Choosing the Right Shoes for Pickleball: Expert Recommendations

Pickleball Shoes: The Key to Improving Your Game

Pickleball, a fast-paced game similar to tennis but played on a smaller court, has been growing in popularity in recent years. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, having the right pair of shoes can make a big difference in your performance on the court. According to experts like Katy Luxem, the founder of Big Dill Pickleball Co, ditching your running shoes and investing in proper pickleball shoes can greatly enhance your game.

Top Picks for Pickleball Shoes

After extensive research, our editors have compiled a list of the top-rated pickleball shoes for 2023. Our team scoured top retailers, read hundreds of reviews, and consulted with pickleball experts to determine our recommendations. The selected shoes meet key criteria such as support, traction, and breathability, ensuring maximum comfort and performance.

What to Consider when Shopping for Pickleball Shoes

As a beginner, regular athletic shoes may suffice for recreational play. However, as you progress in the sport, it’s important to consider the following factors when choosing your shoes, as advised by pickleball expert Mindy Gibson:

Support: Look for shoes with a strong outsole and a supportive EVA foam midsole. These features provide stability and maximum support during the fast lateral movements that pickleball players frequently make. Pickleball shoes are typically wider and sturdier compared to running shoes.

Traction: To minimize the risk of slipping, especially on indoor courts designed like basketball courts, opt for shoes with an outsole made of strong rubber. Additionally, choose a shoe with a detailed groove pattern to enhance traction on the court.

Breathability: If you plan to play outdoors in hot weather, prioritize shoes with a lightweight mesh construction. This promotes airflow and helps prevent excessive sweating. Some shoes even incorporate anti-odor technology to keep your feet fresh and dry.

Running Shoes vs. Pickleball Shoes

While it’s not essential to have specialized pickleball shoes, experts suggest that regular players can benefit from shoes designed specifically for the sport. Running shoes, although lightweight and breathable, are designed for front-to-back motion and may not offer adequate support for the lateral movements involved in pickleball. Luxem recommends opting for court shoes made for tennis, basketball, or volleyball if you’re not inclined to invest in dedicated pickleball shoes.

Why Trust Good Housekeeping’s Recommendations?

Brigitt Earley, a writer, editor, and content creator with over 15 years of experience, collaborated with pickleball pros and experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute to research and review the recommended pickleball shoes. Her expertise in the field of consumer products, including apparel and fitness gear, adds credibility to our recommendations. Earley has contributed to reputable publications such as Glamour, Women’s Health, and Real Simple, showcasing her knowledge and experience in lifestyle topics.


Investing in the right pair of shoes is crucial for any pickleball enthusiast looking to improve their game. Consider the importance of support, traction, and breathability when making your decision. While specialized pickleball shoes are not mandatory, they do offer additional benefits that can enhance your comfort and performance on the court. Trust the recommendations from experts and rely on their advice to find the perfect pair of pickleball shoes for your needs.

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