What Shoes To Wear For Pickleball?

what shoes to wear for pickleball

Pickleball is a fast-paced and dynamic sport that requires quick movements, agility, and stability. While players may focus on selecting the best paddle or perfecting their technique, one aspect that should not be overlooked is the choice of pickleball shoes and the question of what shoes to wear for pickleball.

Pickleball demands extensive lateral movement, as well as quick lunges in different directions. Unlike traditional running or athletic shoes that are designed for linear movement, they lack the necessary support for stabilizing the foot during multidirectional motions. 

On the other hand, court shoes, whether designed for tennis or indoor courts, are specifically engineered to accommodate lateral movements and provide torsional stability. Additionally, court shoes are equipped with high-density rubber outsoles that offer enhanced durability, surpassing the wear and tear resistance of typical running shoes.

Wearing the appropriate pickleball shoes not only enhances performance but also minimizes the risk of injuries on the court. 

Whether you play indoors or outdoors, understanding what are court shoes for pickleball and do you need special shoes for pickleball will ensure you’re equipped to take on the pickleball court with confidence. So, let’s dive into the world of pickleball shoes and discover what makes them essential for every player.

What Shoes To Wear For Pickleball?

In this section, we will discuss the important factors to keep in mind when choosing what shoes to wear for pickleball. These considerations will help you make an informed decision and find the footwear that best suits your playing style and needs.

Support and Stability

Lateral Support: Pickleball involves frequent side-to-side movements, so it’s crucial to have shoes that provide excellent lateral support. Look for models with reinforced sidewalls or sturdy materials that prevent your feet from sliding during quick changes in direction.

Cushioning: The shoes should offer sufficient cushioning to absorb impact and protect your joints. Look for midsoles with ample cushioning that provide a comfortable and responsive feel on the court.

Traction and Grip

Non-Marking Outsoles: If you primarily play on indoor pickleball courts, it’s important to choose shoes with non-marking outsoles. These outsoles prevent scuffing and marking the court surface, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted game.

Durable and Grippy Outsoles: For outdoor pickleball courts, opt for shoes with durable outsoles that provide excellent traction. Look for designs with multi-directional tread patterns or specialized rubber compounds that offer enhanced grip on different outdoor surfaces.

Breathability and Comfort

Ventilation: Pickleball can be an intense and physically demanding sport, leading to sweat and heat build-up. Shoes with breathable uppers, such as mesh or perforated materials, allow air circulation to keep your feet cool and dry during extended play.

Padding and Insole Cushioning: Look for shoes with padded collars and cushioned insoles that offer additional comfort and support. These features can help reduce foot fatigue and provide a comfortable fit throughout the game.

Durability and Construction

Reinforcements: Pickleball involves quick movements and high-impact actions, so shoes with reinforced toe caps and sidewalls provide added durability and protection against wear and tear.

Quality Materials: Opt for shoes made from high-quality materials that can withstand the demands of pickleball. Look for sturdy uppers, durable stitching, and reliable construction to ensure longevity and performance.

By considering these key factors, you can narrow down your options and find pickleball shoes that offer the necessary support, traction, comfort, and durability for an enjoyable and safe playing experience.

Types of Pickleball Shoes

When it comes to pickleball shoes, there are different types available to suit various playing conditions and preferences. Understanding the differences between these types will help you make an informed choice. Let’s explore the two main categories and know the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes.

Indoor Vs Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Indoor Pickleball Shoes

Designed specifically for playing on indoor courts, these shoes offer features tailored to the demands of indoor pickleball.

They typically have non-marking outsoles that prevent scuffing and marking on the court surface.

Indoor shoes prioritize lateral support, cushioning, and stability to accommodate the quick movements and lateral shifts involved in indoor play.

The outsoles may feature herringbone or gum rubber patterns to provide traction and grip on smooth indoor surfaces.

Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Outdoor pickleball shoes are designed to handle the challenges of playing on different outdoor court surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, or textured tiles.

These shoes usually have durable outsoles with aggressive tread patterns that offer superior grip and traction on outdoor surfaces.

Outdoor shoes may feature more robust construction and materials to withstand the rigors of outdoor play, including reinforced toe caps and sidewalls for added durability.

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

While they may have some crossover features with indoor shoes, outdoor pickleball shoes are specifically engineered to excel in outdoor conditions.

Remember that your choice between indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes should align with the type of court you primarily play on. 

Indoor shoes may not provide adequate traction and durability on outdoor courts, while outdoor shoes may feel too heavy or have an excessive grip on indoor surfaces.

Ultimately, the decision between indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes depends on your playing environment and personal preferences. Consider factors such as court type, frequency of play, and comfort to select the right type of shoes that optimize your performance on the pickleball court.

Finding the Right Pickleball Shoes

Now let’s explore how to find the perfect pair that suits your needs. Here are some tips for finding the right pickleball shoes:

Trying on Shoes and Fit

  • Visit a Local Store: Start by visiting a local sporting goods store that carries pickleball shoes. Trying on shoes in person allows you to assess their fit, comfort, and overall feel.
  • Size and Comfort: Make sure the shoes fit just right, neither too loose nor too tight. Seek out a toe area that feels comfortable and allows your toes to move without restraint. Take into account any specific foot conditions you might have, like high arches or broad feet, and opt for a shoe design that caters to those requirements.
  • Test Them Out: If possible, walk or even jog a bit in the shoes to evaluate their overall comfort, stability, and support.

Where to Buy Pickleball Shoes

Local Sporting Goods Stores: Visit local sports retailers or specialty pickleball stores. They often carry a range of pickleball shoes, allowing you to try on different models and receive expert advice.

Online Retailers: Online shopping provides a wide selection of pickleball shoes. Read customer reviews, check sizing charts, and consider the return policy before making a purchase. Look for reputable online retailers or the official websites of well-known shoe brands.

Lastly, prioritize quality and durability. Pickleball shoes are an investment, and opting for well-constructed shoes made from high-quality materials will ensure they last longer and provide optimal performance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pickleball Shoes

What shoes to wear for indoor pickleball?

For indoor pickleball, it’s recommended to wear shoes specifically designed for indoor court surfaces. Look for shoes with non-marking outsoles to avoid scuffing the court. These shoes prioritize lateral support, cushioning, and stability to accommodate the quick movements and lateral shifts involved in indoor play.

Can I wear running shoes for pickleball?

While running shoes may provide some level of cushioning and support, they are not ideal for pickleball. Running shoes are designed for forward motion and lack the necessary lateral support required in pickleball. Opting for shoes specifically made for pickleball will offer better stability and traction on the court.

What kind of shoes are best for outdoor pickleball?

Outdoor pickleball shoes are designed to handle the challenges of playing on various outdoor surfaces. Look for shoes with durable outsoles that offer excellent traction on outdoor courts. They should have aggressive tread patterns and sturdy construction to withstand the demands of outdoor play.

How should pickleball shoes fit?

Pickleball shoes should fit snugly but not too tight. Ensure that your toes have enough room to move freely in the toe box. The shoes should provide a secure fit around the midfoot and heel to offer stability and prevent slipping. Remember to consider your specific foot shape and any unique needs, such as high arches or wide feet.

Can volleyball shoes be used for pickleball?

While volleyball shoes can provide some similarities in terms of lateral support and agility, they may not offer the same level of stability and traction required for pickleball. Pickleball shoes are designed with specific features to cater to the unique movements and demands of the sport. It is recommended to choose shoes specifically made for pickleball for the best performance.


Choosing the right shoes for pickleball and knowing what shoes to wear for pickleball are essential for optimal performance and injury prevention on the court. By considering key factors such as support, traction, comfort, and durability, you can find the perfect pair of pickleball shoes that suits your playing style and court conditions.

Indoor pickleball shoes are designed with non-marking outsoles, lateral support, and cushioning, making them ideal for indoor court surfaces. On the other hand, outdoor pickleball shoes have durable outsoles with aggressive tread patterns to provide traction on various outdoor surfaces.

When searching for pickleball shoes, make sure to try them on for proper fit and comfort. Visit local sporting goods stores or explore reputable online retailers. Investing in well-made shoes created from high-quality materials will make sure they last a long time and perform well.

In conclusion, don’t underestimate how important it is to wear the right shoes for pickleball. When you have the proper footwear, you’ll have better stability, quickness, and overall fun while playing. So, take the time to find where to buy pickleball shoes and get ready to dominate the pickleball court with confidence!

Casey Degnan

Casey Degnan

I'm Casey Degnan, a certified Pickleball Coach and Athletics Professional with over 20 years of sports coaching and event management experience. Previously coordinating golf operations and student activities, I now offer private pickleball lessons while blogging tips and insights at "The Pickleball Freak." My passion is helping people achieve their goals through sports.

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