You want to play pickleball since you heard it was such a great sport for everyone. You have a pickleball paddle. You have a pickleball. You even have the shirt. But what about shoes? Would just any pair of sneakers do the job? Not necessarily – some of them might be too clunky or not good for doing the footwork that you need to play well.
We are here to help, though. You want to get something that will both help you be able to focus on playing pickleball and protect your feet. This is worth spending some money on, since walking around with damaged feet is definitely no fun.
When we compiled this list of the 10 best pickleball shoes, we looked at ones made for men and women, since both genders like to play.
As far as how much you will have to pay, if you want really high-end, you can expect to pay around $150 for a pair, though you could get a pretty good pair for $85. If you spot anything lower that is not being sold at a wholesaler, you should think twice about their overall quality and durability. Why spend the money that you saved on shoes at a podiatrist to fix the damage done to your feet?
Here is our list:
1. Wilson Rush Pro Ace Pickleball
These shoes are simple. They are mostly white, with a color stripe down at the bottom and a touch of black at the heel to show off the Wislon logo. You can benefit from their 4D support chassis – it gives you more control when you make pivots. The only downside is that the $100 price tag means that you are going to have a hard time finding it – people will be snapping them up quickly.
2. K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball Shoe
The brand that tends to advertise itself as something to be worn while working out has a good pickleball shoe. The shoe offers support for your plantar area and also has a Durawrap cover that will keep you from dragging your toe. These are durable shoes, too … they tend to last a longer time than others. You can choose from a variety of colors … and you will usually have to pay just a shade over $100 to get them.
3. Asics Gel-Renma
Pickleball players give these shoes a thumbs up. It might be because their price point – around $85 – is wallet-friendly. They are lightweight, but they use Asics’ TRUSTIC tech to offer support and keep you from getting hurt while you are running around trying to dink the ball. You get great traction, too, which is important when making lateral moves. The gel part of it absorbs any impact from landings.
4. Asics Upcourt Volleyball Shoes
“Volleyball shoes? Isn’t this about pickleball?” Yes … it is. But volleyball shoes offer a lot of the same structural support that pickleball players need with their shoes. You also can’t beat the $60 price tag. They are lightweight and you will get plenty of midfoot support with the panels.
5. Nike Air Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa
Yes, the Rafa here is referring to Rafa Nadal, the tennis legend. They are pricier than others, usually retailing for $150 or so. You will get great support while wearing them and they come in a variety of colors, so you can express yourself while playing. The other downside is that you may have a hard time finding them, given that they tend to fly off the shelves both in stores and online.
6. Mizuno Wave Momentum 2
Although Mizuno is known more for baseball, they also make volleyball shoes. These shoes work very well for pickleball, too. They are pricier than other shoes, costing around $150, and they do tend to sell out much more quickly, but they are worth getting if you are a serious player, given their durability, lightweight feel, and support for your ankles.
7. New Balance 806V1 Tennis Shoe
New Balance is a well-known brand and this model is well-known in the pickleball world. This is a tried-and-true shoe and has withstood the rigors for years. You can expect to pay around $120 for these, which is good for how long you will be able to wear them.
8. Adizero Ubersonic 4 Tennis Shoes
Adidas is a legend in the shoe business. You will love the cleanness of the style, its cushioning, and its support for things like your making lateral moves. It’s a tennis shoe, but you know that Adidas will start moving into the pickleball market sooner than later. If you love Adidas, then this is the pair of shoes for you. They cost around $140.
9. Fila Volley Zone Pickleball Shoes
Fila is another well-known shoe brand that is starting to move into the pickleball market. They even have a pickleball motif on the outside of the shoe. How cool is that? Your feel will not slide around in these thanks to the TPU shank. Expect to pay around $100 at a sports store but general stores might charge twice as much.
10. Nike Court Zoom Pro Tennis Shoes
Yes, here is another Nike entry. It’s a tennis shoe, but you can get a lot of good use from it when you play pickleball. They have breathable material and you will be able to express yourself with their colors. You won’t have to shell out a lot of money – especially given that it is the Nike brand – they cost $100.
What Should Pickleball Shoes Do?
The first thing you want is a shoe that lets you make quick lateral movements. You will be doing that a lot when you play, since your opponent will be trying to dink the ball where you aren’t going to be. Durability is another thing, since making those lateral moves and just general running around can be rough on those shoes.
If you look at a pickleball shoe, you may see a few things. One is that they tend to have a wider base and their insoles and outsoles will be sturdier than other shoes. Tennis and volleyball shoes also tend to have these specifications too, which is why you saw some of them on the list above.
They tend to be a bit on the heavier side, since they need to be sturdy to allow you to make all the moves that you need to do and also help keep you from getting injured. Running shoes, which can work in a pinch every now and then, are not the ideal choice for regular pickleball playing. That is because they are designed for you to run forward, not make a lot of lateral cuts. They are not durable and you can possibly injure yourself since they don’t offer foot support and traction.
As always, do your own research, but we hope these recommendations helped.