Pickleball Shoes and why you should be wearing them!

Once you decided that you are going to be playing pickleball, at any level, let me encourage you to get yourself a pair of pickleball shoes.  There is nothing nuanced about why we wear them. It is about safety, comfort and ability to play better.  No matter how often you play or at what level, the need for court shoes is important.


There are only three items to purchase to play this game: paddle, balls and court shoes.  Pickleball is one of the least expensive sports in which to get involved.  And it’s fun!

The Why of it.  A lot of players start out wearing running shoes, sneakers, or trainers.  This type of footwear is not designed for the short, quick, small movements (many sideways movements) of pickleball.  Those shoes tend to have thicker soles to reduce the impact of running.  Court shoes, on the other hand, have thinner soles – this gives you a much better “feel” for the court.  The biggest consideration is safety and the second is helping you play with more confidence.

Court shoes have added top support which helps prevent rolling an ankle.  The rounded edges on the soles dramatically help reduce tripping and falling.

I was teaching a neighbor to play recently and within 5 minutes of the first training session, this 6 foot, 230lbs person tripped and went down.  He was going backwards and tripped on the shoes edge.  Thankfully all was well, however he did decide to spend the money on a good pair of pickleball shoes.  The benefit he gets from his shoes, the reduced concern of tripping, which has increased his willingness to try harder to “Get that shot”.

Talking about money!  My own shoes cost about $110 CDN and will last about 6 to 12 months, playing 3 times a week.  You can certainly spend a lot more.  There are the big brands including Tyrol ca.tyrolpickleball.com/ and Nike. https://www.nike.com/ca/w/shoes There are some really cheap shoes available but in this case, you get what you pay for.

I notice that a number of manufacturers are now selling only one size range (rather than men’s and womens’s separately).  For example men’ size 8 = women’s size 10, and so on.

The advent of a memory foam insoles help to accommodate slight differences in width and length.

There is a tendency for bright colours in court shoes and it is fun to see this splash of colour moving across the courts.  At a recreational level it’s a fun game with lots of laughter.  Flashes of yellow, red, orange are the order of the day.

There is a good blog piece at https://www.thepickler.com/blogs/pickleball-blog that covers the same subject.  I am not sure about wearing tennis shoes, as mentioned in the blog though.  When I watch tennis, I see a lot of big movements rather than the smaller movements of pickleball, so my recommendation would be to stick with Court/Pickleball shoes when playing outside.  When playing indoors, wear indoor court shoes, which will take account of gym and hardwood floors – badminton shoes should work just fine.  The playing surface plays a major part in the decision making process hence the need for indoor and outdoor shoes.

So finally.  Get yourself a pair of good court shoes and play better, with more confidence and more safely.

From Philip at www.racketeersports.com