There is nothing like the exhilarating rush of a well-paced pickleball game to get your blood pumping.
Although pickleball has been in existence for more than 40 years and has always been a great way to work out, it has only recently gained traction a favorite pick among court game enthusiasts.
As a result, sports-gear giants like ASICS, Reebok, Adidas, and New Balance are working around the clock to come up with the best pickleball shoes.
But truth be told, there are no pickleball-specific shoes on the market currently. Pickleball shoes have to be selected from an array of other court game shoes.
In fact, they make great pickleball shoes. Since pickleball can be played either indoors or outdoors, you should choose shoes according to the type of court you will be playing on.
If you’re playing outdoors, tennis shoes will do well because they are tough and have better grip on the asphalt or concrete floor.
For an indoor game, our pick would be volleyball shoes or badminton shoes since they are lighter and get better traction on the smooth wooden floors.
So, before you get confused about which shoes to buy and why, let us walk you through the best choices on the market.
Choosing Pickleball paddle can be a little tricky and confusing, we break down these things into three categories, Read these you may find it useful. Best Pickleball paddle reviews, Pickleball paddle for beginners, and Pickleball paddle for a spin.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Women’s:
Did you know that 40% of all pickleball players are women? Well, it’s true!
So, there are plenty of great choices out there that will satisfy sticklers for comfort and safety; elite players looking for the ideal combination of traction, support, and durability; and lovers of cute but practical shoes. Here are our picks for the best women pickleball shoes.
Top on our list is the K-SWISS Women’s Hypercourt Express-W tennis shoe. K-SWISS is constantly upgrading their shoe game, and the Hypercourt Express-W is an upgrade of the Ultra Express.
They have upgraded the comfort with a 180 PCS arch support chassis, a plush EVA midsole, and K-EVA padding all around the interior of the shoe.
The upper area is made of a nylon and synthetic mesh, which makes the shoe breathable while providing great stability. It has a Dura Wrap toe guard and a wide rubber sole. The sole is herring bone tread, which is great for maintaining traction during lateral movements.
Compared to other tennis shoes, this K-SWISS shoe is lighter. The generous cushioning of the outsole and midsole eliminate the break-in period that is typical with new shoes.
Traction is solid, and the treads and toe shield hold up quite well even after vigorous testing—making the shoe tough and durable. This shoe is best suited for an outdoor pickleball game. Harsh concrete floors will have little effect on your arch and ankles thanks to the plush cushioning and 7.0 rubber outsole.
The only downside to this shoe is the wide sole, which has proven a tad too wide for most women. You will have to tie the laces pretty tight to keep your foot from sliding around inside the shoe.
But even with tight laces you will end up jamming your toes in the toe guard every time you press your weight forward. Also, the fact that the shoe is not a snug fit will compromise your stability and comfort.
- Generous cushioning.
- No break-in period.
- Solid traction.
- Excessive width that compromises the fit.
- Not as breathable as other shoes.
- The arch is a bit low.
The Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 is the perfect pickleball shoe for indoor games. Mizuno is known for top-notch shoes manufactured with the latest technology in comfort and functionality.
This shoe has a textile and synthetic “upper” with a new 3-layer seamless Durashield AirMesh, which makes it breathable and a comfortable fit. The interior is fitted with ample cushioning, a solid toe drag guard, and an internal heel cap to ensure your foot stays comfortable.
It has a XG rubber sole with a D-flex Groove, SR touch, a parallel wave plate, and sensor points on the heels. The outsole is non-marking, which is perfect for indoor court games, and the intercool system ensures the shoe does not overheat.
You will love the Dynamotion fit that contours around your foot to create a tight, cozy fit that keeps your foot in place. The Dynamo Groove offers great support and stability by bending in all the right places, while remaining rigid in areas that matter.
The issue with this shoe is the narrow fit around the front. It runs narrow and has a break-in period. Break-in periods are a normal thing with most new shoes, and if this shoe fits well, you will be able to play comfortably in it after the break-in period is over.
Also, a number of reviews indicate that the synthetic textile upper tends to wear and tear relatively easily. This shoe may not be as durable as its counterparts.
- Light and comfortable.
- Great traction thanks to the parallel wave plate.
- Inbuilt intercool system keeps shoes feet from heating.
- Requires a break-in period.
- Runs small.
ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicate 5 tennis shoes are the best shoes for recreational players. This model has a fair foot gel cushioning system in the inner part of the shoe that enhances comfort. This improves shock attenuation during forward and backward lunges.
It comes fitted with a rubber sole and a flexible upper part of the shoe. This is great for flexibility and foot traction in the abrupt movements during training. The rubber sole also delivers full comfort on an outdoor court.
The best feature is the Trusstic System, which enhances the general and whole performance of the shoe. It enables the shoe to reduce both the general weight and weight of the sole while maintaining structural integrity.
The ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicated 5 Tennis shoe is great for outdoor pickleball games. The downside is the narrow fit. If your feet are wide, then this shoe won’t bring much comfort during training. The instep of the shoe is too tight, which makes it only suitable for people with narrow feet.
- Comfortable and durable.
- Weight reduction system (Trusstic).
- Well cushioned.
- Great traction.
- Suitable only for narrow feet.
- Too tight on the instep.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Men’s:
For men, the shoe game is a little different because of their body structure and mass index. The shoes for men have to combine durability, comfort, and a solid grip.
A pickleball game can develop into a fast, competitive game for pro players, and agility and practicality will be paramount. Here is a selection of the best men’s pickleball shoes.
New Balance Men’s mc806 tennis shoes help athletes achieve their goals in competitions. This mc806 model is suitable for outdoor pickleball games and a favorite among pro tennis and pickleball players.
The New Balance pickleball shoes feature a leather and synthetic upper with a reinforced lace-up. It’s also fitted with a perforated toe box and side panel.
The interior has an ABZORB rubber content that increases cushioning and compression resistance properties. It also has a C-Cap midsole that absorbs forceful impacts. The Ndurance rubber compound gives this New Balance pickleball shoe maximum durability.
This model has had a shakeup in its sizes. This has compromised the fit, causing chaffing either on the big or little toe depending on the built of your foot.
- C-Cap midsole for comfort and classic performance.
- Ndurance rubber compound for durability in high wear environments like outdoor courts.
- ABZORB rubber content for interior cushioning that absorbs forceful impacts.
- Tight grip around the upper, which will likely chaff the big or small toe.
ASICS Men’s Gel Challenger 11 provides the best front and rear foot GEL cushioning system. The Gel cushioning system in this challenger is achieved by lateral propulsion Trusstic technology. The excellent upper fit is offered by the PHF fit system.
The shoe is fitted with a toe guard protector that enhances comfort. The midsole and outsole are enhanced with cushioning durability and high abrasion rubber respectively, further ensuring maximum comfort.
The Gel-Challenger 11 has a midfoot support through the use of extended Flexion Fit forefoot and synthetic leather midfoot brace to improve stability and balance. It is suitable for outdoor pickleball game.
The only challenge with this shoe is that it’s not comfortable on hot summer days. Breathability is not as effective as it is in other tennis shoes on the market. The Challenger is also narrow and a bit uncomfortable for people with wide feet.
- Gel cushioning systems for comfort both on the forefoot and rear-foot.
- Trusstic technology for stability and durability.
- Flexion fit forefoot and synthetic leather mid-foot brace for balance.
- No wider sizes.
- Runs hot.
These bad boys are a court-hugging outdoor pickleball favorite. They have an upper area of support and stretch that contours to your natural movement.
The GEOFIT construction offers a laced-up closure. It has a seamless bootie construction offering stability and flexibility for the forefoot. ADIPRENE enhances rebound capabilities, while ADWEAR ensures durability.
While the responsive cushioning gives a responsive boost, synthetic overlays offer structural support and abrasion resistance.
The ADITUFF on the upper wraps the toe and medial forefoot to protect them against the toe drag that happens during serves. The shoe has a seamless, cozy boot with a soft fabric lining. The BARRICADE chassis provides support and stability to enhance foot balance, freedom of movement, and structure in all the right areas.
The only disadvantage of this pickleball shoe is that its snugness makes putting them on and taking them off somewhat uncomfortable.
- Solid upper that supports and adapts to the feet movement.
- Offers structural support and fits comfortably.
- Roomier toe box and soft inner lining.
- BARRICADE chassis that provides comfort and stability.
- Uncomfortable to put on and take off.
Pickleball is a combination of badminton and tennis. This makes it both an indoor and outdoor game, and it is part of why it’s the fastest growing sport in terms of popularity.
There are approximately 3 million pickleball players in the USA, and the numbers are expected to rise by 62% every year.
Pickleball Shoes Buying Guide:
Online shopping can be tricky, especially when buying shoes. It all comes down to the research, customer reviews, and prices.
So, it may be wiser to go to a classic brick and mortar store rather than trying your luck with online shopping. The trick with shoes is that the fit has to be right, and online shopping will not offer the opportunity to try them on.
1. Shop for comfort and traction
Regardless of the price and model or company, pickleball shoes are meant to be comfortable and fitting—especially when training or during a game. It is imperative to maintain balance and traction lest you suffer a sprain.
2. The shoe should be light
Consider the weight of the shoe. You need a shoe that doesn’t feel clunky. Depending on whether you are playing an indoor or outdoor game, the right weight can vary. Indoor pickleball shoes tend to be lighter. Outdoor pickleball shoes are tougher with plusher cushioning, which tends to result in a heavier shoe.
3. Choose your shoes according to the court
If you play both indoor and outdoor pickleball, you’re advised to get a separate pair of pickleball shoes for each court. You need non-marking shoes for indoor games and tough traction for outdoor pickleball games.
4. There should be sufficient structure and cushioning
Also, look out for the structure of the shoe. You want a shoe that maintains structural integrity, especially on the upper while remaining flexible at the right spot—which is around the ball of your foot or right at the beginning of the laces.
5. The sole must be rubber
Ensure that the sole is rubber. Rubber is soft, light, and offers great cushioning. You also want a shoe with arch support but not too much. Too much arch support displaces the much-needed support for the forefoot and ankle areas. Low arch support is not bad as long as it holds up during the heavy landings.
Ultimately, the best pickleball shoe for you is the one that fits well, stays cushy, and feels right for its value. Shop carefully and you will find your perfect shoe.