“Your feet may be the most important part of your game…period!
A majority of pickleball players don’t take their foot health seriously and that is a critical mistake. By wearing the wrong shoes, you run the risk of injury which will force you to miss a lot of time on the court,” according to Kevin Kooyman, an AlterG® Running and Sports Medicine Specialist and Pickleball Expert.
“The right shoes (which we’ll discuss) will help you improve your speed, agility, and footwork which all contribute to more points won.”
To get the low down on the best running shoes for pickleball, we spoke with Kevin. We also polled some of his clients at The Athlete’s Foot Tallahassee who are avid pickleball players.
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Can You Use Your Regular Running Shoes for Pickleball?
You can, but it’s not recommended. Running shoes are designed to give you maximum support and stability which is great for marathons, but NOT ideal for pickleball. The lack of flexibility coupled with full foot support makes you run slower and can cause injuries because your joints will not be absorbing the shock from each stride.
The right running shoes for pickleball will be flexible and lightweight which is paramount to your foot health and performance on the court,” says Kevin.
Once you find a good pair of running shoes, it’s important to break them in before playing pickleball so as not to cause injury or discomfort to your feet.
Remember: The more flexible and lightweight the shoe, the better performance you’ll have on the court because it will feel like an extension of your body allowing for maximum speed and agility.”
How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Pickleball?
Kevin recommends that you “choose a pair of running shoes with the following characteristics:
- Flexible – Go for a lightweight, flexible and breathable shoe.
- Lightweight – You should feel like you’re walking on air when you step on the court with your new shoes and be able to move faster than ever before.
- Breathable – The more breathable the shoe is, the drier your feet will stay which is important to reduce the risk of blisters which can severely hinder your game.
- Fashionable – Having a stylish pair of running shoes that look good with your pickleball uniform will make you feel like an athlete…and athletes like to look good too.”
So, there you have it! Be sure to wear comfortable athletic clothing including athletic shoes with the proper support and flexibility for maximum performance during pickleball games.
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Pickleball shoes should be flexible without restricting circulation. Running shoes are built for stability and support, which is exactly the opposite of what you want in pickleball. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings at all times so it’s important to have an easy-to-flexible shoe.
Pickleball requires good footwork so any type of footwear that provides support to your feet will work fine. Avoid high heels, dress shoes, or boots because they don’t provide proper support to your feet while playing pickleball. You want to protect your feet at all costs to avoid injuries especially since pickleball is a sport that requires quick movement.