What Shoes to Wear for Pickleball?

Pickleball, a sport that ingeniously combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has surged in popularity over recent years. This inviting yet competitive game requires not just skill and strategy but also the right gear, especially when it comes to footwear. In this article, we delve deep into the question: What Shoes to Wear for Pickleball? We’ll explore the importance of proper footwear, the characteristics of ideal pickleball shoes, and much more, ensuring you step onto the court with confidence and the right support.

Introduction to Pickleball

Pickleball is more than just a sport; it’s a community builder, a fun way to stay active, and a competitive game that people of all ages can enjoy. Originating in the mid-1960s on Bainbridge Island, Washington, pickleball has evolved from a backyard pastime to a sport with international championships and a growing global following. The essence of pickleball lies in its simplicity and the minimal equipment required to play, but don’t let that simplicity fool you. The right equipment, especially footwear, can significantly impact your performance and enjoyment of the game.

Importance of Proper Footwear in Pickleball

When it comes to any sport, the right footwear is crucial, and pickleball is no exception. The importance of selecting the correct shoes cannot be overstated. Proper footwear enhances performance, provides stability and support during quick movements, and helps prevent injuries. In pickleball, you’ll find yourself making swift, lateral movements, quick turns, and sudden stops.

The right shoes will cushion and protect your feet during these high-impact actions, reducing the strain on your joints and muscles. Furthermore, wearing shoes designed for the specific surface you’re playing on can improve your grip and balance, giving you an edge over your opponents.

Characteristics of Ideal Pickleball Shoes

So, what makes a shoe ideal for pickleball? First and foremost, look for shoes that offer excellent lateral support. Pickleball involves a lot of side-to-side movement, and shoes with good lateral support can prevent ankle rolls and other injuries. Secondly, cushioning is key. The right amount of cushioning will absorb shock and reduce the stress on your feet and legs during play. Additionally, consider the sole of the shoe.

For indoor courts, look for shoes with non-marking, gum rubber soles for the best grip. For outdoor courts, choose shoes with more durable soles designed to withstand the rougher texture of concrete or asphalt.

Different Types of Shoes Suitable for Pickleball

While there are shoes marketed specifically for pickleball, players often find that tennis or court shoes can be excellent alternatives. These shoes are designed for similar types of movements and provide the support, durability, and cushioning essential for pickleball. It’s important, however, to distinguish between shoes intended for other sports, like running, which typically offer forward motion support but lack the necessary lateral stability for pickleball.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Pickleball Shoes

Selecting the right pickleball shoes involves considering several factors beyond just the type of shoe. Player level and frequency of play can influence the durability and quality of the shoe needed. Additionally, personal preferences regarding shoe weight, flexibility, and fit should be taken into account. It’s also crucial to consider the type of court surface you’ll be playing on most often, as this can affect the ideal sole composition and tread pattern of your shoes.

Recommended Pickleball Shoe Brands

Several brands stand out in the pickleball and court shoe market for their quality, performance, and durability. Brands like K-Swiss, Wilson, and New Balance offer models specifically designed for pickleball or court sports that meet the needs of most players. When selecting a brand, consider not only their pickleball-specific offerings but also their reputation in the sports footwear industry and user reviews.

You should also check: Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Tips for Maintaining and Caring for Pickleball Shoes

To extend the life of your pickleball shoes and maintain their performance, proper care is essential. Regular cleaning to remove dirt and dust, along with allowing shoes to air out between uses, can prevent premature wear and odor. Avoid wearing your pickleball shoes off the court to minimize unnecessary wear on the soles. If your shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper to absorb moisture and help them retain their shape as they dry.

Where to Buy Pickleball Shoes?

Pickleball shoes can be found in a variety of locations, from sports equipment stores to specialty pickleball shops and online retailers. When purchasing shoes, especially online, ensure you have an accurate measurement of your foot size and understand the retailer’s return policy in case the fit isn’t right. Many online stores offer customer reviews, which can provide valuable insights into the fit, comfort, and performance of the shoes.


Choosing the right shoes for pickleball can significantly enhance your playing experience, performance, and safety on the court. By understanding the characteristics of ideal pickleball shoes, considering various factors in your selection process, and caring for your shoes properly, you can make an informed decision that benefits your game. Remember, the best shoe for you is one that meets your specific needs, preferences, and playing style.


Can I wear running shoes for pickleball?

While running shoes provide cushioning, they lack the necessary lateral support for the side-to-side movements in pickleball, increasing the risk of injuries.

How often should I replace my pickleball shoes?

The frequency of replacement depends on how often you play and the shoe’s durability. As a general rule, consider replacing your shoes if you notice significant wear on the sole or a decrease in cushioning and support.

Are there pickleball shoes for wide feet?

Yes, several brands offer wide-width options for players needing extra room. It’s important to check the brand’s sizing chart and reviews for guidance on fit.

Can indoor pickleball shoes be used outdoors? 

Indoor shoes typically have softer soles that may wear out quickly on rough outdoor surfaces. It’s best to use shoes designed for the specific surface you’re playing on for durability and performance.

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