13 Best Pickleball Shoes 2023
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It's time to step up your game.
Once you're played pickleball, you never go back. The sport—a mix of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton—has been growing in popularity in the last three years because it's fun, relatively easy to play, and did I mention fun? The only real downside to pickleball is that it requires gear. Sure, you can hit the court with borrowed pickleball paddles and sans pickleball clothing, but why would you want to? Half the fun of pickleball is looking the part, and that includes getting the best pickleball shoes for your game.
Pickleball shoes are not only key to any pickleball look—they're also critical to actually playing the sport. To win a match, you've got to be light on your feet and have enough traction to keep you stable. A good pickleball shoe can be the difference between a win and a twisted ankle. It's that serious. Now, for beginners, a regular old pair of sneakers should be fine, says Rachel Simon, author of Pickleball for All: Everything but the "Kitchen" Sink. "If you become more serious about the game and plan on playing regularly, you'll definitely want to invest in a pair of pickleball-specific shoes to make sure you're optimizing your chances on the court," she adds.
Read on to find the best pickleball shoes to maximize your play. (Wins, sadly, not guaranteed.)
This PUMA pair features a rubber tread designed to help players change directions quickly without losing their footing, a foam midsole for support, and a mesh upper for breathability.
THE REVIEW: "Bought these for my new fave sport of pickleball," one tester writes. "They are the perfect weight and have just enough tread to move around the court."
In 2022, Skechers was named the official footwear of the US Open Pickleball Championships. As a result, the brand has an entire line of pickleball shoes, including the Viper Court, which features a Goodyear rubber outsole for traction and a removable Arch Fit insole for added support.
THE REVIEW: As one tester notes, "Lightweight, great traction, well-padded. I wore them the day I received them to my first pickleball game, and they felt like they were made for my feet. No break-in needed."
With a ridged sole and mesh construction, this shoe is made to keep you fast and agile on the court. It also has a rubber tip on the inside toe box, so it'll give you traction for quick lateral moves.
THE REVIEW: "Great ankle support for side-to-side motion," one tester writes. "Using for pickleball and very happy. Took a few times wearing them to break them in and now they are comfortable court shoes."
Tennis shoes are typically designed for outdoor courts, but this super light pair from Nike also meets all the requirements for a good indoor shoe. As Simon points out, "Since you're playing on hardwood, you definitely want to look for shoes that offer great traction and prevent slippage and are lightweight." Check. Check. And check.
THE REVIEW: "Best pickleball shoes," writes one reviewer. "Super comfortable! Very roomy!"
If you're not ready to splurge on a big name pickleball shoe, you can opt for a tried and true sneaker, like this one from Avia. This model is lightweight and versatile, made for all kinds of activity from walking to cross-training.
THE REVIEW: "Great for pickleball," one tester notes. "True to size and comfortable."
Secure and lightweight, this pair by K-Swiss is designed for aggressive players who like to leave it all on the pickleball court. The mesh upper provides nice airflow while a rubber tread provides stability. The show is also designed with extra support along the outter toe box, and features a removable cushioned insole.
THE REVIEW: "These shoes are great for pickleball," reads one review. "They even keep their grip on indoor gym floors. Great support, wider tie box. Ordered my standard size 8 but decided to exchange for an 8.5. They fit perfectly now!"
Wide feet peeps, rejoice! FitVile's Pickleball Shoes come in Wide and Extra Wide, so you can run around the court without worrying about pinching your toes.
THE REVIEW: As one reviewer writes, "I needed a smaller size that came in wide. Not only did these fit the bill, but they also were VERY reasonably priced. They are comfortable and kept my heels in place while playing pickleball."
FILA made the Volley Zone shoes specifically for pickleball, and not only do these pair feature a pickleball design, they also have a herringbone rubber outsole for traction and durability—a must if you play the sport regularly.
THE REVIEW: "They are great for pickleball on both indoor and outdoor courts," writes one tester. "The box is wide enough for toe spreading on the courts. Love the fit of these court shoes!"
Looking for a pickleball shoe that'll look cute on and off the court? The Nike Court Air Zoom Lite 3 is the one you want. Lightweight, grippy, and designed for a snug, secure fit, these shoes are great for play and cute as hell.
THE REVIEW: "Fantastic court shoes!" raves one tester. "Comfortable, light and solid support. I would purchase these again."
Good laceless, or slip-on, tennis shoes can be hard to find. They tend to be either too tight or too loose, neither of which is optimal for pickleball. On's Cloud 5 Coast shoe features bungee laces that stretch and conform to your foot for a secure fit that's still easy to put on and take off.
THE REVIEW: "I love the pull-on speed-lace style," one tester writes. "And these are incredibly light."
These pickleball shoes have a high-density rubber outsole to prevent dragging and increase stability and enhance durability for hard court play.
THE REVIEW: "This shoe is awesome," one reviewer writes. "Super comfy and so cushiony on the ball of my foot that I felt like I was playing on a cloud. Great arch support too for those with plantar fasciitis."
This shoe, inspired by the Samburu community of Kenya, wasn't specifically made for pickleball, but its super grippy sole is definitely pickleball approved. It also features a cupping effect in the heel so that it won't slip off during lateral movements.
THE REVIEW: "Enda is well-designed and comfortable," one reviewer writes. "Super fit!"
If you like your sneakers to have extra cushioning, look no further. The Wilson Rush Pro Ace Pickleball shoe features foam padding along the ankle collar and under the tongue, as well as a removable cushioned footbed.
THE REVIEW: "I like everything about these shoes: style, comfort, and performance," writes one reviewer. "I could tell it helped my game the first time I tried them on."
Pickleball requires a lot of quick movement and sudden changes in direction, which can lead to injury if you're not wearing the correct footwear. According to Simon, here are a few things to look out for when picking out the perfect pickleball shoe:
"A good pickleball shoe should feature solid arch and ankle support, ample padding, breathable mesh, and grippy soles," Simon tells us. Regular pickleball players also tend to go through shoes quickly, so you want to look for something durable.
Not to state the obvious, but a shoe that doesn't fit correctly will mean a bad time for you on the court. Be sure to read the reviews to see if a shoe runs true to size or whether you're better off sizing up or down from your usual.
More serious players will also want to find the right kind of pickleball shoe for their preferred court. Indoor courts are typically smooth hardwood, which require "shoes that offer greater traction to prevent slippage and that also feel more lightweight," per Simon. Outdoor courts, however, are tougher on the shoe, so Simon advises players to prioritize "durability" and shoes that "offer greater stability and comfort."
Olivia Truffaut-Wong is an entertainment and culture writer and editor who will never turn down a romance or superhero movie. Her work has been featured in The Cut, Refinery29, Teen Vogue, Polygon, Bustle, and more.
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