Are Hoka Shoes a Good Choice for Pickleball?

Are HOKA shoes a good choice for pickleball

If you’re an avid pickleball player, you understand how crucial it is to have the right shoes that provide comfort, stability, and traction on the court.

Hoka One One is a popular brand among runners, but how do their shoes hold up for pickleball? I bought a pair of Hokas in 2019 for running and other workouts, and I’ve since played a few games of pickleball in them. Keep reading to learn how they worked out!

In this article, we’ll explore the features of Hoka shoes and their suitability for pickleball.

Table of Contents

Importance of Proper Footwear

Proper footwear is crucial in pickleball, as it helps to reduce the risk of injuries and enhances your performance.

Pickleball involves a lot of lateral movements, sudden stops, and quick changes in direction, and you need shoes that can provide stability, support, and cushioning. The right shoes can also help you maintain your balance and prevent you from slipping on the court.

If you read any decent article on best pickleball shoes, it should mention the frequency of lateral movements in pickleball and how this differs from other sports. Often times, running shoes will not be good enough to support these side-to-side movements in the sport.

Please consult with a medical professional to ensure you’re choosing the right shoe for your needs.

Who is Hoka One One?

Hoka One One is a running shoe company that was founded in France in 2009.

The brand’s name comes from the Maori phrase “hoka hey,” which means “time to fly.” The company is known for its thick, cushioned midsoles, which provide excellent shock absorption and comfort for runners. Hoka shoes are designed to be lightweight and supportive.

Features of Hoka Shoes

Hoka shoes are known for a few unique features that make them stand out from other shoe brands.

They have thick midsoles that provide excellent, thick cushioning and shock absorption, which can be beneficial for pickleball players who need to reduce the impact of their movements on the court. Hoka shoes also have wide soles that provide stability and a secure fit.

The best HOKA shoes for pickleball

The Hoka Bondi and Pickleball

The Hoka Bondi is a popular running shoe that’s known for its thick, cushioned midsole.

It’s designed for long-distance running, but it can also be suitable for pickleball. The Bondi has a wide sole that provides stability, and the cushioning can help to reduce the impact on your joints.

However, the Bondi may not be the best choice for pickleball players who require quick movements, as the thick midsole may affect your agility.

HOKA Womens Bondi 8 Running Shoes
  • Rubber sole
  • Engineered mesh construction
  • Recycled content lining mesh
  • Ortholite hybrid sockliner
  • Lightweight, resilient foam
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The Hoka Clifton and Pickleball

The Hoka Clifton is another popular running shoe that’s designed for speed and comfort.

It’s a lightweight shoe that has a responsive ride (aka, it doesn’t feel like dead weight against the ground, but instead bounces back), which can be beneficial for pickleball players who need to make quick movements on the court. The Clifton has a thinner midsole than the Bondi, which makes it more suitable for agility and speed.

However, the Clifton may not provide as much cushioning as the Bondi, which can be a concern for players who need extra support.

HOKA Clifton 8 Womens Shoes
  • Breathable open-engineered mesh upper with seamless synthetic overlays
  • Breathable textile lining for abrasion-free wear
  • Removable, foam padded insole for cushioning and support
  • Durable full-length EVA midsole to absorb shock and offer stability
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The Hoka Mach and Pickleball

The Hoka Mach is a versatile running shoe that can be suitable for pickleball.

It has an incredibly lightweight design that makes it easy to move around on the court. The Mach has a thinner midsole than the Bondi but provides more cushioning than the Clifton, making it a good balance between support and agility.

The Mach also has a wide sole that provides stability, which can be useful for pickleball players who need to maintain their balance during quick movements.

HOKA Mach 4 Womens Shoes
  • Breathable upper
  • Lightweight outsole
  • Articulated heel collar
  • Molded EVA sockliner
  • Lay-flat gusseted tongue
  • PROFLY™ cushioning for springy toe-off
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Hoka vs. Other Pickleball Shoe Brands

While Hoka shoes have unique features that could make them a good choice for some pickleball players, they may not be the best option for everyone.

Other popular pickleball shoe brands include Tyrol, K-Swiss, and Skechers, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses. Read more about our top picks for the best shoes for pickleball in 2023.

Skechers is known for its Gel cushioning technology, which provides excellent shock absorption and comfort. K-Swiss shoes are designed for speed and agility, with a focus on lightweight materials and responsive cushioning. Tyrol shoes are known for their durability and support, with a range of features that cater to different playing styles.

Final Verdict

Hoka shoes can be a good choice for pickleball players who prioritize comfort and style, but they aren’t the best option if you’re planning on playing pickleball regularly as the lack of support could lead to injury.

The Bondi, Clifton, and Mach are all suitable options, depending on your playing style and needs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are other pickleball shoe brands that may be more suitable for your preferences.

If you play pickleball more than once or twice a month, I would consider investing in a pickleball shoe actually designed for pickleball, rather than a running shoe.

Ultimately, the best way to find the right pickleball shoes is to try them out and see which ones work best for you.


Can I use my running shoes for pickleball?

While some running shoes can be suitable for pickleball, they may not provide the necessary support and stability for the quick movements and lateral transitions required in pickleball.

It’s best to invest in a pair of shoes specifically designed for pickleball to reduce the risk of injuries and enhance your performance.

Are Hoka shoes good for pickleball players with knee pain?

Hoka shoes are known for their excellent cushioning and shock absorption, which can be beneficial for players with knee pain.

However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any shoes for medical purposes.

Do Hoka shoes run true to size?

Hoka shoes tend to run slightly smaller than other shoe brands, so it’s recommended to order a half size larger than your usual shoe size.

Can I wear Hoka shoes for outdoor pickleball?

Yes, Hoka shoes can be suitable for outdoor pickleball, as long as the court surface is not too rough or uneven. It’s important to choose shoes with good traction and durability for outdoor play.

How do I clean my Hoka shoes?

Hoka shoes can be cleaned with a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, and allow the shoes to air dry.

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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