Can You Wear New Balance Court Shoes for Pickleball?

Can you wear New Balance court shoes for pickleball?

I’ve been a fan of New Balance shoes for many years now.

I proudly own a pair of NB walking shoes, running shoes, lifestyle sneakers…and even New Balance court shoes for pickleball.

New Balance has designed several shoes that they claim are designed specifically for tennis and court sports.

But as any pickleball player knows, sometimes tennis shoes or ‘court shoesjust don’t cut it for pickleball.

There are more lateral movements in pickleball than tennis, and injuries can easily happen when players are wearing the wrong shoes.

So are New Balance’s court shoes really up to snuff for playing pickleball?

New Balance Court Shoes for Pickleball

They’re highly rated on Amazon and offer pretty much everything you need in terms of support and cushioning—but are they as effective for pickleball as they are for tennis?

And can they really help give your pickleball game that extra edge?

Let’s explore whether New Balance court shoes, typically designed for other court sports, can also be a suitable choice for pickleball!

I’ll share my experience wearing the New Balance women’s 696 Hard Court tennis shoe and hopefully help you make a more informed choice in picking the best pickleball court shoe for your own game.

I’ll also share my secret to scoring heavily discounted New Balance shoes on sale anytime, anywhere!

Keep reading until the end if you’re interested in saving money and scoring a deal on your next pair of New Balance sneakers for a lot less.

New Balance 696: V4 vs V5

Before we discuss the pros and cons of wearing New Balance 696 court shoes for pickleball, it’s worth mentioning the differences between the 696 version 4 court shoe (v4) and the newer version 5 (v5).

New Balance Womens 696 V4 Hard Court Tennis Shoe
  • Strong grip from rubber sole
  • Superior traction & durability with Ndurance outsole
  • Comfortable, breathable fit from synthetic & mesh upper
  • Lightweight materials might compromise durability
  • Bright colors might not suit everyone's style
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New Balance Womens 696 V5 Hard Court Tennis Shoe
  • Non-marking outsole
  • Customized fit with adjustable lace closure
  • Enhanced lateral traction from herringbone-patterned outsole
  • Designed for hard courts, limits performance elsewhere
  • Forefoot perforations allow debris/moisture entry
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Released in 2023, the 696v5 shoe is a newer, improved version of New Balance’s popular 696v4 court shoe.

The combination of a full-length NDurance outsole for greater grip on hard courts and a mesh and synthetic upper for increased sturdiness makes these tennis shoes special. They provide a dependable fit and a secure feel so you can be sure of yourself during your matches.

The biggest difference between the 696v4 and the 696v5 is the thicker sole and added ankle support.

For some, this will come as a welcome addition. For others, the added weight from the sole will be too much, and they might prefer the previous version.

As Foot Doctor Zach shows in this video, the 696v4 is much more affordable and just as solid as most other tennis shoes on the market:

Can New Balance Court Shoes Be Worn for Pickleball?

Pros of New Balance Shoes

I like my New Balance court shoes (I have the 696v4s) for their excellent support, cushioning, and stability.

They have been designed for court sports like tennis, badminton, and volleyball, so they might also be a good fit for your pickleball game.

Many players find that New Balance court shoes provide the traction, support, and comfort they need—including myself.

I love the bright colorways available in the v4s—unfortunately, the 696v5 hasn’t been released in as many colors yet, but the color ‘Sea Salt with Neon Dragonfly’ is SO nice. That orange sole is such a standout!

Cons of New Balance Shoes

However, New Balance court shoes may not provide the same level of performance as shoes specifically designed for pickleball.

They might not have the ideal traction for your specific pickleball court surface or the optimal support for lateral movements that are so common in pickleball.

Like I said, I’ve been playing with the 696v4s for a few months and they’ve worked well for me. However, I am young and injury-free, so if you have specific needs, like pickleball shoes for plantar fasciitis or pickleball shoes for wide feet, these shoes might not work for you.

new balance pickleball shoes

Proper Footwear for Pickleball

Footwear Features

Pickleball shoes need to be supportive, comfortable, and secure. They should have excellent grip to stop them from slipping on the court. The shoes a player chooses can impact their performance, comfort, and potential for injury—so do your research!

Importance of Cushioning

Cushioning in pickleball shoes is crucial for reducing the impact on joints, particularly when playing on hard court surfaces. It helps reduce the risk of getting hurt and makes it more comfortable to play.

Choose the Right Shoe Size

Selecting the correct shoe size is crucial for comfort and performance. Too tight or too loose shoes can cause discomfort, blisters, and even injury.

Bonis tip: Try on the shoes with the socks you plan to wear during games to get the right fit!

Check for Proper Traction

Good traction is essential in pickleball shoes to prevent slipping on the court. Check the bottom of the shoe to make sure it has enough grip for whatever type of surface you’re playing on, whether inside or out.

Select Shoes with Good Support

Pickleball involves quick lateral movements, so choose shoes that provide proper support to your feet and ankles. This can really help reduce the risk of injury.

Pick Shoes with Breathable Material

Playing pickleball can get kinda sweaty! So selecting shoes with breathable material can help keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout the game.

Final Verdict

While New Balance court shoes may offer some benefits for playing pickleball, they might not be the best option as they are not specifically designed for the sport.

When picking out pickleball shoes, you should consider such factors as playing style, court surface, shoe size, traction, support, and breathability.

To sum up my thoughts, it’s a good idea to select shoes specifically designed for pickleball to ensure peak performance and comfort.

Read my full breakdown of the best pickleball shoes for women here.

Where to Buy New Balance Pickleball Court Shoes

Of course, Amazon has a really incredible selection of New Balance court shoes with fast Prime shipping and free returns, but you can also find them at most major sporting stores and on New Balance’s own website.

My secret to scoring affordable New Balance shoes, however, is shopping at Joe’s New Balance Outlet.

This online shop carries heavily discounted New Balance shoes, and often has frequent sales ON TOP of already discounted product.

Joe’s New Balance is an authorized seller of New Balance sneakers, so the products on the site are authentic and real.

I’ve purchased multiple shoes from the site over the last few years and I’ve been happy with my purchase every time!


Can I use New Balance court shoes for both indoor and outdoor pickleball?

It depends on the specific shoe model. Some New Balance court shoes might provide enough traction and support for indoor and outdoor surfaces, but I’ve found it’s best to choose shoes that are designed specifically for each playing surface.

How often should I replace my pickleball shoes?

The frequency with which you replace your pickleball shoes depends on a few different factors like usage, playing style, and shoe quality.

Generally, I recommended you replace your shoes every 6 to 12 months or when you notice a significant decrease in support, cushioning, or traction.

Are there pickleball-specific shoes available on the market?

Yes, some brands offer shoes specifically designed for pickleball, like Tyrol, Acacia, and Wilson.

The brands designed these shoes to provide better performance and meet the sport’s unique requirements, like intense lateral, side-to-side movements.

How do I clean my pickleball shoes?

To clean your shoes, use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris from the soles and outer surface.

For more thorough cleaning, you can use a damp cloth with mild soap to scrub the shoes gently, followed by air drying.

Can I use running shoes for playing pickleball?

While running shoes like Hokas might be comfortable on your 5k, they usually lack the lateral support and traction needed for pickleball.

It’s better to invest in shoes specifically designed for the sport to prevent injuries and improve your performance.

Learn more about the issues with basketball shoes for pickleball and Hoka shoes for pickleball.


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