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 best pickleball shoes to wear because one cannot simply wear sneakers or running shoes as they don’t provide the right support for playing the sport.
But what are the best pickleball shoes out there today? Read on as I show you my guide to the best pickleball footwear to help you out.
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 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||★★★★★|
Why is pickleball so popular?
For start, Pickleball is such a popular sport because people of all ages can play the sport. They have the unique set of rules and are very easy to play, and its different rules and equipment is what makes it interesting for many to play, as opposed to “mainstream” sports such as soccer or swimming.
One of the most important fact is that Pickleball is a very good workout, with the best pickleball shoes, the sport is an amazing workout that exercises your whole body! It can build your major muscle groups and is a great source of cardio, improving your heart health while burning calories.
Furthermore, it’s a social sport and game that’s easy to pick up, again, anyone can understand the rules and start playing it with their loved ones, even making new friends along the way! And best of all, pickleball is an affordable sport, as its equipment is cost-efficient and you can use any court for it.
The five rules of pickleball
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?
Type of court
A special factor to decide the pair of the best pickleball 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, whether indoor or outdoor court. Two types of best pickleball 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 outdoor/indoor courts shoes or tennis shoes. However, this poses another problem: which shoes are better for playing a pickleball game?
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 courts, court pickleball 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, designed to provide easier to move indoors.
In contrast, for the outdoor 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 pickleball 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.
Choosing the Best Pickleball Shoes Size
To choose the best pickleball shoe size, you have to determine your average foot size. This will help give you an idea on what shoe size you need for pickleball shoes. You can even measure your feet for a more accurate guide, seeing what exact pickleball shoe size matches.
Some shoe brands have different sizing standards, so it’s best that you test the pickleball shoe out first before purchasing them. Make sure that the pickleball shoe fits snugly without feeling any pain or the shoe slipping off.
Also note that you may need to order a shoe size smaller or larger, depending on the brand’s size standard. You can check customer testimonials for more advice.
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 of the shoes reviewed.
ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
✔ Designed to provide great traction/ strong floor grip
✔ Nice style that’s unique to Asics
✔ Lightweight with forefoot gel cushioning
✔ Durable Asics pickleball shoes
✘ Asics shoes come in 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.
These Asics shoes boast of enhanced shock protection in the front and rear of the shoe, giving the pickleball player more support. The Asics shoes come more lightweight thanks to its integrated Trusstic System, allowing players to move more freely in the court.
Moreover, the Asics shoe also has greater traction on the outsole which makes the shoe grip court floors more, reducing the chance of players slipping while they play pickleball. The pickleball shoes supper mesh and foam padding, as well as its forefoot gel cushioning, also makes it breathable and comfortable to its user, whether for Asics women or male users, despite it saying it’s solely for Asics men.
However, buyers of the pickleball shoes have complaints that compared to the previous version, the Asics 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 those who play pickleball for its support and comfort. The forefoot gel cushioning and durable sole definitely adds to the shoes’ worth, whether Asics women or men shoe version!
New Balance Men’s mc806 Tennis Shoe
✔ Well-reinforced toe
✔ Offers great stability
✔ Offers comfort
✔ Lightweight for pickleball shoes
✔ Great traction
✔ Excellent cushioning system
✘ Lack of other colors
✘ Wears out faster
✘ Poor insole and rubber sole 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, known as a good choice for pickleball shoes.
The MC806 shoe is a continuation of their 800 series which is popularly known for its support and stability while still being comfortable. This shoe features a reinforced toe and laces which ensures good fit and sturdiness for the serious players. You see the way the shoes designed to keep you and your feet stable on the courts while playing, giving the pickleball player more support and control over their movement.
Additionally, the combination of its leather upper and rubber sole gives the shoe great shock absorption, allowing the pickleball player to recover faster during hard landings. The additional comfort coming from New Balance’s ABZORB cushioning system also makes the shoe great for those intense plays on the pickleball court.
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 and rubber outsole 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 pickleball 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, they are still great pickleball shoes for playing pickleball.
ASICS Gel Dedicate 5 Men’s Tennis Shoe
✔ Durable and offers support
✔ Great traction especially on clay courts
✔ Good shock absorption
✔ Makes it easy for players to move
✔ Lightweight with great cushioning system
✔ Available in various colors
✔ Breathable and made with synthetic leather
✔ 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 best Asics men pickleball shoe for playing outdoor pickleball. It features a solid rubber outsole which makes it more durable and gives players more support and traction on the courts, allowing players to make those movements without any trouble.
Additionally, the Asics men shoes have an EVA sole that offers amazing cushioning, giving players more stability and increased foot support. Furthermore, their forefoot Asics GEL cushioning system 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, these pickleball shoes feature mesh upper with synthetic materials makes it more breathable and helps position the player’s feet with support in mind, ensuring they don’t twist while moving.
Although it has a lot of excellent features, the downside of this pickleball shoe is once again the sizing. For people with larger and wider feet, it can be a bit too small and cramped, which is odd as these are Asics men shoes. 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. While not solely advertised for Asics women users, it suits both genders, making it suitable for women’s pickleball, too!
NIKE Men’s Court Lite Tennis Shoes
✔ Durable pickleball shoes
✔ Great rubber outsole traction especially on hard courts
✔ More abrasion resistance around the rubber sole
✔ Great value for money
✔ Lightweight shoe
✘ 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.
While advertised for men, they also create women’s hypercourt express shoes, too! The company offers the K-swiss women’s hypercourt shoes for women’s pickleball, which I may review below.
The shoe 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.
This shoe also features a full-length Phylon midsole that offers lightweight cushioning and support around the sole, 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
✔ Durable pickleball shoes
✔ Offers great support
✔ Provides amazing stability
✔ Incredible traction with quality outsole
✔ 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 the outdoor pickleball player. It’s designed for durability, stability, and support which makes it not only incredible for tennis, but also for pickleball.
These pickleball shoes feature 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 shoe 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 the best pickleball shoe that’s top of the line and don’t mind the weight, then this might be what you’re looking for.
Best Pickleball Shoes For Women Reviews
Saucony Cohesion 10
✔ Comfortable pickleball shoes
✔ 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 pickleball shoes, 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. Definitely still a good choice for women’s pickleball shoes.
ASICS Women Gel Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
✔ More stability in the shoe
✔ Plenty of cushions
✔ Incredible floor traction with quality outsole
✔ Durable pickleball shoes
✘ Inaccurate shoe 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 Asics men’s version.
The Asics 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. You can see that with this shoe, Asics really stepped up!
Furthermore, this shoe features a rubber sole 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 Asics men’s version, many have complained about the inaccurate sizing of this shoe, saying that it tends to be smaller than expected. Nevertheless, it is still the choice of pickleball shoes for many female 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
✔ Durable pickleball shoes
✔ Allows for instantaneous pivoting
✔ Incredible traction with its outsole
✘ 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 the pickleball shoes’ die-cut EVA sole, many buyers have said they felt extreme comfort while wearing it. This is because this type of sole is designed to give its users pillow-like comfort without sacrificing their stability.
Another feature of the K-swiss women pickleball shoes are 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 pickleball shoes for playing pickleball outdoors.
ASICS Gel Dedicate 5 Women’s Tennis Shoe
✔ Enhanced traction from outsole
✔ 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 a pickleball player overall, and the sizing problem can be easily overcome by going up a size.
Adidas Performance Women’s ASMC Barricade Boost Tennis Shoe
✔ Durable sole and material
✔ 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 shoes 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. The entire sole ensures that it won’t have you slip and you can focus more on the game.
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 the best pickleball shoe for those with wider feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What else is there to know about the best pickleball shoes? Check out these frequently asked questions:
How long does it take to play a game of pickleball?
The entire game can take between 40-60 minutes, as you will need to play two to three games to determine the winning team.
What kind of shoes do you wear for pickleball?
There are NO specific pickleball shoes available, but court shoes that are made for the indoors. You can also opt for outdoor court shoes, depending on where you plan to play in. Just be sure that they are made for sports such as tennis or volleyball, which are the closest shoe types meant for those Pickleball.
Can you wear running shoes for pickleball?
While running shoes are a great pair of shoes to own, it’s best that you avoid using running shoes. This is because running shoes are not designed specifically for the court, and they don’t focus on anti-slip properties. Because of this, it can cause injuries or affect the way you play the sport, so opt for court shoes instead.
What do you wear when playing the sport?
There aren’t any specific clothing requirements for pickleball besides your typical activewear that allows you to move around easily. And of course, be sure to get the best pickleball shoes that suit the way you play and fit your feet!
How do you serve in pickleball?
Here are the tips to serve:
- The serve should be made underhand
- The paddle contact with the pickleball should be lower than the server’s waist
- The serve should be done one food behind your baseline and made diagonally crosscourt, landing within the confines of the court
- Only one serve attempt is permitted
Who serves first in pickleball doubles?
You can use any fair method to determine the serving team, whether you flip a coin or write 1 or 2 behind a score sheet for fair choosing.
Is pickleball OK for seniors?
As mentioned, one of the reasons why pickleball is one of the best sports is because people of all ages can play it and pick up on the rules. Even as a senior, you can have fun playing the sport without risk of getting hurt. In fact, many retirement-aged adults play pickleball for fun, so long as they use the appropriate pickleball shoes!
What muscles does pickleball work?
The sport focuses on working major muscle groups of the entire body, particularly your back, arms, legs, and abdominal muscles as you will be doing lateral movements. However, it doesn’t add too much drain on the joints and muscles, as long as you wear the right clothes and shoes.
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.