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How to Choose the Right Pickleball Shoes

How to Choose the Right Pickleball Shoes

  • Choosing the right pair of pickleball shoes can help improve your game and reduce your risk of injury. We put together this guide to help you make the best choice for your feet!
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It’s easy to overlook one of the most important factors for your pickleball game: the shoes.

More than 25% of athletic injuries are related to the feet, according to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. From stress fractures to plantar fasciitis, foot injuries are an unfortunate risk for pickleball players. 

Finding and wearing the right shoes can help prevent these types of injuries. Here’s how to find the right pair of shoes to enhance your game and protect your feet.

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What Type of Shoes Do I Need for Pickleball?

You wouldn’t wear your cycling shorts to the pickleball courts. The same rule of thumb applies to shoes. You need to find shoes designed for the activity you will be wearing them for. In this case, that’s pickleball. 

Think about the movements that pickleball requires. You need to be able to change directions quickly and be able to comfortably move forward and backward. During the course of a match, you need to shuffle, sprint, pivot, and jog in order to win. 

Court shoes or specifically designed pickleball shoes are your best bet. 

Components of a Great Pickleball Shoe

Pickleball shoes are designed especially for pickleball courts and movements. They are designed to accommodate rapid changes in movement and provide comfort for long matches. 

Pickleball shoes are also designed for specific playing surfaces. Many pickleball shoes are designed with enough traction on the bottom to keep you from slipping on the court.

Some pickleball shoes are designed for indoor play, meaning the bottom of the shoe has smaller and flatter tread patterns. Outdoor shoes have a larger tread pattern to provide a better grip on the court. 

They also have plenty of cushioning to keep you comfortable and reduce the impact you feel when you make contact with the court. Most pickleball shoes also feature an expanded toe box, which provides enough room for your toes to expand when you make a step on the court. 

You also need to be able to keep your balance on the court. A well-designed pickleball shoe will make you feel stable when you move quickly.

How to Pick Pickleball Shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes can make playing pickleball painful and increase your risk of injury. When you’re ready to pick a pair of pickleball shoes, keep these things in mind.

Do Your Research

As pickleball becomes more popular, companies are adding pickleball specific shoes to their offerings. If you have a shoe brand that you love, head to their website and check out their options for pickleball shoes. Read through the specifications for each shoe and check the reviews for insight from other players. 

After checking for options from your favorite brands, reach out to your pickleball friends for recommendations. Ask them about their shoes and seek insight about what they like and don’t like about the shoes. For example, ask them if they still feel like they have enough traction on the bottom of the shoes to keep their balance on the court or if they have any foot pain after playing. Their thoughts might introduce you to a brand you’ve never heard of and help you find your new favorite shoe!

In some cases, you might have a preexisting injury that requires more support from your shoe. Talk with your doctor about your shoe options, especially if you have experienced plantar fasciitis or other recurring injuries. They can help you identify your specific needs for a pickleball shoe.

Know Your Shoe Size

Sure, you might wear a size 8 in flip-flops. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a size 8 in pickleball shoes. Measure the length and width of your foot to find your ideal size. Compare the measurements to the size chart for the shoes you are considering.

Try Them On

If you can shop in-store, grab your socks and head to your favorite activewear shop. Leave the flimsy no-show ankle socks at home! Be sure to bring the cushioned athletic socks that you wear for pickleball. 

When you try on the shoes, lace them up tightly and start moving. Walk around in circles, do a light jog in the store, bounce lightly on the balls of your feet, and practice changing direction. Think about how your foot feels during every movement. Does your foot feel supported? Do you have enough room between your toes and the end of the shoe? Do they feel heavy when you jog or lift your foot?

Our Favorite Pickleball Shoes

There are a lot of options for pickleball shoes. It can be hard to sort through them all! Here are a few of our favorite pairs:

Acacia The “Tyler” Signature II Cloud Edition Pro Shoes

This shoe is designed for men or women and part of a collaboration with Major League Pickleball Championship winner Tyler Loong. Each pair features a durable contoured outsole for better traction and a CloudGel ergonomic insole for additional comfort. 

Head Revolt Evo 2.0 Shoe 

These shoes are suitable for all court types, making them perfect for players who play indoors and outdoors. It’s also designed to absorb impact, which will help you keep your feet and ankles protected.

Nike Zoom Challenge

These pickleball shoes come in several color options, including a flashy pink and teal colorway. The shoe includes Air Zoom units for additional bounce and is designed with support and durability in mind.

K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball Shoes

These shoes are available for men and women and feature several color options. This well-reviewed style is durable and flexible so you know they will stand the test of time. 

Asics Gel-Dedicate 8 Pickleball Shoe

Designed for entry-level players, this pickleball shoe has gel cushioning to help with shock absorption and a synthetic overlay to increase support. 

Ready to Pick Your Pickleball Shoes?

Your pickleball shoes can make or break your success on the court. Having the right shoes will make playing pickleball more enjoyable, prevent injury, and keep you comfortable during intense matches. The next time you head to the store, use these tips to find the perfect pickleball shoes. Your feet will thank you!

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