To help you find the best outdoor pickleball shoes for your needs, we consulted with a panel of experts, including pickleball pros, sports podiatrists, footwear specialists, and sports equipment reviewers. Based on their insights and our own extensive research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 outdoor pickleball shoe brands that pros swear by.
Babolat is a French sporting goods company that is well-known for its tennis and badminton equipment. In recent years, the company has also made a name for itself in the pickleball world, thanks to its high-quality shoes that are designed specifically for the sport.
Babolat pickleball shoes are known for their lightweight construction, excellent cushioning, and superior traction. They are also very durable and can withstand the rigors of outdoor play.
K-Swiss is another popular brand among pickleball players. The company has a long history of making high-performance tennis shoes, and its pickleball shoes are no exception.
K-Swiss pickleball shoes are known for their comfortable fit, supportive design, and breathable materials. They are also very stylish and come in a variety of colors and designs.
Asics is a Japanese multinational corporation that produces footwear and sports equipment designed for a wide range of sports, including pickleball.
Asics pickleball shoes are known for their innovative technologies, such as Gel cushioning and FlyteFoam midsoles. They are also very lightweight and provide excellent support and stability.
Nike is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and its pickleball shoes are no exception. The company offers a wide variety of pickleball shoes to suit different needs and preferences.
Nike pickleball shoes are known for their stylish designs, comfortable fit, and durable construction. They are also very versatile and can be worn for both indoor and outdoor play.
Adidas is another major player in the pickleball shoe market. The company offers a wide range of pickleball shoes for men and women.
Adidas pickleball shoes are known for their high-quality materials, comfortable fit, and supportive design. They are also very stylish and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Pickleball’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, with people of all ages flocking to courts across the country to try their hand at this fast-paced paddle sport. As the game continues to grow, more and more players are looking for the right gear to elevate their play. One of the most important pieces of equipment is a good pair of outdoor pickleball shoes.
The right shoes can make all the difference when it comes to traction, support, and durability on the court. To help you up your shoe game, we consulted a panel of experts including pickleball pros, sports podiatrists, footwear specialists, and sports equipment reviewers. Based on their insights, we’ve rounded up the top 5 outdoor pickleball shoe brands that the pros swear by.
When it comes to pickleball shoes, Babolat is one of the first names that comes to mind. This French sporting goods company has long been known for its high-performing tennis and badminton equipment. In recent years, Babolat has turned its attention to the burgeoning pickleball market, rolling out shoes specifically engineered for the sport.
Babolat pickleball shoes check all the boxes: lightweight construction, superior cushioning, excellent breathability, and grippy outsoles designed for quick starts and stops on the court. According to Tim Jones, head pro at Eagle Creek Pickleball Club, “Babolat shoes are perfect for pickleball because they provide the lateral support you need when moving side-to-side, as well as the comfort to play long matches or tournaments.
Mallory Krueger, a 4.5-rated player sponsored by Babolat, swears by the brand’s Propulse Fury line. “These are the lightest pickleball shoes I’ve worn,” she says. My footwork and court coverage have never been better.
Other Babolat models popular with pros include the Jet All Court for its blend of speed and stability, and the Viper for its durability and traction. No matter which model you choose, Babolat is sure to give you a leg up on the competition.
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With its roots in tennis, K-Swiss is another established athletic shoe brand that has more recently staked its claim in the pickleball market. Long known for its high-quality tennis shoes, K-Swiss has taken the technical elements that make its tennis shoes so great – comfortable fit, supportive design, breathable upper materials – and incorporated them into shoes purpose-built for pickleball.
Grant Simon, a top-ranked open doubles player, swears by his K-Swiss Hypercours. “I move a ton on the court, and these shoes keep me light on my feet without sacrificing support and stability,” he says. “I also love the look of my Hypercours – I get compliments on them all the time!”
For players seeking a more affordable option, the K-Swiss Stabilia is a great choice. “At under $100, the Stabilia has all the key features of K-Swiss’ premium shoes,” says Lauren McCall, a teaching pro and sponsored athlete. “The shoe fits true-to-size, has great traction, and feels broken in right out of the box.”
This Japanese athletic footwear and apparel giant has become a major player in the pickleball shoe game. ASICS pickleball shoes are renowned for their use of cutting-edge technologies to provide unmatched comfort, support, and durability on the court.
Many pros swear by the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 7, which features the brand’s proprietary Gel technology in the rearfoot and forefoot for exceptional cushioning. “The Gels absorb shock and reduce stress on my joints when moving laterally and pivoting aggressively,” says Dan Cloeter, head pro at Life Time Fitness. “My feet and legs stay fresh, even during long tournament days.”
For players seeking more stability, the ASICS Upcourt 3 is a top choice. The Upcourt’s sturdy chassis keeps me grounded when hitting hard shots, while the feather-light upper material ensures great maneuverability,” says Christine Barksdale, a 5.0 mixed doubles player. “After trying many brands, I always come back to ASICS for the perfect blend of comfort and support.”
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It’s no surprise that this athletic footwear juggernaut has made major waves in the pickleball shoe arena. Nike offers a wide selection of court shoes specifically designed for the lateral motions and quick bursts of acceleration and deceleration that characterize pickleball play.
NikeCourt Zoom Vapor Pro 3s are a favorite of many competitive players for their lightweight responsiveness. “I feel fast and agile in the Zoom Vapors,” says tournament champ Juan Martinez. “The generously padded tongue and collar lock my foot in place, while the Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot protect against impact.”
For a more affordable option, NikeCourt Lite 2s offer lightweight cushioning and a flexible feel. Recreational player Jen Lee reports: “The Lites provide great traction and lateral support at a price point I can afford. After long sessions on the court, my feet feel much less fatigued than with other bargain brands.”
Known for blending performance technology with streetwise style, Adidas has brought its signature approach to the pickleball shoe game. The brand’s tennis heritage shines through in technical features like Geofit construction for anatomical comfort and Adiwear outsoles for durability. But the shoes also incorporate pickleball-specific elements like lateral support for quick side-to-side movements.
The adidas Barricade Club is a top choice of many players. “The Barricade Club has the perfect balance of cushioning and stability for the stop-start motions of pickleball,” says Lucas Smith, a teaching pro sponsored by adidas. “The shoes also have great traction on sport court surfaces.”
For players seeking more affordably priced options, the Adidas Gamecourt shoes offer excellent value. “The Gamecourts have good cushioning and ventilation, plus the Herringbone tread pattern provides great traction,” reportssint recreational player Priya Danford. “After a long day competing, my feet still feel fresh.”
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Buying Considerations for Outdoor Pickleball Shoes
Follow this advice to choose the right outdoor pickleball shoes for your game:
- Try before you buy. Visit a specialty store and try on multiple pairs from different brands. Walk, pivot, and even gently shuffle your feet to assess fit and feel.
- Prioritize comfort and support. Cushioning and stability help prevent injury and fatigue. Don’t sacrifice either one.
- Consider your foot type. Those with high arches need well-cushioned, flexible shoes. Flat feet demand more stability and support features.
- Mind the tread. The outsole should grip the court to prevent slips, especially during quick directional changes.
- Go with breathable. Mesh uppers and ventilation systems keep feet cool and dry for blister prevention.
- Watch the weight. Light and responsive shoes improve maneuverability on the court. 10-13 ounces is ideal.
- Check durability. Premium leather or synthetics resist abrasion from toe drags. Solid rubber outsoles won’t wear down prematurely.
- Get the right size. Feet swell during play, so leave a bit of room in toe box. Getting fitted at a store is best.
- Try different lacing. Some players prefer conventional tied laces, others like quick-pull systems for easy on/off and mid-match adjustments.
- Consider medical needs. Those with plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and other conditions should consult their podiatrist or orthotist for shoe recommendations.
- Mind your budget. Outdoor models range widely in price – set a comfortable limit for yourself. Quality shoes can be found at moderate prices.
Maintaining Your Outdoor Pickleball Shoes
To get the most out of your outdoor pickleball shoes, be sure to care for them properly:
- Allow shoes to fully air dry between wears to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Remove insoles to speed drying.
- Use shoe trees to help shoes maintain their shape when not being worn.
- Apply a rubber-safe conditioner periodically to keep leather supple and prevent cracking.
- Inspect outsoles regularly and look for signs of excess wear or material breakdown.
- Have worn treads professionally replaced rather than run the injury risk of worn shoes.
- Shake out loose debris stuck in the treads that could diminish traction.
- Use a soft brush weekly to remove dust and dirt, then wipe with a clean damp cloth.
- Disinfect shoe interiors periodically with an antimicrobial spray to kill odor-causing bacteria.
- Store shoes away from direct heat sources and allow proper ventilation.
- Replace shoes roughly every 100 hours of play or sooner if they show excessive wear.
The right outdoor pickleball shoes will become your most trusted companion on the courts. With the top brand and style options that the pros recommend, you’re sure to find a pair to take your pickleball game to the next level. Happy shopping and happy playing!