What Shoes to Wear for Pickleball? (Be a Pickleball Pro)

I’m a sports enthusiast who is an absolute pickleball fan. Your choice of shoes can make or break your game. Unaware of this fact, players often face unnecessary injuries and discomfort due to mismatched footwear.

As an advocate for comfortable and safe play, I’ll discuss about what shoes you should wear for Pickleball and why they matter. So, whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer to this exciting sport, let’s find out what shoes to wear for pickleball?

What shoes to wear for pickleball? everything you should know

What shoes to wear for pickleball?

The ideal shoes for playing pickleball should offer non-marking soles, proper fall support, excellent lateral support, sufficient cushioning and shock absorption, breathability, and a lightweight design.

While dedicated pickleball shoes are available on the market, you can also opt for tennis or court shoes that provide similar features, as these sports share many similarities regarding footwear demands. Investing in the perfect pair of shoes can greatly enhance your playing experience and overall performance, so it’s worth finding the right fit to conquer the court!

  • Non-Marking Soles: Playing pickleball on courts can leave scuff marks if you wear shoes with black soles or soles made of certain materials. To minimize damage to the courts, choosing shoes with non-marking soles is vital. Not only will this reduce marking, but it also ensures that you comply with most facilities’ rules and etiquette.
  • Appropriate Fall Support: Pickleball involves many sudden movements, stops, and changes in direction. This can result in accidental slips and falls if you don’t wear shoes with sufficient traction. Opt for shoes that have an excellent grip on the outsole, particularly if you expect to play on various court surfaces.
  • Lateral Support: As pickleball requires agility and lateral movement, the ankle and foot require adequate support. Therefore, choose shoes that provide good lateral stability, effective cushioning, and a robust outer construction that doesn’t collapse easily.
  • Cushioning and Shock Absorption: There’s a lot of impact on your feet while playing pickleball due to jumping, running, and quick pivoting. Comfort and shock absorption prevent injury and promote long-term foot health. Go for shoes with proper cushioning that can absorb impact and protect your feet from excessive strain.
  • Breathability: Pickleball games can get intense, making your feet hot and sweaty. Breathable shoes allow your feet to stay cool and comfortable. Look for shoes with mesh or special ventilation features, enabling air to circulate and reduce excessive moisture.
  • Lightweight Design: Light, agile shoes provide a significant advantage on the court during fast-paced games. Lighter shoes allow for quick movements and aid in preventing fatigue. Avoid heavy, bulky shoes that could limit your agility and increase the energy expended while playing.

Can I wear running shoes for pickleball?

While wearing running shoes for pickleball is possible, it’s not necessarily the best or safest choice. Running shoes are designed primarily to support and cushion your feet during forward motions, not the lateral movements frequently encountered in pickleball. This lack of support on the sides of running shoes could increase the risk of injury or discomfort during play.

Can I wear running shoes for pickleball

Instead, it is advisable to wear shoes specifically designed for court sports like tennis or squash, which share similar movement requirements with pickleball. These shoes generally provide better lateral support, enabling more stability and a reduced chance of injury during side-to-side movements.

In addition, dedicated pickleball shoes with features such as a raised heel can help improve your agility on the court, providing stability and speed.

To summarize, wearing running shoes for pickleball is not recommended, as they may not provide the necessary lateral stability or support required for the sport. Tennis or court shoes are preferable options, as they better cater to the specific demands of pickleball play.

Is there such a thing as pickleball shoes?

Yes, there is such a thing as pickleball shoes. These shoes are designed specifically for the needs of pickleball players, providing superior stability, ventilation, cushioning, and support.

They ensure proper shock absorption while protecting against strain and discomfort during the game. Some popular brands that offer pickleball shoes include Skechers, FILA, Asics, Nike, Adidas, and K-Swiss.

You can find pickleball shoes for sale on various websites, such as Pickleball Central, DICK’S Sporting Goods, and Pickleball Galaxy.

What is the difference between a running shoe and a pickleball shoe?

Running and pickleball shoes are designed with differing specific purposes in mind, often leading to quite a few differences in design and construction.

Running Shoes

These shoes facilitate forward motion and ensure continuous running stability.

Notable features typically include cushioning to absorb the impact during running, flexibility to allow a range of motion, lightweight design for comfort, and a thicker heel to help with forward motion.

Running Shoes

However, they do not provide ample support for sudden lateral movements, which can pose risks during a pickleball game.

Pickleball Shoes

Pickleball Shoes

On the other hand, pickleball shoes are tailored for movements specific to pickleball play. Key elements include a thicker outsole and insole for better court traction, exceptional lateral support to accommodate quick side-to-side movements, and shock absorption features to reduce the impact on the feet.

These shoes are also slightly heavier than running shoes due to these additional and more robust features. They balance torsional stability, right weight, and safe play.

Thus, while both shoe types aim to enhance performance in their respective activities, their design differences cater to the unique demands of running and pickleball. The extensive lateral support, stability, and traction that pickleball shoes offer make them a suitable choice over running shoes for pickleball players.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What shoes should women wear for pickleball?

Answer: Women should wear shoes designed specifically for court sports such as tennis, paddle, or squash while playing pickleball. ASICS, Skechers, and K-Swiss provide women’s shoes with excellent lateral support, cushioning, and breathability.

What shoes should men wear for pickleball?

Answer: Men should ideally wear court-specific shoes – like tennis or squash shoes for pickleball. Brands like Saucony, Prince, and Nike offer reliable options. These shoes offer stability for lateral movements, adequate cushioning, and solid grip.

Are tennis shoes the same as pickleball shoes?

Answer: No, but they’re similar – both are designed to emphasize stability for lateral movements, cushioning, and good traction. However, pickleball shoes might have additional features, such as enhanced toe protection and extra lateral support, given the sport’s unique requirements.

Can I wear cross training shoes for pickleball?

Answer: Yes, you can. Cross training shoes balance flexibility, cushioning, and lateral support, making them suitable for sports involving multi-directional movements, including pickleball. However, sports-specific shoes could offer better performance.

Are Skechers good for pickleball?

Answer: Yes, certain Skechers models offer a blend of comfort, support, and traction, which makes them suitable for pickleball. Look for Skechers with court-specific design elements like enhanced lateral support and non-marking soles.


Choosing the right shoes for pickleball can significantly enhance your performance and comfort while reducing the risk of injuries. The ideal shoes should provide excellent lateral support, cushioning, traction, and breathability.

Court-specific tennis, paddle, or squash shoes are recommended, encompassing these essential features. Brands such as ASICS, Skechers, and K-Swiss are popular options. Investing in high-quality, pickleball-appropriate footwear is crucial in optimizing your overall playing experience.

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