How to Choose the Right Pickleball Shoes? (Beginners Guide)

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Are you new to pickleball and looking for a pair of shoes that will help you play your best game? Whether you’re looking for shoes that provide stability and traction or shoes that are lightweight and breathable, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the different things to consider when choosing the right pickleball shoes for you. So, whether you’re just starting or are a seasoned player looking for an update, keep reading.

What to Look for in Pickleball Shoes?

If you play once a week, one pair of shoes should last you for at least a year. If you play several times each week, however, or play competitively, you may need to replace your shoes more often.

When choosing a pickleball shoe, every player’s needs are different. In general, there are three things to consider when picking out a pair of pickleball shoes: stability, traction, and comfort. 

1. Stability

A stable shoe provides cushioning along the sides and over the arch of your foot to keep you from twisting or spraining an ankle. It should fit snugly at the heel, where your foot is narrowest. In fact, if you can wiggle your toes in a new pair of shoes, they’re not stable enough for pickleball.

2. Traction

A shoe’s traction depends on whether it has a flat or textured bottom and the material from which it’s made. Flat-bottomed shoes provide better stability, while textured bottoms give you more freedom of movement. Make sure that the shoe is flexible enough for quick, light movements during play.

3. Comfort

Comfort in pickleball shoes is important for two reasons. First, you don’t want to get blisters or feel pinching on your feet. Second, pickleball requires lots of movement and pivots.

Pickleball shoes should be comfortable enough to allow you to move freely without tightness in the foot area. The back of the shoe should also offer enough support to keep your heels from slipping.

4. Breathability and Water Resistance

Pickleball nets sit in the sun all day, so your shoes should provide protection from heat and offer breathable materials that won’t cling to your feet as you sweat. Pickleball courts are often near water, too, so look for waterproof shoes that can stand up to both rain and time out in the elements.

5. Style and Design

You can find pickleball shoes with support, stability, and traction in a variety of styles and colors. You’ll also find that almost all pickleball shoes meet the same basic requirements for the design: rubber soles, a no-sew construction, and drainage vents in the heels to let water out when you walk through wet courts.

6. Price

Pickleball shoes are available at all price points, so you can find something that fits your budget. If you’re just starting, don’t spend a lot of money on an expensive pickleball shoe when there’s a good chance you’ll give up the sport in the next year or two.

However, don’t feel obligated to buy the cheapest pair available either. Lower-priced shoes often have thinner soles that can wear out faster or offer less support, so you may end up buying more shoes in the long term.

What Kind of Shoes Do Pickleball Players Wear?

You probably already know this, but most people play pickleball in tennis shoes. The surface is hard and unforgiving on the feet, so pickleball players are always looking for a shoe that provides the best balance between grip, durability, and comfort.

There are also some manufacturers who make special pickleball shoes; however, they do not provide any additional benefits over a good pair of tennis shoes.

What Are the Best Pickleball Shoes for Beginners?

Not only should beginners look for a comfortable shoe that’s made with high-quality materials and provides excellent grip on court surfaces (e.g., hard courts and asphalt), but they should also look for a shoe that comes in their favorite color and design. Don’t be afraid to play around with different color schemes too.

Shoes designed specifically for pickleball will typically cost more than your average tennis shoes, so beginners might not be able to afford them from the get-go. Yet, you don’t have to shell out big bucks for a good pair of pickleball shoes, as there are numerous affordable options that will meet all your needs.

What Are the Best Pickleball Shoes for Experienced Players?

Experienced players know they need quality shoes that are durable enough to last through hours of playing time. They also have a budget in mind so they can pick out the perfect shoe without breaking the bank.

As is true with any good investment, you’ll want to look for something that has high-quality grip, stability, and durability. Specialized pickleball shoes typically offer all of these things, although they also come with higher price tags.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the shoes worn by pickleball players are just like other sports shoes. While you might be able to find some designs that can double as casual wear, all pickleball shoes should perform exceptionally well on the court.

It’s important to remember that you need your pair of pickleball shoes to last for more than one season too. Since you’ll probably play at least twice a week, your pickleball shoes need to withstand the daily punishment you put them through without wearing out too quickly.

If possible, find a pair of shoes with mesh uppers because these are lighter weight and allow your feet to breathe better when you wear them for long periods of time.

And, don’t forget to buy some cleaning supplies so you can keep your shoes looking nice. You’ll be amazed at the difference a new coat of polish will make in how your pickleball shoes look on the court.

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