Pickleball: a power-packed game with an adorably cute name. It’s become one of the most passionately played sports in recent times.
The fondest memories of having grown up in a family in North Carolina dedicated to playing the game, have had one of the sweetest effects in nurturing my interest in pickleball.
Although I suffered several miserable defeats at the hands of my elder brother when I initially got into the game, he was and remains to be my coach and biggest inspiration who taught me all about pickleball.
With time I realized that apart from the obvious balls and paddles, the essential gear for securing a win at the game are getting the right shoes for it, which sadly, gets overlooked more often than not.
Hey, I’m Russell Penney and I’m a former sports goods store owner turned blogger.
And, today I’m out on a mission to tell you all about pickleball shoes! I’ve made it a point to include the best shoes for both men and women along with a guide to help you get the perfect ones for yourself! So keep on reading to know all about it!
Pickleball Shoes For Men:
1. New Balance Men’s MC1006v1 Shoe
The primary thing that you should look for while buying shoes for games like pickleball is the kind of comfort and agility they can provide. The amazing lightweight structure and comfort that the New Balance MC1006v1 gives you is undeniably the winning point for this shoe. And, this what makes it one of the top-selling pickleball shoes for men recognized by all for its premium build and performance.
- Made of quality fabric and synthetic
- Standard rubber soles and REVlite midsole foam for utmost comfort and stability
- Breathable insets keep you sweat-free for long hours
- Lasting Ndurance outsole and drag tip for firm grip and control
Before testing out this shoe, I had quite high expectations from it. But that didn’t really stop me from being impressed by its performance!
It is lightweight and could keep you comfortably afloat for a substantial period of time when you go in for that power-packed hit. The heel of this shoe can sustain an immense amount of sudden shock, and the REVlite midsole foam ensures even distribution of pressure for a swift bounce-back.
The breathable mesh insets keep your feet sweat-free and prevent any kind of interference during long hours of performance on the court.
However, make sure that you are getting the absolute right fit by testing it out well before buying, as the middle body is a bit pinched in shape which can cause fitting problems even at your usual foot size.
The Ndurance outsole and long-wear drag tip ensure a firm hold and grip at every point in the game.Pros
- Durable built and lightweight
- Breathable and comfortable for long wears
- Shock-proof foam interiors for even pressure distribution
- The shape could be a bit narrow
2. HEAD Revolt Pro 2.5 Men’s Shoe
The HEAD Revolt Pro 2.5 is another great shoe for both tennis and pickleball players. The synthetic leather materials that go into creating this one, make it a heavy-duty shoe for regular pickleball players.
Even more than being comfortable it protects the sensitive tendons and nerves in your feet during intense matches that may go on for extended hours.
- Made using exceedingly tough leather materials
- Provides “drift defense medial protection” for complete feet safety
- EVA midsole provides great comfort.
- Patented HEAD Energy frame design ensures complete heel security and keeps the foot from moving
- Hybrid outsole profile delivers control and a firm hold on uneven grounds.
I had recently bought one of these for my son after I tested out a pair for myself and I have to say that the comfort factor on this shoe is pretty much on point with what it claims to deliver.
You can easily play out those tough faceoffs in these without worrying about ligament injury. It is breathable and keeps your feet fresh and sweat-free for longer periods of time.
The shoe provides an efficient “drift defense medial protection” with a “hybrid outsole profile” for playing on a range of different surfaces. This protects the sole from sudden injuries, especially when playing on uneven grounds.
The EVA midsole provides great comfort for your feet, and the patented HEAD energy frame design on this one secures the heel, keeping the foot in place.
However, the shoes’ finish might come off after some time, and due to its form, it might just be a bit of a hassle to flex your feet in it.Pros
- Very durable and heavy-duty built
- Designed for complete feet-protection
- Considerable grip on uneven grounds
- Could be a bit tricky to flex in it.
3. NIKE Men’s Air Max Torch 4 Shoe
And for my final pick, I would look no further than this absolute beauty from the globally recognized and immensely loved brand: Nike! And sure enough, you could confidently go ahead and “JUST DO IT!” in all of your pickleball games wearing this.
It gives you all the comfort that you will ever need to fare impressively in your matches. It is immensely durable, featuring a full-length BRS 1000 carbon fiber rubber “Waffle” outsole for complete control and traction.
- Features full-length BRS 1000 carbon fiber “Waffle” outsole design for traction and control
- Breathable mesh uppers with synthetic overlays keep feet fresh and well-ventilated
- Low-top design provides added mobility
- Phylon forefoot ensures great toe-off
Although some of you might wonder why I chose a running shoe over conventional tennis shoes like the rest of my picks, I do have valid reasons to include this one in my list of men’s pickleball shoes.
And one of it is undoubtedly the Phylon forefoot that provides immense toe-off and sole arch support. This helps you to comfortably and confidently make your hit without worrying about landing improperly and sustaining injuries.
The low-top design on it gives additional mobility for quick movements on the court. It includes mesh uppers with synthetic overlays which keep your feet feeling fresh even during long and intense matches.
The traction provided by the carbon fiber rubber outsole is excellent for having balance and complete ground-control on the court.
The only thing about it is that it’s not meant for broader feet structures. It fits narrower feet quite comfortably and could be used as a games shoe as easily as a running one.Pros
- Feels built to last
- Designed for the utmost comfort
- Great traction and control
- Provides impressive toe-off
- Won’t be comfortable for wide feet
Pickleball Shoes For Women:
1. ASICS Women’s Gel-Rocket 8 Shoe
ASICS had been one of the most recognized brands for manufacturing standard quality shoes for tennis, volleyball and pickleball game purposes. The Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball fares impressively enough for even pickleball games owing to the brand’s patented Trusstic system technologies for traction, comfort, and control on the court.
- Comes with the brand’s patented Trusstic system technology that evenly balances out the weight in the sole unit for better and comfortable performance
- Signature forefoot gel cushioning system makes the shoe resistant to sudden shocks and impacts.
- Gum rubber outsole provides maximum traction and control.
Since, my entire family takes an active interest in pickleball, playing it out quite a few times over a week, we seldom go wrong with pickleball suggestions for either gender. I know about this one thanks to my wife’s experience with it. This is a cool pair of originally Volleyball shoes which does quite a remarkable job for pickleball matches as well.
The shoe features the company’s signature Trusstic system technology that “reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe.” The signature “forefoot gel cushioning system” reduces and absorbs sudden shock during sharp impacts, thus protecting the feet from injury and maintaining balance.
The gum rubber outsole on the shoe provides a good deal of traction support, letting you bounce safely back and hitting hard with maximum force. Also, The low-top design gives a nice toe-off and sole arch support.
However, the shoe could feel a bit constricted in the toe-box, which we think is a design flaw common to all of the models. This is a nice shoe for beginners and intermediate players, but we would suggest getting more specified models for professional matches.Pros
- Durable built
- Designed for comfort
- Ideal for beginners and intermediates
- Toe-box could be narrow for some
2. K-Swiss Hypercourt Express Leather Women’s Shoe
After the great success of the K-Swiss Ultrascendor, the company has put another feather in its cap by launching the Hypercourt Express: a beautiful, sturdy and exceptionally comfortable leather sports shoe for women.
It is designed in a conventionally sharp tennis gear getup with bold accents and delivers impressive performances in pickleball matches.
- Premium leather tennis shoe build and finish
- K-EVA and ortholite midsole ensure maximum support, traction, and stability
- Lush sock-liner provides the utmost comfort
- Durawrap technology and DragGuard prevent excessive toe-dragging and wear and tear.
- Aosta 7.0 rubber gives added heel to toe durability.
This is one shoe that my sister recently bought for herself and was kind enough to provide me with the required insight into its overall performance.
This leather tennis shoe comes with a lush and soft sock-liner for comfort. The brand’s patented K-EVA and ortholite midsole guarantee complete support and lateral stability on the court. The overall shoe is designed to provide great traction support and easy balance while making a hit.
The Durawrap technology and DragGuard situated in the high-wear areas of the shoe ensure durability and protection against regular wear and tear. Also, the heel-grip lining prevents you from slipping on the ground when you have to move really quick during matches.
However, the one thing that could have been better with this model is its width measurements. Finding your right fit could be difficult, and the toe box is a bit constricted. My sister and I hope that the brand comes out with the rectifications in this department soon. Apart from that, we think it’s a really nice pickleball shoe!Pros
- Very comfortable and durable
- Provides traction, support, and stability
- Heel-grip lining prevents slippage
- DragGuard ensures lasting finish
- Finding the right fit is quite a hassle
3. ASICS Women’s Gel-Game 6 Shoe
ASICS is undeniably a recognized and reputed brand selling premium quality sports gear for both men and women. But, did you know that the acronym came from the Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” meaning: “A Sound Mind In A Sound Body?”
And, the Gel-Game 6 Tennis Shoe seems to incorporate just the vision, bringing you top-notch features for a brilliant performance in tennis and pickleball alike!
- Comes with the brand’s patented Trusstic System Technology
- Includes the brand’s signature forefoot gel cushioning system for complete feet safety
- Breathable mesh uppers keep the feet from sweating during long hours
- Low-top shaft design provides nice toe-off
The Gel-Game 6 from ASICS is a well-designed model from the brand that is very sturdy, comfortable and delivers a great performance during tennis, pickleball or volleyball matches. This has been a favorite with one of my pickleball playmates who still wears a pair of these to important matches.
It has all the signature features of the brand such as the “forefoot gel cushioning system” which attenuates sudden shock during unexpected impacts, protecting the feet from otherwise significant injuries.
The company’s patented midfoot Trusstic System Technology reduces the weight of the sole unit while keeping the structure from collapsing under pressure. This facilitates greater freedom in quickly moving or shuffling from side-to-side on the court.
The substantial rubber outsole provides immense stability, traction support and durability on the court, maintaining balance on uneven grounds. And, the breathable mesh uppers help to keep the feet well-ventilated and sweat-free for extended hours of game-play.
However, you may have to put additional heel-pads as the region could become rough and abrasive on the skin after prolonged use.Pros
- Tough, durable and easy-fit design
- Reduces the impact of sudden shocks, preventing foot injuries
- Mesh uppers keep the feet sweat-free
- Helps player to shuffle or move quickly across the court
- No additional cushioning in the heel region
Buyers’ Guide for the best pickleball shoes
With an incredibly wide range of products out there, and in this case, shoes for pickleball, selecting the right one becomes a tedious and challenging task.
This is why I’ve included this buyers’ guide for you to understand what to look for when buying a pair of pickleball shoes.
Since a pickleball player has to jump every other minute tackling unexpected shots and covering variable hit ranges, it is imperative to have proper cushioning within the shoe. Not only does it provide the required comfort but it also prevents sprains or tears caused by sudden impacts.
For playing pickleball indoors or on slippery grounds, you need to get shoes with proper traction which keeps a check on the friction in the shoes, preventing slippage and accidents. Shoes for such purposes usually come with traction creating materials like rubber within them.
It would be way more problematic than you think it might be if you ended up with a shoe with rigid soles. If your shoe isn’t flexible enough, you won’t be able to move or jump at the required moment, missing almost all of your hits. Better to go for something that can flex upto 90 degrees. Also, you may end up tripping and injuring yourself due to rigid shoes while playing.
It is strictly advisable for everyone to opt for pickleball or tennis shoe that consists of proper shock-absorbing materials such as soft pads or gels. Jumping and running can put immense strain on your knees. Shock-absorbing shoes can efficiently prevent damage caused by sudden impacts.
It is always a good idea to get a pair that keeps the feet sweat-free, especially during long and extensive hours of intense matches. Breathable mesh layers facilitate proper ventilation, keeping you feeling fresh all day and could help to increase efficiency.
Never compromise on the quality of sport shoes be it regarding pickleball matches or other games. Durable shoes will allow you ease of movement, better grip and high endurance on the court. Standard pickleball shoes may last upto 5 years, but it will depend on how and where you use them.
Q1-Which fabric should I consider while buying pickleball shoes?
Ans-It is always better to opt for a pickleball shoe consisting of a combination of different materials. The upper portion will usually comprise of leather or mesh, the midsole could be of softer material, and outer soles are generally made of rubber for durability.
Q2-Should I buy different shoes for indoors and outdoors pickleball games?
Ans-Even though it’s not mandatory to maintain different shoes for indoor and outdoor pickleball, it’s always a good idea to do so as it makes them last longer. Also, outdoor shoes should contain more rubber traction than indoor ones and should be more sturdy in build and design.
Q3-Should the weight of the shoe be considered before buying?
Ans-Yes, because the weight of the shoe is an essential factor to consider and it differs for different models and styles. It’s also different for men’s and women’s shoes. While it should be around 9 -11 ounces for women’s shoes, men’s pickleball shoes usually range between 11-15 ounces in weight.
Q4-Which brands offer high-quality pickleball shoes for both men and women?
Ans-Brands like Nike, ASICS, Adidas or Mizuno are globally recognized as manufacturers and suppliers of premium quality pickleball shoes for both men and women.
So! This was all about the best pickleball shoes you could ever get for both men and women.
I hope it was a useful read for anyone seeking a bit of information on the subject.
I have recently reviewed about some best bags for pickleball accessories click here to take a look.