We may earn a commission through affiliate links. Details

Best Pickleball Shoes 2024: Our Top Shoe Picks

several pickleball shoes that Dennis has tested
(Picture Dennis Rodriguez)

Don’t underestimate the importance of good shoes—they are often more crucial than your paddle. Proper footwear enhances performance, ensures stability, and most importantly, prevents injuries.

Why Good Shoes are Necessary

Shoes designed for pickleball provide the traction necessary for swift and lateral court movements, critical for the game’s fast pace. They reduce injury risks and discomfort, contrasting with the issues caused by inadequate footwear like running shoes, which lack court-appropriate support and can lead to sore feet or injuries.

Choosing Between Indoor and Outdoor Shoes

The choice of shoes varies significantly based on play location:

  • Indoor Courts: Require shoes with soles that offer grip on smooth surfaces, like volleyball shoes featuring natural gum rubber soles.
  • Outdoor Courts: Demand durable shoes with soles designed for rougher textures, similar to tennis shoes that provide support, cushioning, and durability against hard court surfaces.

Highlighted Picks

For Men

For Women

Sizing and Fit

Getting the right fit is crucial when selecting pickleball shoes, as the correct size impacts not only comfort but also performance and injury prevention. Here’s a more detailed look at how to ensure you get the best fit for your pickleball shoes.

Understanding Your Foot Measurements

Before shopping for new shoes, it’s essential to know your exact foot size, which includes both the length and width of your feet. Foot size can change over time, so getting measured periodically is a good practice. Here’s how to get accurate measurements:

  1. Measure in the Afternoon: Feet tend to swell throughout the day. Measuring your feet in the afternoon or after a typical day’s activity will help ensure a more accurate size that accommodates natural expansion.
  2. Wear Pickleball Socks: When measuring your feet or trying on new shoes, wear the socks you intend to play in. This ensures the fit accounts for any extra padding or thickness.
  3. Measure Both Feet: It’s not uncommon for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. Measure both feet and choose shoes that fit the larger foot comfortably.
  4. Consider Foot Width: Width is as important as length. Shoes that are too narrow can lead to blisters and circulatory problems, while too wide can cause slippage, affecting stability and control.

Deciphering Shoe Size

Once you have your foot measurements, compare them to the brand’s sizing chart. Be aware that sizing can vary between brands or even models, so it’s always best to refer to the specific sizing guide for the shoe you’re interested in.

Checking the Fit

  • Toe Room: Ensure there’s about a half-inch (1.27 cm) space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. This space prevents your toes from hitting the front of the shoe during play, especially when stopping quickly or moving downhill.
  • Width Fit: Your feet should be able to spread out naturally without the sides of the shoe pressing uncomfortably against them. At the same time, the shoe should not be so wide that your foot shifts side to side.
  • Heel Fit: The heel should fit snugly without slipping. Some movement is okay, but it should not be excessive, as this could lead to blisters or a lack of stability during play.
  • Arch Support: Good arch support is essential, especially for players who spend long hours on the court. The shoe should comfortably accommodate the natural arch of your foot, providing support without causing undue pressure.

Trying on Shoes: When trying on shoes, mimic pickleball movements. If possible, walk around, jump slightly, and simulate lateral movements to get a feel for how the shoes will perform on the court. This can also highlight any potential issues with fit or comfort that might not be apparent when standing still.

Maintenance and Lifespan

To get the most out of your pickleball shoes, proper care and timely replacement are key. This not only ensures optimal performance but also helps in preventing injuries. Here’s an expanded look at how to maintain your shoes and understand their lifespan.

Maintenance: Keeping Shoes in Top Condition

  1. Regular Cleaning:
    • After each use, brush off any dirt or debris with a soft brush. For synthetic materials, wiping with a damp cloth can remove most surface dirt. For tougher stains, a mild soap solution can be used sparingly.
    • Leather parts should be cleaned with appropriate leather cleaners to prevent drying out or cracking. However, aggressive cleaning agents should be avoided as they can degrade the materials.
  2. Dealing with Moisture:
    • If your shoes get wet, it’s crucial to let them air dry naturally away from direct heat sources like radiators or sunlight. This helps prevent the materials from warping or the adhesives from weakening.
    • Stuffing shoes with newspaper or a towel can help absorb moisture from inside and maintain the shoe’s shape during the drying process.
  3. Odor Management:
    • To keep shoes smelling fresh, consider using moisture-absorbing inserts or sprays designed for athletic shoes. These can help control odor without damaging the shoe’s interior.
    • Regular airing out of shoes also prevents the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.
  4. Storage:
    • Store your shoes in a cool, dry place where they can air out properly. Avoid leaving them in your bag, car, or other enclosed spaces where moisture and heat can accumulate.
    • Using a shoe tree can help maintain the shape of the shoe and prevent creases, especially in leather models.

Lifespan: Knowing When to Replace Your Shoes

  1. Wear and Tear:
    • Pay attention to the outsole’s tread pattern. Significant wear in high-contact areas, like the heel or ball of the foot, can reduce traction and stability, increasing the risk of slips and falls.
    • Check for any separation between the sole and the upper part of the shoe, as this can affect the structural integrity and support.
  2. Cushioning and Support:
    • Over time, the midsole, which provides cushioning and support, can compress and lose its effectiveness. This is often less visible but can lead to discomfort and increased impact stress on your joints.
    • If you start to notice new aches or pains after playing, it might be time for a new pair, even if the shoes still look outwardly okay.
  3. Fit Changes:
    • Shoes can stretch or deform slightly with use, leading to a less secure fit. If your shoes feel looser or less supportive, despite proper lacing, they may be nearing the end of their useful life.
  4. Frequency of Use and Playing Surface:
    • Players who hit the courts frequently or play primarily on rough surfaces will likely need to replace their shoes more often. As a general guideline, serious players might consider evaluating their shoes every 3-6 months, while casual players may get a year or more of use.

Cost of Pickleball Shoes

When you’re investing in quality pickleball shoes, understanding the balance between price and value is key. Here’s a closer look, including average price ranges to guide your budgeting.

Price vs. Value

Long-term Savings: High-quality shoes, though pricier upfront, offer long-term savings. They’re built to last, meaning you won’t have to replace them as frequently as cheaper options. Over time, the cost per wear can actually make them more economical.

Average Prices

  • Budget-Friendly Options: Start around $60-$80. These shoes might lack some advanced features but still offer basic support and durability.
  • Mid-Range Quality: Expect to pay between $100-$140 for shoes that offer a balance of performance, comfort, and durability. This range is typically where you find the best value for serious recreational players.
  • High-End Models: Can go from $150 and up. These shoes incorporate the latest technologies and materials for optimal performance and comfort. They’re often chosen by very competitive or professional players.

Spotting Quality within Your Budget:

  • Brand Research: Some brands are renowned for their quality in sports footwear. Search these brands and compare their offerings in your price range.
  • Hunt for Deals: Sales, discounts on last season’s models, and clearance events are excellent opportunities to snag high-quality shoes at a lower price.

Special Consideration for Seniors

Seniors should prioritize shoes that offer excellent balance and reduce the risk of falls, opting for models with less aggressive tread designs that still provide necessary lateral support for pickleball’s quick movements.

Also many seniors rely on custom orthotics for various foot conditions, so hoes with removable insoles will offer the flexibility to replace them with orthotic inserts.

Conclusion

Choosing the right pickleball shoes is as important as any other equipment choice in the sport. Prioritize footwear that offers the right balance of support, traction, and comfort, tailored to your playing surface. Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or insights that you may have, and let us know if you want us to review a specific shoe.

At Pickleball Portal, we bring you the latest updates, honest news and storytelling, comprehensive how-to guides, expert player advice, and in-depth product reviews & recommendations. Everything you read is original and brought to life by our team of dedicated contributors and trusted personalities. Whether you're picking up a paddle for the first time or you're an experienced player, join us as we delve into the heart of the pickleball community. dan@pickleballportal.com

26 thoughts on “Best Pickleball Shoes 2024: Our Top Shoe Picks”

  1. What a great article for Pickleball enthusiasts! We love the active retirement communities with Pickleball leagues. Perfect for both active movement and social engagement. Key ingredients in successful aging, or Aging with Freedom (our tagline). Shoes are the foundation. Nice comprehensive overview of the options and pros and cons. Liked the side information on each of the companies. New Balance and Asics always seem to fit my foot better, but that won’t be true for everyone. You add a few I’m less familiar with that sound worth a try. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Daniel,
      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Glad you liked the overview, we really tried to cover all the aspects on buying shoes for pickleball so it’s good to hear that you found it useful.
      I like your tagline- that really is the goal, to live an active and engaged lifestyle.
      -Matt

      Reply
  2. Hi Matt: Great article on Pickelball shoes. I’m in the process of buying some new shoes so it was very timely. I get the part about having a tennis shoe for outdoor play and a court shoe for indoor play. However, when indoor play is mentioned it is assumed that it is usually in a gym on a wood floor. In my case, my indoor play is in a gym, however, the floor is vinyl tile on what I believe is a concrete base. It is a very hard surface and very smooth. Any thoughts about what kind of shoe would be best for that kind of surface?

    Gordy

    Reply
    • Hi Gordy,

      Thanks for your comment.
      You make a good point that not all gym floors are wood.

      Common options include: poured urethane, vinyl tile or hard rubber flooring – usually over a concrete base like you mention.
      Most of these flooring materials have a hard, smooth surface. While not as slippery as polished wood, I still think the indoor shoes
      with natural gum bottoms are a good choice (volleyball shoes) as they give good traction and the soles should be able to hold up well
      on the smooth surface.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have and other questions.
      -Matt

      Reply
  3. Matt: Thank you ever so much for your response regarding the best type of shoe for playing on a vinyl tile indoor court floor surface. It’s great to have someone to help sort out the confusing subject of pickleball shoes, particularly since a shoe specifically designed for pickleball is not yet available.

    If I may tap your knowledge again, I do have a further question. I am one of some 200 plus seniors playing pickle pickleball through our local senior center. The one concern that seems to be of most prevalent among them is the fear of falling, and obviously, shoes play a major role in that type of accident. I am 79 years old and still fairly.agile for my age. However, in the past 10 years I have fallen twice while playing pickleball. The first time I was wearing a shoe with a very heavy, deep cleated sole type shoe, probably a trail shoe. The second time I was wearing a new lighter weight running shoe. In both cases, I was either moving latterly or forward and tried to stop quickly. But, they stopped me too quickly and I lost my balance. In other words, they had too much grip. These falls were on an outdoor asphalt court. I have read several articles wherein seniors were warned about wearing sneakers during their daily life activities with soles that have to much grip. Could this be true in pickleball shoes for seniors too? Are there shoes being recommended for pickleball that have too much grip for seniors to wear? Out of all of the shoes being touted on the Internet as being good pickleball shoes, I have not found any being proclaimed as a good shoe for seniors, keeping balance in mind. Are there any, and if so, which ones?

    Gordy

    Reply
  4. Hi Gordy,

    Thanks for the follow up. Great question.

    Congrats on playing pickleball and an active lifestyle at 79!

    My parents are in their late 80s and are dealing with balance issues, they no longer play sports but still walk daily (I bought them each a pair of Nordic walking sticks to help with balance)…so I’m aware of the issues of balance and falling.

    I’ve added a new section to the end of the article (scroll up a bit) regarding shoes for seniors and my opinion. Let me know if that helps at all.

    Thanks again for adding to the conversation-

    -Matt

    Reply
    • Hi Jerry,
      I wear the ASICS Gel-Court FF Tennis Shoe. You can see my full review above.
      They sell for right around your $100 price limit.
      -Matt

      Reply
  5. Thanks so much for the article Matt. Is there an indoor and an outdoor shoe that you can recommend that has a foot shaped toe box? So many folks (including myself) have problems (Mortons neuroma, etc) from shoes that are too narrow. Standard wide-width shoes help some people, but many need a shoe with a toe box that actually is foot shaped. Companies like Altra make running shoes like that, but as your article describes so well, pickleballers shouldn’t use running shoes for obvious reasons. -Shawn

    Reply
    • That’s a good question. I know that the Altras get compared to Topo and Newton (similar toe box shape) but all three of those exclusively make running shoes. I’ve never seen a court shoe with a similar shape to the Astras. I think the compromise might be to try the K-Swiss. They have a wider toe box, probably not as ergonomically designed like the ones you describe but might give you the room you need. Hope that helps. If you find a court shoe that works, please let us know. Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Matt-
    I have worn Converse Chuck Taylor high tops for 45 years–basketball, racquetball and now pickleball and racquetball. Really like them for quick tops and starts. Actually have had to go to leather version since all other canvas styles do not have the full gum rubber sole. They have hard rubber at toe, heel and ball of foot –areas that are needed for pivoting, etc. as I found out when buying about ten years ago. They said the only way to get the full sole in gum rubber was to go with leather. No problem once I found out. I have lately been a victim of planter fasciitis and I think it is due to lack of support in the shoe. I have bought inserts to put in the shoe but was wondering if there is a shoe you would recommend that is either a high top or mid height. Was looking at the Ekteon mid-heighth but hard to find and didn’t know if they would offer the same support as the ASICS or Addidas brands.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment.
      I have friends with plantar fasciitis and I know it can be brutal.
      They’ve mentioned to me that the shoes and especially custom inserts made a huge difference.
      I just took a look at those Ektelon Mids (NFS Attack) online, I’ve never tried them personally. They seem to get mixed reviews but might be worth trying.
      Since your used to the Chuck Taylors after so many years, I wonder if you just went with a more “modern” basketball shoe that gives more support.
      Problem is finding BB shoes with natural gum rubber, the only ones I know are the “Nike Men’s Lebron Witness II”, the problem is they’re not cheap ($170).
      Hope that helps, let me know what you find.-Matt

      Reply
  7. Matt-Thank you for responding. Yes, I have been reading about shoes recommended for Pickleball but most are low tops so was reluctant to get–even though I am not tall or large (5′ 9″ and 145 lbs.) so could probably get by with low tops–just used to support of high tops after all these years. 🙂 Like the Ektelon racquetball shoes but hard to find since the company has gone out of business. Asics has a basketball shoe that could work too I think. May have to order and see how they fit. Again thank you for your comments.-Dave Butterwick

    Reply
  8. Matt,

    I’m looking for a wide shoe for indoor pickleball. I’ve exclusively worn New Balance size 10/4E shoes (walking type) for the last few years as other shoe brands “wide” styles (Nike and Reebok) are still too narrow.

    I noticed your shoe reviews and had stated you also have wide feet and wear Asics. In my searches for an Asics shoe compatible with pickleball play, I have not found an Asics shoe offered in any wide-sized configuration. I was curious if the Asics you recommend (Gel Court FF) actually offer a wider fit without a “wide” designation or if there is actually a wide version out there somewhere that I’ve missed in my searches?

    I’m using New Balance 623 Walking type shoes currently but the wider sole at the heel are not ideal for pickleball use either indoor or outdoor. I am considering the New Balance 806 4E or 1006 4E as choices because I’m fairly confident of what their fit will be based on the 623 model.

    Finally, have you any comments on Yonex shoes? Next to New Balance, they appear to offer the most choices in “wide” sizes.

    Thank You,

    Scott

    Reply
  9. Matt – first, thanks very much for your article about what shoes to buy for playing pickleball. I have been playing about two years now and have been relying on my old Asics running shoes because they are so comfortable. Nevertheless, I already realized they were not the best for pickleball and your article confirmed this. So, I went looking for a better shoe (with your help). First observation, actual shoe stores (even outlet stores like Asics and Adidas) have a low to no supply of volleyball and tennis shoes. After finding one store in my area of NC, Omega Sports, that did have a selection of sorts, after trying on virtually every shoe they had, they did not have the size I needed in the K-Swiss model I chose. (By the way, I also have a wider foot and the current Asics shoes I tired seemed more narrow than in the past.) So, to the internet I went and found that K-Swiss had a shoe labeled specifically for Pickleball, the Express Light Pickleball Shoe – Men’s. It only comes in one color combination, but I really did not care at that point. They had my size and I bought it for roughly $95 and then I added an extra $20 to have it delivered in 2 days. (Regular ground delivery would have been no charge.) I wanted you to know because the only K-Swiss model you featured in your article (the Bigshot) is actually for Tennis and thought you might want to know about this new one in case you had not already heard about it. I have not yet received the new shoes, but will play using them as soon as they arrive, hopefully next week. If you want me to send a review of their performance after a few months playing time, please let me know. Thanks again, Dorsey

    Reply
  10. Late last year I found this site and this article highly useful as I looked for Pickleball shoes. I only started playing in July of 2020, but I now play 3-4 times a week at our local public courts and I joined a Pickleball Club as well. I’m 66, overweight, one of the reasons for playing at 6.2/275, and getting in better shape through pickleball and playing at a 3.0 almost 3.5 level. I have big wide feet and size availability in a wide shoe was an issue. I ended up with Kswiss HyperCourt Express in 14W and added full orthotic insoles from RoadRunner Sports. This is a big deal as I was having a lot of foot and knee pain after playing my first few months. Now I have no foot pain and my knees improved once I started wearing Bauerfeind Genutrain knee braces. I had knee surgery a decade ago and that got me out of athletic activities except walking. Getting the right show was the biggest first step (pun intended) Thank you for creating such a great resource.

    Reply
    • Hey Frank! The Wilson Amplifeel 2.0 Mens Tennis Shoe would be a good high top pickleball shoe alternative that is not too expensive. The shoe has pretty good reviews, though I have not tried these myself.

      Reply
  11. Why do your hyperlinks take visitors to a generic Amazon search page, instead of completing the search for the item cited in the article?

    Reply
    • Hi Rob, it appears the links are working on our end. Maybe send us an example link and we will be able to take a closure look?

      Reply
  12. You mention a sizing chart that should be further down the page (Foot Width) but I can’t find it. I am trying to decide if I need wide shoes or not (I usually do buy wide) but do I actually need Wide? I am 9.5 and using your measuring example my foot is 4.25 inches minus 1/5″.

    Reply
    • Hi Fazeela, it’s Dan from Pickleball Portal. Thanks for the kind words, glad you found it helpful. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions as to how we can make things better, let us know!

      Reply

Leave a Comment