Best Pickleball Shoes for Men, Women and Kids [2022 Picks]

Just like with regular tennis, pickleball shoes are an integral part of the game. You need to be wearing a pair if you want to play your best; it’s as simple as that.

You’re going to be running around the court a lot, and you’re going to want shoes that can keep up.

But what kind of pickleball shoes are out there? And how do you know which pairs will best serve your needs as a pickleball player?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you find the right pickleball shoes—with the right fit, traction, and support—so that you can continue to improve your play.

Our Top Picks For Best Men’s Pickleball Shoes

Our Top Picks For Best Women Pickleball Shoes

Our Top Picks For Best Kids Pickleball Shoes

Why Trust Me When It Comes To Pickleball Shoes?

I’m just your average guy, but I’ve been playing pickleball for close to six years now.

That may not seem like a lot of time, but it’s given me more than enough experience as a player to know what types of shoes work best on the court and which simply don’t.

I’ve also spent countless hours researching what other pickleball players have to say about their experiences with various shoes so that I could find out the pros and cons of each.

After all, shoe shopping is a lot easier—and more accurate—when you have reliable information at your disposal.

Best Pickleball Shoes For Men (Reviews)

#1 K-Swiss Men’s Hypercourt Express

Features
15 Reviews
Features
  • True Performance can be stylish. By combining the latest technology with Classic K-Swiss design...
  • Durable Aosta 7.0 rubber outsole.
  • Rigid 180 PCS mid-foot support chassis for support and stability.

The Hypercourt Express is the ultimate court shoe for the modern pickleball player. With a lightweight, breathable upper, 180 PSC Plantar Support Chassis and the AÖSTA 7.0 RUBBER COMPOUND outsole, this shoe is designed to give you superior stability and durability during your toughest matches.

The OrthoLite sock liner provides an extra line of defense against excessive toe-dragging while keeping your feet cool and dry with its unique open-cell structure that allows air to circulate freely.

If you’re looking for a court shoe that can keep up with your aggressive playing style, the Hypercourt Express is the perfect choice. Try them out today and see what all the hype is about!


#2 Fila Men’s Axilus 2 Energized

Features
107 Reviews
Features
  • Be bold and provocative. Remain vintage, but never conventional.
  • Radiate sophistication and style without sacrificing performance.
  • Inspired by vintage athletic wear. Retro looks, with classic stylings.

The Fila Men’s Axilus 2 Energized pickleball shoe is a retro-inspired, vintage athletic shoe that features the performance and comfort of today. The Fila Men’s Axilus 2 Energized pickleball shoe has a breathable mesh upper to keep your feet cool and comfortable while you play.

The midsole is made with lightweight EVA for shock absorption. This pickleball shoe also has an OrthoLite® footbed to provide superior cushioning and arch support. The rubber outsole is designed to provide superior traction on the pickleball court.

The Fila Men’s Axilus 2 Energized pickleball shoe is an excellent choice for players who are looking for a comfortable and stylish pickleball shoe. This shoe is available in black/white or navy/white color combinations.

The black/white color combination is perfect for players who want a classic look, while the navy/white color combination is perfect for players who want a modern look.


#3 New Balance Men’s 806 V1

Features
1,560 Reviews
Features
  • For the ultimate in on-court stability and support, the New Balance 806 delivers. With C-CAP®,...
  • Full grain leather upper
  • Herringbone-pattern outsole for added traction during lateral movements

The New Balance 806 is the perfect all-around pickleball shoe for both beginners and advanced players alike. It features a herringbone pattern outsole that gives you great traction on a variety of surfaces. The lacing system makes it easy to tighten the shoe to a custom fit, and the padded collar around the ankle area provides a comfortable feel.

The lightweight mesh upper keeps the shoe from feeling heavy and bulky on your foot, and the mesh also allows for a more breathable and comfortable feel while providing a nice amount of support. If you want a shoe with a little more style, then you can opt for the classic black version.


Why Wear The Right Shoes?

Pickleball is a high intensity sport that requires constant movement around the court. Wearing the right footwear can help keep you on your feet and allow you to play for longer periods of time without feeling uncomfortable or fatigued.

Choosing Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are excellent for pickleball players because they are designed with the same qualities you need in your pickleball shoes. Hiking boots are usually lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and offer great traction on smooth surfaces. If you find a pair that meets all of these criteria and has good arch support, it makes for a perfect pickleball shoe.

The downside of choosing hiking boots is that many are too heavy or bulky to be worn outside of pickleball. You also have to make sure that the soles provide enough traction on your favorite court surface (check that they aren’t too aggressive). This might mean you end up getting multiple pairs of shoes for different activities.

Choosing Running Shoes

If you already own a pair of running shoes, you don’t need to buy another athletic shoe just for pickleball. Simply wear your running shoes and use traction devices like Yurbuds or Yak Trax if the court surface is slippery.

Running shoes are usually lightweight and breathable. The upper material should be durable enough to resist wear and tear from running, jumping, and quick changes in direction. If the toe box is very roomy, you might want to look for a pair that holds your feet securely. This will keep your foot from sliding around inside the shoe after it has been worn a few times.

Socks and caps with traction can also be used to provide grip on a slippery pickleball court. However, some people find that socks with traction will absorb sweat from your feet and can cause blisters. It’s best to choose a sock that is made from a fabric that dries quickly and doesn’t retain moisture from perspiration.

Choosing Sneakers

Many people find that wearing sneakers works well for pickleball. Sneakers are usually made from mesh or leather, which allows them to breathe and release moisture when your feet start to sweat. The soles should be thin enough to provide good traction on the court surface without getting stuck in the cracks of the material. Sneakers usually have a rounder toe box, which is good for those with wider feet.

There are also sport-specific sneakers that are designed for pickleball. The Nike Air Epic Lux comes to mind as a good option since it has been specifically engineered for the sport of pickleball and has been used by some top level pickleball athletes.

How Will Shoes Make Me A Better Pickleball Player?

If you’re just starting out with pickleball, you may not understand the value of having the proper shoes.

I mean, what does it matter? You’ll be on a big square thing by a water thing—can’t you just play in your normal tennis shoes?

Yes, you can… but trust me when I say that this isn’t advisable.

You’ll spend a lot of time running on the court as it is, but pickleball requires even more quickness and agility than regular tennis.

Make no mistake that wearing shoes that can keep up with you will greatly enhance your play.

That’s why we’ve compiled plenty of information below about what makes a good pair of pickleball shoes and how to find them.

You’re going to want shoes with:

Enough traction to keep you from slipping on the court. A sole that isn’t too thick so it doesn’t affect your playing. Because of this, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of some great pickleball shoes for both indoor and outdoor play.

What Makes a Shoe “Pickleball-Friendly”?

We’ve already touched on the importance of pickleball shoes with good traction and support, but that still leaves out one of the most important things: comfort.

The right type of shoe is going to help enable you to play your best, and if they’re not comfortable, you’re not going to want to wear them.

The best pickleball shoes are ones that are well-suited for both indoor and outdoor play, but the material should be breathable enough so your feet don’t get too hot while you’re running around.

Ideally, they should also provide enough support to keep your heels from rolling in and your ankles from rolling out, and you want to make sure that the soles aren’t too thick because this could affect your playing.

Fortunately, all of the pickleball shoes below have been tried and tested by real players so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re getting a quality shoe.

With any one of these, you’ll have no problem finding the right pair for your needs.

What Type Of Shoe Do I Need?

Like regular tennis, there are shoes made especially for outdoor and indoor pickleball.

For playing on a Pickleball court, you’ll want to go with an indoor-friendly shoe; likewise, if you plan on playing mostly on the beach or at the park, make sure to buy yourself a nice pair of outdoor shoes.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you can’t wear an indoor shoe outside or vice versa, but the purpose of these two shoes is very different.

Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

If you’re playing pickleball on a court, you’ll want to invest in a pair of indoor-friendly shoes with plenty of traction and support so that you don’t slip around.

The best pickleball shoes for this type of play are just like your regular tennis shoes, but they come in much better colors! Without good traction, you’re going to have a hard time adjusting yourself on the court even if you can move quickly.

You’ll also want to take note of the soles because these need to be thin enough so you can get good contact with the ground.

Otherwise, your feet are going to feel like they’re splayed out all over the place, and this will affect your playing ability.

Just take a look at these shoes for some examples of what I’m talking about.

On the other hand, if you plan on playing outdoors very often, you’ll want to go with something that’s both comfortable and waterproof.

The best pickleball shoes for this are much more like your regular tennis shoes in terms of thickness, but they should have a good grip on the bottom so you don’t slip around.

Waterproofing is key here because even if it isn’t raining, you’ll still be playing in a badminton or tennis court where lots of other people have been running around.

You’re going to want shoes that can keep up with your quickness and agility without allowing too much dust and debris inside the shoe.

That’s why I’d recommend these shoes as an alternative.

Indoor Pickleball Shoes

If you plan on playing pickleball in a gym, these are the shoes for you.

Typically, indoor pickleball courts are filled with rubber pellets which provide plenty of traction when your feet are close together.

As long as your shoes aren’t made out of cotton or something similar that would allow dust to accumulate, then you’ll be good to go.

With that said, the rest of the shoe is much less important in terms of traction.

What you should focus on instead is making sure your shoes aren’t so thick or tall that they cause injury when you run around.

The best pickleball shoes for this type of surface are lightweight with thin soles that don’t cut off the circulation to your feet.

When I play indoors, I like using these shoes because they’re incredibly lightweight and have a ton of support without being too bulky.

I’d say they’re pretty much perfect for this type of surface, but everyone is different so find a shoe that’s comfortable for you.

If you’re going to be playing mostly indoors, then this is the pair of shoes that I’d recommend.

They come in a variety of colors and have been tried and tested by pickleball players from all over the world, so you can buy them with confidence knowing that they’ll hold up well when you play.

This is why I like these shoes.

Synthetic Vs. Leather

They’re both great in their own rights, but there are some key differences that you’ll want to consider before running out and buying yourself a pair of pickleball shoes.

For most people, synthetic is the way to go because it’s lightweight and easy to clean, which makes it a suitable choice for both indoor and outdoor play.

Leather, on the other hand, is much more breathable because it allows heat to escape from your feet.

That being said, leather shoes are generally going to be bulkier than synthetic ones which can make them difficult to run in if they don’t fit properly.

This is important to consider because I’ve seen many pickleball players get into trouble. After all, their shoes are too short or too wide.

As long as you get the synthetic version of whatever shoe I recommended, you shouldn’t have any problems with your feet slipping around in them.

For this reason, these are the best pickleball shoes.

Laces Vs. Velcro

The age old debate in the world of athletic footwear: Laces or velcro?

In my opinion, if you’re going to be playing pickleball on a regular basis then I’d recommend going with shoes that have velcro closures for ease of use.

There’s just no comparison when it comes to speed and convenience.

If you want to be able to put your shoes on quickly, then laces are definitely not for you.

That being said, velcro closures are sometimes subpar because they tend not to last as long as the rest of the shoe due to repeated use.

For this reason, I usually recommend getting lace-up shoes and putting in some extra effort to make sure they fit your feet perfectly.

If you don’t want to do that, then go with a pair of shoes that have velcro closures like these.

They’ll last for a year or two depending on how frequently you play pickleball.

All Weather Play

If you’re going to be playing pickleball outdoors for an hour or two at a time, then you’ll want to get shoes that can hold up well in all types of weather.

When it comes to this type of play, the main goal is protection without any loss of comfort.

You don’t want to be stuck in the heat because your shoes don’t breathe well, and you also don’t want to end up with cold feet when it starts getting colder.

With that said, I recommend these shoes if you play pickleball outdoors often.

They’ll hold up through rain or shine without sacrificing any comfort whatsoever, which is hard to find in shoes that are specifically designed for pickleball play.

For this reason, these shoes give the best overall performance in all weather conditions.

If you’re not interested in spending a ton of money on outdoor shoes, then consider getting some cheap rubber boots to wear while you play.

I normally wear them when I’m playing outside and they do a fantastic job of keeping your feet warm and dry.

They’re also significantly cheaper than pickleball shoes, so it’s a win-win in my book.

The Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about buying yourself a pair of shoes for pickleball, then the first thing that I’d recommend is to find something that fits your feet well.

It’s very important that they’re not too big or small so that they don’t cause discomfort when you play.

And if possible, try them on before you buy them to make sure they don’t slip around on the court.

You might be better off with shoes that have laces instead of velcro if you want something that fits tightly without sacrificing comfort, but I’d definitely recommend them over normal tennis shoes.

If you’re looking for something more casual than athletic shoes, then consider getting some rubber boots before you play pickleball in the rain.

If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, then I definitely recommend getting a pair of shoes before buying super expensive ones as long as you make sure they fit your feet well.

After all, it’s much cheaper to find shoes that happen to fit your feet well than it is to keep buying shoes over and over again until you find the perfect pair.