Pickleball shoes are a lot like tennis shoes in that to enable the sport they play in they have to be light and nimble. A good pickleball shoe will be low-topped and flexible, with a sturdy outsole and strong lateral reinforcement for quick stops and starts. If you’re interested in playing pickleball, avoid walking shoes, running shoes, and crosstrainers.
The last can be a decent option if you’re just getting started, but they lack specificity to the sport you’re playing, while running shoes and walking shoes are designed to support forward motion at a consistent pace. Runners and walkers tend to have outsoles that support the foot entirely from beneath, which is fine for those sports as they don’t require rapid direction changes.
Pickleball shoes, tennis shoes, and court shoes are all good options for playing the sport. All three are designed for the kind of quick, lateral, start-stop movements that pickleball requires. Skechers, best known for its skateboard and casual shoes, moved into pickleball shoes in 2022 with its Viper Court line. The Skechers Viper Court shoe is a light, quick, comfortable shoe priced in the middle of the range for pickleball shoes. With premium features beyond its mid-tier price and outsoles made from durable Goodyear rubber, the Viper Court is built to compete with longtime leaders in the sport like K-SWISS and FILA. The Viper Court’s low price point encourages comparisons with offerings like the FILA Double Bounce and K-SWISS Express Light.
Since Skechers is brand-new to pickleball, their shoes are not yet widely used by pickleball professionals. Of the top 40 pros according to USA Pickleball, only one, #8 men’s player Tyson McGuffin, wears Skechers as his primary court shoe . However, this is not a mark against the brand because as stated, Skechers are brand-new to the pickleball market and in most sports, professionals are slow to change what has gotten them to a top level, especially in footwear, which has the most effect on the athlete’s comfort and performance of any piece of their equipment. Any new pickleball shoe maker would have to be extraordinarily competitive to enter the space with giants like K-SWISS, FILA and Babolat.
Skechers Shoes Are Known For Comfort
Skechers is well known for their comfortable shoes. Their earliest offerings were utility boots like Dr. Martens as well as skate shoes in the style of Converse’s famous Chuck Taylor sneakers, and they have made their mark ever since then, making some of the most comfortable and wearable shoes on the market, with long-wearing rubber soles from Goodyear. The breathable mesh upper with traditional reinforced panels for quick lateral movements and a cradling outsole to translate that movement into the pavement give a quick, responsive shoe as well as a comfortable one, with a traditional lacing scheme starting from just above the toes.
The Skechers Viper Court has a deep cutaway below the ankle, giving it a comfortable and flexible cuff that supports the foot without constricting ankle movement. With this material removed, it’s also lighter than competitors on the market. The responsive arch support is especially favorable for players with foot problems, giving an excellent balance between flexibility and firm support.
What Are Competing Products In The Same Price Range?
The Skechers Viper Court has an MSRP around $95.00 United States Dollars, which translates to a street price of around 80-90 dollars. Because of this, they are almost exactly between the price range of Fila’s offerings, and are most comparable to K-Swiss’s Express Light shoe, which is almost the same price. Compared to the K-Swiss Express Light, the Viper Court is very similar, feeling very light and quick with stability and heel protection comparable to the more established product. Both shoes are very responsive and durable on a variety of surfaces. Both shoes have a wide toe box but reviewers have noted a lower stability versus other shoes in the segment. The uppers are comparably breathable to other shoes in the segment, making both shoes completely comfortable.
Drawbacks Of The Skechers Viper Court
As with any shoe, there will naturally be drawbacks for the Skechers Viper Court shoe. While its Goodyear rubber outsole has excellent durability, all-synthetic uppers such as are found on pickleball shoes will tend to break over time and become less supportive and roomier. While this may be an advantage in some ways, players who fall in love with the support and stability of the brand-new shoes out of the box may need to take note that these shoes will need to be laced differently as they wear. As well, the included ArchTech insole footbeds are optimized for wearers who need good arch support. A wearer who needs less arch support may do well to trade out the included insoles for alternative models.
Are Skechers Pickleball Shoes Worth The Price?
Overall, Skechers Viper Court pickleball shoes are a good buy for prospective pickleball players at $95.00. They have some nice advantages over other comparable shoes in the segment. They are lightweight and extremely comfortable out of the box. An excellent first effort from one of the newest shoe companies on the market, Skechers Viper Court is a great buy and well worth the price for someone who is entering pickleball as a sport for the first time. The shoe is aimed squarely at new players to give them an all-in-one pickleball shoe with the comfort to wear for daily practice.
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