Best Pickleball Shoes In 2021: Top 5 Shoes for Men & Women


Finding the best pickleball shoes for you can take time and research. Our main goal at ThePickleSports is to save you time and help you feel confident you made the right choice.

Do not and I repeat do not use running shoes for Pickleball. They may seem like a reasonable choice since you may be doing a little running.

But running shoes are made for running in a straight line for long periods of time. 

pickleball shoes should be geared towards explosive lateral movements and stability. If you try to move laterally with running shoes your ankle will quickly find out how bad running shoes are for pickleball.

A great pair of pickleball shoes will allow you to move confidently and get to the net a split second quicker, which, if you read my strategy guide, is a huge advantage in potentially getting points. 

top picks for pickleball shoes in a circle on the court.

What makes a good pickleball shoe?

When looking for a good pickleball shoe you’re going to want to pay attention to 3 very important factors.

The first is stability. Feeling safe and knowing you’re not going to get hurt is a very liberating feeling on the court. It lets you go for harder shots and have more fun.

The second factor I look for is comfort. The best shoes for pickleball are so comfortable you forget you even have them on. You should be focused on the game and not discomfort.

Finally, traction is the third factor. Whether you play competitively or for exercise, you want to feel like you can move around and return those difficult shots. That’s what makes the game so fun. You don’t want to be sliding around and putting yourself at risk for injury.

What’s The Best Pickleball Shoe for me?

Everyone has different needs, so It’s very important to pick the most functional shoe that meets your needs and can help you perform the best you can.  

There are a lot of factors at play when looking for the best pickleball shoe for your own personal needs. 

Let’s dive into the specifics.

If you have flat feet then you’re going to want a shoe to accommodate that and give you that extra support to keep you comfortable and focused.

If you tend to have wider feet or bunions then there are a couple of brands that do a great job at accommodating this. 

Now we also have the type of court you’re playing on. Pickleball can be played on indoor and outdoor courts. 

The best pickleball shoe for an indoor court is different from that for an outdoor court. An indoor court is usually hard, glossy, wood, or vinyl so you want a shoe with a little more forgiving grip and a light anti-marking rubber bottom. 

Although there isn’t a shoe made specifically for indoor pickleball, volleyball, squash, or badminton shoes work very well. 

Outdoor pickleball shoes need to have more durability, especially on older courts. They can really chew up the souls of your shoes. Also outdoors you face the elements so you want something breathable, yet moisture-wicking if you get a little rain.  

I know it’s a lot to think about, but we tried to make it as easy as possible. We’ve compiled the shoes our team and friends have tried in the past to give you personalized insights on the shoes we like the best for both men and women. 

Ladies first!

Best Women‘s Pickleball Shoes

#1. ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicate 6

This shoe is regarded as one of the best tennis and pickleball shoes by a lot of players. I always see at least one other woman wearing these shoes when I play. 

The Gel Dedicate 6’s are such a well-built shoe for any paddle sport. They are super durable, breathable, and extremely comfortable. 

The color combos look way better in person and they are so affordable. They did not last me as long as the New Balance 696 but since they are the lower price you can always get a backup pair. 

The tread is amazing, they are perfect for quick stops, and lateral movements. The souls are super comfy and have great support, but you can also really use the ground for power and precision. 

With this shoe, I seemed to always know where my feet were pointed if that makes sense. You really just get a good sense with your feet.

There was no break-in period. They come out of the box feeling great and actually got better. 

NOTE: This shoe runs a little small as do most sports shoes. Order a ½  size larger.

#2. Adidas Originals Women’s Ligra 6

The Adidas Women’s Ligra 6 are actually volleyball shoes, but this is a great hack for pickleball. Think of the beating your joints and feet take from volleyball. If you take all that technology and use it as a pickleball shoe, you have an amazing shoe.

But performance is just one aspect of what makes a great shoe. More than performance, these shoes go the extra mile. They are comfortable, durable and can be used in indoor and outdoor pickleball courts. 

The price point is great and I highly recommend these as they cover a wide variety of needs. 

#3. New Balance Women’s 696 V4 Hard Court

The 969 V4’s fit like a glove. They had such great arch support which I especially love in a pickleball shoe.

I really like arched souls as well. It made it very easy to get onto my toes to hit shots, but also very easy to backpedal which is never a good thing in pickleball, but I digress. 

The souls had amazing durability and I saw no signs of wear in any specific area. They don’t look very breathable, but they are actually more breathable than some all-mesh shoes I’ve worn.

I like how wide they are both in the toe box, but also the souls. This helps me be more upright for lateral shots and very stable for longer shots.

This shoe has literally no break-in period and feels great right out of the box. Just lace them up and you’re ready to go. I actually won the first 3 games I played in these shoes (Just saying). 

I highly recommend this shoe to just about anyone. You can play all day in it and feel no pain and wake up the next day ready to go again.

#4. Adidas Women’s Gamecourt

These shoes are the perfect blend of functional and fashionable. They are super cute, which, let’s face it ladies, is super important.

But in all seriousness, this shoe is ultra-stable. The wide bottom helps you move laterally with ease and gives you a little extra boost when you want to attack the harder shots.

The Gamecourt is such a package of comfort and supports most notable in the heel. The heel is snug without being too tight and the ankle goes up high without digging. 

It feels like you’re running on a cloud and the breathability these shoes deliver is unreal.

I’m not too sure about the durability considering I’ve only had them for 2 months now, but in the last 2 months they have held up great and I have no signs of wear.

The only thing that was confusing is that some of these shoes are in men’s sizes and some are in women, Obviously the pink is going to be women’s. 

I recommend reading the comments to figure out which one to order in men’s sizes or women’s.

#5. New Balance Women’s 796 V2 Hard Court

As I’ve said before, I just love what New Balance has done with their recent shoes.

The 796 was very similar to the 696 in regards to comfort and durability. The arch support and the feeling of athleticism you have in this shoe are amazing. 

I love the style and the colors almost as much as I love the traction you get on an outdoor pickleball court. I can get up to the net in what feels like a split second earlier which leads to me possibly getting that point.

Best Mens’s Pickleball shoes

#1. Asics Men’s Gel Dedicate 6

The Asics Gel Dedicate 6 was nearly impossible for me to not love. Everything about it is perfect for a men’s pickleball shoe. 

The way the shoe feels when you put it on is what I would imagine the inside of a Bentley would feel like. It’s supportive, it’s FAST, it’s light, and it’s got a little boost on the heel so you feel like you’re in sport mode. 

I think this shoe actually gave my game a huge improvement and this was the last shoe I purchased as well as the last shoe I might ever purchase for pickleball. But you be the judge.

I especially loved them for indoor pickleball because I prefer heavier shoes, but they also perform great on outdoor courts. They don’t look that breathable, but I never had any problems. 

I love anything Asics does with the Gel technology because the more you use the shoe, the more it contours to fit your feet. 

#2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Challenger 12 

The Gel Challenger 12 has a gel insole that is no joke. It feels like your foot is securely locked in so you can move with extreme control and without discomfort.

You feel so athletic in this shoe and the shoe feels almost indestructible. The hard rubber toe guard and the outer material give you the freedom to attempt every movement or shot.

The shape of the shoe is designed in such a way that it keeps you on your toes and the traction on the soles makes you feel like you’re ready to explode at any moment. There is no doubt that if this is your first pair of pickleball shoes it will be a GAME CHANGER.

#3. ASICS Men’s Gel-Resolution 8

This is overall one of the best Pickleball shoes I have ever tried. This was not my first pair of Asics, and It won’t be my last, but these are the best I’ve tried so far. 

Initially, this shoe comes off as tiny but stuff, but after you play for about an hour or two, the gel resolution technology will begin to perfectly mold to your feet and heel creating a comfortable and stable pickleball shoe. 

They have the perfect amount of room in the toe box for both width and height, and the mesh lining on the top makes these shoes very breathable. 

The toe guard on the front is durable which makes the entire shoe durable. I played on an outdoor court for 8 months (4-5 times a week for multiple hours) with these shoes, and the tread is still amazing.

The tread on the beginning is like nothing I have ever felt, it was a perfect harmony of control and slide whenever you needed it, both on outdoor and indoor courts.

#4. New Balance Men’s 696 V4 Hard Court

First off I just think this shoe looks so cool. I love what New Balance has been doing with their tennis shoes. The color combos are amazing-looking, and the plain colors just work so well.

They are so durable and the toe guard really is the key player in that field. I tend to drag my toes coming from a tennis background so this not only protects the shoe but there is actually a grip on the toe guard for control. 

The ankle cushion on the heel is so comfy and you feel like you’re strapped in the shoe. It has so much room, especially for wide feet. 

I noticed right off the bat how much quicker I was. The shape of the shoe along with the tread is an amazing combination where you can dig in to change directions and get to the ball super fast. 

The 696 V4’s are the perfect mix of light, grippy, and the perfect shape to just play good pickleball. 

NOTE: Go a half size up. All my friends who have bought this shoe have encountered the same size difference. 

#5. Adidas Men’s Gamecourt

Adidas is always a pretty reliable shoe. I actually really liked these a lot more than I thought I would. 

First thing I noticed right off the bat was how breathable they were. If you play in hotter climates this is a great option. Also, they look super awesome. I wear these as gym shoes as well as pickleball shoes. 

As for the tread, I’ve had better for outdoor courts, but as far as indoor courts they are very controllable and have great grip. 

Where these shoes really take the cake is in the support. They go up pretty high on your ankle and they have the perfect amount of cushion to support without being uncomfortable or snug.

It’s a great shoe to get as a first and then you can figure out what you like from there. These should last a good while. The mesh never ripped on me and the souls held up very well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Running Shoes are not the Right Shoes for Pickleball?

Don’t be the person that steps into court without thinking about the shoes you’re wearing. Wear proper shoes that will keep your ankle and heels protected.

Your shoes should fit you perfectly and let you spring back and forth on the floor without your shoes getting caught on the floor. This is a common problem in running shoes. People playing pickleball in running shoes have learned the hard way that these shoes can grab the floor at the worst time possible.

Just when you’re about to execute the perfect return with a lunge at the ball, friction against your running shoes will make your feet move awkwardly and hurt you. The deep treads on running shoes don’t make for very good pickleball because they are designed to go forward.

Cross-trainers are worse because the outsoles have little grips on them that stick to the floor. They can make you trip when you’re backpedaling to retrieve a lob. Stay away from cross-trainers at all costs.

Why Court Shoes are Good?

These are not the formal court shoes that you wear to an event with the Queen of England. Court shoes are simply shoes that you wear on any kind of court.

They typically have rubber soles, with smaller treads that are closer together. These shoes have soles that are smoother and flatter. Unlike running shoes, they let you move quickly and easily in every direction.

This is what you need in pickleball. When you are near the no volley-zone line, you need to be able to easily move right and left. Court shoes also have a wider bottom so they are more stable.

Should I wear Different Shoes for Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball?

If you play indoors most of the time, then you can choose between a good pair of tennis shoes or court shoes. But if you play outdoors, many active players will tell you to wear tennis shoes or volleyball shoes.

Volleyball shoes can look a lot like cross-trainers or basketball shoes. But they are really very different if you look below the shoes. The outsoles have treads that are designed for moving from side to side as well as forwards. They are nothing like running shoes either. Like court shoes, they have soles made of rubber.

And no, tennis shoes are not ‘sneakers’. Tennis shoes are actually a special kind of sneakers.

Shoes for tennis are made for quick jerks, starts, and stops across the court. They are very easy to move sideways in. In other words, your old canvas sneakers won’t work as tennis shoes. Here are some of the best tennis shoes and volleyball shoes for men and women to wear on the court.

Which Clothing to Wear in Pickleball?

Proper shoes and good gear are not the only things you need to think about. Also, be sure to wear the right clothes for pickleball. This means bottoms that aren’t too loose and baggy around the ankles, or your shoes could get caught on them.

Try to wear shorts or tight-fitted bottoms that will let you freely run around the court and enjoy a good game of pickleball.


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  1. Glad to find these men’s pickleball shoe reviews as it was so difficult to find a good pair of shoes from the online market, so thanks a lot for these unbiased reviews.

  2. I was looking for best men’s shoes for pickleball sport, some people told me that any shoes are ok to go with, but for a person like, sports is a serious thing, I like to get specific equipment and shoes, so I can play well. So after going throw so many pickleball shoes reviews, I found out that Adidas is the best brand in pickleball shoes market when it comes to quality, although they have slight fitting issues whereas ASICS is 2nd most popular shoe brand in pickleball and their shoes might lack built quality as compared to Adidas, but they fit so well, so I choose to go with ASICS.

  3. Just as an add-on..all good shoes, but try on several. Adidas, k-Swiss and prince, do not fit me well, only the Asics. But looking at Wilson and head as well. Try before you buy then maybe buy 2 you like after playing you should be able to choose for future purposes.


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