Which pickleball shoes are best?
Considered the fastest-growing sport in the United States, pickleball has taken the sporting industry by storm. Created as a mashup between tennis and badminton, pickleball is a high-energy, fast-paced sport. With constant direction changes and quick movements, every pickleball player has to have a high-quality pair of shoes that can keep them balanced and comfortable during intense gameplay. Designed to provide traction and whole-foot support, pickleball shoes are the best way to up your game and keep you safe on the court. If you are looking for a high-quality pair of pickleball shoes, check out the Wilson Rush Pro 2.5 Pickleball shoes.
What to know before you buy pickleball shoes
Since pickleball requires high-speed movements, it’s important to choose a pair of shoes that have a high-traction, durable outsole. Most pickleball shoes utilize a dense rubber material to ensure optimal traction. However, some models also incorporate a ribbed pattern or tacky rubber along the outsole to provide further traction capabilities.
Depending on what type of court you play on, you may find it worthwhile to choose a pair of pickleball shoes that have either a tacky or dense rubber outsole. Typically, pickleball is played on either smooth, wooden indoor courts or concrete outdoor courts. For indoor courts, outsoles that offer a more tacky rubber outsole tend to work best for gripping the smooth court surface. For outdoor courts, choose a pair of pickleball shoes that have a dense rubber outsole to ensure the best durability.
When it comes to support, most pickleball shoes utilize high-quality midsole cushioning to provide effective midfoot support. Since pickleball requires quick lateral movements and fast direction changes, this midfoot support helps to keep players stable and comfortable during intense gameplay. Some pickleball shoes also boast added toe or heel cushioning, which tends to be helpful for different playing styles. When it comes to toe cushioning, the extra support is ideal for players that play close to the net or tend to drag their toes as they play. For players who play closer to the baseline, a pair of shoes that offer extra heel cushioning is the best way to ensure comfort during a fast-paced baseline play.
While choosing your ideal pair of pickleball shoes be sure to consider purchasing a supportive ankle brace. Since most pickleball shoes have a below-ankle cut, they offer very little ankle support or protection from ankle injuries. Pairing your new pickleball shoes with a supportive ankle brace is the best way to ensure a pain-free and comfortable game-time experience.
What to look for in quality pickleball shoes
Due to the fast-paced nature of pickleball, you may find it worthwhile to opt for a pair of shoes that have a lightweight, breathable feel. To ensure that you are purchasing a pair of lightweight pickleball shoes, strive to find a pair that utilizes synthetic materials in the upper construction. While some pickleball shoes utilize a leather upper, these tend to be heavier and will likely tire you out on the court. In contrast, synthetic uppers tend to be more lightweight and breathable, keeping you energized and comfortable on the court.
While the outsole construction of indoor and outdoor court shoes tends to be slightly different, there are a number of shoe options that boast a versatile outsole. By utilizing a dense rubber outsole with a ribbed pattern for extra grip, versatile pickleball shoes can easily transition from indoor to outdoor play. While these versatile options may not be ideal for everyone, they are a great option for players who like to switch up their court environment or are looking to save a bit of money.
How much you can expect to spend on pickleball shoes
Depending on the brand, design and overall support of the shoes, you can expect to spend anywhere from $60-$100 on a pair of high-quality pickleball shoes. Typically, pickleball shoes that offer extra midsole support or come from a well-established athletic brand tend to be the most expensive.
Pickleball shoes FAQ
Can you wear running shoes for pickleball?
A. While running shoes are a comfortable option for most athletic activities, they are not the best choice for pickleball. Since running shoes are designed to provide support for forward, one-directional movements, they are not equipped to support the quick change of direction and lateral movements that pickleball consists of. To ensure the most comfortable experience, it is recommended that you purchase a pair of indoor court or pickleball-specific court shoes.
What can I do to protect the toe of my pickleball shoe?
A. If you are someone who plays close to the net or tends to drag their toe as they play, it is likely that the toe area of your shoe will wear out relatively quickly. To help protect your shoes, opt for a pair of pickleball shoes that comes with a built-in toe cap. This toe-cap is designed to protect your shoes from wear and prevent potential toe snags while playing.
What are the best pickleball shoes to buy?
Top pickleball shoes
What you need to know: These all-court pickleball shoes are perfect for players that play on a variety of pickleball courts.
What you’ll love: The Duralast rubber outsole is designed to provide optimal traction and durability for long-term gameplay. With a synthetic upper and extra-cushioned midsole, these shoes provide lightweight support and comfort. The inner sock construction offers a snug fit for optimal stability and ground feel on the court. These shoes are available in a variety of sizes and two different design options.
What you should consider: While these shoes do have a cushioned midsole and insole, some consumers noted that adding an extra-cushioned insole to these shoes is the best way to ensure a comfortable experience.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Top pickleball shoes for the money
What you need to know: These affordable pickleball shoes are perfect for players who are looking to up their game without breaking the bank.
What you’ll love: The herringbone ribbed rubber outsole features a forefoot pivot circle built-in, making these shoes the perfect option for quick direction changes and improved traction. With an extra-cushioned midsole and midfoot shank, these shoes provide incredible support and comfort without being overly pricey. These shoes utilize a majority leather upper and a dense rubber outsole, ensuring lasting durability on the court.
What you should consider: Since these shoes do utilize leather and dense rubber in their construction, some consumers have noted that they are a bit heavier than some other pickleball shoe options.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These high-quality pickleball shoes are ideal for players who want extra cushioning and stability on the court.
What you’ll love: The ribbed rubber outsole provides seamless traction on the court, while the added insole cushioning works to keep you comfortable. With 180-degree planar support chassis, these shoes are built to enhance your stability and keep you balanced on the court. The inner sock lining uses moisture-wicking fabric to help keep you dry and comfortable during gameplay. These shoes are available in a variety of sizes and designs, so there are plenty of options when it comes to the feel and look of your pickleball shoes.
What you should consider: Some consumers have noted issues with the width of the shoe. For consumers with narrow feet, these shoes will likely be comfortable and supportive. However, if you have wider feet, these shoes may not be the best option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Breanna Culler writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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