forefoot absorbs 23% vibration. Also, it provides an additional 12% bounce back energy. On the other hand, heel foam absorbs 40% vibration and offers a 27% bounce back energy.
This top-rated pickleball shoes for men and women has an anti-slip nonmarking rubber outsole. Thus, it works well in most court sports.
Be warned; the shoe may not fit you if you have wide feet.
- Carbon glass shank plate for torsional rigidity
- Exceptional lateral and hill support
- Lateral stabilizer for additional comfort with a lightweight double EVA foam midsole
- Non-skid soles
- Both men and women can wear them
- The shoe material could be of better quality.
The Python Wide pickleball shoes offer a wide gummy sole, which is ideal for pickleball play. Additionally, it features a high-quality synthetic upper. The upper features mesh inserts, which makes them breathable and ultra-light.
Additionally, it features Die-cut ortholite insoles. That translates to superior shock absorption and breathable comfort.
Here is the thing: the insole uses open-cell foam, making it 100% breathable. Air circulates within the foot, making you comfortable. Still, it manages moisture well. Traction is decent, thanks to the marking gum rubber.
Sadly, this shoe may only work well for people with wide flat feet.
- They offer an excellent snug fit.
- The arch support area low enough, making it comfortable
- Terrific grip, especially on a wooden court
- Comfortable and responsive
- Some customers had quality issues – sole coming off soon
You can also purchase a men’s or women’s pickleball shoe from New Balance. The New Balance mc806 Tennis Shoe looks simple. However, it has the top-notch performance to qualify it as top options court shoes for pickleball. With these shoes, you get excellent stability and support. The shoe has a roll bar design, which lets you better control your movements on the court.
The exterior is leather, which confers durability. But it features a rubber toe protector for reinforcement. Also, it offers an additional layer of protection, thus preventing your toe from dragging/jamming. The insole and midsole offer decent cushioning. This, together with a rubber sole, ensure you get the right bounce with each step.
Traction is decent too, but poor on breathability.
- Strong built for durability
- Best movement control thanks to midsole roll bar technology
- Decent shock absorbing features
- Works for all courts
- It is narrow shoes o breaking in can be difficult
How to Choose the Best Shoes for Pickleball
Best shoes pickleball players need may vary depending on the type and size of feet. Nonetheless, there are common characteristics that run among all of them. They include:
- Thick stiff sole: thick soles provide cushions from impact. Pickleball involves jumping, turning, and running. Such movements are quick and sudden. Thus, they stress your joints, more so the knee. The best pickleball shoe will have a thick rubber sole to offer a bounce and cushioning.
- Solid ankle construction: a solid construction at the ankle offers support, preventing twisting. The ankle is one of the most vulnerable joints when you play pickleball. That is why you must consider pickleball shoes with decent ankle support.
- Responsive outsole: a response sole lets you move quickly on the court. Remember, pickleball is fast-paced, though you play it on a small court. A responsive and lightweight sole will allow you to shift positions easily.
- Cushioning: pickleball playing features high-impact moves. Cushioning helps to absorb the shock of your movements and offer padding to eliminate sliding under your feet.
- Durability: the sport is very intense; therefore, you need shoes that last longer. But, it is advisable to replace your shoes every six months or after 60 hours of play. Now, you also need to factor in the court type; is it outdoors or indoors?
Choosing the best shoes for pickleball is challenging – no doubt about it.
There multiple factors to consider and many options to choose from. With different players having different needs, it makes the whole process complicated. But we have a list of top shoes for pickleball. They are tennis shoes mostly because pickleball borrows a lot from tennis.
Reward yourself with one of these top-performing shoes for exemplary gaming.