Pros share their tips for shopping for the best pickleball shoes (2024)

Think you can just throw on your normal running shoes and pick up a pickeball paddle? Try again. “Running shoes are designed to primarily move forward,” says Andrew Felsenthal, a racquet sports leader at Life Time Peachtree Corners in Georgia. “With pickleball, you move in every direction — including lots of quick, explosive direction changes —so you need a shoe designed to support those movements.”

We spoke with trainers who spend lots of time on the court to guide you on the exact type of support you need in pickleball shoes. We also got their favorite pickleball shoe recommendations.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best pickleball shoes | The best pickleball shoes of 2024 | How to make sure your pickleball shoes are supportive


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selectEverything you need to start playing pickleball, according to the pros

How we picked the best pickleball shoes

With the rise in popularity of pickleball, hundreds of different sneakers made for the sport have hit the market. To help you choose the right shoes for you, experts suggest paying attention to the following criteria:

  • Lateral support: “Because there are lots of side-to-side movements made in pickleball, finding shoes with lateral support is important,” says Marc Massad, a pickleball trainer and ambassador for the International Federation of Pickleball. A shoe with lateral support should have study materials and support around the midfoot area.
  • Cushioning: Look for a shoe with a cushioned sole. This will help absorb impact and keep you comfortable on the hard surface of a pickleball court, says Felsenthal. Look for shoes that have memory foam in the sole or that feel extra pillowy.
  • Grip: When you play pickleball, you’ll be moving quickly. Shoes with good grip will help you pivot and move as you need, says Massad. Look for shoes that have rubber soles that have treaders to provide traction.
The best pickleball shoes of 2024

Our experts recommended a few pickleball sneakers for men and women. We also found highly rated options that met the criteria set forth by the pickleball pros we spoke with.

The best pickleball shoes for men

Skechers Men’s Viper Court-Athletic Indoor Outdoor Pickleball Shoes with Arch Fit

Felsenthal says that Skechers are an affordable and supportive option for pickleball sneakers. These shoes have rubber soles to provide traction for indoor and outdoor courts, according to the brand. They come in a medium or extra-wide width for comfort and the mesh upper is constructed to be breathable and to support the ankle as someone pivots and runs across the court, says Skechers. These shoes come in seven colors, including black/gold, white/black and yellow/navy.

Men’s sizes: 7 to 14, including half sizes

K-Swiss Men’s Express Light Pickleball Shoe

According to the brand, this shoe, which comes in normal and wide widths, offers both lateral support for those quick side-to-side movements called for in pickleball and forward support to propel you to the net. The shoe is made from breathable materials to prevent sweaty feet, and the toe and heel are reinforced to prevent wear in those areas. These sneakers have a 4.3-star average rating from over 1,480 reviews on Amazon.

Men’s sizes: 7 to 14, including half sizes

ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 10 Sneakers

Technically, these sneakers are made for volleyball. But experts say there are many of the same movements in volleyball and pickleball—like quick pivots back and forth and bursts forward and backward. The sneakers, which have a 4.5-star average rating from over 1,870 reviews on Amazon, have a flexible upper for easy movement but a synthetic leather overlay that also provides lateral support, according to the brand. The heel has gel cushioning for comfort and grooved grips on the sole for traction.

Men’s sizes: 6 to 14, including half sizes

FitVille Men‘s Wide Pickleball Shoes

Those with wide feet may consider these pickleball shoes from FitVille. They have a 4.2-star average rating from over 2,230 reviews on Amazon and come in wide and extra wide widths. The upper is flexible and made from breathable fabric with anti-odor technology, according to FitVille. They also have a honeycomb-patterned insole for cushioning, arch support for comfort and deep heel cups to support feet as you make lateral movements, according to the brand.

Men’s sizes: 7 to 14, including half sizes

The best pickleball shoes for women

K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 Tennis Shoe

“One of my favorite shoes for pickleball is the Hypercourt Express 2 by K-Swiss,” says Massad. This shoe provides lateral support, grip, and cushioning—everything you want in a pickleball shoe.” According to the brand, the upper is made from flexible material that has just enough firmness to allow you to move freely while still supporting lateral movements. The sole is also made from durable rubber to provide good traction on indoor and outdoor courts.

Women’s sizes: 5 to 11, including half sizes

Adidas Women’s Gamecourt 2

These sneakers, which have a 4.3-star average rating from over 1,175 reviews on Amazon, are intended for court sports like tennis and pickleball. According to Adidas, they have padding around the ankle for stability no matter what direction you move in, and the upper is made of mesh for breathability. The shoe is also machine washable.

Women’s sizes: 5 to 11, including half sizes

K-Swiss Women’s Express Light Pickleball Shoe

I’ve been playing pickleball for a few years and wear these shoes. They weigh just under 10 ounces and don’t weigh me down. There is extra padding around the ankle for support, and the rubber sole provides good traction. The rubber extends up towards the footbed in places you’re likely to drag your foot when trying to make a shot to protect the mesh and prevent excessive wear and tear.

Women’s sizes: 5 to 11, including half sizes

Skechers Women’s Go Train Arch Fit Viper Court Pickleball Sneaker

Felsenthal likes the pickleball sneakers from Skechers for both men and women. Not only are the shoes relatively affordable, but he says they provide strong lateral support and have durable rubber soles for good traction. The sneakers have a relaxed fit, making them a good option for those with wider feet. The shoes also have insoles that offer arch support.

Women’s sizes: 5 to 11, including half sizes

How to make sure your pickleball shoes are supportive

If you’re buying spin shoes, you want them to work for spinning. So it only makes sense that if you buy pickleball sneakers, they need to work for your game. Below, experts outline the three things to remember to ensure your shoes support you through every dink, pivot and serve.

  • Focus on shoes made for the court: Not all sneakers are equal for all activities. While running shoes may feel comfortable enough on the court, what you do while on a jog differs greatly from what you do on the pickleball court. “I’ve seen firsthand the importance of the right footwear in enhancing performance and preventing injuries in pickleball,” says Massad. Shoes made for tennis and pickleball have much more support on the sides of your foot, to help prevent you from rolling your ankle as you move side to side.
  • Think about where you’ll play: Do you prefer an indoor court? Or do you often play outside? Indoor courts are smooth (like a basketball court), so you’ll need more traction, says Felsenthal. Look for pickleball sneakers with deeper grooves in their sole, giving you more grip on a smooth court. Outdoor courts tend to have some texture, so you’ll still want some traction, but it doesn’t need to be as big of a focus.
  • Replace your shoes as needed: As shoes wear, they become less supportive. So you’ll want to make sure you replace your pickleball sneakers every so often. If you rarely hit the court, your shoes will likely last a few years. If you play around the clock, you may be looking at replacing your shoes every six months, says Massad. “And if you play semi-regularly, try to replace your shoes once a year.”
Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Why trust NBC Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two pickleball experts

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

Bethany Heitman

Bethany Heitman is a contributing editor at NBC Select.

Pros share their tips for shopping for the best pickleball shoes (2024)
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