As someone who is an instructor and has managed the pickleball program at a local community center, I have seen first-hand the dangers of wearing the wrong kinds of shoes when playing pickleball. I’ve seen numerous injuries — rolled ankles, ruptured Achilles’ tendons, pulled hamstrings, strains, sprains, and more — many of which may have been prevented with proper footwear.
What Kind of Shoes Should I Wear for Pickleball?
When playing pickleball, it’s best to use a pickleball shoe, tennis shoe, or court shoe. Instead of grabbing the most convenient pair of athletic shoes, it is imperative to make sure your shoes are conducive to the forward, backward, and lateral movements required on the pickleball court.
Leave the walking shoes, running shoes, and cross-trainers at home when playing pickleball. They are designed specifically to support your forward motion — not side-to-side movements with quick stops and starts.
The Best Shoes for Pickleball According to Players
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best shoes for pickleball. To come up with our list, we use a few different criteria. As an instructor and pickleball player, I see many shoes on the court. Some brands are more popular than others. We scour through pickleball groups on social media to see what shoe players are recommending. We also look through the reviews on Pickleball Central to see which shoes get the best ratings.
- Acacia Tyler Loong Signature Edition
- Adidas Game Court Tennis Shoe
- Babolat Propulse Fury 3 All Court Shoe
- FILA Volley Zone Pickleball Shoe
- HEAD Revolt Pro 4.0
- K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
- New Balance 806 V1 Tennis Shoe
- Sketchers Viper Court Pickleball Shoe
- Tyrol Volley V Pickleball Shoe
- Wilson Rush Pro Ace Pickler
Best Shoes for Pickleball
Acacia Tyler Loong Signature Edition
Acacia has a variety of shoes designed specifically for pickleball. Pros Tyler Loong and Corrine Carr both have signature series of these shoes. This is Acacia’s lightest and most agile pickleball shoe to date. This shoe has a flexible, comfortable support structure with breathable ventilation.
- Weight: 12oz
- Upper: ProFlex membrane frame, MicroHC mesh, ballistic nylon
- Midsole: Water resistant ARK-Technology EVA foam provides elevation and structure
- Outsole: Non-marking anti-wear rubber with elevated heels increases leverage, control, and balance
- Insole: ProSole, silicone honeycomb-gel, antimicrobial insoles with shock absorption
- Fit: Wider toe box
- Misc: PROgrip tread extends around the contour of the shoe to provide traction, comfort, and support lateral movements. Heel Control Stability (HCS) to support ankles and heels.
- Warranty: 45 days
Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!
Adidas Game Court Tennis Shoe
This is an affordable tennis shoe that is breathable and lightweight. It also has a durable outsole to give you a firm grip with every serve and slide.
- Weight: 11.2oz
- Upper: Breathable Mesh
- Midsole: EVA Foam
- Outsole: ADIWEAR Non-marking outsole with herringbone pattern offers the ultimate in high-wear durability
- Misc: Made with high-performance recycled materials
- Return Policy: Within 30 days
Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!
Babolat Propulse Fury 3 All Court Shoe
This shoe is great for aggressive footwork. It has a firm tread so can you slide on hard ground. The shoe provides cushioning, good support, and responsiveness to 9 key pressure points on the foot.
- Weight: 13.1oz
- Upper: Cell shield upper material for durability
- Midsole: KPRS-X, an EVA pad made of high quality foam with a specific shape and placement to better protect the heel and the foot
- Outsole: Michelin Premium DIN20 Outsole
- Sockliner: 360 Insock (fully integrated tongue) & soft foam
- Fit: Fits true to size with a standard toe box width, slightly narrow midsole, and narrow heel
- Misc: PowerBelt Technology ensures optimum heel and arch support with a collar that is higher than normal to protect the ankle
- Warranty: 6-MONTH outsole wear guarantee, 12-MONTH warranty for manufacturer’s defects
FILA Volley Zone Pickleball Shoe
This performance shoe offers a considerable amount of support which cushions against impact. It features a herringbone rubber outsole for added traction and durability. The shoe can be cleaned easily and withstand frequent use.
- Weight: 14.5oz
- Upper: Leather, mesh, and a breathable synthetic upper
- Midsole: TPU midfoot shank for added stability, energized EVA midsole for extra cushioning
- Outsole: Herringbone rubber outsole for added traction and durability
- Insole: Removable molded EVA Insole
- Fit: Shoe runs small. It’s best to size up one half size when ordering
- Misc: Features forefoot circle pivot area
- Warranty: 1-YEAR warranty from original purchase date. Covers defects due to substandard workmanship or material imperfections. Normal wear and tear is not covered under warranty. No outsole warranty.
Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!
HEAD Revolt Pro 4.0
The Revolt Pro delivers stability and comfortable performance so you can move aggressively and feel sure-footed. It offers a high degree of safety and durability packaged in a sleek and adaptable fit.
- Weight: 11.6oz (women’s)
- Upper: Breathable mesh for comfort and support
- Midsole: Shock-absorbing heel, rigid shank for stability, and high rebound forefoot
- Outsole: Hybrid outsole that is non-marking and can be used on all court surfaces
- Insole: Removable insoles
- Fit: Runs true-to-size, has a slightly wider-fitting toe box
- Misc: Long-lasting shoe on all court surfaces
- Warranty: Limited warranty for defective material and workmanship for one year from the date of purchase. 6-month outsole durability warranty
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2
This best-selling shoe is comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. It has maximized cushioning and enhanced durability.
- Weight: 11.8oz
- Upper: Leather
- Midsole: Surgelite
- Outsole: Aosta 7.0 high abrasion rubber outsole for durability and great traction
- Sockliner: ORTHOLITE sockliner for interior comfort and cushioning
- Misc: Durawrap Flex gives the shoe support with no break-in period
- Warranty: 1-YEAR warranty from original purchase date. Covers defects due to substandard workmanship or material imperfections. Normal wear and tear are not covered under warranty. No outsole warranty.
Use discount code 10MAX for 10% off!
New Balance 806 V1 Tennis Shoe
This heritage tennis shoe offers unrivaled motion control with C-CAP®, ABZORB®, and exclusive ROLLBAR technology. It provides the ultimate in on-court stability and support.
- Weight: 13.5oz
- Upper: Full grain leather
- Outsole: Non-marking Herringbone-pattern outsole for added traction during lateral movement
- Insole: LIGHTNING DRY® wicks moisture away to help keep your feet dry and comfortable
- Fit: Tighter toe box
- Returns: Within 45 days
Sketchers Viper Court Pickleball Shoe
This shoe has a relaxed fit that prioritizes your comfort during play. It supports natural movement while cushioning the feet against jarring impact. Its’ Goodyear Performance Outsole improves traction while resisting wear. Sketchers is the shoe for pros Tyson McGuffin and Catherine Parenteau. Sketchers is the official footwear of USA Pickleball.
- Weight: 11.7oz
- Upper: Synthetic materials and athletic mesh
- Outsole: Goodyear® Performance Outsole delivers enhanced traction, stability, and durability
- Insole: Patented removable Arch Fit insole system helps mold to your foot to reduce shock and increase weight dispersion.
- Fit: True to size
- Misc: Relaxed Fit® for a roomy comfort fit at toe and forefoot
- Returns: Within 30 days
The video below describes the Sketchers Pickleball shoe in more detail. They mention what features make a pickleball shoe unique and how it differs from a tennis shoe.
Tyrol Volley V Pickleball Shoe
This shoe provides you with support, response, and traction. It has features that work together to keep your arches happy, drive you forward with power, and offer grippy traction in every step, especially on outdoor court surfaces.
- Weight: 13.1oz
- Upper: Open weave nylon mesh upper with padded tricot lining
- Midsole: EVA midsole with thermo-plastic shank support prevents ankle roll-over
- Outsole: Vibram Chevron durable rubber outsole
- Insole: Removable insole
- Fit: True to size. Wide toe box
- Misc: Strong exterior heel counter offers excellent rear foot support
- Warranty: 12 month warranty for manufacturer’s defects
Wilson Rush Pro Ace Pickler
This is a good shoe for those with wide feet. It’s designed with a breathable mesh upper and cushioned heel-toe drop for ultimate comfort. It will have you feeling more assured in your positioning and give your feet more stability.
- Weight: 12.65oz
- Upper: Sensifeel 2.0, a minimally layered upper with an engineered mesh that provides enhanced breathability, feel, support, comfort, and a homogeneous fit. Medial Drag Pads (rubberor TPU overlays) on medial side supplies added durability and protection when dragging the foot
- Midsole: 4D Support Chassis – An asymmetrical heel-to-toe chassis that delivers enhanced stability and limits supination/torsion to help control pivot movements
- Outsole: Duralast Outsole – Exclusive high-density, consummately durable rubber compound
- Insole: Removable insole
- Fit: Standard toe box width
- Warranty: Limited Warranty on manufacturer defects on a case-by-case basis
Tips for Purchasing Pickleball Shoes
- Begin by researching the Internet. Peruse the manufacturer’s information as well as the relevant reviews and comments.
- Ask other pickleball players with whom you play which shoe they prefer and why. They are bound to share their experiences with you.
- Determine if you prefer a shoe with a top layer of leather or fabric/mesh – or a combination of both. This will impact comfort and breathability.
- Look for shoes that have adequate ankle and arch support.
- Consider the court surface on which you most frequently play. That will help determine whether you should purchase a tennis shoe, court shoe, or volleyball shoe. Indoor courts (gymnasiums, for example) tend to be slipperier. Outdoor courts (tennis court surfaces), on the other hand, wear down your soles more quickly.
- Consider the court’s surface color. As many of you know, hitting the pickleball at your opponent’s feet is an effective strategy. Do you want your feet to be an easy target? Consider a darker shoe or one that can be more easily camouflaged against the court surface, to “hide” your feet from your opponents. ;-).
- Consider your playing style. Do you move around the court excessively and drag your toe? Depending on your style, you might need more lateral support or cushioned toecaps.
- Consider the weight of the shoe. You don’t want a shoe that’s going to weigh you down on the court.
- Is your first priority comfort? If so, consider a gel insole. However, with all of the running and quick bursts required in pickleball, you should also look for a shoe with a thick sole to minimize the impact on the court.
- Keep track of when and where you purchased your shoes along with how much you paid. This will make it easier to purchase new shoes in the future.
How Often Should Pickleball Shoes Be Replaced?
Wear and tear can take a toll on your shoes. In order to stay safe on the court, it’s important to replace your shoes from time-to-time. I’m typically on the court for a few hours every day, whether I’m teaching or playing. I usually need to replace my shoes every 3-4 months.
Several important factors should be considered when determining how often you should replace your shoes.
- Are you someone who spends several hours on the court each day? If so, you will go thru a pair of shoes quite quickly.
- Are the grooves in the soles starting to wear down? Check the bottom of your shoes from time-to-time. Can you even see the rubber grooves anymore? If not, you definitely need a new pair of shoes!
- Do you feel your shoes gripping the court, or are you literally sliding across the court to get the shot?
- What level do you play? Are you playing for leisure or high competition? Playing at a competitive level will require a more frequent replacement of shoes.
- Are you wearing tennis shoes or volleyball shoes? Tennis shoes are more durable and will likely last a little longer than volleyball shoes.
Remember to break in your new shoes a little before jumping into a competitive game, or competing in a tournament. Believe me, your feet will thank you!
Does Wearing Good Pickleball Shoes Really Matter?
Yes! It is, indeed, critical to wear good pickleball shoes when playing – regardless if you’re playing competitively or recreationally. While features such as style, comfort, weight, and color matter when finding a shoe: first and foremost, a good pickleball shoe will keep you safe on the court. It should provide you with adequate ankle support and arch support while being lightweight and comfortable – allowing you to glide smoothly around the court with minimal effort.
What Makes for an Effective & Safe Shoe for Pickleball?
The best shoes for pickleball are court shoes or tennis shoes — ones that have great comfort, excellent grip, ankle support, rubber soles, and a tread pattern conducive to quick lateral movements. Keep in mind, a good pair of pickleball shoes will not last forever. A general rule-of-thumb is that pickleball shoes should be replaced after approximately 60 hours of play — or 3 to 4 months, depending on how often you play.
Is There a Difference Between Tennis Shoes and Pickleball Shoes?
Pickleball shoes and tennis shoes are very similar as both sports require similar movements and quick bursts around the court. Shoe brands, to their credit, have introduced shoes that are designed and marketed specifically for pickleball.
The best pickleball shoes address issues that are specific to pickleball such as players sliding across the court and the quick movements on a smaller court.
What is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Shoes?
The better question is what type of court surface you are playing on. If you are playing on an outdoor court or an indoor tennis court, their court surface will be pretty similar. However, if you are playing on an outdoor court or an indoor gym floor, their surface will be different.
Outdoor courts and indoor tennis courts have a gritty, hard surface. On those surfaces pickleball, or tennis shoes are the best option. Those shoes provide the necessary support for quick lateral and forward-and-backward movements and they hold up best to the wear-and-tear of rough court surfaces.
If playing indoors on a wood/composite gym floor — like at a local, recreation center — court, volleyball, pickleball, or tennis shoes — are great options. Mizuno and ASICS shoes are two brands that both have some good “volleyball” (gum rubber sole) options in their shoe line-up that can be worn for pickleball. While I personally use my tennis shoes to play indoors, there are several other options — specifically designed for the wood/composite gym floors.
Don’t Skimp on Pickleball Shoes
With the different gear and accessories to buy for pickleball, please don’t skimp on pickleball shoes. Having the right pair of shoes will not only enhance your comfort and performance — but could also very well minimize your chance of serious injury. It’s not necessary to purchase the “cutest” or “coolest” shoe. It is critical, however, to buy the right kind of footwear. If you currently don’t have the right kind of shoe for pickleball, please make it a priority to get new shoes before setting foot on the pickleball court again.
See you on the courts!
Susan Capuri says
Thank you for the information
I am a newer player and really enjoy the game. I play or practice 6 to 7 days a week so my body is probably going into shock after 45 years of working as a teacher and administrator.
I keep having problems with my calf which force me to stop playing. I have been wearing Babolat sneakers but my foot moves inside the sneaker. I play outside and am looking for the right shoes.
Thanks, Susan, for chiming in. Sounds like it may be an issue of “fit,” and not the actual shoe.
richard baker says
Amazing article!! I’m on my third pair of K-Swiss Express and can’t find anything I like as much, so I’ll just keep rollin with these. They are light and well vented which is good because my feet get hot. I wear them mostly outside, but on really hot days we play in the rec center and they work fine on the gym floor. They fit my slightly wider foot very well. I usually wear a size 9 and that’s what I order in these and that’s just right.
Laurence Lewin says
Excellent, and most reassuring article. I’m using K-Swiss, which are particularly good if you have a a wide foot. I’d also add th importance of stretching your calf muscles to prevent Achilles tendinitis, and recommend a 3 minute stand on a variable wedge support which passively stretches the Achilles tendon you stand upright on the wedge.
Thanks, Laurence, for that feedback — and stretching tip!
Bart Brannpn says
Thanks so much for your article on the best shoes for Pickleball, I hope players will heed you advice as I have learned the hard way after many experiences with the wrong shoe, including blowouts and falls on the court. I currently use Nike court shoes.