Do You Need Special Shoes for Pickleball? Read Before You Play!

Are you new to pickleball and wondering what shoes to wear? Or you’ve been playing for a while but have yet to consider your footwear. Well, the truth is that having the right shoes can make all the difference in how you perform on the court.

This blog post explores whether special shoes are available for pickleball and, if so, what types. So before you step onto the court again, read on to find out why choosing the right pickleball shoes is crucial for comfort and performance!

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Are There Special Shoes for Pickleball?

As more people play pickleball, the need for proper footwear becomes apparent. Fortunately, special shoes designed specifically for pickleball can provide players with the maximum support and grip needed to compete at their highest level.

are there special shoes for pickleball
Natalia Kuzina – iStock

These shoes feature non-marking soles for indoor courts and durable materials to withstand outdoor court surfaces. They also come with cushioning in critical areas to reduce foot fatigue and a reinforced toe box for added protection from impacts.

Additionally, these shoes are designed with strategically placed treads so players can move quickly around the court without slipping or sliding.

Overall, having a pair of dedicated pickleball shoes can give you an edge in your game while keeping your feet comfortable so you can stay focused on winning your match!

Types of Pickleball Shoes

Pickleball requires skill, strategy, and an understanding of the game. As such, choosing the right type of shoe for pickleball is essential to maximize your performance on the court. Two main types of pickleball shoes – court shoes and sneakers – each offer advantages and disadvantages.

Court Shoes

Court shoes are designed for playing on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt courts. They have extra cushioning in their soles to absorb impact from running, turning, and jumping during games and more durable outsoles that can handle intense play without wearing out quickly.

court shoes
halbergman – iStock

They also feature lateral stability systems that help reduce ankle injuries by keeping feet stable when changing direction quickly on the court.

On the downside, court shoes tend to be heavier than sneakers due to their additional cushioning and support features which can make them difficult to wear for long periods or if you’re prone to foot fatigue after extended play sessions.


Sneakers are versatile footwear options used off-court as casual wear or during gameplay on softer surfaces like grass or clay courts. They tend to have lightweight designs with breathable materials, which make them comfortable for longer playing sessions without feeling weighed down by heavy soles.

wertinio – Shutterstock

While many sneakers lack support features found in court shoes, some brands offer reinforced cushioning around ankles and heels, plus traction patterns designed specifically for outdoor activities such as pickleball games.

However, they may need to provide more grip against slippery surfaces, so you may need an additional pair if you plan on playing regularly outdoors.

Are Pickleball Shoes Necessary?

With the sport’s rising popularity, the question arises whether or not pickleball shoes are necessary. While there is no definitive answer to this question, several factors should be considered when deciding if pickleball shoes are right for you.

First, pickleball shoes provide more traction than regular tennis or running shoes due to their non-marking soles and deeper treads, which prevent slipping on the court surface. It can be especially beneficial for those playing on outdoor courts that may be slick from rain or dew.

Additionally, many pickleball shoe designs include extra padding and support, which can help reduce fatigue and protect your feet from potential injuries during play.

are pickleball shoes necessary
Stockmagen – iStock

Ultimately it will come down to personal preference, as some players may find that regular tennis or running shoes provide enough grip and comfort during play without needing specialized footwear.

However, if you're looking for extra grip, cushioning, durability, or stability, investing in pickleball-specific shoes may be worth considering depending on your budget and playing style.

Do Pickleball Shoes Make Any Difference While Playing?

Pickleball is a sport that requires the right equipment for optimal performance. A good pair of pickleball shoes is one of the essential pieces of equipment. Good pickleball shoes can make all the difference in playing this sport, providing stability and support that regular athletic shoes cannot.

Pickleball shoes are designed specifically for this game, with features like increased traction, lightweight construction, and extra cushioning in critical areas to reduce fatigue and improve footwork.

As such, they can help players move better on the court while providing support and comfort throughout long games or tournaments. They also help protect your feet from blisters and other injuries caused by improper footwear during intense play.

In short, having dedicated pickleball-specific footwear is essential to any player’s gear arsenal – it may not guarantee victory. However, it certainly gives you an edge over opponents still using running shoes!


Is it OK to wear running shoes for pickleball?

Yes, it is okay to wear running shoes for pickleball. Running shoes provide cushioning and support, which can help prevent injuries while playing pickleball. However, choosing a pair of running shoes specifically designed for the court surface you are playing on is essential.

Are pickleball and badminton shoes the same?

No, pickleball and badminton shoes are not the same. Pickleball shoes have a flat sole emphasizing traction over lateral stability, while badminton shoes have a more elevated sole designed for quick lateral movements.

What do you wear for pickleball?

The most popular outfit for pickleball is typically a pair of shorts or athletic pants and a comfortable t-shirt or tank top. Athletic shoes with good lateral support are also recommended. Some players wear wristbands, hats, and sunglasses to protect themselves from the sun’s rays.

Is pickleball hard on your body?

Pickleball can be hard on your body if you are not careful and do not warm up or cool down properly. It is essential to take care of your body with stretches and proper nutrition and stay hydrated during pickleball matches. Additionally, using the correct form and technique while playing can help reduce the risk of injury.

Wrap Up!

While having special shoes for pickleball may not be necessary, having the proper footwear can enhance your game and protect you from injuries.

Pickleball-specific shoes offer better traction on the court, superior stability and support during lateral movements, and added cushioning for comfort. Investing in a good pair of pickleball shoes is a wise decision to improve your performance on the court while keeping you safe from common foot injuries.

So before you step onto the pickleball court next time, take some time to think about what kind of footwear will serve you best!

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