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One of the great things about pickleball is that it’s an easy game to pick up. All you need is a pickleball paddle, a few balls, pickleball nets and posts, and a great pair of tennis shoes packed into one of these stylish pickleball sling bags. But while the list of equipment needed is slim, it’s deceptively simple.
One of the worst mistakes beginner pickleball players can make is stepping onto the court with an ordinary pair of running shoes or sneakers. Ordinary shoes aren’t cut out for the type of movement and footwork required in pickleball. The right pair of shoes can reduce your risk of injury and sharpen your playing skills, so it’s important to invest in a good pair from the beginning.
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We’d even like to argue that a good pair of shoes is more important than a good paddle. Before your paddle even hits a ball, your shoes will affect your mobility and support. You want to be sure they’re broken in, so you’re not competing against blisters, only your competitor. While a paddle makes the ball fly, the shoes make the player able to play their best.
Men and women alike are flocking to the game of pickleball, and it’s quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. Shoe selection for men and women is different, and with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which pairs are best.
We’ve done our research and compiled for you the best shoes for pickleball for both men and women. Continue reading below for your best options!
1. ASICS Women’s Gel Rocket 7
2. K-Swiss Women's Hypercourt Express
3. ASICS Women’s Gel Dedicate 5
1. ASICS Men’s Gel Dedicate 5
2. Adidas Men's Gamecourt
3. Asics Men’s GEL Rocket 9
- Best Pickleball Shoes for Women
- Best Pickleball Shoes for Men
- Best Pickleball Shoes for Outdoor Court
- Best Pickleball Shoes for Indoor Court
- Why Pickleball Shoes Are Important for the Player
- Why Pickleball Shoes Are a Good Investment
- What Makes a Shoe Good for Pickleball
- What To Look for In a Shoe for Outdoor Pickleball
- What to Look for In a Shoe for Indoor Pickleball
- A Key to a Great Performance
Best Pickleball Shoes for Women
The best pickleball shoes for women will have a certain set of qualities. They should be durable, well-made, and comfortable first and foremost. Beyond that, look for smooth soles that will allow for lateral movement and multi-angle mobility. Special cushioning will aid longevity on the court and any extra padding on top will provide extra comfort. A toe guard is always a nice touch as well.
The top three ladies pickleball shoes on our list are:
- The ASICS Women’s Gel Rocket 7
- K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express
- ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicate 5
Without further ado, here are brief reviews of the best pickleball shoes for women.
ASICS shoes for pickleball, including these Gel Rocket 7s, use a trusstic system for a lighter sole. This trademarked material gives stability to the shoe, preventing twisting. It also reduces the weight of the sole unit of the shoe while keeping the shoe’s structure sound. The shoe is tailored to the particular types of movement common in the sport, so it anticipates the pickleball players’ needs and possible issues. This shoe also features a rubber outsole to help grip without slipping. It also boasts a gel cushion and has been granted the American Podiatric Seal of Approval. The shoes come in a variety of fun and bright colors, which makes an already fun game that much more fun! With all these fancy features and customization perfect for pickleball, the Gel Rocket 7s are our top choice for the best women’s pickleball shoes.
Blending style, performance, and innovation, this K-Swiss women’s tennis shoe makes a great option for women’s pickleball, landing it at the #2 spot on our list.
Starting with the outside of the shoe, its durable rubber outsole helps keep a player light on their feet and ready to move. It features a 180 PCS mid-foot support chassis that both stabilizes and supports the foot in the heat of a game. Its midsole absorbs shock, minimizing the impact of harsh movements on the foot. This shoe is for the serious pickleball player, even offering a toe guard. Reviewers rave about the support this shoe offers on an outdoor tennis court, which goes for pickleball as well. This shoe merges the quickness allowed by a running shoe with the long-lasting comfort and support of a tennis shoe that makes this a perfect solution for pickleball wear.
Asics again! The proprietary technology used in Asics shoes is responsible for its repeat appearance on this list. The brand is loved by tennis players, pickleball players, volleyball players, and a variety of other indoor sports players. The cushioning and trusstic system help the tennis (or in this case, pickleball) player maintain speed, accuracy, and mobility on the court. This shoe has a leather outer material and a synthetic sole, making this shoe much different than the first model on this list. The look of the shoe is also different, with cleaner and more subtle color options like white, silver, and mint. The Gel Dedicate 5 are a great option for indoor pickleball; their sole performs well on a court floor for a pretty good price, too.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Men
Men are looking for the same reliable features in their pickleball shoes that women are. They want long-lasting support, free mobility, and comfort. Men should look for flat soles as well and shoes that support their foot from the heel, through the midfoot and the arch, all the way to the tip top of the toes.
The top three options for men’s pickleball shoes are:
- ASICS Men’s Gel Dedicate 5
- Adidas Men’s Gamecourt
- ASICS Men’s GEL Rocket 9
Let’s take a look at these three shoes and explore what makes them the best pickleball shoes for men.
ASICS provides some top-of-the-line quality shoes for pickleball at entry-level prices, including their Men’s Gel-Dedicate 5s. The male counterpart to the women’s Gel Dedicates, these synthetic shoes with a rubberized sole enhance traction, reduce shock, and provide unrivaled foot support that will take a pickleball player’s game to the next level. Not unlike the other ASICS options listed in this article, the Gel Dedicate 5s feature the trusstic system technology and gel cushioning that only ASICS can provide. The affordability of this shoe matches its performance enhancement, confirming these as the best men’s pickleball shoes on the market.
Adidas earns its first spot on this list with their men’s Gamecourt shoe. This shoe offers fantastic cushioning that is responsive to shock and intense movement, perfect for an intense pickleball game. The midfoot torsion system will support the player while the extra layer of guard around the toes and forefoot protect against inevitable drags or blunt force. The high durability of this shoe makes it perfect for outdoor games and players who prefer an outdoor court, but they are versatile enough to offer superior performance indoors as well. They are comfortable and stylish, as if you needed more features to convince you of the quality of these men’s pickleball shoes.
Technically a volleyball shoe, the men’s Gel Rocket 9 also perform great on an indoor pickleball court. The durable gel sole made for indoor courts is also strong and long-lasting enough for an outdoor court, and the lightweight material won’t weigh you down or make your feeble movements more difficult to make. They also have the trusstic system technology and gel cushioning that provide unparalleled support. The mesh material on top of the shoe keeps it breathable whether playing indoors or out, and their low-profile colors keep the focus on the game, not the shoes.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Outdoor Court
Just because one shoe is considered to be the best pickleball shoe out there doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for you. We are all built differently, and some shoes are either too narrow or too wide. It’s important you check all the small details when purchasing shoes for outdoor pickleball.
When playing outdoor court pickleball, you should wear the best pickleball shoes in the market. Wearing proper shoes will help you navigate on the court without getting injured, and you’ll have maximum stability!
One of the best pickleball shoes for the outdoor court would have to be the K-Swiss Men’s Express Light Pickleball shoe. The shoe was designed specifically for pickleball. The Express Light Pickleball shoe was created, so players feel comfortable on the court. The shoe is also lightweight and breathable, making it perfect for on-court movement. The shoe also comes with a customized pickleball sock liner that is ideal for hard court or clay court playing surfaces.
Another great feature this shoe has is its toe box comes a bit wide, giving your toes extra room to move, and you’ll be left blister-free after a game on the court. Like anything great in this world, the K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball shoe also has a feature I find to be negative. The sock liner provided by the brand is attached to the sole of the shoe, meaning you can’t take it out and insert your own. If you don’t need to insert your own insole then these should definitely be on your list of best pickleball shoes for the outdoor court.
ASICS Gel-Resolution 7 (Men’s) (Women’s)
Another shoe you should keep your eye on is the ASICS Gel- Resolution 7 for both men and women. This shoe was made for outdoor pickleball.
The shoe has a forefoot and rearfoot gel cushioning structure giving it maximum stability. The Gel-Resolution 7 is designed with a clay court outsole making it extremely resistant to wear and tear, therefore, saving you money in the future! These shoes are a bit narrow when compared to other shoes so expect a longer break-in period (unless you have exceptionally narrow feet). Once you’ve broken into the shoe, we can almost guarantee you enjoy a great day out on the court playing pickleball.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Indoor Court
Just like playing pickleball outdoors, indoor pickleball requires proper shoes. The indoor courts tend to be slippery so you need shoes that will have the right grip. The ASICS Gel-Tactic 2 is the shoe you’re looking to purchase if you want to work it on the court.
The shoe combines natural rubber for good grip and synthetic rubber for the best resistance, allowing you to make sharp turns and jumps at superfast speed. You even get extra stability from the trusstic system technology. This system provides midfoot reinforcement and helps avoid twisting during quick and sudden movements.
Another reason this shoe is perfect for an indoor court is that it features an N.C. rubber outsole that was specifically designed for indoor court sports. For additional comfort, the shoe features a sock liner that molds to the shape of your feet with time, or you can decide to take it out if you’d rather add your own orthotics. The shoe itself is super light and comes in a variety of colors making it a great choice for both men and women.
ASICS Gel-Rocket 8 (Men’s) (Women’s)
Another shoe worth mentioning here is the ASICS Gel-Rocket 8. If you’re looking for a good quality shoe for a reasonable price, this is your shoe.
The shoe comes with ASICS signature forefoot gel cushioning system, giving the ultimate player stability on the court. The rubber sole on the shoe also gives you extra grip while moving around the court, allowing you to play your best during your match or even for just a fun game on the court with friends.
The only downside to this shoe is the color combination that they offer (specifically for the men, the color options for the women are pretty), instead of the usual trendy colors ASICS use. If the color of a shoe is not going to stop you from purchasing these amazing shoes for such a low price, then I think it’s safe to say, we’ve found your shoe!
Why Pickleball Shoes Are Important for the Player
Proper shoes for pickleball are important for two main reasons:
- They protect the player from injury.
- They enhance the performance of the player.
Firstly, and most importantly, proper shoes will protect the player from injury. Obviously, they help protect the foot and ankle the most. With specialty padding on the front of the shoe and on the sole, the shoes will protect the toes from blunt force that may result from running forward. They also feature cushioning along the sole that will keep the arch and balls of the feet comfortable even after hours of playing. Some shoes will feature special ankle features designed to keep the ankle in line and prevent spraining or unnatural bending.
Proper shoes will also prevent injury in general, not just injuries of the foot or ankle. You see, if a player is wearing improper shoes, they may fall and injure other parts of their body that could be just as serious or even more serious than a foot injury. If you think you’re saving money by not buying a new pair of court shoes specifically for pickleball, you’re not considering the medical costs that might be associated with a fall due to wearing the improper tennis shoes you already own.
Secondly, pickleball shoes are important because they enhance a player’s performance. No one that has blisters or pain in their feet is going to play their best. If a player is wearing unsupportive shoes, their arches or balls may experience more pressure and eventually become painful after too much activity.
Not only will uncomfortable shoes hinder performance, but improperly designed shoes will also be limiting. A pair of running shoes will not allow for full lateral movement or long-lasting support, so your quick left-to-right jukes to reach the ball may be worse than usual with the wrong shoes.
Correct shoes will stand up against the test of time and allow a player to continue playing comfortably and successfully for longer. The more time you’re able to spend on the court, the better player you will be. Thus, a quality shoe makes for a much better player.
Why Pickleball Shoes Are a Good Investment
It may seem like forking over a hundred dollars or so for a pair of pickleball shoes is financially frivolous and unnecessary. However, considering the monetary burden that an injury or useless shoes could impose, it actually is a better investment in the long run.
Proper shoes will hold up longer, and you will end up purchasing fewer pairs. While a cheaper, lower-quality shoe may be attractive in the store, you will likely end up back at the store to get a new pair much sooner than you would if you paid a couple extra dollars for the right kind of high-quality footwear.
You can get years of enjoyment and support out of one pair of shoes, or waste money on shoes that do nothing but reduce performance and protection.
What Makes a Shoe Good for Pickleball
You might want to argue that as long as you have a high-quality athletic shoe, you’ll be fine to play on a pickleball court. That is not the case, however.
Running shoes have ridged soles that help propel motion forward. Cross-training sneakers have grooves or nibs on the bottom that can stick to the court’s surface. Only proper pickleball shoes will allow for clean and unobstructed motion from all angles and traction that will keep from sliding or slipping.
Court shoes will have a smooth surface that facilitates lateral movement, common in pickleball. They’ll have proper padding on the top and front areas of the shoe, providing long-lasting comfort and durability for the player.
What To Look for In a Shoe for Outdoor Pickleball
When looking for a shoe for outdoor pickleball, you should remember that the court is hard and usually made of concrete. Because of this, you should always look for a shoe that will have extra cushioning for your feet and a proper sole that will give your ankle the support it needs. Also, if you want your shoes to last you more than a season, I recommend you get shoes with a reinforced durable sole that will withstand constant use on an outdoor court.
Don’t forget, that when playing pickleball, you need to make lots of sudden movements, you move forwards and backward, you need to pick up speed quickly and come to a complete stop when attacking the net. Doing this with regular running shoes, that are meant for forwarding motions can cause only harm to you and your body.
Always remember, it’ll come out cheaper to purchase a proper pair of shoes, rather than paying a medical bill, should you injure yourself for wearing other shoes.
What to Look for In a Shoe for Indoor Pickleball
Indoor courts are extremely slippery; therefore, when purchasing shoes for indoor pickleball, remember to buy shoes that will have a good grip on the slick flooring of the court and a natural rubber sole, rather than a synthetic sole like you would get for an outdoor court. Wearing the right shoes while playing a pickleball game will guarantee you stability and comfort, and that, to me, is the most important thing.
Another thing to remember when picking a shoe, for an indoor court or outdoor, the weight of the shoe can be everything! You can find pickleball shoes for around 10 ounces compared to others that can reach around a pound. Every ounce will make a difference out on the court.
A Key to a Great Performance
Whether you’re an entry-level player or a seasoned veteran, you should take to heart that proper shoes are incredibly important to the game of pickleball. Not only will great shoes prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring, it will also enhance the quality of your game performance.
Here is a YouTube video giving more insight into which shoes to choose for pickleball:
With so many great brands, styles, colors, and features available in the shoe market today, there’s no reason why every pickleball player shouldn’t have a pair of shoes that can keep up with them on the court. Keep this list in mind when finding the best pickleball shoes for you, and you might end up with a pair that plays with you for years to come.
Last Updated on June 10, 2021