Who knows that your poor shoes are the only thing clogging your way of getting that trophy? Can be emotional damage, but yes! Your shoes do have a 90 percent impact on how you perform on the court and that made us bring this broad category of best pickleball shoes to lift you and your game!
Why “the best pickleball shoes”?
Like many of you, we’ve been a victim of this in the past. Even though Orson, the youngest among us, got injured, the chump kept thinking, it was because of his wrong shot choices. It wasn’t over until we found the clear performance difference using a pair of ASICS Men Gel Resolution 8 (our favorite since ages) in comparison with some ordinary sports sneakers.
This was the beginning that took us on a ride to purchase and test a hundred pickleball shoes, go on the courts, talk to players, and keep on discussing the topics with the experts on the topic, and conclusively, it ended with this comprehensive guide having 4 women’s and 4 men’s pickleball shoes.
We’d like to highlight a few reasons why we think of them as the best. We own all of these and they’re the most comfortable pairs on the market. Protects from toe aches and blisters, and provides a promising performance! While we review them, we’d only want you to stay with us till the end, and you’ll know exactly what pair of pickleball shoes to get for yourself before your next game!
Best Pickleball Shoes in 2023
The best pickle—what’s taking so long? Why can’t we just get started???
Well, Plot Twist… Pickleball shoes come in “types”. Indoor and outdoor.
Major Plot Twist… they’re divided into “men” and “women”. We know you can’t wait for a second more, so here are some quick recommendations.
In the men’s comportment:
- ASICS Men Gel Resolution 8 – for Outdoor
- ASICS Men Gel Rocket 9 – for Indoor
In the women’s compartment:
- K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express – for Outdoor
- ASICS Upcourt 4–for Indoor
Seems like ASICS has won the race! And well, it deserves to be, because of the best quality and high-durability and comfort it provides. It meets the players with their needs and serves beyond their expectations. K-Swiss, though, sits alongside it and many would argue about choosing Gel Resolution 8 over K-Swiss Express Light for men’s outdoor games.
K-Swiss is basically lighter, and we agree that the toe box is bigger with a wider foot area. But again, this lighter pair comes with thin padded stuff in the entire shoe, making them less durable. While the Gel Resolution has thick pads with an excellent cushion combined with the rest of the features, you’d get in the Express Light.
What about the heaviness? Well, 90% of men’s shoes are heavy and that’s how they’re designed naturally. Even if you think K-Swiss has the solution for it, you’d be disappointed as they’re just a little lighter with compromised strength, compared to other sports shoes.
Bummer: There’s no such thing as “Pickleball Shoes”. These are court shoes, either of tennis, volleyball, or of other sports.
However, the pickleball community, as always, keeps up its legacy, and through Skechers Pickleball footwear, which made its debut on Sunday, April 24, at the US OPEN in Naples, Florida. While Skechers seems nice and claims to provide quality, we’re yet to try it, and we’ll surely do it after the tournament ends.
As for now, our brands are ASICS, Nike, Adidas, and Mizuno. However, we’ll update this article after testing the durability and performance of this recent innovation.
The Detailed Part:
When we review, test, and consider the shoes to be the best for pickleball, we look through the following factors: :
- Solid ankle support; as it shields against injuries, blisters, and soreness.
- The linear pattern on the outsole extends its durability.
- Easy bending in the midpoint–without cracking the leather of the front side.
- A wide toe box that makes extra room for easy back-and-forth sprinting.
- Cushioning of the midsole along with solid insole to cover your joints.
- Solid outsole to guard against impact.
To make sure that you have options for all situations, we’ve divided our 8 top picks into two categories, men and women, and in each category, we’ve picked 2 products for each court, indoor and outdoor. So, by the end, you’ll know what are the best indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes, for both men and women.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Men
ASICS Men Gel Resolution 8 – Best Outdoor Men Shoes
It’s the 8th generation of ASICS Men Gel Resolution, and just like its previous one dominates the records. This one just shook up the industry with the most innovative technologies within.
At first, we found the toe box to be massive! All of its previous 7 generations have narrowed toe boxes, so that’s one of the prime improvements from its previous versions. It further eliminates toe aches by making the movements easy.
The latest model also comes with the “arch wrapping” design that makes the fitting snug and fixed. However, if you’ve extra wider feet, you’d like to cut that band to get your shoe fit on you and that’s how this pair has a fitting mechanism for all types of men’s feet. They named the fitting type FLEXION FIT paired with DYNAWALL technology, which contributes to comfort through mid-foot.
Like the previous generations, this pair also comes with gel cushioning technology for added comfort and a PGUARD toe protector to keep it safe during jumping and running. But the added feature we experience was “enormous torque control” in the heel compartment. It works like you have adhered your feel to its sole, or maybe that’s more like a “soul” connection between the shoe and feet.
It uses a hard rubber sole on the inside to protect you from any kind of injury during the game, besides making the shoe firm, which provides stability while throwing your perfect power shot. The outsoles also feature rubber, which allows you to have easy turning and movements.
At a glance, gel resolution 8 is a result of these 5 technologies;
- FLEXION FIT®
- DYNAWALL™ technology
- Cushioning GEL® technology
- AHAR® compound outsole
- PGUARD™ toe protector
Generation 8 is currently the most advanced pair of shoes and it’s trending beyond the USA. while being this technological, you can get all of this at a very low cost, as ASICS promises to deliver the best at the lowest prices, and this one is not any different.
Where’s the catch?
Men’s sweating. We’re not kidding. Men sweat 30 times more than women, and thus they do need a ventilation system in their shoes to get rid of all that sweat. Unfortunately, this shoe fails to provide that.
However, this problem can be solved if you remove the shoes after every game and set them aside for a minimum of ten minutes. We know most people will not like it. But if you’re willing to take that choice, you’ll be getting yourself one of the best outdoor pickleball shoes made for men!
We recommend wearing sweat-absorbent socks and you’ll feel just fine. Here you can check our guide to have the most compatible socks for this shoe.
Why ASICS over K-SWISS?
We’ve already given out our stance on this. But besides the better strength and feel, ASICS has shoes for everyone, and whatever series it releases, it makes two versions of it for both men and women. And just like that, the Gel Resolution series for men also has a second version for women!
- Provides stability
- Rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning
- Cheap price
- No ventilation for the sweat
We understand that men sweat a lot more than women, and thus they do need a ventilation system in their shoes to get rid of all that sweat, and this shoe fails to provide that. However, this problem can be solved if you remove the shoes after every game and set them aside for a minimum of ten minutes, which we know most people will not like. But if you are willing to take that choice, you will be getting yourself one of the best outdoor pickleball shoes made for men!
Nike Men’s Court Lite 2 – Best High-end Outdoor Men Shoes
Court Lite 2 screams style and class and that is our go-to pair for its premium comfort and stability. While coming from Nike, well does that even need an introduction? Everyone’s familiar with Nike because it’s the sole shoe brand with zero hatred and criticism. Nike has 62% of the total market share in the world of sports shoes while being the most popular brand for ages.
Court Lite 2 is basically a tennis shoe and is built with extra cushioning that makes it the perfect outdoor pickleball shoe performance-wise as well. These shoes are made using synthetic and genuine leather, and have GDR Rubber-designed outsoles, therefore, questioning the durability of these shoes stands no chance.
Onto that, what intrigued us was the padded tongue and collar. Moreover, these shoes are specially made with Nike’s special molded foam footbed, and the presence of the cushioning in the midsole gives them enough power to absorb any kind of shocks you might experience in the game.
And for the sweat problem, these shoes provide high-quality synthetic leather and mesh upper that takes full responsibility for ventilating it all out and protecting your feet from the heat. So wearing this shoe will not only bring you your best game but also wearing a Nike will get you extra attention from all the other players because of its style and class.
The best part?
Flexibility and size options. No, don’t take us wrong. It has unique sizes, i.e. wide and narrow with respect to all feet. Not to mention, Court Lite 2 counts in 1 of 100 sports shoes with a high arch, wide feet, and an excellent ventilation system that makes it wearable for any player at any age.
This is one of the most lightweight outdoor pickleball shoes made for men. If you previously had K-Swiss, this pair will feel like your feet in heaven, since the weight of both is pretty much the same, but of course, Nike has an upper hand in terms of feel and quality.
These are not even expensive, as you can get a pair of them for under $100. However, one thing we’d like to change, and that is the stiffness of the shoe. It does get better after a few uses but is still stiffer than many other pickleball shoes. Well, we’d also suggest that everyone opt for the wider feet to bust that issue. Aside from being obsessed with that design, they’ve got a better toe care system than ones with standard feet. The standard size gets uncomfortable and extra stiff too.
- Stylish and classy
- Allows ventilation
- Comes under $100
- Might be too stiff
Wearing this shoe will not only bring you your best game but also wearing a Nike will get you extra attention from all the other players because of its style and class. Stiffness is a problem but well, as they say, Men are stiff and they like their things to be stiff! So, it might not be that big of a problem, right!
ASICS Men Gel Rocket 9 – Best Indoor Men Shoes
Once again, ASICS managed to get a place on our list. We were impressed enough with the Head Men’s Grid 2.0 since it had a lighter feel and provided us with an incredible cushion.
But then the feel of this pair, and the way it complements your movements in a limited area, made us stick back to it. Not to mention, the style and the black, white, and gold color combos have our hearts. Besides being indoor shoes, the strength and performance could easily challenge one of the outdoor shoes, with a lighter feel and increased speed.
Initially, these shoes were designed for volleyball, but now, have become one of the top shoes for men when it comes to playing indoor pickleball games. It has a gel sole which makes it highly durable and helps create the perfect traction you’d need for the indoor courts.
It has a mesh upper which is overlaid by synthetic leather, providing both comfort and ventilation. And that’s not all. This shoe also comes with a foam-padded collar and tongue. Seems like the prime focus while making this shoe was comfort, and we absolutely love this.
Another lovable fact about these shoes is the fitting it provides, and the additional laces make them even more stable. The shock absorption is taken care of by EVA molded midsole and the gel cushioning in both the fore and rear foot. And with ASICS’s special Trusstic system technology, all the extra weight is managed without compromising any of the features.
However, to own one of these you need to let your pocket a little loose, and ignore the fact that it might take a few extra bucks than any other shoes. But once you get them and play while wearing them, you’ll know that these shoes were worth every single penny you spent on them!
- Creates the perfect traction for indoor courts
- Comfort is the most important feature
- Provides easy ventilation
- Might be a little too expensive
If you look at all the features and specifications of this pair of shoes, you will know that ASICS has put in all the best things you will want in your indoor pickleball shoes. ASICS has attempted to make the best indoor pickleball shoes for men and clearly, they have been successful. We can bet that you will not be able to find any other shoes that offer the same quality and features. However, to own one of these you need to let your pocket a little loose, and ignore the fact that it might take a few extra bucks than any other shoes. But once you get them and play while wearing them, you will know that these shoes were worth every single penny you spent on them!
Adidas Crazyflight Men’s Court Shoes – Best High-end Indoor Men Shoes
Well, Adidas never stays back in the race of making different kinds of shoes for different kinds of sports, and for pickleball, the Adidas Crazyflight Men’s Court shoes are the perfect fit, that they launched in 2021. These are extremely responsive with the highest traction and the multi-color work on these shoes is clearly iconic.
The shoes use a top grip outsole, providing a firm grip for all kinds of indoor surfaces, and there is no chance you’ll slip and fall down while wearing these. Well, thanks to the traction, again. The insoles are made up of soft rubber, use padded foam at the collar and tongue, and provide gel cushioning, all of which make it a top-notch comfortable footwear.
The attention-catching didn’t stop with the performance. It goes beyond providing aesthetic colors and styles–just how the brand speaks when you wear it. The shoes bring to you 8 different color options, with each pair having 3 color combinations.
The shoes are ideally made for men, but they do possess some unisex features. Hence, they can also be used by women, they just need to find the right size. Besides that, they also have a women’s series in this model, but if he had to go purely for women, we’d go for better options such as ASICS.
Overall, they made the shoe out of synthetic leather and used a mesh upper to provide ventilation. Plus, the price range of this pair of shoes is highly reasonable and wouldn’t allow you to question your choice at all.
However, there is a minor problem here, the insoles might run off a little too early. Except for the insoles problem, well, it’s too harsh if we call it a problem, we mean any shoe insole can go bad, and you can always get an extra pair of those. Keeping that aside, all the other things this shoe brings to the table, and that too at such low cost, make them completely worth the try.
- Works well on all kinds of indoor surfaces
- 5 different color options
- Provides ventilation
- The insoles might run off a little too earlye
- The additional cost of extra pair of insoles
Except for the insoles problem, well, it’s too harsh if we call it a problem, we mean any shoe insole can go bad, and you can always get an extra pair of those. Keeping that aside, all the other things this shoe brings on the table and that too at such low cost, make them completely worth the try.
Best Pickleball Shoes for Women in 2023
Pickleball is a sport that is free from any kind of gender biases, hence, both men and women can play. But obviously, women and men can’t use the same pair of shoes because their feet structure is very different from each other. So, there are different pickleball shoes for women with different structures, cushioning, and weight criteria.
K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express – Best Women Outdoor Shoes
9.4/10 – Our Score
Use best quality materials such as molded polyurethane, the rubber outsole, and the synthetic upper
Mid-foot support chassis
Extra cushion for comfort
High-tech graphite polymer composite material for core construction
Mesh uppers for ventilation
Soft sole and a hard toe cover
Finally comes the pair that we were most excited about. It’s the Women’s Hypercourt Express, specially designed for ladies. This pair of shoes offers everything a woman needs: comfort, durability, lightweight, and strength.
Besides being the best outdoor shoes for Pickleball ladies, it also carries the highest recognition rate among female tennis players. The shocking pink color of the shoe is what makes all the females attracted to it and then, the features and the price range make it too hard for them to not buy them.
The materials that have been used in the making of the shoes speak it all, the molded polyurethane, the rubber outsole, and the synthetic upper. All of this adds the strength you need to play the power shots that come your way.
To provide support and stability while playing, the shoe brings a mid-foot support chassis, which is also responsible for fighting any kind of shock that might come it’s way. As you know, ladies need comfort, and for that, this shoe uses an extra cushion on the sole so that your feet don’t hurt after the game.
To top all of this up, the shoe uses mesh uppers to provide ventilation so that the heat of the outdoors doesn’t burn your feet. It uses a soft sole with a hard toe cover so that moving and running around is easier and your toes don’t get affected by any sort of stopping or jumping during the game.
Ah, here comes the weight, and you’d be happy to know that this is one of the most lightweight women’s pickleball shoes weighing only 11 ounces, which directly adds up to your speed. We prefer this version of the women’s shoes over the men’s version solely because of the weight and feel of this shoe. Otherwise, the strength, quality, and traction are all the same.
After 3-4 matches, we found that the shoe tends to get a little wider after a few uses. To fix that, we had to tighten the shoelaces, and that’s not a big deal, though. However, women with wider feet would love it as it enhances the space in the show for better movements with time.
K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express is the professional choice, and if Skechers wouldn’t make its entry, it’d forever be K-Swiss that 5.0 pickleball women wear. It’s easily the best pair of outdoor pickleball shoes for women, and the price range it comes in makes it even better. Once you get these shoes, we can guarantee you that there’s no way you’ll ever shift to any other pickleball shoes!
- Offers comfort, strength, and durability
- Reasonable price range
- Shoes get wide after a few uses
To wrap it all up, we think that K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express is the best pair of outdoor pickleball shoes for women, and the price range it comes in makes it even better. Once you get these shoes we can guarantee you that there’s no way you will ever shift to any other pickleball shoes!
ASICS Women Gel Resolution 8 – Most Lightweight Outdoor shoes for Women
ASICS Women Gel Resolution 8 is the Women’s version of Men’s 8th Gel resolution that we’ve already reviewed above. Just like its man’s version burst the industry, the women’s pair took up half of the attention and made them bring the storm on the court through their feet.
The technologies are the same with a sleeker design and weight cutting down to 3 oz, making this pair around 11.99 oz. but here’s what we felt amazing than its man’s version.
- The special Gel cushioning around the whole shoe ant works 2x incredibly, providing you with a less-tiring game experience.
- The Solyte Midsole material brings strength and support to the shoe. Yes, these have a more flexible midsole, considering the sensitivity of women’s feet.
- The rubber quality is better in the women’s compartment.
While the best thing is, ASICS have considered the “pink-collar” jobs and financial exploitation of women to address that, they kept this masterpiece at a very low price range with a promising performance.
Everything here does sound perfect though, but the only thing which blocked its way to being the best women’s outdoor shoe is the narrow design. If you have narrow feet, congratulations! You’ve got the jackpot!
But here we’ve to think of everyone, and that’s where this shoe fails to meet the requirements of all, the way K-Swiss Hypercourt does. Otherwise, we’d rate both identical for performance, comfort, and traction.
However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra time breaking into the shoes, you might get to experience the most comfortable shoes made for sportswomen. Overall, it’s a perfectly nice pair of shoes and you can easily get them within your budget. And ASICS is a brand you can trust when it comes to sports gear!
- Comfort and stability
- Reasonable price range
- The Narrow Fit might be a problem for people with wide feet
If you are willing to spend a little extra time breaking in the shoes, you might get to experience the most comfortable shoes made for sportswomen. Overall, it is a perfectly nice pair of shoes and you can easily get them within your budget. And ASICS is a brand you can trust when it comes to sports gear!
ASICS Upcourt 4 – Best Indoor Women Shoes
Things didn’t end with the outdoor shoes. ASICS lifted up the indoor game, setting up its 4th launch of Upcourt 4 in the market. This pair quickly became popular during the corona times of 2020-2021, when everything got indoors and this pair was the latest in the market.
It features a highly durable rubber gum sole that helps you run and jump all over the indoor courts without the fear of falling down. The synthetic leather and mesh upper of the shoes make them highly comfortable and allow ventilation for your feet so that they can breathe even after having an energetic and sweaty game.
Though they’re slightly larger than other pickleball shoes, so make sure you take a look at the size chart before ordering, and our suggestion is to go for half a size down than your usual.
This larger size has been an issue and most people complained about it because they did not know about this before they ordered, which is why we suggest you must look at the size chart. However, the brand takes full responsibility for it and those who receive the wrong sizes do get them replaced without any trouble.
This shows how good of customer service the brand provides, that it turned the bad part into a good part. And as far as the price is concerned, you can easily get a pair of these for under $200, which makes them even more ideal!
- Allows ventilation
- Comes under $200
- The brand provides an amazing customer service
- Sizes are larger than usual
If you consider it, the larger size is not a problem, every brand has its different design and hence, is allowed to use different measurements. And you don’t get the wrong size is the reason why they provide the size charts, right? So, why not take a look at that chart before buying one of these, and have the perfect shoes for your indoor pickleball game!
Mizuno Women’s Wave Lighting Z5 – Best Comfortable Indoor Women Shoes
The feature that makes it stand out among the others is the diagonal flex groove in the mid-foot, which allows you to move around with high speed and change the directions of your feet without any pressure on your feet, something all indoor shoes must have!
The ventilating mesh upper and the lightweight of the shoe just add all the additional magic that was left. However, the price tag must be a bummer for you if you have looked into other indoor shoes, but with all the extra money you’re paying, you’ll be getting extra quality and performance in return.
- Shock absorption
- Advanced cushioning
- Might be a little expensive when compared to other indoor shoes
The price tag must be a bummer for you if you have looked into other indoor shoes, but we promise you with all the extra money you are paying, you will be getting extra quality and performance in return. This is the pair of shoes officially used by professional female pickleball players, and if they use them, they must be worth every penny!
Shoes of Different Sports for Pickleball:
Well, pickleball gets its origin from different racquet sports and the way it shares equipment with other sports, you may use the pairs you had of tennis, volleyball, squash, or any other sport.
Basically, they’re referred to as court shoes, and that’s exactly what a pickleball shoe needs to be. Since the brands haven’t started yet to make “dedicated pickleball shoes”. However, there are a few pros and cons to be mindful of before you begin using them.
Tennis shoes make the perfect “outdoor” pickleball shoes, since they possess high traction, and are precisely made to support the court material. So, despite being heavier, these won’t limit your speed and movements.
Volleyball, racquetball, squash, badminton, and other indoor racquet sports shoes:
These are indoor racquet sports and have lightweight shoes with excellent mobility, so you can keep sprinting speedily while staying in a limited area. Similar are the requirements for an indoor pickleball game, and thus any of these sports shoes would work for pickleball.
Running shoes & gym shoes:
Unfortunately! You can’t use them.
Using other sports shoes. No problem. But using running/ gym shoes. A disaster. Even though they’re kinda sports too.
Your thoughts are valid, so let’s go to the technical side to make this easier for you. Running/ gym shoes comprise a “tread pattern” to let you move forward. The tread pattern doesn’t allow for moving sideways and thus, wearing them puts you at risk of getting injuries.
They also cause heel pain if you wear them for a longer period, so it’s a wise option, don’t ever make the mistake of wearing them for pickleball–even for casual play for further information on this topic, you can read my article on Pickleball shoes vs Running Shoe.
we’re pretty sure now you have a good idea of what best pickleball shoes are available in the market. we’ve tried our best to provide you with all the features, the good things, and the bad things about each of them. However, that’s not enough. There are a few things you need to consider before you go on and make a purchase, so let’s take a look;
Men or Women
That’s quite a common understanding though, that women’s shoes are different from men’s. The reason behind this is the structure of feet, way of carrying, and style that varies in both genders.
Women’s shoes are narrower, they might be sparkling (optional), and lightweight so it provides a complete comfort zone any female would expect to safely fit in. These are reversed in the men’s shoes with thicker rubber, and extra strength to complement the heavy-duty activities a man seeks out of their game.
Indoor or Outdoor
The gender of the player is not the only thing you need to look for while getting pickleball shoes, you also need to consider the nature of the game you’re wishing to play. Since the indoor and outdoor pickleball courts are pretty different from each other, you can’t use the same shoes for both.
For outdoor use, you’d need shoes that offer high shock absorption. Since tennis and pickleball have similar surfaces on outdoor courts, you can make use of your tennis shoes.
While indoors, you’d need a pair of shoes that offers firm grips so that you don’t fall down. As we recommended, tennis shoes for outdoor pickleball courts, and baseball or volleyball shoes would work fine for indoor courts. But again, these alternate shoes must be best in their arena, as well because you don’t want to ruin your experiences just by settling for less.
Durability and Comfort
Pickleball is a sport that requires a lot of running, jumping, and diving. All in all, your feet will be working a lot. And to avoid soreness and any kind of pain, you must opt for a pair of shoes that provide the most comfort to your feet. For this, you’ve to make sure you take a brief look at what measures the brand has taken for the durability and comfort of the shoes. In a nutshell, the shoes have:
- There should be hard rubber soles to keep you stress-free and protect you from impact.
- For indoor courts, they should be non-marking.
- The ankle support is of top quality, otherwise, plan your stay in the hospital for ankle twists.
- Gel cushioning, foam pads, and soft insoles should be double-checked as well.
While playing pickleball, one thing you must know is that your feet will sweat a lot because of all the running and jumping, and because you’ll be wearing shoes all the time, there is a good chance that your feet might burn because of the sweat and of course the heat. Thus, to avoid that you need to make sure that the shoes you’re wearing have a way to manage the ventilation of that sweat.
Men’s shoes are naturally heavy to provide you with strength and support. A lighter shoe can balance up your speed. So, choosing the weight is on you as what you prefer the most. But we recommend going for the heavier one (for men), and the lighter one for women.
That’s all the information you’d need while making a purchase of a good pair of pickleball shoes for yourself. we’re sure, now you know why you need special shoes for pickleball, what are the different categories, which are the best pickleball shoes, along with their features and a few cons, and what things to consider before buying a pair of shoes. If you’re ready to make the purchase, make sure you tell us which one you chose, and also let us know, if we were helpful or not!
Just remember to consider all the things we mentioned in our buying guide before making the purchase so you don’t end up with the wrong set of shoes. Weigh in all the pros and cons together of all the shoes we provided and select the one that fits your requirement perfectly! Don’t rush yourself and take your time to review each one of these and then go for the one which feels right. We hope that if you follow all these guidelines, you’ll soon have the best pair of pickleball shoes on your feet!
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