Are you looking to find the best pickleball shoes for you, but don't know where to start? This article will answer all your questions on how to select pickleball footwear.
There are plenty of mistakes you can make when choosing shoes. Maybe your toes hurt after playing. Perhaps you've rolled an ankle. Have you ever felt like you were sliding around the court a bit?
We will help you avoid bad footwear decisions, and get you out there running around on court safely and swiftly!
Pickleball Shoes FAQ:
How are pickleball shoes different from other athletic shoes?
Pickleball shoes are mostly the same as tennis shoes.
Some companies now make shoes specifically for pickleball, but more on that later.
Court shoes are generally designed for quick movement and change of direction on a gritty hard surface. They offer sole traction and foot support much more than regular trainers. You will also see most pickleball shoes laced up higher than running shoes.
To boot, they often feature a non-marking sole that reduce scuff marks.
[Bonus Read: 47 Signs You're Obsessed With Pickleball]
What qualities should I look for in a pickleball shoe?
When choosing pickleball shoes, look for features such as lightweight feel and ample cushioning on the sides.
It should feel like wearing a snug pillow around your foot!
Other desirable qualities include traction on the sole and overall durability, but you often have to take a bit of a leap of faith there. Most name-brands will be similar in these regards.
Bottom line: Try to find a shoe that feels feathery and comfy.
Do I really need pickleball shoes, or can I wear regular trainers?
While it's possible to play pickleball in regular athletic shoes, it's not recommended.
Almost every avid, serious pickleball player opts for proper pickleball footwear.
Why not use regular trainers or running shoes? The risk of injury: Heel, ankle, Achilles, calf muscle. A bad foot or leg injury can easily cost 3-6 months of recovery.
It's not worth it!
Aside from the safety factor, court shoes have better traction. You will be quicker! Who couldn't use an extra half-step when tracking down shots?
What are the most recommended pickleball shoe brands?
Some trusted pickleball shoe brands include: Adidas, Babolat, and K-Swiss, among others.
The above mentioned are known to accommodate wide feet well, while being perfectly fine for narrow feet too (you just lace them tighter!).
ASICS meanwhile is known to be good for flat arches. More on arch support later though.
Some companies, like Tyrol (photo above) and Skechers, make shoes just for pickleball.
CLICK HERE for a detailed guide on the top pickleball shoes on the market.
Is there anything I can do to make shoes comfier?
Yes, you can consider using an insertable insole. They feel nice, and guard against injury.
Zelus Insoles are designed for pickleball play, with orthotic-grade arch support. They will enhance any pickleball shoe that is otherwise a perfect fit.
Is extra ankle support necessary for pickleball?
Yes, crucial. Anything that provides stability and protection from sprains or twists is great. These are very common risks when changing direction a lot.
Consider socks in tandem with shoes. Calf compression socks are very popular, and are known to offer Achilles and arch support. They also protect the legs against sun exposure.
How much should I expect spend on quality pickleball shoes?
The price of pickleball shoes varies widely, but expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $150 for a quality pair from a name-brand. The $75 mark is a fair floor for quality.
Exercise caution against the cheapest shoes, as they will wear down quicker anyways. The cost difference will be negligible in the long run, except you will have lower-quality shoes!
K-Swiss (above) is a reputable mid-range option. These shoes are neither cheap nor will break the bank, and come well-reviewed. Most of their pickleball shoes run around $100.
Investing in quality pickleball shoes is worth it. Besides your paddle, it's the most important equipment investment and choice for enhanced performance and injury prevention.
How do I know if my pickleball shoes fit properly?
Aim for a snug fit in the heel and mid-foot. Some folks use the phrase "like a glove."
You want enough room in front to wiggle your toes comfortably, but you do not want your whole foot sliding around within the shoe.
You want a shoe that feels snug. Not tight and constricting, but enough that your heel won't slide out when you run.
Loose shoes can make it harder to change direction, and easier to roll an ankle.
Can I wear pickleball shoes for other sports or activities?
You can wear them for other sports that necessitate similar features, such as tennis or badminton. Pickleball shoes are fine for general running and training, too.
The best aesthetics, like the Babolat Jet Tere (below), are stylish off the court too!
What types of surfaces are pickleball shoes designed for?
You can use pickleball shoes on any hard surface, indoor or outdoor. They are versatile.
Sometimes indoor courts are made of hardwood gym floor, which feel different than a gritty hardcourt outdoor surface.
Some folks prefer basketball shoes for indoor pickleball. We officially do NOT recommend this option! However, some folks do it.
How often should I replace my pickleball shoes? What signs should I look for that indicate it's time to do so?
Replace your shoes when you notice holes in the heel or side, or worn-out cushioning.
Replace your shoes if the sole gets flat and the grooves have worn. It's like tire tread.
Replace your shoes at least once a year if you play regularly. Investing in a new pair of pickleball shoes is probably the best way you can treat yourself in this sport.
Pickleball shoes will protect you from injury and help you be more spry and mobile. View a selection of top pickleball shoes on Amazon. Additionally, head over to Pickleball Central to browse the best shoes in the industry.
Click blue links or photos above to view on Pickleball Central.
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