Do You Need Special Shoes for Pickleball?

Do You Need Special Shoes for Pickleball

Having an appropriate set of shoes is crucial for playing pickleball as this would directly impact your performance and prevent you from the risk of slipping out on the court or getting ankle strains. As pickleball involves a lot of side-to-side movements, quick moves, and continuous running around the court, having the right pair of shoes is very essential. 

The title “right pair of pickleball shoes” can be earned by a pair that is able to provide traction, comfort, and support at the same time. Also, they should feel light on the feet, and have more stability and durability to withstand the wear and tear of the game. So, if you want to boost your performance while staying comfortable throughout the game, you need to invest in a good pair of shoes.

Do you need special shoes for pickleball?

While it is recommended to have a dedicated pair of pickleball shoes, it’s not necessary. By saying this, what I mean is that they are important but they do not need to be unique to just this game. Any good pair of shoes that can be used for any other court sport like tennis or basketball will work fine if it has a good sole grip and excellent padding. 

Like for beginners, the shoe sole should be checked whether it is flat or has a good grasp on the floor. This will prevent them from slipping out on the court and being stable. Other than that, they should not feel heavy on the feet and should be breathable, well-cushioned, and durable. There are some other important factors that a pair of shoes must possess for being called ideal to play pickleball. 

How to determine a good pickleball shoe?

As it is stated earlier, you don’t need to buy separate shoes for pickleball if you already have a good pair of shoes for other sports, but there are certain features that any shoes should have in order to perform best in pickleball. If your shoes have these features, they are good to go with the pickleball otherwise, you must think about investing in shoes for pickleball specifically. 

So here are certain features that pickleball shoes should have:


In order to remain stable and confident on the court without the fear of slipping out, you need shoes that can provide good traction. Having a strong grip on the floor enables you to make quick sudden moves and stops with confidence. Shoes with rubber outsoles usually have a good grasp on any surface of the court. So, you must look out for the rubber sole, having grooves on the bottom also adds grasp and provides flexibility for free toe movements within shoes. 


Pickleball shoes should be airy so that they can allow free airflow inside the shoes to keep your feet dry and cool. If they are made up of such material through which air can’t cross, then there is a high probability that you would feel warm and exhausted during the play and would feel irritated by sweaty feet. 

To tackle this problem, shoes must have integrated mesh fabric in their construction or must have some vents to evaporate the sweat that would build up during long hours of the matches. You must avoid shoes that are entirely made up of leather or rubber, they would be durable but won’t allow air to pass through them.


 Every player has a fear of slipping and falling during the game. Especially in games like pickleball which involves a lot of lateral movements and quick stops. To take care of this, you must need shoes that have a non-slippery rubber sole. The best ones also have specially engineered grooves on their soles and reinforced toes and heels to provide extended support, flexibility, and stability on any type of court surface. 

Extra cushioning:

As playing pickleball requires you to be moving actively and quickly in order to ace the game, you would feel tired soon if you use a pair of sneakers that are flat and have a thin sole. In order to perform at your best and feel comfortable during the game, you need to have shoes that come with extra padding, especially around the ankles. They not only feel comfortable but also absorb the shocks of the game and reduce impacts on your heels and ankles, enabling you to stay active and get the best out of the game.


Shoes that fit well on your feet are also important as the tight fitting will get you feel tired and will cause your toes to swell, while loosely fitted shoes will make your toes wiggle around inside, so you won’t get sable on the floor and would be at risk of twisting of your feet.

It is prescribed to have shoes with lace-up features to customise your shoe fitting according to your feet and would be able to adjust to your comfort level. With the help of this feature, you can make sure that your shoes are just the right amount of snug without being uncomfortable, giving you the support and stability you need to ace the game.


Having the right pair of shoes is crucial to ace your pickleball game. As good shoes will provide you with the needed traction, support, and stability. While it’s not really necessary to get shoes that are unique and specific to pickleball, you must get your hands on some features that are important for you to perform well on the court. These include traction, stability, extra cushioning, perfect fitting, and breathability. So, if you already have a good pair of sneakers with all these features, you must be performing well on the court, if not then don’t delay buying a new one to upgrade your game.  

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