How Should a Pickleball Shoe Fit?

Playing pickleball is a fast-paced, high-energy game that is a great workout and fun. Pickleball has a lot of movement and activity, so a court shoe must be a cut above an athletic shoe. You should know a few things about pickleball shoes before choosing your first pair. The wrong shoe could lead to premature wear and negatively affect your gameplay.

When playing pickleball, you will jump around a lot, run a lot, and jump up and down. These movements can wear down your knees and feet if you don’t have the right shoes. Hence, you should choose a shoe that can withstand lots of wear and tear.

There are hundreds of court shoes to choose from for pickleball players. Finding the right shoes for pickleball is essential to learning the game. Some tennis shoes are perfect for pickleball, while others are designed specifically for pickleball. But can I wear tennis shoes for pickleball? Let us find out.

PickleBall Shoes

Which Court Shoes Are Best for Pickleball?

One thing that commonly happens when people start playing pickleball for the first time is that they default to wearing the shoes they have on or around the house. This can be an issue because people may be wearing their running shoes or lifting shoes when they play versus a shoe designed for pickleball. Playing pickleball requires the right shoe to feel confident and prevent injuries.

Consider the following factors when buying pickleball shoes:

Sole Construction

If you are playing pickleball, you don’t want to leave streaks and marks on the court. Many places require your shoes to be non-marking, so make sure you think about that when you choose. For an athletic shoe, the sole should also be heavy. The added weight helps provide stability on the court.

Tread Pattern

It would be best to have pickleball shoes with a tread pattern specifically designed for the sport. A herringbone tread pattern is popular because it offers good grip, traction, and support. There should also be clear reinforcement along the outer edges of the tread as well as support for quick, easy lateral movement.

Upper Material

As with any athletic shoe, your court shoes for pickleball should be breathable. Pickleball is a fast-paced game and a great workout, so you need your feet to be able to breathe and remain comfortable. Pickleball shoes often feature mesh uppers, providing excellent breathability in shoe construction.

Proper Fit

Make sure to grab a pair of pickleball shoes off the rack in your standard size when buying pickleball shoes. In pickleball shoes, a good fit is crucial because pinching, rubbing, cramping, and other problems can affect your maneuverability. It is essential to find something supportive, cushioned, and comfortable.

Outsole Guarantee

Quality pickleball shoes are made to last under demanding circumstances. Choose shoes with an outsole guarantee, so you know the company stands behind the construction of that shoe.

PickleBall shoes for different courts

How Pickleball Shoes Can Help You

There are two dominant reasons why pickleball shoes or court shoes work best:

  • Safety–  There are specific pickleball shoes designed specifically for playing pickleball. They give them stability and quick starts and stops and are also made for lateral movements. But are running shoes good for pickleball? These shoes are generally heavier and sturdier than running shoes, designed for running forward and heel-to-toe. The stable, sturdier pickleball shoe improves safety on the pickleball courts—not only because it allows you to move more securely on the pickleball courts, preventing accidents like rolling your ankle, but also because it absorbs shock from the pounding on the courts. Pickleball shoes help you feel better by absorbing shock, so you don’t experience foot, knee, or lower back pain.
  • Performance – You can improve your performance on the pickleball court with pickleball shoes, and they are also safer and better for your body. Pickleball shoes were made for moving on the pickleball court, which is why they have specially designed treads on their soles to help you move quickly.

It is definitely worth the investment to invest in pickleball shoes because they offer safety and performance.

When to Change Pickleball Shoes

You will need to replace or change your pickleball shoes depending on how much you play. In general, pickleball and court shoes last about 60 hours before they wear out. Therefore, you will need to purchase pickleball shoes about twice a year if you play pickleball every week for two hours at a time. When you play pickleball more frequently, every day, or when you wear your shoes extremely hard, you will need to replace your pickleball shoes more often.

When you need to buy new pickleball shoes or change your pickleball shoes, you should:

  • A soreness starts to develop in the feet, knees, or back;
  • The soles of your feet begin to blister; or
  • Due to wear and tear, your soles lose traction (and you lose traction on the pickleball court).
  • Try a new pair of pickleball shoes or court shoes if you experience any of these things.

Tips When Buying Pickleball Shoes

It is essential to consider these tips before you make your decision to buy a new pair of pickleball shoes:

  • Comfort – Are the pickleball shoes comfortable? Do you get blisters or hurt your feet with them?
  • Durability – What is the expected lifespan of pickleball shoes? Are they falling apart after 60 hours of play?
  • How They Look – Pickleball shoes are a great way to show a little style while playing the game.
  • Price – What is your budget for the pickleball shoes, and are they within your reach?
  • Size – Is the pickleball shoe that you are interested in the correct size for you?

As everyone has a unique set of feet and values the five factors above differently, finding the right pickleball shoes or court shoes takes some trial and error. To help you stay safe and perform better on the pickleball court, you must find a pair of pickleball shoes or court shoes that work for you.

Care and Cleaning   

If you wear your shoes in a washing machine, the heat and detergent can damage the glue holding the sole together. Make sure to clean and dry your shoes properly to ensure the maximum lifespan of your shoes. Here are some Tips on How to Care for Your Pickleball Shoes.

As a result, there are many options for spotting and cleaning a dirty upper using a soft brush, mild soap, and water that should leave the upper looking new once again. Dish soap and all-purpose cleaner are two of the most straightforward options that can be used to spot-clean a dirty upper.

For more thorough cleaning, you can remove the shoelaces and wash them separately to make them more durable. However, if the shoelaces can no longer restore, it is always wise to have a pair of replacement laces in your kit to keep possible scratches at bay. Also how often should you replace pickleball shoes is also an important thing to consider.

Unlike dry clothes, wet running shoes should be let air dry, placed in front of a fan to dry, and never put in direct sunlight. You should avoid using heat to dry wet running shoes.

Here you can find out what are cross training shoes good for pickleball


Which pickleball shoes should I wear indoors and outdoors?

It is possible to have different soles and uppers in each case. Pickleball shoes designed for play on hardwood and smooth composite surfaces are designed differently from outdoor ones that need traction on rougher surfaces, resulting in different sole designs. Mostly the difference is the weight required in the outdoor sole, which has to be heavier. It is important to note that the soles affect the weight of the uppers since the importance of the shoes must fall within reasonable ranges to be acceptable for play. Several manufacturers make shoes that combine soles and uppers.

What is the lifespan of pickleball shoes?

You play pickleball regularly, where you play, and how hard you play will all dramatically impact your pickleball shoes’ lifespan. In general, customers replace pickleball shoes after 60 hours. If you play once a week for a few hours, you will need to replace them every two years.

How are pickleball shoes different?

In pickleball tennis shoes, the outsole has softer, stickier rubber, which gives you a better grip on slippery gym floors than a tennis shoe, which is best suited for outdoor pickleball.

To Conclude

After knowing what shoes to wear for pickleball, you should wear a pickleball shoe that is made to handle the surface of each court for optimal performance on each court surface. It would help if you chose pickleball shoes based on where you play the most. I have two types of pickleball shoes. One pair is for indoor gymnasium play, and another is for outdoor recreation.

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