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.
Table of Contents
- What makes a good pickleball shoe?
- Editors Choice
- What’s The Best Pickleball Shoe for me?
- Best Women‘s Pickleball Shoes
- ASICS Women’s Gel-Dedicate 6
- Wilson Rush Pro 3.0 Women’s Tennis Shoe
- Best Mens’s Pickleball shoes
- K Swiss Express Light Court Shoes
- ASICS Men’s Gel-Resolution 8
- New Balance Men’s 696 V4 Hard Court
- Pickleball Shoe Tread
- Frequently Asked Questions
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.
These shoes really stood out for certain characteristics. If you’re looking for a certain shoe for one of these needs, you really can’t go wrong with these options.
Click the button to see why we loved them so much!
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 pickleball shoes we like the best for both men and women.
Best Women‘s Pickleball Shoes
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.
The Wilson Rush Pro 3.0 is a fantastic pair of pickleball shoes. They have an inner sock-like lining that gives you a perfect mix of comfort and stability.
Your foot feels like its cushioned in snug, and the cushioning also acts as a shock absorber for those intense rallies.
This court shoe feels like it has a little more height around the heel. This front loaded feeling makes you feel like you can explode forward, while the width it has keeps you stable for lateral movements.
The rubber sole is stable, yet flexible, and the outer lining is very breathable. You can play in these the full day and not worry about your feet getting uncomfortably hot.
One thing to keep in mind is that the toe box may be a little narrow if you have wider feet. It will stretch a little once broken in.
As for durability. The Wilson Pro was amazing. It has padding all around the shoe to protect the mesh from ripping. The thick rubber soles keep their tread and bounce.
This is a great pair of indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes.
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.
Many shoes in this review that are actually a tennis shoe that works for pickleball. However, The K-swiss Express Light is actually branded as a shoe for pickleball.
K-Swiss knocked it out of the park with the construction and design of this shoe.
This shoe has 180 degree padding on the inside and outside of the shoe which makes it one of the best I’ve worn for stability. Wherever the weight of you foot goes, the shoes adjusts and forms.
It’s an amazing shoe and checks all the boxes for a superior court shoe.
At 9 OZ, it’s one of the lightest on the review, and the herring bone design has perfect traction on both indoor and outdoor courts.
This is one of the top women’s pickleball shoes because of K swipes rubber compound material that makes this shoe, light, sticky, flexible, and durable all in one.
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 pair of women’s pickleball shoes 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.
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.
HEAD has been a big name in the tennis shoe world for a long time.
Their expertise and experience for crafting an elite level tennis shoe spills over into an amazing pickleball shoe.
This shoe really has the biggest standout with stability. I can’t get into the science of how they created such amazing consistent traction but they did it.
The mid sole, outsole, and upper sole are the perfect mixture of comfort and quality. I’m very impressed at how breathable it is yet durable.
The ankle cushioning make you feel confident going after risky shots and the liner keep you ankle locked in place.
At 12.4 ounces, it’s an extremely light shoe.
This shoe is a little more expensive than the other women’s pickleball shoes, but it is worth it. You’ll notice the difference especially if you’re transitioning from a running shoe.
I recommend buying a half size larger since it does run a little small. If you’re a size 7 normal go size 7.5 and so on.
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
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 love anything Asics does with the Gel technology because the more you use the shoe, the more it contours to fit your feet.
These are recommended for just about any level player. They are amazing indoor pickleball shoes and are some of the best outdoor pickleball shoes as well.
They are slightly higher than other court shoes I’ve tried in the past. Because of the higher ankle support, you feel increased stability on the pickleball court.
The carbon insert under your arch feels amazingly sturdy and adds a ton of comfort.
They are extremely light at 12 OZ, but that does not take away from the responsiveness.
There was plenty of room in the tow box but I didn’t feel like my foot moved at all.
The rubber sole herringbone tread is perfect for indoor and outdoor use, and it breathes like a dream. I even played on a wet court and had no issues with sliding.
I highly recommend this shoe for anyone looking for a little extra support around the arch. If you play in a hotter climate, this shoe will impress you at just how cool it keeps your feet.
You will absolutely be able to play a couple more games than usual with the K swiss Express Lights.
The Head Revolt Pro 3.0 is a great way to be bold on the pickleball court.
They come in some very bright, tasteful colors. These are some of the best men’s pickleball shoes when it comes to traction.
The rubber sole is a hybrid material that makes it grip like rubber, but much more durable.
These shoes take the cake for durability. They have a plastic-like coating around the entire shoe that adds additional protection while letting your foot breathe.
The back heel cushioning is firm but soft enough so you can aggressively attack the net.
The rubber sole also is slightly wider than other shoes so you can keep a nice wide stance without worrying about rolling your ankle.
These are some of the best shoes for outdoor pickleball, especially on rough courts.
I recommend these shoes for an intermediate or advanced pickleball player. They really carry their weight when you go for advanced and hard shots.
They help your game by maybe 5% but that’s a lot of advanced players to get the edge they need.
They’re just as good as the Head Revolt 3.5 but a little cheaper for those on a budget.
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.
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 bit stiff, 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.
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.
The Wilson Rush Pro is one of my all-time favorite shoes. I think it is one of the best shoes for pickleball in general.
It performs in all areas. It’s incredibly comfortable, but you feel athletic.
The heel points down to keep you constantly on your toes. The heel padding is thick, but you can still feel and use the ground for power or precision.
The tongue and the heel go up higher on your foot than other shoes so your ankle feels secure and locked in place.
They feel amazing right out of the box and they breathe well even when I played in the hot Arizona summers.
I can’t say enough about this shoe. It might be a little pricey but it is worth it.
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.
Pickleball Shoe Tread
There are a few patterns you’ll see on the soles of most pickleball shoes. What you’re really looking for is Partial or Modified Herringbone Tread Pattern.
This was something that Nike did an amazing job at figuring out. They concluded that partial or modified herringbone tread was the best for all directions of movements.
The tread was originally designed for basketball, but many shoe manufacturers found it just as useful for tennis and pickleball.
It works very well for both indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes.
Don’t get partial or modified confused with full herringbone tread. Full herringbone is used specifically for clay courts. You can actually hurt yourself if you play on cement courts or indoor with fun herringbone, since the tread might be too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Just please please do not wear running shoes while playing pickleball. That is the bottom line.
The best choice would be court shoes or tennis shoes. These are specifically designed for the types of lateral movements that you’ll perform during an actual rally. For indoor, it’s best to go with a volleyball shoe or a non-marking court shoe.
If you have a shoe with a light-colored, non-marking bottom, you can use those indoor and outdoor. Make sure you pay attention to the traction since outdoor is usually clay and indoor is wood. The shoe will perform differently on those two surfaces.
There are not many choices for an actual “pickleball shoe,” but a tennis shoe or court shoe will provide the support, comfort, and durability you need to play your best.
This depends on the shoe, your game, and the type of court you play on.
If you do a lot of running on a clay court, they may not last as long as someone who plays short shots up by the net on an indoor court. Make sure you look for padding around the shoe like the toe area so you can drag without damaging the shoe.
In short, Yes, most of the shoes reviewed are tennis shoes. Though there are some shoes branded as pickleball shoes, there is no significant difference between them. To learn more about the differences you can check out the article: Are Pickleball Shoes And Tennis Shoes The Same?
Please Note: We may receive a small affiliate commission on products you purchase. For more information check out Affiliate Disclosure