Your feet are the foundation of your body. If you don’t feel strong in your foundation, how will you be able to show your best at the pickleball court?
We’ve got your back since we are now going to introduce you to what we think are the best pickleball shoes on the market for men and women. And without further ado, let’s get started.
The Best Pickleball Shoes For Women
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The Best Pickleball Shoes For Men
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Our Reviews Of The Best Pickleball Shoes
Up first on our reviews for pickleball shoes for women is Gel Rocket 7 by ASICS, which technically is a volleyball shoe. In reality, there isn’t a shoe designed specifically for pickleball, so one would need to go for a shoe for other, similar sports. One of those sports is volleyball.
Volleyball is played indoors, meaning that this shoe is adapted for hardwood surfaces. Needless to say, this means that this shoe is also going to be more suitable for indoor pickleball.
What would interest a pickleball player in shoes the most is grip with the court, as well as foot support. And because volleyball is a very jumpy sport, both are present in Gel Rocket 7 shoe.
In terms of foot support, Gel Rocket 7 is going to be obviously great. It has a gel cushioning at the forefoot to absorb shocks coming from the front. This may be overkill for pickleball, but some extra protection certainly won’t harm you.
In addition, the shoe is overall padded well, especially in the collar area. So the Gel Rocket 7 shoe should not only be protective but also supportive.
This shoe also has an outsole that is made from denser natural rubber. As ASICS claims, such an outsole has enhanced grip with the court. In addition, ASICS employs its Trusstic system in this shoe, which allows the sole unit to be light yet strong.
And if you care about it, ASICS offers 4 color options for this shoe – black/silver, silver/black/pink glow, white/fuchsia/magenta, and white/silver.
Before you leave, why not check out our Best Pickleball Paddles For Spin guide – and see what our top picks are.
Yet another ASICS model on our list! This time, it is Women’s GEL-Dedicate 4, which is actually an entry-level, inexpensive tennis shoe. Since tennis is very close to pickleball, tennis shoes may be better for you than volleyball shoes.
GEL-Dedicate 4 tennis shoe shares plenty of common features with the Gel Rocket 7 shoes we have just reviewed. Namely, it has the same weight-reducing Trusstic technology, as well as a forefoot gel cushioning system. But when it comes to material choice, this shoe is rather different.
The GEL-Dedicate 4 shoe is made from 100% leather, which may be an advantage for some. While the leather may not make these shoes more convenient, it will probably make them feel more premium to you.
With a sole similar to that of Gel Rocket 7, GEL-Dedicate 4 tennis shoe is more suitable for indoor pickleball rather than outdoor.
We liked the design of GEL-Delicate 4 more though. It has a more solid feel than Gel Rocket 7, probably because the latter’s mesh upper makes the latter look cheaper. Or maybe it’s the fact that this shoe is made from leather.
Check out our review of the best Pickleball Shirts for our top picks.
ASICS Women’s GEL-Court Bella is also a tennis shoe, but it differs from the GEL-Delicate 4 shoe we’ve just reviewed quite a bit.
The first difference is the comfort. This shoe employs ASICS’ Personal Heel Fit 2-layer memory foam in the collar area. This foam molds to the wearer’s heel, creating a personalized fit. In addition, this foam provides cushioning for the ankle, so it should feel comfortable on the foot.
The GEL-Court Bella shoe also has a large toe protector in the front. The previous two shoes also had toe protection in them, but the guard in this shoe is taller.
What also catches the eye in this shoe is the height of its heel. The heel is noticeably taller than the heel in GEL-Delicate 4 and Gel Rocket 7. On one hand, this may help you feel more solid on your feet, and on the other, it may make you feel disconnected from the ground.
The upper of this shoe also has very little mesh in it. Only the tongue in GEL-Court Bella is mesh. This may make this shoe look better to you, but it most likely means that this shoe is going to be less breathable and heavier than models with mesh tops.
We also liked the color options for this shoe. This shoe comes in white/silver, berry/plum/cotton candy, and paradise green/pink glow/indigo blue color schemes. They all are girly colors, which makes them perfect for women.
We have also reviewed the Best Shoes For Indoor Pickelball, so check them out as well.
Nike is a big player on the market of sports equipment. And while they don’t produce shoes for pickleball specifically – as pretty much all manufacturers – their high-end Air Zoom Vapor X tennis shoes do have a couple of interesting things to offer to pickleball players.
The first notable feature in this shoe is its low-profile collar. The collar in Air Zoom Vapor X is noticeably shorter than the collars in the ASICS shoes we examined earlier.
On one hand, this lower collar is going to allow for increased mobility in the ankle, which may be important for some players. On the other hand, it will provide less support for the ankle, which may be a problem for people with weak ankles that are prone to injury. But if you have perfectly healthy ankles, then the increased mobility of this shoe may be very beneficial for you.
Another good thing about this shoe is its mesh top. It looks a lot like the top of ASICS Gel Rocket 7, so they are both going to deliver the same level of breathability and lightness. But the mesh may somewhat compromise the rigidity and thus the support of the shoe, so keep that in mind.
So all in all, Air Zoom Vapor X is going to be a good option for women who want to protect their feet and still have plenty of mobility and control over their movements.
What’s also notable about this model is that there are nearly over two dozen color options for it. This obviously doesn’t make this shoe better in-game, but if you have a shoe that you like, you may feel more confident on the court.
Do keep in mind though that this shoe is listed as a hard court shoe on Nike’s website. If you will be playing mostly indoors, you should go for another, indoor pair since this one may lack traction needed for hardwood indoor courts.
Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners.
Women’s Court Lite is more of a mid-end shoe model from Nike. This one is also a good model, but it obviously will lack when compared to the high-end Air Zoom Vapor X tennis shoe.
For an amateur player who isn’t going to play pickleball too often, a cheaper shoe like Court Lite is going to be a choice that is good enough. In addition, this relatively cheap shoe is also going to be good for beginners.
A thing that is arguably better in this model is its slightly taller collar. It might deliver a little more support to the ankle at the expense of mobility. For a beginner, this added level of support is probably more desirable than mobility.
The collar in the Court Lite tennis shoe is also well-cushioned for increased comfort. In addition, this shoe has a breathable upper that is made from leather, mesh, and synthetics. The foam midsole also adds a softer feel to this shoe.
The toe area in Nike Court Lite shoe is reinforced with additional material to prevent abrasion. This certainly is going to be a useful thing in a sport like pickleball where there is a lot of force going into the feet.
Lastly, if you care about how your shoes look, then you will be glad to hear that there are nearly 20 color options for this shoe.
Like Air Zoom Vapor X, this shoe has been designed for hard court pickleball, so keep that in mind.
Our handy guide to the Best Court Shoes For Pickleball features more great products like this.
Adidas Solecourt Boost is going to be the first men’s shoe on our list. This again is a tennis shoe. Moreover, it is a high-end model, so if you are looking for top performance for pickleball, this pair may be the right for you.
So what are things that make this shoe cost quite a lot?
The first thing that is remarkable about this shoe is its outsole. And it’s not as much about how durable or grippy it is. It’s more about the way it is built.
If you look at the outsole, you’ll notice that it is slightly widened out in the mid-foot area. If you look at the shoe from the top, you’ll also notice this extension.
Adidas doesn’t really specify why exactly they designed the outsole in such way. What we can say is that the wider mid-foot area is most likely going to provide you with additional support when quickly changing directions. For speedier singles, this shoe may thus be an excellent choice.
It also seems that the outsole is made durable enough for hard outdoor courts. The outsole wraps around the front of the shoe as well, allowing you to maintain traction with the ground at a wider variety of angles.
The rather tall collar of this shoe should be mentioned as well. In the ankle area, Solecourt Boost shoe should provide increased support. On the other hand, the tall collar may slightly limit the mobility of the ankle.
So yeah, overall, this shoe seems to be a really good pick for outdoor plays.
Make sure you also check out our guide to the Best Outdoor Pickleball Shoes.
K-Swiss Men’s Hypercourt Express shoe is a really bulky boy. Just look at how thick its sole is! Due to this, K-Swiss Men’s Hypercourt Express appears to be great for playing pickleball on hard courts.
The grip in this shoe should be excellent. The way its sole extends up at the front makes it really seem that this shoe works very good at a wide variety of angles. Maybe not as good as Adidas Solecourt Boost which had a wider mid-foot sole, but it still should be up there.
The cushioning in this shoe is also pretty abundant, especially in the ankle area. The collar in this shoe isn’t too tall though, so Hypercourt Express won’t have the best ankle support out there. But your feet should feel pretty comfy in them.
The entire upper of this shoe is mesh, which means that this shoe is going to have good air circulation. But, on the other hand, the mesh upper will most likely make the shoe a bit weaker, especially compared to something like Adidas Solecourt Boost which had a solid upper with no mesh.
This shoe is made wide as well, especially in the toe box. If you have wider feet, then you’d certainly appreciate the increased width in the Hypercourt Express shoe. But overall, this shoe is going to feel clunky. If you are very concerned about lightness, this kind of shoe may be unsuitable for you.
Be sure to check out our list of the Best Indoor Pickleball Shoes For Women for more great items like this.
ASICS Men’s Gel Rocket 8 is the successor to the Gel Rocket 7 shoe, the women’s version of which we reviewed in the very beginning. This means that this shoe is going to be very similar to its predecessor, but some things should be better in it.
Like Gel Rocket 7, Gel Rocket 8 is a low-profile and lightweight volleyball shoe. This obviously means that this shoe is going to be a better pick for pickleball players who value speed over protection.
Speaking of protection, Gel Rocket 8 seems to have a slightly taller collar than Gel Rocket 7. In terms of ankle support, the newer ASICS Gel Rocket should be superior to the older model. But it may feel more restricted in the ankle due to the taller collar.
The overall build of Gel Rocket 8 is very reminiscent of that in Gel Rocket 7. A difference that catches the eye is that there is slightly less mesh in the upper of the Gel Rocket 8 shoe. Due to this, Gel Rocket 8 should be a little stronger and more supportive than the older model.
As for the outsole, it has a different pattern, but the technology stays the same. Namely, ASICS employed its Trusstic technology to make the sole lighter, as well as used their forefoot cushioning system to attenuate shock.
Lastly, like Gel Rocket 7, Gel Rocket 8 is designed for indoor use. And being a mid-end shoe, it should be good for beginners and amateur players alike.
Wilson is a big player on the market of tennis equipment, with their catalog including tennis shoes as well. One of their shoes is Men’s Rush Pro 2.5, which is one of Wilson’s cheaper shoes. However, this shoe is actually an upper middle-end shoe.
Wilson uses plenty of proprietary technologies to make this shoe work great on the court. First of all, they have an interesting reinforced mesh material on the upper which delivers both stability and breathability. This shoe should be as breathable as regular mesh models, but at the same time, it should be stronger.
Men’s Rush Pro 2.5 also has Wilson’s R-dst+ midsole that delivers a good balance of cushioning and responsiveness. At the same time, the so-called Pro Torque Chassis mid-foot shank prevents the sole from twisting while allowing good freedom of movement for the foot.
As for the outsole, it is a rubber outsole with a herringbone tread pattern which, as claimed by Wilson, delivers good traction and durability on any surface. In reality though, this shoe probably isn’t the best for outdoor courts, but for indoors, it should be very good.
The cushioning of this shoe should be mentioned as well. Pay attention to how thick it is around the ankle. If you feel that your older shoes lacked comfort around the ankles, then this shoe might be an excellent pick.
Overall, it is pretty obvious that Wilson attempted to make a general-purpose tennis shoe for any court conditions. It probably isn’t going to excel in specific tasks like only indoor or outdoor play, but we think that Men’s Rush Pro 2.5 can quite well perform the tasks that have been put upon it.
And the last men’s shoe on our list is Men’s Barricade Club. This shoe also is an upper middle-end shoe, so it is a good option for amateur players who want to get a not so expensive shoe for pickleball.
When it comes to performance on the court, this shoe is going to be less aggressive than Adidas Solecourt Boost we reviewed earlier. The main reason for this is the simpler build of the outsole.
In Solecourt Boost, the sole extended high up the front outer side of the shoe and had fancy features like a mid-foot extension, which overall made it a better pick for speedy and aggressive play. Barricade Club shoe doesn’t have such features.
In terms of cushioning and softness, Barricade Club seems like the better shoe among the two Adidas models. The heel of the shoe has Adidas’ Adiprene insert, the purpose of which is to absorb shocks and to overall make the shoe feel softer.
Another thing that this shoe has is a mesh upper, which, on one hand, will make the shoe lighter and more breathable and on the other may make it less rigid and strong.
And overall, Adidas Men’s Barracuda Club seems like a good shoe for outdoor play, mainly thanks to its extra-cushioned heel.
Pickleball Shoes Buyers Guide
Things to look for in pickleball shoes
Now that we all those beautiful shoes reviewed, it’s time to pick the best one from them. How do you do that exactly though? Let us introduce you to the key things that you need to consider when choosing shoes for pickleball.
Indoor vs outdoor shoes
Pickleball is typically played either indoors or outdoors. Indoor courts are usually made of hardwood or with some kind of gym flooring (like urethane or hard foam), while outdoor courts may be hard asphalt, clay, or grass.
When it comes to indoor courts, your best bet would be going for a shoe that has a natural rubber gum outsole. Such soles are very good at gripping hardwood and other materials used in gyms.
A safe route to go about indoor shoes is to get a pair of volleyball shoes. Volleyball is played indoors, so shoes designed for volleyball are going to have the necessary grip for indoor surfaces.
While you can use indoor shoes for outdoor courts, the not so durable rubber outsole is going to wear out much quicker. Regular outsoles just aren’t designed for rough outdoor surfaces.
Check out our Best Shoes For Indoor Pickelball post here.
For outdoor play, you should aim at hard courts when choosing a pair of shoes. Hard courts are the most demanding on shoes due to their abrasive surface. The friction that occurs when dragging the outsole of the shoes along the rough surface results in very quick wear.
Typically, synthetic outsoles work the best for hard courts. They are considerably stronger than standard rubber soles, which is the thing that you’d want to have outside.
In addition, outdoor shoes need to have plenty of cushioning in them. Outdoor hard courts are much harder on the feet, knees, and ankles than indoor courts, so you should protect them from impact as much as possible.
Looking for our outdoor shoe recommendations: Best Outdoor Pickleball Shoes?
Like it was with indoor shoes, you shouldn’t be using outdoor shoes indoors. Their synthetic outsoles aren’t very good at gripping indoor surfaces. And in pickleball, grip with the court is crucial for your performance.
If you play on court, then you should check out our Best Court Shoes For Pickleball post here.
Size is obviously important in shoes, and you need to get a shoe that is going to sit just right on your foot.
Determining the right shoe size is up to you. In general, as recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a properly fitting shoe is going to have an at least ½-inch space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoes. In addition, your toes should be able to wiggle freely in the toe box.
Nowadays, many tennis and volleyball shoes have mesh uppers (the top part of the shoe which covers the feet). What mesh does is make the shoe more breathable and light. The more mesh there is in the upper of the shoe, the more breathable it is, and the more comfortable it is going to be in hot weather.
On the other hand, mesh isn’t going to be as durable as solid uppers. And the support in shoes with a lot of mesh isn’t as good as well.
Mesh is a great thing, but only if it doesn’t make the shoes too weak for your needs. Thereby, how much mesh is going to be good will depend on your demands for support and air ventilation.
All the cushioning of the shoe is going to be situated in the midsole. The midsole is situated between the outsole and the shoe base, if you didn’t know.
If you have any special needs for cushioning, pay attention to what kind of a midsole the desired shoe has. Generally, the thicker the midsole of a shoe, the more cushioning it is going to have.
The collar height is the last important thing that you should be looking for in a shoe for pickleball.
If you paid attention, all the shoes on our list had different collar heights. The differences between them may have seemed subtle, but in reality, even half an inch can noticeably change how the shoe feels on the ankle.
Generally, the taller the collar, the more supportive it is going to be for the ankle. However, a taller collar is going to be more restrictive on the ankle’s mobility.
The right height of the collar will depend on your subjective needs. Some people have strong and healthy ankles and don’t need any additional support, while other players who have weak ankles would need to go for taller collars, even if it meant less mobility for them.
Why get special shoes for pickleball?
We’ve already said in the beginning that there isn’t a thing such as a pickleball shoe. At least, at the moment. Fortunately, shoes designed for tennis or volleyball can be used in pickleball perfectly okay since the demands in these sports are very similar.
And you indeed should get a special shoe for pickleball. If you thought about playing pickleball in your running shoes, forget about it. That’s the worst choice you could make for the game.
Running shoes aren’t designed to support the feet during lateral (side-to-side) movements. Such shoes are made light and flexible to make running easier. In pickleball, running shoes won’t be able to provide you with the necessary support and grip.
So make sure to get yourself proper shoes before going to a pickleball court for the first time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post – if you want to find our more about the great game of Pickleball, discover some unique strategies or just read more equipment reviews then head on over to our Pickleball Home page here.