There comes a time when casual pickleball players ask “Do you need special shoes for Pickleball?” From personal experience (and a slight foot injury) from wearing bad shoes, we say YES. The Aussie Pickleball Bros are here to tell you why specialised pickleball shoes are essential. Read this post and your happy feet will thank us.
Do you need Special Shoes for Pickleball?
Pickleball is the greatest sport for all ages. Any person at any age can pick it up and enjoy their time playing the most fun sport at the moment.
The greatest thing about Pickleball, like a famous Nirvana song says, is you can “come as you are”. Simply turn up, borrow a paddle and play. And that works fine for the first few games. But then you might buy a new paddle. And then you ask yourself, “Do you need special shoes for pickleball?”
Well, they don’t need to be “special”, but wearing appropriate pickleball shoes is important. And Podiatrists will tell you that “wearing appropriate footwear will prevent Pickleball injuries“. The experts are clear on that. As Pickleball injuries to the feet are on the rise. And a simple way to reduce those injuries is with appropriate pickleball footwear,
In this guide, we take a look at the benefits of specialised shoes for pickleball. And why pickleball shoes are worth the investment for any pickleball player.
Benefits of Special Shoes for Pickleball
New players in the world of pickleball may not see the need for specialised pickleball shoes. Running shoes or casual skate shoes may be fine for a few games. But as you get more competitive, you realise how unsuitable your shoes are.
This happened to the Aussie Pickle Bros a little while ago. After a few heated pickleball battles in a single session, the Bros felt the strain on their feet. The result was sore feet and ankle tendonitis.
Luckily, a bit of rest helped heal the minor injury. And it made the Bros wonder why their Nike running shoes weren’t cutting it on the pickleball court. These shoes were missing a few key features that you will find in a good pair of pickleball shoes. Let’s take a look at the benefits of a specialised pickleball shoe.
1. Enhanced Traction
Pickleball shoes need to have rubber outsoles with a tread pattern. This will provide enhanced traction which is essential for multi-directional movement. And most importantly, you don’t want to slip and injure yourself on a well-worn court surface.
2. Improved Stability
Improved Stability and Support Shoes designed for pickleball will give you more stability and support with a wide stable base and heel supports. Pickleball shoes will give you fantastic support for side-to-side motions. This reduces stress on your body and gives you the ultimate in performance.
3. Injury Prevention
Ultimately, special shoes designed for pickleball will keep your feet safe. The supports and stability built into the shoes will help prevent any injuries to your joints, knees, ankles or back. And the best footwear uses the latest technology. This will reduce the chance of injury while providing enhanced comfort.
Characteristics of Special Shoes for Pickleball
It can be difficult to pick a great pickleball shoe. Many players start with their favourite colour from a favourite brand and go from there. But there are a few considerations worth being aware of to get the best pickleball shoes.
This is the number one characteristic of any pickleball shoe. Great shoes have amazing cushioning to absorb the underfoot impact while running and jumping on a hard surface. For this reason, it’s worth trying on any potential pickleball shoe you intend to buy. Make sure there is enough cushioning for your feet while playing.
2. Support and Stability
The best pickleball shoes will wrap around your foot and provide extra support. This will create enhanced stability when making lateral movements. But it will also ensure total control of court movement. The heel should feel stable and supported. And the toes need room to move. This is important to reduce any chance of injury.
3. Lightweight and Breathable Design
Well-ventilated shoes are essential to give your feet the ability to breathe. Especially while playing in murky, humid indoor halls. The shoe should be light and flexible, easy to move in and should not require extra effort to move in them. Light shoes feel fantastic when worn and will keep you moving at high speeds.
4. Amazing Colours and Design
Last but not least, great pickleball shoes need to look cool. Cmon, it’s pickleball we’re playing, and your shoes need to POP on the court. Make a statement with some eye-catching designs that stand out in the crowd.
Tips for Selecting Pickleball Shoes
Before heading into any store for new pickleball shoes, it’s a good idea to know what you are looking for. These tips can help take some of the guesswork out of your pickleball shoe choice. And they will help you make the best choice for you and your game.
1. Consider Court Surface
Most pickleball shoes can be worn on indoor and outdoor courts. But if your local court is purely an indoor court or an outdoor court, it may be worth finding shoes suited to this surface. Indoor shoes are generally lighter and flatter, while outdoor shoes are thicker and more durable.
If you are likely to play on various surfaces, don’t worry about this consideration too much. Chances are an indoor or outdoor shoe will feel better than any non-pickleball shoe. So it is worth knowing what type of surface you will mostly play on, if possible.
2. Fit and Comfort
The latest in Pickleball shoes continues to evolve. And every brand has different shoes with the latest pickleball technology. These advances can impact shoe fit and comfort. To avoid disappointment with your shoe purchase, it’s always best to go to a store and try some shoes on.
This approach will ensure the shoe fits as expected, and reduce the chance of buyers remorse. Most pickleball stores will have experts on hand to help guide you to the best shoe for your needs. And you may find you go home with a shoe you may not have known about and it feels like heaven on your feet. Getting the perfect fit and ultimate comfort from your new shoes is crucial.
3. Budget Considerations
Walking into a pickleball store with a budget in mind will always help the purchase process. New players won’t need the latest, top-of-the-line shoes and you can find some great pickleball shoes for under $150.
Or if you have the cash to splash, go big and buy some amazing shoes. And you may find your performance on the court will improve with the latest in pickleball tech on your feet.
Super serious players may easily justify the cost of a gourmet pair of shoes. While casual players will be fine with a supportive, low-cost pair. It all comes down to budget and the type of player you are.
4. Tennis Shoes for Pickleball?
Some Pickleball stores may not have a huge range of Pickleball shoes. And the pickleball shoes they have are super expensive, for brands you may never have heard of. This can make it difficult to justify the cost of some Pickleball shoes.
You will find that many pickleball stores also sell tennis shoes. They may not have the word “pickleball” on them, but they are designed for tennis. Tennis is a close racquet sport cousin to pickleball.
Tennis shoes are probably fine for casual players. They are a step up from unsuitable, everyday shoes. And they can also help prevent injury and improve performance. They would still be great to play pickleball in. Technically, they can be called “specialised pickleball shoes”.
If you are looking for the Best Pickleball Shoes for under $100, why not check out this Aussie Pickleball Bros Special Post.
If you are wondering “Do I need special pickleball shoes for pickleball?”, we hope you found the answer is YES. As the Bros discovered the hard way, playing with incorrect shoes can cause injury and isn’t a great idea for any pickleball player.
The latest pickleball shoes are designed for pickleball. They use the latest in technology. And they come with advanced features to protect and cushion your feet. They will provide better grip, stability and comfort to enhance your gameplay.
Investing in Specialised pickleball shoes is an investment in improving your pickleball game. New pickleball shoes can protect your feet and level up your performance. After you buy a great paddle, we recommend special pickleball shoes as your next purchase.
Let us know what you think or if you have any pickleball shoe recommendations.
The Aussie Pickleball Bros.