If you're an avid pickleball player, you know that having the right equipment can make or break your game. One often-overlooked piece of equipment is your shoes.

Many beginner players may not think twice about the shoes they wear, but having the right footwear is crucial to simply playing the game safely and comfortably.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best options for shoe types for pickleball, including what makes a good pickleball shoe, how to choose the appropriate size and fit, and some of the top recommended brands.

Do I need special shoes for pickleball?

The answer is simple: yes. You may be able to get by playing in your everyday running or gym shoes, but they won't provide the necessary support and stability that you need for quick movements, lateral movements, and sudden stops and starts.

Not only can this make it difficult to maneuver on the court, but it can also result in an increased risk of injury. It’s important to wear shoes that are specifically designed for pickleball to reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance.

Importance of choosing the right shoes for pickleball

Choosing the right shoes for pickleball can make all the difference in your game. Proper footwear can provide the necessary support and cushioning needed for quick and sudden movements.

They help reduce the risk of injury by providing lateral support and increasing traction on the court.

When playing pickleball, you’ll be making lateral movements, stops, starts, and sprinting, so you'll need a shoe that can support your feet and keep your balance. With the right shoes, your body will feel more comfortable and less strained, making it easier and more enjoyable to play the game.

Can you play pickleball in tennis shoes?

While tennis shoes may look similar to pickleball shoes, they are not the same thing. While tennis shoes may offer good traction and support for side-to-side movements, they do not provide the same level of stability and lateral support as a good pair of pickleball shoes.

Additionally, tennis shoes tend to have less cushioning in the sole than pickleball shoes, which can increase the risk of foot injuries.

Should you wear running shoes for pickleball?

Running shoes are a great choice for long-distance running, but they are not suitable for pickleball.

Running shoes are designed for linear movement, while pickleball involves constant lateral movement. This means that running shoes may not provide the necessary support and traction for quick side-to-side movements.

The flexible, lightweight construction of running shoes also means they may not provide the stability needed for a game of pickleball. Moreover, running shoes tend to have less cushioning than pickleball shoes, which can lead to discomfort and foot injury.

Is a walking shoe good for pickleball?

Walking shoes are not recommended for pickleball either. Walking shoes are designed for comfort and support during normal daily activities, but they are not designed for the quick and lateral movements that pickleball requires.

Walking shoes usually do not provide enough support or cushioning in the sole, and may not offer the necessary lateral stability.

Their thick, spongy soles may impede your movements and cause you to lose control, making it harder for you to move quickly and change direction.

What makes a good pickleball shoe?

A good pickleball shoe should provide the necessary support, stability, and cushioning needed for quick and sudden movements on the court.

A good pickleball shoe should have a non-marking sole, good traction for grip on the court and a snug fit that supports your foot and ankle.

It should not be too heavy, as this can hinder your movements, but also not too light, as this can compromise your stability. Good pickleball shoes should also have shock absorption for cushioning and comfort.

The right pickleball shoe should also provide good lateral stability to reduce the risk of injury and improve your overall performance.

How to choose the right size and fit

When choosing a pickleball shoe, it is important to choose the right size and fit. A shoe that is too big can cause blisters and slippage on the court, while a shoe that is too small can cause discomfort, pinched toes, and can impair your movements.

Try to find a shoe that fits snugly around your foot and feels comfortable from the moment you put it on. It should not be too tight around the toes or too loose around the heel.

Check that your toes are about a thumb's length from the end of the shoe to ensure that your feet have enough room to move without rubbing against the top or front of the shoe.

The role of cushioning and support in pickleball shoes

Pickleball shoes should provide both cushioning and support. Cushioning and support are essential for a comfortable and safe game.

Choosing a shoe with more cushioning can help reduce the chances of sore feet, knee problems, or other injuries from the game's repetitive motions and constant pounding on the court. Support is also a key factor to consider when picking shoes.

Pickleball shoes should provide good support to prevent injuries and ensure you're playing up to your potential. Look for a shoe with a good balance of both cushion and support.

There are several brands that are highly recommended for pickleball shoes. Some of the top brands include Asics, Nike, Adidas, K-Swiss, and Babolat.

Look for shoes that are specifically designed for pickleball, and choose a shoe that works best for your playing style and foot shape.

Check out our article on the best pickleball shoes for women and men at this link.


The proper shoes can make a world of difference in your pickleball game. Finding the proper shoes for playing pickleball is vital for preventing injury and maximizing your performance.

The right shoe will provide support and stability, while also offering cushioning and traction for quick and sudden movements.  Look for a shoe that is specifically designed for pickleball with the features such as a durable gum sole for better traction, ample cushioning, perfect fit, and size to support your feet as you play.

Be sure to choose a shoe that fits snugly and comfortably and one that works for your playing style and foot shape. With the proper footwear, you'll be able to enjoy the game while minimizing the risk of injury and playing to your fullest potential.

Do your research and find the shoe that is perfect for you to get the most out of your pickleball game.

Happy Playing!

Discover the ultimate pickleball shoes! Our expert-driven selection saves you the hassle of research.

Make sure to take a look at our other exciting blog posts on pickleball, sports, and fitness!

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