best pickleball shoes 2023

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IN CASE you haven’t heard, pickleball is all the rage right now. America’s fastest growing sport has created a full on boom train, and due to the face the sport is friendly to all ages and levels of competition, brands and entrepreneurs are rushing to develop new gear that’s suitable for all types of players. It’s true your pickleball paddle is the most important piece of equipment you need, but another major area to consider investing in is proper footwear. We’re talking about pickleball shoes.

When looking for a proper pickleball shoe the two most important factors to consider are traction and lateral stability. You’re going to be making quick movements in all types of directions, so you want strong outsoles with responsive tread patterns and a midsole structure that’s made to for fast-twitch, side-to-side movements. A shoe with good lateral stability should have a wider base and a stiff lower structure to help prevent common pickleball injures (like ankle or knee sprains). Other factors to consider in a proper pickleball shoe are comfort, weight, and breathability.



  • Best Tested

    Rush Pro Ace Pickler Men’s Pickleball Shoe
    Wilson

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  • Best Pro Model

    Go Train Arch Fit Viper Court Pickleball
    Skechers

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  • Best Support

    Men’s Express Light Pickleball Shoe
    K-Swiss

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  • Best Shoe for Outdoor Play

    Gel-Renma
    Asics

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  • Best Shoe for Indoor Play

    Upcourt 5
    Asics

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The best pickleball shoes include styles specifically made for the sport (a recent trend thanks to pickleball’s popularity) as well as shoes that are made for tennis and other racket sports. But regardless of the designation, all of these models ahead are the most suitable styles for all-day play. With that all being said, it’s time to optimize your game with a proper pair of kicks.

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Best Tested

Wilson

Rush Pro Ace Pickler Men’s Pickleball Shoe

Weight 12 oz
Outsole High-density Duralast rubber

Best Pro Model

Skechers

Go Train Arch Fit Viper Court Pickleball

Weight 11.7 oz
Outsole Goodyear Performance Outsole

Best Support

K-Swiss

Men’s Express Light Pickleball Shoe

Weight 12.7 oz
Outsole AÖSTA 7.0 Rubber Compound

Best Shoe for Outdoor Play

Asics

Gel-Renma

Weight 12.6 oz
Outsole Smooth Wrap-up outsole

Best Shoe for Indoor Play

Asics

Upcourt 5

Weight 10 oz
Outsole Synthetic rubber

Best Ankle Support

Mizuno

Wave Momentum 2

Weight 11 oz
Outsole XG (extra-grade) rubber

Best New Balance Shoe for Pickleball

New Balance

New Balance 1006

Weight 13.9 oz
Outsole Non-marking rubber outsole

Best Fila Shoe for Pickleball

Fila

Men’s Speedserve Energized Tennis Shoes

Weight 13 oz
Outsole Strong rubber

Best Adidas Shoe for Pickleball

adidas

Courtjam Control Tennis Shoes

Weight 12.9 oz
Outsole Adiwear hard court outsole

Best Nike Shoe for Pickleball

Nike

Court Zoom Pro Tennis Shoes

Weight 14.5 oz
Outsole Zoom with waffle pattern

Amazon’s Choice

Asics

Gel-Venture 8

Weight 12.5 oz
Outsole Re-engineered outsole lugs

Best High Performance Shoe

Nike

NikeCourt Zoom Vapor Cage 4 Rafa

Weight 15.48 oz
Outsole Durable rubber

What are the best shoes for playing pickleball?

The best shoes for playing pickleball are optimized for fast lateral movements and are made to withstand wear and tear on outdoor and indoor courts.

In general, a quality pickleball shoe is going to have a wider base and be more sturdy in the midsole and outsole. Most pickleball shoes mimic quality tennis shoes (made for tennis only) and volleyball trainers. The latter shoe is especially great for indoor use, as volleyball trainers promise ample support and premium traction on indoor surfaces and gym floors.

It’s also worth mentioning pickleball shoes require more stability and build, so you can expect them to be a tad bit heavier than a pair of lightweight everyday sneakers. Pickleball demands quick movements and endurance, so the features we mentioned above are going to help maximize your playing abilities while staying comfortable and injury-free.

Can you wear running shoes for pickleball?

If you’re someone who’s going to play pickleball every once in a blue moon, then we won’t knock you for wearing running shoes or sneakers. But if you’re expecting to play pickleball frequently, you certainly want to avoid running shoes.

Most running shoes are made only for forward motion, so there’s often less emphasis on reinforcing the shoe for side-to-side movements. Running shoes also have less structure and stability than what you want in a pickleball shoe, as the running styles these days are made to be as lightweight and breathable as possible (which means less focus on support).

So to be clear, you should not wear running shoes for pickleball if you expect to play the game on a regular basis. A proper pickleball shoe is a worthy investment that will help give you traction and stability while greatly decreasing the chance of rolling a ankle or spraining a knee.

How We Selected

For the past 12 months, we consulted with Men’s Health‘s editors and writers on the top pickleball shoes. Experts, including our Gear and Commerce Editor John Thompson, put a number pickleball shoes to the test and evaluated their stability, durability, and weight. We also considered top-reviewed pickleball shoes that had high customer ratings on e-commerce websites we trust.

Gear and Commerce Editor
John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology.

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