Pickleball is a fantastic sport to get into. It’s a traditionally American game that uses the outline of tennis, but without some of the more inaccessible aspects of the sport.
Perhaps you’ve recently taken up playing Pickleball with some friends, and you’ve found that it’s a great benefit to your life.
It keeps you active, keeps you sharp, and lets you forge close friendships.
Or let’s say you’re just about to embark on your pickleball journey for the first time, and you’re wondering about what the best kind of clothing would be to wear.
What are the best shoes to wear for Pickleball? How important is it that you keep your feet well-supported throughout the course of a game?
If these are the kind of questions you’re asking yourself, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this article we’re going to be taking you through everything there is to know about the best shoes for pickleball.
We’ll give you a list of the 5 best shoes on the market, sorting them out into a handy list of pros and cons, then follow up with an extensive buyer’s guide to help explain our choices.
We’ve also made sure to include a short Frequently Asked Questions section to help answer any questions you may have left over at the end.
Let’s get right into it!
What Is Pickleball And Why Do The Shoes You Wear Matter?
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America (see also ‘Is Pickleball An Olympic Sport?‘). It’s similar to tennis and is often played on tennis courts, but it has a few key differences.
It can be played indoors or outdoors, with paddles or with tennis rackets, but the main difference is playing with a hollow polymer ball.
This makes it a much easier game to get into, and a lot more fun, especially when played casually!
It’s been taking America (and other parts of the world) by storm, captivating the hearts and minds of active people.
So then, you’re probably wondering what the best shoes are to play pickleball in. How important is a good pair of shoes for your game and to avoid injury?
There are two main reasons why the shoes you wear matter for pickleball, and we’re going to outline them below.
When it comes to any kind of sport where you’re running, dashing, and competing, it’s very important to select the right footwear.
There’s no sense in playing a game of pickleball in a pair of boots as this will highly increase your chances of injury.
For Your Game
The better the footwear you choose, the easier it’s going to be to perform.
Good footwear means you’ll have more mobility, you’ll feel more comfortable, and you’ll be an asset to the game going on.
So then, you’re going to want to choose a pair of shoes that will help protect you and enhance your game.
The perfect pair can be hard to find, but we’ve got some ideas for you! In the next section, we’re going to give you a full list of shoes for you to choose from.
We’ve made sure to include a wide range of different footwear, so you can get an idea of the variety you have available to you.
The 5 Best Shoes For Outdoor Pickleball
With its sudden rise in popularity, comes companies looking to create sportswear specifically for pickleball.
The first pair of shoes on our list is a perfect example of this. K-Swiss has created a pair of light, comfortable shoes that give you the support you need without hindering your mobility.
The first feature we want to point out is their impressive rubber compound outsole, which means you’re going to get a lot of durability with these shoes across the base of your foot.
They’ve also been designed with Durawrap, a feature designed to give the toe of your food additional support and protection from toe-dragging.
This can be especially important when you consider the dynamic range of movements that your feet will need to perform while reaching for difficult hits during intense games of pickleball.
K-Swiss has also included an ortholite sock liner, which has been designed to absorb moisture and keep your feet dry and cool.
The design of these shoes is stylish but understated, with three color combinations to choose from: Navy/grey, black/red, and dark blue/white with red accents.
You can get these shoes in a variety of sizes, from 7 all the way up to 14. They also offer ‘wide’ variations, incase you need a little more room for your feet.
- Light: some of the lightest pickleball shoes you’ll be able to find on the market, which help support your feet without strangling them.
- Toe-drag: designed specifically to stop your shoes from being damaged when toe-dragged.
- Sock Liner: created to absorb moisture and keep your feet cool, dry and fresh!
- No real cons with these, they’re wonderful and perfect for indoor or outdoor pickleball!
Here is a great pair of pickleball shoes for women that come in a variety of different colors and sizes to suit you!
They’re 100% synthetic, with a great design and a few key features that help them to support you while you play intense (or lazy) games of Pickleball.
The first thing we’d like to point out is their retro design, with a choice of white, pink, metallic silver, and a few other variations.
These all look great and you’re sure to find one that fits your outfit.
Like the pair of shoes before on our list, these have been designed with Pickleball in mind.
They have a strong rubber outsole that helps to support the entire base of your foot as it moves, as well as a rubber lip that curls over your toes to prevent toe dragging.
FILA has also placed mesh over your toes, under the laces, and around the sides of the shoe to give a lot more breathability to your feet.
They’re extremely comfortable shoes, with a spongey sock liner that helps absorb moisture and support your ankle, preventing any chafing or discomfort.
All-in-all, this is a great pair of shoes that will help support you and look good while doing it!
- Design: awesome-looking design with lots of color combinations to choose from.
- Comfortability: some of the most comfortable shoes we could find, thanks to their insole and sock liner.
- Toe Guard: rubber lip with a pattern to help protect your shoes against toe drag.
- Durability: these shoes aren’t as durable as others you’ll find, but make up for it with how comfortable they are!
Next up we have a slightly larger pair of shoes, with harder materials that are more suited for people with larger, flatter feet.
They feature a thick rubber sole that offers you a lot more protection for an outside game of pickleball, whether you’re playing on a turfed court, grass, or even clay.
Their outer material is made up of suede and fabric, which are fairly strong materials providing you take good care of them.
One thing we like is the extensive traction grip at the bottom of the shoes, under your toes, heels and with a that sits under the bridge of your foot.
This has been designed to combat slipping on any surface you may find yourself on, and we found it to be particularly effective.
Another thing of note is the distinct honeycomb insole, made with Ortholite material that helps to support and cushion your feet through long sessions of Pickleball.
- Casual Design: casual design that gives you support and traction but also helps to support you.
- Traction: some of the best grip you’ll find for a pair of Pickleball shoes.
- Durability: tough shoes that will last for a long time, provided you look after them.
- Comfortability: not as comfortable as the other shoes we’ve mentioned on this list.
Next up we have some of the best shoes we’ve found for support. WILSON has created a pair of shoes for Tennis players but they work just as well for Pickleball.
So first up we need to explore the 4D Chassis design that has been created to help you with fast movements such as pivots, and creating stability to help you with power shots.
Because of the plastic material of pickleball balls, this won’t be so important, but it’s great to know you have that extra support if you need it.
Alongside the support, these shoes also have one of the most complex breathability systems.
The mesh features over the toes and around the sides of the shoe allowing you some additional room for air to circulate around your foot.
They’re also incredibly comfortable shoes, due to their cushioned insoles and impressive heel drop.
- 4D Support Chassis: helps support your feet through a range of dynamic motions.
- Breathability: complex mesh system keeps your feet airy and fresh.
- Drag Pad: the rubber drag pad over the lip of the shoe gives you protection and the shoes additional durability.
- Price: these are some of the higher-end shoes you might consider for pickleball, and could be seen as too much of an investment for a few casual games a week.
We’re going to finish our list with a pair of shoes that are on the high-end of what you could purchase for ultimate support and design.
This a pair of low-top shoes with lace-up closure that (although quite lightweight) will give you a lot of support.
They come in a variety of different color combinations and they look great without being too bulky or overstated.
Like the other shoes on our list, the outsole is a thick rubber with traction patterns to help keep you supported during long sessions of Pickleball.
Other important features include their enhanced toe protector, which is one of the largest we encountered and is sure to help mitigate the damage of toe drag.
These shoes also have impressive flexibility. If you have smaller feet, they’re a tight fit with inbuilt GEL technology that gives your foot a lot of cushioning.
They feel a lot lighter than they look, and support a wide range of movement no matter what your Pickleball game requires of you.
- GEL Technology: helps to cushion and support your feet.
- Toe Protection: huge toe guard that helps protect your shoe and prevent toe drag.
- Outsole: high abrasion rubber designed to be supportive and durable.
- Not suitable for larger feet: some of the tightest fitting shoes on our list, so you’ll want to avoid them if you need some extra room.
So that was our list of the 5 best shoes for Pickleball we could find, but it’s not the end of the story.
If you’re looking to select the perfect pair of shoes for you, you’re going to need to keep in mind a few different factors.
We’re going to outline these for you in the sections below so make sure to read carefully and consider which ones apply for you.
This is one of the most important things for a pair of outdoor Pickleball.
Playing indoors means that your shoes will be interacting with smoother, less abrasive surfaces, but when you’re outside there is going to be a lot more for your pair of shoes to contend with.
You’re going to want to make sure your shoes are made of materials that will last. This means choosing thick rubber outsoles that won’t wear out easily.
Toe drag is the killer of shoes for tennis, badminton and Pickleball. We would highly suggest choosing a pair of shoes that come with toe guards.
These are small lips (usually made of rubber) that curl over your toes and are usually designed with a grippy pattern.
This will help prevent toe drag, but also stop your shoes from getting ripped up when it does occur.
Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is the weight of the shoes you’re considering.
Although the weight of your shoes will depend massively on the size of your feet, you’ll want to try and get the lightest shoes you can find that fit you.
Heavier shoes will usually offer you additional durability (and sometimes support), but they will be more likely to weigh you down when playing.
Trying to find the right balance is important here, and something you should consider when searching online or in stores for the perfect pair of shoes.
The quality of a shoe’s insole is going to determine how comfortable they are.
You want to choose a pair of shoes that have been designed with comfort in mind, and this usually comes in the form of insoles that have been made with spongey, supportive material.
The best way to understand the quality of a pair of shoes’ insole is to simply try them on.
If you’re searching online and can’t physically see them, we would suggest searching the product description for indications that their insole has been designed for comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do People Prefer Pickleball To Tennis?
Pickleball is a fast-growing sport (see also ‘Why Isn’t Pickleball An Olympic Sport?‘), mainly because it’s a lot slower-paced than Tennis and takes up a lot less space.
This makes it overall a much more accessible sport that you can enjoy without enhanced risk or injury, or some of the more strength-based skills you might need for Tennis.
What Is An Insole?
The Insole of a shoe is the thin strip of material placed inside of a shoe that can usually be removed and/or swapped out.
There are different insoles for different shoes, but generally, they’re there to promote comfort, support, or warmth.
What Is An Outsole?
The Outsole of a shoe is the part that you walk on. When it comes to shoes for court games like Tennis or Pickleball, they are usually made of thick rubber.
The pattern etched into an outsole is going to be one of the biggest sources of traction for a shoe, and this is an important feature to consider when purchasing a new pair of shoes.
So there you have it! That was a list of the 5 best shoes we could find for outdoor Pickleball, as well as a buyer’s guide to help you choose.
Finding the perfect pair of Pickleball shoes is important to mitigate injury and give you the edge you’ll need to enjoy your new sport.
We hope that this article has given you some ideas and that you’re now a lot more confident about the kinds of footwear that will be best for you!
If you still have some questions, make sure to check out our short Frequently Asked Questions section below.
We wish you the best of luck in your next Pickleball game and hope that it’s fun and competitive!