Choosing the best shoes for pickleball
To choose the best shoes for pickleball, you need to consider multiple aspects, including the type of shoes, upper material, outsole, as well as comfort and breathability. If you are looking for shoes for pickleball that come with extra features, you may want to check out the more expensive models we have listed in our comparison table.
It is rather difficult to find shoes for pickleball that are specially designed with this sport in mind. As such, you are best options are shoes created for other court sports, such as tennis or volleyball. If you are looking to play indoor pickleball, your best option is to look at volleyball shoes that are designed to provide you with comfort when playing sports on indoor courts.
Most pickleball games take place on outdoor courts that are very often converted tennis courts, while indoor games are often played on surfaces that are also shared with other sports such as volleyball and badminton.
Because there is a lot of lateral movement in pickleball and the sport also requires you to change direction quickly, shoes designed for other racket sports such as squash or racquetball are also great options especially for the outdoor courts. Volleyball shoes are a good choice for most pickleball players because they are specifically designed for indoor courts and they feature rubber soles that has a lot of grip to help you navigate the smooth gym surface safely.
Most pickleball shoes are available in a wide variety of sizes for both men and women, just as you would expect with shoes designed for other sports. The shoes should be wide enough to keep you comfortable and eliminate the possibility of any bulging on the sides of the shoe. As with any type of athletic shoe, your toes should not feel cramped, and most experts agree that there should be at least 1/2-inch space between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe.
Several models are available for players with wide feet, with an example being the Python Wide (EE) Width Indoor Mid Racquetball Shoe.
The upper part of pickleball shoes can be made from different materials, with some of the most popular choices being synthetic leather or synthetic nylon with mesh. As a rule of thumb, the upper material is very durable and provides users with plenty of breathability, so they don’t overheat even when playing on a hot summer day. Some models come with a combination of mesh and syntactic or leather to provide durability while balancing breathability and minimizing the weight of the shoe.
The outsole is a term that refers to the bottom of the shoe, and the material it is made from is important because this is the part that provides you with stability and prevents you from slipping on smooth surfaces. Most outsoles for pickleball shoes are made from a highly durable rubber that provides good grip and can withstand abrasive surfaces at the same time. Shoes designed for indoor use generally come with a natural gum rubber that increases traction, whereas those designed for outdoor courts are optimized for abrasive surfaces.
Most pickleball come with a reinforced toecap, as Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z5 Mid Indoor Court Shoe or Adidas Men’s Stabil X Volleyball Shoe, to protect your toes against foot drag and impacts and is generally positioned just above the toes. Some models include a toe guard, which is essentially an additional layer of rubber to provide an extra level of protection.
Comfort and support
When shopping for pickleball shoes, it’s important to consider comfort because that could make or break your experience. Some of the elements that contribute to the level of comfort of sports shoe include cushioning and support. The cushion factor is essential because you are bound to make lots of high-impact moves when playing pickleball, so you need a pair of shoes that does a good job when it comes to absorbing shocks. Support is also critical, as a shoe with good support is likely to keep your feet comfortable for longer and leave you pain-free even after you play for hours. And K-Swiss Men’s Hypercourt Express even features the heel lined with a non-slip material to keep the heel from slipping inside.
Most shoes for pickleball have mesh inserts in the upper part to help with breathability. A shoe with good breathability properties will help you avoid overheating while also keeping your feet dry.
Most pickleball players prefer lightweight shoes that help them remain comfortable even when playing for hours. You should expect the shoes to weigh between 11 and 14 oz.
Some models have extra features to enhance your pickleball experience. These may include an extra soft knit upper to help the shoe adapt to your foot shape, and extra cooling systems such as those found in the Tyrol Men’s Volley Series Pickleball Shoe. Other shoes such as the Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z5 Mid Indoor Court Shoe have a D-Flex Groove feature that helps you turn at high speeds on the court.
Pickleball shoes come in a variety of price ranges to suit every budget, whether you are a beginner who is looking for an affordable pair to get started with the game, or a seasoned pickleball player looking to upgrade their footwear to enjoy the game at the fullest. In general, you should expect to pay under $75 for a pair of shoes designed for beginners, and in excess of $100 for a more specialized pair of shoes that provides enhanced comfort and is versatile enough to be used for multiple sports.