Addressing Persistent Heel Pain: Finding The Right Heel Cup In Pickleball Shoes

If you are a pickleball player who often ends up with terrible heel pain, here is the solution for your heel pain called a heel cup. To choose the right heel cup for your pickleball shoes, you need to know your heel type because heel cups are available in different shapes and sizes. 

Pickleball is played on a hard court, and players often engage in quick lateral movements and sudden stops. Due to the nature of the game, players are prone to encounter various types of injuries most common is knee pain, with heel pain being a common complaint.

If you’re experiencing persistent heel pain while playing pickleball, finding the right heel cup for your pickleball shoes is one potential solution. Let’s discuss the causes of heel pain in pickleball, and I will guide you through selecting the best heel cup to eliminate your discomfort.

Understanding Heel Pain in Pickleball

Heel pain in pickleball can occur due to several reasons. Some of the reasons I have personally faced are discussed below. 

  • Impact and shock absorption: The repetitive impact of pickleball movements can lead to microtrauma in the heel area, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Overpronation and supination: Players with improper pace and speed, such as overpronation (rolling the foot inward) or supination (rolling the foot outward), may experience excessive strain on the heel, leading to pain.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: The thick band of tissue that forms the plantar fascia and connects your heel bone to your toes is irritated in this common foot disease. The most common symptom of this condition is heel pain.
  • Inadequate footwear: Wearing inappropriate or worn-out shoes with insufficient heel support can also become the reason for worsening heel pain issues.

Choosing the Right Heel Cup in Pickleball Shoes

Finding the right heel cup can significantly ease heel pain during pickleball play. Here are some essential considerations to guide you in selecting the best heel cup for your foot: 

  • Arch Type: Determine your foot’s arch type, whether flat, normal, or high arch. Select a heel cup with proper arch support based on your arch type.
  • Cushioning and Shock Absorption: Look for a heel cup with sufficient cushioning to absorb shock and reduce the impact on your heels. Gel or foam-based heel cups are common popular choices among pickleball players.
  • Stability and Support: A heel cup with a deep heel cradle provides stability and support, reducing the risk of overpronation and supination. It helps align your foot correctly during movement.
  • Material: Heel cups are typically made of silicone, EVA foam, or gel. Silicone heel cups are durable and provide excellent cushioning, while EVA foam cups are softer and provide comfort. Gel cups offer superior shock absorption.
  • Size and Fit: Ensure the heel cup fits comfortably in your shoe and does not cause discomfort. A heel cup of the right and proper size will provide adequate comfort and support.
  • Replace Regularly: Heel cups can wear out over time, which causes them to lose their cushioning and support. Replace them when it is necessary to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Consult a Specialist: If your heel pain is endless and severe, consider consulting a sports medicine specialist. They can also deliver you personalised recommendations and may propose custom orthotics to meet your distinctive needs.
Choosing the Right Heel Cup in Pickleball Shoes

How to Insert Heel Cups in Your Pickleball Shoes

Once you’ve chosen the right heel cup, here’s how to properly insert it into your pickleball shoes:

  • Remove the shoe’s insole if it’s removable. This will create more space for the heel cup.
  • Position the heel cup inside the shoe so that it lines up with the heel area of the insole.
  • Put your foot inside the shoe and ensure that the heel cup fits snugly beneath your heel. Adjust as needed for the most comfortable and supportive fit.
  • If the insole is not removable or there’s not enough space, you can place the heel cup on top of the existing insole. Just make sure it doesn’t create any discomfort or tightness in your shoe.


In what shapes are heel cups available? 

Heel cups are available in different shapes and fit from flat to high arch to normal, depending on the arch of your heel. 

What are heel cups made of? 

Heel cups are normally made of foam, silicone, or gel material. 

Are heel cups helpful in getting rid of heel pain? 

Heel cups are indeed helpful in easing heel pain as they reduce the pressure and shock on your heel, which are often the reason behind heel pain. 


Consistent heel pain can be a major obstacle to enjoying pickleball to the fullest. Selecting the right heel cup and using it in your pickleball shoes is a simple yet effective way to get rid of discomfort and continue playing the sport you love.

Remember to consider your arch type, cushioning, stability, and size when choosing a heel cup, and consult a specialist if your pain persists. By taking these steps, you can ensure that heel pain no longer holds you back on the pickleball court.

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