Are Basketball Shoes Good for Pickleball?

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Basketball shoes are designed for different types of court play, right? They have outsoles specifically engineered to grip the hardwood court or pavement. Yet, there’s one sport that’s very much like basketball but played on a smaller court with a non-marking ball–pickleball!

It begs the question — can you use your basketball shoes for pickleball? And why would you want to?

Are Basketball Shoes Good for Pickleball?

Pickleball can be played on a variety of surfaces, so you probably won’t have much success wearing your basketball shoes if one of the pickleball court surfaces is asphalt. But, when it’s played indoors or on hardwood or linoleum floors, you might find that your basketball shoes give you an advantage over other players in pickleball.

However, shoes with lightweight outsoles are what most pickleball players opt for because they give you better control of your shots, and they’re also more comfortable on the feet.

Basketball shoes, though they have a lot of traction, are heavy and bulky. This means that the outsoles tend to bend when you apply force to them; this will cause your shots to go off target. You will need to exert more force to correct the deflection to get the ball where it needs to be.

What Do You Think About Using Basketball Shoes for Pickleball?

Many pickleball players have tried using their basketball shoes for pickleball. Some of them say that it’s a great way to get more practice in–as long as you don’t mind feeling uncomfortable or sacrificing accuracy. Others think that they can be used, but only when you play the game recreationally–not competitively.

The truth is, pickleball shoes are the better option. But if you have a pair of basketball shoes that seem to be falling apart or you don’t want to spend money on a new pair of pickleball shoes right now, feel free to give your old basketball sneakers a shot.

Do Basketball Shoes Offer Any Benefits for Pickleball?

If you are looking for any benefits at all, pickleball shoes offer more support than the average pair of sneakers. They have better arch supports and are built with stronger materials so that they can last longer. Plus, the soles are not as stiff so you get to feel “connected” to your surroundings which are what most players look for in their pickleball shoes.

What Type of Insoles Do Pickleball Shoes Use?

Most sports shoe insoles are made of three basic types: plastic, gel, and foam. These materials give the wearer better comfort while playing on hard surfaces. Basketball shoes often have these types of insoles which also benefit pickleball players.

How Long Will Basketball Shoes Last for Pickleball?

Pickleball sneakers can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months—even less if they are primarily used for pickleball and not other sports. If you want basketball shoes that will also work on a pickleball court, then you might make them last longer by leaving the insoles in.

Having said that, if you want to play pickleball on a daily basis and/or compete in tournaments, then it’s best for you to invest in a good pair of pickleball shoes. You might also consider getting two pairs at once so that while one is being worn and broken in, the other can be used as a backup.

What Are the Best Sneakers for Playing Pickleball?

Many athletes are now choosing lightweight sneakers without bulky heels or thick soles. These can be worn on either hardwood floors, cement, or even the summer grass courts.

Pickleball shoes should have non-marking outsoles so that you don’t leave marks on the floor when you play. It’s also good if they have a low profile and come in bright colors so that the other players can easily see them coming.

These shoes should offer great grip but shouldn’t be too flexible or else you will not be able to get enough power behind your shots for pickleball. This is important to keep in mind when you’re playing because if it’s windy outside, the thinner soles might give you less traction against the asphalt.


It’s up to you really, but basketball shoes are definitely not the best option for pickleball. Basketball sneakers are big and bulky, they have very stiff outsoles which make your shots off-center, and they last only 4 to 6 months before wearing down. Pickleball shoes offer better support, better traction, and are more lightweight. You can wear them for pickleball or any other court sport.

What do you think about using basketball shoes for pickleball? Is it worth the risk of sacrificing accuracy to save money? Write your opinions down in the comment box. Thanks!

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