The Importance of Choosing the Right Pickleball Shoes for Optimal Performance

Pickleball: A Rising Sports Phenomenon

Pickleball, a fast-paced game resembling tennis but played on a smaller court with slightly different gear, has become one of the fastest growing sports today. This engaging sport attracts players across all age groups and skill levels due to its unique gameplay. However, if you want to take your pickleball game to the next level, it’s crucial to ditch your running shoes and invest in a pair of specialized pickleball shoes. According to experts in the field, the right footwear can make a significant difference in your performance.

Research and Expert Recommendations

After conducting extensive research and consulting experienced pickleball players and professionals, we have compiled a list of the top 12 pickleball shoes for 2023. Our editors scoured various retailers for the best-selling products, reading numerous reviews and analyzing specifications to determine our top recommendations. We believe these shoes offer the perfect combination of support, traction, and breathability required for pickleball players.

Key Considerations when Choosing Pickleball Shoes

While beginners can get by with regular shoes for recreational play, it is important to upgrade your footwear as you progress in the sport. Pickleball experts recommend considering the following factors when shopping for pickleball shoes:


Look for shoes designed with a robust outsole and a supportive EVA foam midsole. These features provide maximum support during the fast lateral movements that pickleball players frequently make. Pickleball shoes are typically wider and sturdier than running shoes, ensuring superior stability and reducing the risk of injuries.


To minimize the chances of slipping, especially on indoor courts designed like basketball courts, choose shoes with an outsole constructed of durable rubber. Additionally, prioritize shoes with a detailed groove pattern that offers enhanced traction, allowing you to maintain excellent control during dynamic movements.


For players who intend to play outdoors in warmer climates, breathability is a crucial factor. Opt for shoes with a lightweight mesh construction that promotes airflow around your feet. Some pickleball shoes even feature special anti-odor technology to keep your feet sweat-free and fresh throughout your game.

Specialized Shoes vs. Regular Running Shoes

While it is not necessary to have specialized pickleball shoes, frequent players would benefit from footwear designed specifically for the sport. Running shoes, for instance, are built for front-to-back motion and are primarily constructed with breathable lightweight mesh. Wearing running shoes while playing pickleball may increase the risk of injury as they are not optimized for the lateral movements required in the game.

If you’re unwilling to invest in pickleball-specific shoes, experts recommend opting for court shoes designed for tennis, basketball, or volleyball. These shoes often offer the necessary traction and support to keep players comfortable and secure during the quick and constant lateral motions synonymous with pickleball.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to reliable recommendations, you can trust our extensive research and years of experience. Our writer, Brigitt Earley, has over 15 years of experience covering a wide range of product categories, including apparel and fitness gear. She collaborated with pickleball pros and experts from the Good Housekeeping Institute to thoroughly research and review the sneakers recommended in this article.

Brigitt is a highly experienced writer, editor, and craft stylist who specializes in lifestyle topics such as home, health, parenting, beauty, style, food, entertaining, travel, and weddings. Her work has been featured in renowned publications such as Glamour, People, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Apartment Therapy, and The Spruce.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right pickleball shoes is essential for optimizing your performance and minimizing the risk of injury. Proper footwear can provide the necessary support, traction, and breathability to keep you comfortable and secure during the fast lateral movements demanded by pickleball. Whether you decide to invest in specialized pickleball shoes or opt for court shoes from other sports, make a conscious choice to enhance your pickleball experience.

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