Do You Need Special Shoes for Pickleball? A Guide For Players

Do you need special shoes for pickleball

Pickleball has become increasingly popular, drawing in players from an array of backgrounds and age ranges.

With the sport on the rise, it’s no shock that there are often questions about the necessary gear, with shoes being the most important one.

So, do you need special shoes for pickleball?

In this complete guide, we will explore the importance of the right shoes for pickleball players and find out if spending money on specific shoes will actually give you an advantage on the court.

Why Do You Need Special Shoes for Pickleball

The Importance of Footwork

Pickleball demands quick reflexes, lateral movement, and sudden bursts of speed to function effectively on the court. 

As your feet take the brunt of the force from these movements, it’s crucial to have a shoe that provides the right support, stability, and protection.

Understanding the difference between various shoe types and their respective benefits will help you make an informed decision.


The Risks of Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Playing pickleball in the wrong shoes can be a huge liability. The wrong shoes can leave you feeling like you’re playing on ice due to the lack of proper traction. 

Want to learn more? We have written guides on playing pickleball in basketball shoes or in running shoes like Hokas.

Not only could you potentially end up taking an embarrassing spill, but you may also suffer from serious injuries such as sprains and strains if your shoe does not provide the necessary support for the movements during pickleball

That’s why it’s important to make sure that your shoes fit right and offer plenty of ankle support, as well as superior traction on any court surface.

Investing in a good pair will help you stay safe and enjoy the game even more.


What Makes a Shoe Good for Pickleball?

To find the best fit, look for the following features:

Good Traction

The shoes should have a good grip on the court surface to prevent slips and falls. Look for shoes with a non-marking sole made of rubber or gum rubber.


The shoes should provide good lateral support to help you move quickly and change directions without losing your balance.


The shoes should fit well and feel comfortable on your feet. Look for a pair with good cushioning and support.


Your pick should be able to withstand the wear and tear of playing pickleball. Look for those made of high-quality materials that can handle frequent use.


Tips for Choosing the Best Pickleball Shoes

Here are some tips to help you choose the best shoes:

Try Them On

Put them on and walk around in them before you decide to buy them. Make sure they fit well and feel comfortable on your feet.

Consider Your Playing Style

Your playing technique can affect what type of shoes you require.

If you’re a fast player who likes to move quickly and make sudden changes in direction, you’ll need shoes with good lateral support and traction.

Look for Shoes Specifically Designed for Pickleball

Many shoes on the market are specially designed for pickleball. Find shoes that are specifically labeled for this sport, like Tyrol or K-Swiss, or that have features suitable for it.

Invest in Quality Shoes

Don’t skimp on quality just to save on cost. Invest in a high-quality pair of shoes that will provide the support, stability, and traction you.

So, Do You Need Special Shoes for Pickleball?

Ultimately, the answer depends on your level of commitment and involvement in the sport.

For casual or infrequent players, a good pair of tennis or cross-training shoes should be enough.

However, if you’re getting more serious about pickleball, investing in specific shoes for the game can give you a performance boost, prevent injuries, and make you feel more comfortable playing.

Our Top Pick For Pickleball Shoes

If you’re looking for the perfect shoes to take your pickleball game to the next level, you’ve come to the right place! We have written dozens of reviews, guides, and roundups of the best pickleball shoes on the market.

With special shoes designed for pickleball, you can move around the court quickly and confidently, knowing that they won’t slip or be uncomfortable. 

Our top pick for both men and women is always Wilson’s Rush Pro series.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or a beginner, these shoes will give you the advantage you need to win your next match. Solid support, good grip, and made with a lightweight foam finish means you’ll feel supported but light enough to leap for those short dinks.

For Men
WILSON Rush Pro Ace Pickleball Shoe
  • Ultimate comfort while maintaining superior support
  • High-density OrthoLite foam
  • Enhanced stability & more control

Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Wilson
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05/31/2023 06:11 pm GMT
For Women
Wilson Rush Pro Ace Pickler Women's Pickleball Shoe
  • Layered with Sensifeel on the upper for additional breathability
  • 2E fit to accommodate wider feet
  • Symmetrical heel-toe chassis that limits supination to help control pivot movements
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Wilson
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/30/2023 04:15 pm GMT

​​Comparing Special Court Shoes: Tennis Shoes vs. Pickleball Shoes

While it may be tempting to use your everyday sneakers or even tennis shoes for pickleball, understanding the subtle differences between these options and specialized pickleball shoes may change your mind.

Tennis shoes are designed for optimal performance on the tennis court, whereas pickleball kicks cater to the specific demands of pickleball. Tennis shoes often feature a heavier construction, thicker soles, and more lateral support as they’re built for stability during the longer rallies common in tennis.

On the other hand, pickleball shoes are typically lighter, have more flexible soles, provide better shock absorption, and are designed for the constant start-and-stop action that is integral to the sport. They prioritize a combination of cushioning, stability, and breathability, allowing players to be nimble and agile on the court.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve explored the reasons why the right footwear is crucial for pickleball, it’s evident that specialized shoes can provide an advantage for dedicated players. While it’s not an absolute necessity, a good pair of shoes can make a significant difference in the long run.

So, next time you’re asking yourself if you should go on a pickleball spending spree, consider your level of engagement with the sport and whether the benefits of specialized shoes align with your goals and performance needs.

Good luck, and see you on the court!

Read Next:

7 Best Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

5 Best Pickleball Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The Best Pickleball Shoes for Women

Skechers Viper Court Pro Pickleball Shoe Review

Buyer’s Guide: The 7 Best Pickleball Shoes (in 2023)


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