There are many important factors to consider when playing a sport and having the right equipment and apparel is one of them. Having the right equipment and apparel when playing a sport is just as important as being good at the sport itself because your equipment and apparel can greatly affect your performance. Sometimes, things like having the wrong shoes can even lead to injuries; something that can end your athletic career or simply the ability to enjoy sports.
In sports like pickleball, most players just wear what’s comfortable, whether that’s sweatpants or shorts, for the ability to move freely is of utmost importance. Nevertheless, pickleball players still invest in the right shoes to wear because one cannot simply wear sneakers or running shoes as they don’t provide the right support for playing pickleball.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Men Comparison Chart
|ASICS Gel Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe||★★★★★|
|New Balance Men’s mc806 Tennis Shoe||★★★★★|
|ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Men's Tennis Shoe||★★★★★|
|Nike Court Lite Tennis Shoes||★★★★★|
|Adidas Barricade Men’s Tennis Shoe||★★★★★|
Best Pickleball Shoes for Women Comparison Chart
|Saucony Cohesion 10||★★★★★|
|ASICS Women's Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe||★★★★★|
|K-Swiss Women's Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe||★★★★★|
|ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Women's Tennis Shoe||★★★★★|
|Adidas Performance Women's ASMC Barricade Boost Tennis Shoe||★★★★★|
How to Pick the Best Shoes for Pickleball?
Pickleball is a sport that combines many elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, using a paddle to hit a perforated ball over a net. Like the aforementioned sports, it is also played in a court, either indoor or outdoor, with the court for pickleball dimensions being 20 by 44 feet and net height at 36 inches and 34 inches in the middle.
It involves a lot of side-to-side action or lateral movements during the game; therefore, the right shoes are needed in order to avoid injuries and ensure your best performance during the game. Moreover, the right shoes to wear is important, for they, first and foremost, determine whether or not you can move during the game.
Oftentimes, new pickleball players wear ordinary running shoes or sneakers, thinking they are enough for the sport. However, this is a mistake as running shoes and sneakers do not provide the necessary support for the type of movements found in pickleball. Court shoes and tennis shoes are more appropriate for pickleball since they provide the necessary shoe qualities for pickleball.
Still, what are the things one needs to consider when choosing shoes for pickleball?
- Stability: Your pickleball shoes need to provide stability as ones that don’t can lead to injuries. Ankle strain is a particularly common injury in pickleball and in order to avoid this, you have to have stable enough shoes to reduce the chances of straining your ankles.
The upper part of your shoes should be made out of leather, synthetic leather or a combination of the two as these provide more stability than other materials. Although nowadays, synthetic leather is more preferred as they are cheaper and don’t soften over time the way genuine leather does; something that lessens the stability of your shoes.
- Confort: While stability is important, your comfort during play is even more so. Having good shoes mean nothing if you’re not comfortable for it can also affect your performance in the sport. The way you can ensure this is by testing out the shoes you’re planning to buy to see if it’s comfortable enough to move in them.
- Mobility: When picking shoes to wear for pickleball, one needs to consider mobility while wearing the shoes as being able to move freely is an incredibly important aspect of pickleball. You need to be able to run forward, backward, and side-to-side quickly and without delay when playing. Having the right shoes will not only allow you to move freely, but it will also prevent you from getting injuries.
- Durability: Pickleball, although generally a relaxed sport, can be as competitive as any other sport so whatever shoes you choose should be built to last as well. If they break down easily and you can’t replace them as soon as they do, it will affect your performance in the game.
Moreover, having a durable pair of shoes can cost you less in the long run compared to cheaper yet easily breakable shoes because you will replace them less.
- Grip: This is especially important if you’re playing indoor pickleball as the court floors can be slippery, and having shoes with a good grip is important to avoid slipping and injuries resulting from it.
- Foot Type: Your foot type also matters when picking what shoes to wear for pickleball as this will affect the comfort and fit of your shoes. Shoes that are intended for wider feet can be too loose for people with narrower feet, making them less comfortable as their feet can slide within their shoes.
In contrast, shoes made for narrower feet can be uncomfortable for people with wider feet as they tend to be more cramped and smaller.
- Playing Style: Playing style is also something to be considered when choosing shoes as more intensive playing can affect the durability of the shoes. Your playing style also determines how you move, so a pair of shoes that’s compatible with your playing style is a must to ensure great performance.
- Brand of the shoe: Although this is less important than the other factors, the brand of your shoe can still play a part in your performance. Some brands specialize in making a specific type of shoe, so choosing the right brand is also important when making a decision about the right pickleball shoes.
- Price: The price of your footwear is also an important factor when looking for the right shoes. As stated above, it doesn’t have to be expensive for it to be top of the line. However, don’t settle for something less because it’s cheaper.
Cheaper yet easy to break options can be more expensive in the long run because you have to replace them more often compared to more expensive but higher quality footwear.
Type of court
A special factor to decide the pair of shoes is the Type of Court. Since pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors, it is especially important to know what type of court you will be playing on. Two types of shoes are recommended for pickleball: court shoes and tennis shoes.
Court shoes or/vs Tennis shoes?
Although pickleball is a sport that has existed since the 60s, there are no shoes made specifically for pickleball. Pickleball players use either court shoes or tennis shoes. However, this poses another problem: which is better for playing pickleball?
Well, the answer to this question depends if you’re playing indoor pickleball or outdoor pickleball as the type of court for each differs from one another.
For indoor pickleball court, court shoes are more recommended than tennis shoes as they have rubber soles which grip indoor court floors more and prevents the player from sliding and injuries. Court shoes are also lighter than tennis shoes which makes it easier to move indoors.
In contrast, for outdoor pickleball court, tennis shoes are more recommended as they are specially made for asphalt surfaces which are common in outdoor courts. Moreover, they are more durable for outdoor play as the rough surface of outdoor courts may tear the rubber of your court shoes. Read more about best squash shoes.
So, to summarize, for indoor pickleball courts, court shoes are best whereas the shoes for outdoor pickleball are tennis shoes. Although this is simply what’s recommended, it’s still up to you as a player which one you feel most comfortable using during the game.
Best Men’s Shoes for Pickleball Reviews
Considering all the factors mentioned above, listed below are some of the best quality pickleball shoes for both men and women players. Also enumerated are the pros and cons of each shoe.
ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
• Great traction/ strong floor grip
• Nice style
• Great support
• Inaccurate sizing
ASICS is known to be one of the affordable yet best quality athletic shoes not just for pickleball but in many other sports as well. The ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe is the latest in their popular line of GEL-Rocket shoe series available at a reasonable price. This model is a type of court shoes, best used for indoor pickleball.
It boasts of enhanced shock protection in the front and rear of the shoe, giving players more support. It is also more lightweight thanks to its integrated Trusstic System, allowing players to move more freely in the court.
Moreover, it also has greater traction on the outsole which makes it grip court floors more, reducing the chance of players slipping while playing pickleball. Its mesh and foam padding also makes it breathable and comfortable to its user.
However, buyers of the shoe have complaints that compared to the previous version, the Gel-Rocket 8 had inaccurate sizing, their orders being either too loose or too fit than expected. The inaccurate sizing also affected the comfortability and support of the shoe.
Despite its sizing problems, the ASICS Gel-Rocket 8 is still one of the best court shoes available for men which makes it great for playing pickleball.
New Balance Men’s mc806 Tennis Shoe
• Well-reinforced toe
• Offers great stability
• Great traction
• Excellent cushioning system
• Lack of other colors
• Wears out faster
• Poor insole quality
• The toe box is smaller and cramped
New Balance is a brand whose main focus in their shoes is the functionality and not the image. Their Men’s mc806 Tennis shoe is no different.
The MC806 is a continuation of their 800 series which is popularly known for its support and stability while still being comfortable. This model features a reinforced toe and laces which ensures good fit and sturdiness for the serious players. This classic white shoe is designed to keep you and your feet stable on the courts while playing, giving players more control over their movement.
Additionally, the combination of its leather upper and rubber sole gives the shoe great shock absorption, allowing players to recover faster during hard landings. The additional comfort coming from New Balance’s ABZORB cushioning system also makes it great for those intense plays.
However, since New Balance is more concerned with the quality of the shoe over its appearance, the only available color is white. Furthermore, many report that its insole quality isn’t as good as the previous models and its toe box can be quite cramped and not as roomy as before.
Additionally, many have also reported that this model wears out much faster than the others which can be a problem considering this is a shoe made for intense playing.
Nonetheless, the additional features of this new model such as the stabilizing sole are still excellent as they can prevent injuries resulting from an ankle strain. Although it can still be improved, it’s still a great shoe for playing pickleball.
ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Men’s Tennis Shoe
• Great traction especially on clay courts
• Good shock absorption
• Makes it easy for players to move
• Available in various colors
• Great value for your money
• Can be too cramped for wider feet
• Can be slippery on hard courts
Another one from the brand ASICS, the Gel-Dedicate 5 is another great shoe for playing outdoor pickleball. It features a solid rubberized outsole which makes it more durable and gives players more traction on the courts, allowing players to make those f movements without any trouble.
Additionally, its EVA midsole offers amazing cushioning, giving players more stability and increased foot support. Furthermore, their forefoot GEL technology ensures a smooth transition between movements by reducing shock upon impact, giving players a good bounce and spring during play. This coupled with their Trusstic System, their technology that allows the shoe’s sole to weigh less without sacrificing its overall structural integrity, makes it a great shoe for playing pickleball.
Moreover, the upper of this shoe features mesh with synthetic materials makes it more breathable and helps position the player’s feet, ensuring they don’t twist while moving.
Although it has a lot of excellent features, the downside of this shoe is once again the sizing. For people with larger and wider feet, it can be a bit too small and cramped. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to grip as much on hard courts although it sticks well to clay courts.
The ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Men’s Tennis Shoe is overall a great shoe and considered to be the best for outdoor pickleball although it’s more suited for people whose feet are more narrow.
NIKE Men’s Court Lite Tennis Shoes
• Great traction especially on hard courts
• More abrasion resistance
• Great value for money
• Not as stylish as other shoes
• Requires significant break-in period
• Narrow toe box
Famous for its slogan “just do it”, Nike is a company that makes various athletic shoes and sportswear, including tennis shoes. They even offer other exciting deals like Nike hypercourt. Nike hypercourt is a form of on-court interactive experience that takes the game to the next level. As for, Nike Men’s court Lite tennis shoes, they are great for playing pickleball for it is comfortable and lightweight, making it easy to move around the court.
It features a mesh and leather upper, making it more durable and comfortable. Additionally, the mesh tongue makes it more breathable, adding to the player’s comfort.
It also features a full-length Phylon midsole that offers lightweight cushioning, giving player’s more stability while playing. Furthermore, it also has a GDR outsole and rubber sole, giving players more lasting traction on hard courts.
There’s also an extra layer of material right on the toe area which provides for more abrasion resistance, making it last longer and more durable.
Many consider this model a simple but excellent tennis shoe which is comfortable and offers great value for money. However, since it’s a basic tennis shoe, it’s significantly less stylish than other Nike shoes on the market. Moreover, it requires a bit of break-in time to loosen the somewhat narrow toe box.
Nevertheless, even though it falls short in the style department compared to others manufactured by Nike, it’s still a great shoe for playing pickleball.
Adidas Men’s Barricade Tennis Shoe
• Offers great support
• Provides amazing stability
• Incredible traction
• Fit for both wide and narrow feet
• Requires more break-in time
• On the heavier side
The Adidas Men’s Barricade Tennis Shoe is another great option for outdoor pickleball players. It’s designed for durability, stability, and support which makes it not only incredible for tennis, but also for pickleball.
It features a forged mesh upper that ensures a snug fit which allows the player to move freely, whether it’s side to side or forward and backward, without sacrificing the support and comfortability of the shoe.
The Adidas Barricade also has an Adiprene+ midsole to provide more cushioning and stability, reducing the chance of ankle strain during play. Additionally, the Adidas Barricade’s GEOFIT construction ensures a perfect fit and utmost comfort during play time.
Its rubber outsole was designed to give great traction on the court as well as durability. Furthermore, wrapped around the toe area is scrape-resistant Adituff which protects the shoe from foot drag which regularly occurs during extreme lateral movement, volleys, and serves.
It is also well-suited for players with either wide or narrow fit, which makes it a great option for male pickleball players. However, many have reported that the Adidas Barricade requires more break-in time compared to most shoes and is on the heavier end.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a shoe that’s top of the line and don’t mind the weight, then this might be what you’re looking for.
Best Women’s Shoes for Pickleball Reviews
Saucony Cohesion 10
• Great stability
• Better shock absorption
• Plenty of cushioning
• Not much support
• Doesn’t perform well on wet surfaces
Saucony is a respected name when it comes to manufacturers of running and walking shoes. Although court shoes or tennis shoes are more recommended for playing pickleball and the Saucony Cohesion 10 are running shoes, it’s still a good choice for female pickleball players as it offers great comfort and stable cushioning.
Its outsole features iBR+ rubber on its forefront and midfoot, allowing it to be more flexible while still providing excellent traction. Additionally, it has XT-900 carbon rubber on higher wear areas of the shoe which is perfect for harsher conditions, making it more durable to wear and tear.
This model also features a Tri-Flex system, allowing for more shock absorption and flexibility while still providing great traction. This gives players more stability in the courts.
The midsole of this model also uses injection-molded EVA which allows for more shock absorption during impact. Meanwhile, it’s upper uses mesh material, making it more breathable, lightweight, and comfortable which is perfect for moving around the court.
Although it has some great features, many have found that this model offers much less support than previous models. This can be a problem for those more intensive players as they can feel more worn out compared to other models. Although not much of a problem for indoor pickleball, this can pose a much greater problem for outdoor pickleball as users found that the Saucony Cohesion 10 did not perform well on wet surfaces.
Nevertheless, the Saucony Cohesion 10 is still a great shoe for those who are looking for something they can use for other sports aside from pickleball as it’s mainly designed as an everyday trainer.
ASICS Women’s Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
• More stability
• Plenty of cushions
• Incredible floor traction
• Inaccurate sizing
• Runs smaller than expected
The ASICS Women’s Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe is the women’s counterpart to ASICS’ Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe. It has pretty much the same features as the men’s version.
The Women’s Gel-Rocket 8 also features their trademark Trusstic System, giving it a lighter sole without sacrificing its structural integrity. This also allows the shoe to be more stable and prevent twisting, an important factor as pickleball involves a lot of abrupt movements.
Furthermore, this model features rubber soles which have a great grip on indoor courts, preventing slips thus making it perfect for indoor pickleball. Its mesh upper also makes it more breathable, adding to the player’s comfort while playing.
Like the men’s version, many have complained about the inaccurate sizing of this model, saying that it tends to be smaller than expected.Nevertheless, it is still the choice of footwear for many female pickleball players as it offers a lot of comfort and support for players.
K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe
• Extremely comfortable
• Provides great stability
• Allows for instantaneous pivoting
• Incredible traction
• Sizes are inconsistent
• Tends to be bigger
The K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe is the best pair of women’s shoes for outdoor pickleball. Its outsole features Aosta II high-density rubber which gives players a great amount of traction on the court. It also has a pivot-point at the ball of the foot, allowing players to change direction instantaneously without hassle. Reinforced rubber in the high-wear areas of the shoe also makes it extremely durable.
Furthermore, it also has a Drag Guard at the toe area which helps protect the shoe from wear and tear, especially during serves. This model also features a 180 PCS mid-foot support chassis, giving female pickleball players much needed support and stability on the court.
Because of its die-cut EVA midsole, many buyers have said they felt extreme comfort while wearing it. This is because this type of midsole is designed to give its users pillow-like comfort without sacrificing their stability.
Another feature of this model is its seamless upper which, coupled with their breathable tech mesh, makes it more flexible and secure.
Although it’s a great pair of shoes for outdoor pickleball for its stability and comfort, people who have bought the shoes say that its sizing is inconsistent with other models of the same brand. This means that the shoes tend to be bigger which gives players’ feet too much room, especially if they have narrower feet. Despite this, many still consider this the best women’s shoes for playing pickleball outdoors.
ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Women’s Tennis Shoe
• Enhanced traction
• Provides great stability
• Excellent shock absorption
• Great value for money
• Cramped toe area
• Smaller sizing than expected
This pair is the women’s counterpart to the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Men’s Tennis Shoe. Not unlike the men’s version, the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 is ideal for outdoor pickleball for it is better suited to clay courts over hard courts.
Like the men’s shoes, this model features a solid rubber outsole which provides players with enhanced traction on the court while being extremely durable. Furthermore, it also has the ASICS trademark Trusstic System which makes the soles lightweight yet stable, making for a great shoe for pickleball players.
The shoes’ GEL technology also provides great shock absorption which lessens the chance of injury from hard landings. The great cushioning of this model also provides increased stability for players, allowing them to make more intense moves.
The mesh materials of the shoe’s upper make it more breathable while the rubber PGuard adds to the shoe’s overall durability. Like its men’s counterpart, many have found it smaller in the toe area than expected, making it a cramped fit for those with wider feet.
Nonetheless, the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Men’s Tennis Shoe is still a great pair of shoes for pickleball overall, and the sizing problem can be easily overcome by going up a size.
Adidas Performance Women’s ASMC Barricade Boost Tennis Shoe
• Provides optimal stability
• Provides great traction on the court
• Offers great support, lessening the chances of injuries
• Runs a little wider than usual
The Adidas Women’s ASMC Barricade Boost tennis shoe is an amazing option for those whose toe box is a bit wider. The Barricade Boost model is an upgraded version of the Barricade line of shoes by Adidas, whose trademark is providing support and stability while also being extremely durable and comfortable.
It features an upper made of breathable and seamless mesh which is welded to a lightweight TPU foil, allowing for a perfect fit and utmost comfort while also being incredibly durable and providing stability, especially for lateral movements. Locked by ergonomically shaped TPU counter, its heel provides optimal stability during abrupt movements.
The Adidas Women’s ASMC Barricade Boost also has soft and shock-absorbing ADIPRENE+ EVA midsole that reduces the impact received by your ankle joints and knees during particularly hard landings. It also has a boost foam in the heel which gives you the best energy-returning properties, allowing you to move forward, backward, or side-to-side with light and fast steps.
Its adiWEAR 6 outsole provides ultimate traction even in extremely harsh courts, making it incredibly durable.
However, it runs a little wider for players with narrower feet, therefore, you might want to consider going down half a size to get that perfect fit. The Addidas Performance Women’s ASMC Barricade Boost Tennis Shoe is a great pickleball shoe for those with wider feet.
Choosing the right pair of shoes is an extremely important decision, if not the most important decision when it comes to playing sports as they determine your ability to move properly during the game. Therefore, one needs to consider all the factors before choosing a pair.
Although there are plenty of aspects to consider when choosing the right pair, the most important one is your comfort because you will be the one wearing them. All the others come secondary to your overall comfort.
Still, finding the right pair of shoes to wear for pickleball can be difficult since there are no shoes specifically made for the sport. However, with the variety of options for court shoes and tennis shoes out there, you will surely find the perfect pair that will ensure your best performance while playing the sport. It’s time to move forward with the right shoes in store.