Tips to Choose Right Shoes for Pickleball

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By Jacob Jackson

Looking for the perfect pair of pickleball court shoes? Not sure what to look for? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Choosing the right shoes for your pickleball game is crucial, and there are a few key factors to consider. Through extensive research and gathering insights from sports players, we have compiled a list of important features to look out for.

Key Takeaways

  • Look for pickleball shoes with a non-marking sole feature, as this is a requirement on the court.
  • The shoes should have a solid lateral base to prevent ankle injuries.
  • It’s essential to have a cushioned midsole for comfort and to avoid joint pain.
  • Avoid wearing running or walking shoes for pickleball.

So, if you’re eager to find out more about pickleball shoes, keep reading! Our ultimate guide will provide you with all the necessary information to help you make an informed decision and choose the perfect pair of shoes for your pickleball match.

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How to Choose the Right Shoes for Pickleball?

Before you make your next pickleball shoe purchase, let’s dive into the key factors that you should consider. These factors will not only guide you in selecting the right shoes but also educate you about their crucial features.

1. Non-marking Sole – a Must-Have!

Before buying pickleball shoes, always check if they have a non-marking sole feature. It’s important to adhere to the pickleball court rules, as players wearing shoes without a non-marking sole are not allowed to enter the court. This is to prevent any damage to the court’s surface.

Non-marking sole shoes are flat, with minimal cleats, ensuring no marks are left on the court. Make sure to double-check this feature before making your purchase. To learn more about pickleball tactics, check out our informative blog.

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2. Solid Lateral Base – for Injury Prevention

The base of the shoes plays a crucial role in choosing the right pickleball shoes. We highly recommend opting for shoes with a solid lateral base. Since most of the body pressure during pickleball is on the feet, wearing the right shoes can help prevent ankle injuries.

With the right pickleball shoes, you’ll be able to execute your shots smoothly and comfortably twist your ankle for the next move. Don’t forget to carefully examine the base of the shoes before adding them to your cart.

3. Cushioned Midsole – the Key to Comfort

When purchasing pickleball shoes, make sure they have a cushioned midsole made of foam. During the game, you’ll jump and run from one point to another, putting a lot of strain on your feet and knees. If your shoes aren’t comfortable or soft enough, it could lead to joint pain and cramps.

Wearing shoes with a hard sole will tire you out quickly and negatively impact your game, potentially leading to a loss. Look for pickleball shoes with a cushioned midsole rather than a hard surface for optimal comfort and performance.

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4. Material – Breathability Matters!

An important factor to consider when buying pickleball shoes is the material used in their manufacturing. Always go for high-quality, breathable materials. During the game, you will inevitably sweat.

Just like your upper body needs fresh air to breathe, your feet also need the same. If the upper material of the shoes is not of good quality, it won’t provide the necessary comfort, and your feet might be affected by sweat, hindering your moves. For sports activities, choose suitable materials, and if they’re made of mesh, don’t hesitate to grab those shoes as they are perfect for pickleball games. Be sure to read our blog on pickleball doubles strategy for more insights.

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5. Size – Get the Perfect Fit!

It’s not enough to simply grab a pair of shoes and put them in your cart. You need to check the size to ensure a proper fit. If you choose a smaller size, it will restrict your movement and cause pinching or rubbing issues.

On the other hand, if you buy a larger size, you won’t be able to play comfortably as you won’t have a strong grip, and there’s a higher chance of falling or sustaining ankle injuries. Look for shoes that provide a strong grip, the right size, and utmost comfort.

6. Check the Shoe Weight – Choose Wisely!

Another factor to consider when selecting the best pickleball shoes is their weight. If you’re looking to prevent injuries, opt for shoes with a higher support base, which usually means a heavier weight.

However, if you just want to play your game smoothly without having to worry about shoe weight, lightweight shoes are perfect. They provide comfort, don’t restrict your movement, and can last for a longer period of time.

7. Durability – A Must-Have Feature!

The durability of your pickleball shoes largely depends on the material and weight chosen. If you select premium quality materials that are suitable for outdoor courts and resistant to external factors like rain, you can expect greater durability.

Additionally, the weight of the shoes also plays a role in their longevity. Heavier shoes tend to last longer, while lighter ones are more preferable for their comfort. Before choosing the right shoes for your pickleball game, ensure they are guaranteed to be highly durable.

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Also, make sure to read more about the optimal time to replace your shoes in another blog.

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Can I wear running shoes for pickleball?

No, running or walking shoes are not suitable for pickleball. They are not designed to meet all the criteria required for the sport, especially the specific directional movements involved. If you’re looking for an alternative to pickleball shoes, tennis shoes are recommended as they fulfill all the necessary criteria for a comfortable match.

Are pickleball shoes worth it?

If you’re an athlete or frequently play pickleball, it’s highly recommended to invest in pickleball shoes. Sports brands and specialized manufacturers focus on important criteria such as high-quality materials, comfortable midsoles, lightweight designs, and strong bases. These features will enhance your game, prevent foot injuries, and ensure optimal comfort.

How can pickleball injuries be prevented?

Wearing the right and comfortable shoes significantly reduces the chances of ankle and foot injuries. The appropriate footwear provides a comfortable base, allowing for smooth ankle movement. Additionally, warming up before the game with exercises like brisk walking, jogging, stretching, or cycling helps relax your muscles and decreases the likelihood of injuries.

Can I wear cross-training shoes for pickleball?

Cross-training shoes are delicately designed for athletes, and whether they are suitable for pickleball depends on individual preference. Many sports companies manufacture cross-training shoes for players who engage in running, training, or playing tennis and pickleball-like games. These shoes offer comfort and versatility.


Choosing the right pickleball shoes is essential for your game. Look for non-marking soles, solid lateral bases, cushioned midsoles, and breathable materials to enhance your performance and reduce the risk of injuries.

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