Can You Wear Running Shoes For Pickleball: Explained

When choosing any shoes for pickleball, the key factor is the surface and type of court. Regarding pickleball, footwear is vital in ensuring optimal performance and safety. When practicing a sport that merges parts of table tennis, badminton, and tennis, court shoes are usually recommended. Can you wear running shoes for pickleball?

Can you wear running shoes for pickleball

Pickleball can be played in most athletic shoes, including cross-fit, sneakers, or tennis shoes. As players need to make quick movements in all directions, pickleball players require stability and mobility. With suitable indoor and outdoor court shoes, you can perform efficiently without the risk of injuries.

Running shoes should not be your go-to pickleball shoes, as they significantly affect your performance and safety on the court. 

If you ever come across a situation where you don’t find pickleball shoes and are running late from your game, can you wear running shoes for pickleball? Let’s discuss.

What kind of Shoes You Wear For Pickleball?

Like tennis, players move forward, backward, and side to side, we need stability and perfect body mobility. This is required so that players can perform efficiently. In pickleball, one of the crucial things is maintaining balance for an accurate movement.

That’s where good footwear comes in. For good footwork, we need shoes that give stability, which reduces the risk of joint injuries. If that’s the case, you must consider the pickleball-specific features. The under-given features will also let you know how to choose shoes for pickleball:

The Key Features of Pickleball Shoes

We have explained the primary features of the pickleball shoes whether you want to play indoors or outdoor in the following:

Optimal Traction

When looking for pickleball shoes, be sure to buy traction-specific materials like rubber, gum rubber, and nylon. Immediate movements during pickleball can cause severe injuries, and traction helps reduce the injuries.

To get a good grip on the court, wear pickleball shoes with materials as mentioned above. That way, players can quickly stabilize their bodies and avoid slipping on indoor and outdoor pickleball courts.  

Tread Patterns

A tread pattern on the outsole of the shoe helps increase stability. Herringbone or gum sole patterns are famous for increasing court grip. This provides excellent movements and quick stops. 

Mobility and Support

Pickleball shoes come with a design that provides lateral stability to a player. During the game, a person moves side to side, forward and backward, and even engages in extreme movements and fast footwork. Court shoes with designs and midsoles that support ankle and side-to-side cuts are most suitable.  

Cushioning and Impact Absorption 

Pickleball shoes are designed to reduce the impact of immediate action from footwork. They have proper cushioned comfort, which reduces shock and enhances stability. They also reduce the impact on joints, ankle, knee, foot, and lower back. Features like EVA foam, gel, memory foam, air cushion, and Sorbothane can increase cushioning. 


The outsole’s material quality may impact its durability. To enhance the durability of shoes on pickleball courts, it’s important to select shoes with materials that maintain stability and support. Therefore, be sure to choose long-lasting shoes designed for this purpose.                 

Key features of pickleball shoes

Running Shoes vs. Pickleball Shoes

Can you wear running shoes for pickleball? The answer is NO; you should not wear running shoes for pickleball. However, some running shoes have features that make them good for pickleball. Keep in mind that Running shoes are specially made for running.

Therefore, they have critical differences in design and functionality when compared to pickleball court shoes. Here are some Basics of Running Shoes that make them 50/50 suitable for pickleball: 

The Advantages of Running Shoes for Pickleball

  • Comfort and Cushioning: Pickleball requires running shoes with good cushioning. This cushioning offers comfort and reduces the impact on your joints. Players can make fast movements comfortably during long games.
  • Versatility: If you are involved in various sports or physical activities, running shoes can help you a lot for many purposes. They are beneficial for walking, running, and other workouts. In simple words, they are multi-purpose shoes. Their versatility can be profitable and suitable.
  • Availability and Cost-Effectiveness: Running shoes are broadly available in most of the sports. They consist of many brands, styles, and sizes, which helps a lot in purchasing them. They are easily affordable and vary in price, which can be bought within low budgets. 

Drawbacks of using Running Shoes for Pickleball 

Here’s why running shoes are not suitable for pickleball:

  • Traction Issues: Running shoe grip doesn’t work on pickleball courts. They don’t have tread patterns, which increase gripping on indoor and outdoor courts. Their outsole is made up of carbon rubber, which can cause slipping and severe injuries.
  • Lack of Lateral Support: Running shoes are frequently used for forward motion. They lack side-to-side movement support, which is necessary for pickleball. Overall, they are insufficient for quick movements and lack lateral support. To avoid severe ankle injuries, stick to court shoes instead.
  • Durability Concerns: As running shoes lack lateral support, they tear apart by the side under stress movements. Their outsole is not suitable for pickleball as they need more traction. They don’t last long, leading to quicker wear and tear. 
Running shoes vs. pickleball shoes

Do running shoes impact pickleball performance?

In summary, running shoes can be used for pickleball. They are neither as durable nor as good at traction or lateral support, though.

Purchasing specialized pickleball shoes is suggested for both safety and the best performance on the pickleball court. They are the best that offer the necessary features, including traction, stability, and support.


Can running shoes impact pickleball performance?

Yes, running shoes may hinder your pickleball performance due to their limited lateral support and less-than-ideal traction.

Are running shoes suitable for pickleball?

Running shoes aren’t fully suitable for pickleball or we can say that 50/50. You can use them to play pickleball but if you are health sensitive, they may create issues or injuries.

Do running shoes provide the necessary grip for pickleball?

Running shoes often lack the specific tread patterns required for optimal court grip in pickleball.

Can you play pickleball in walking shoes?

Well, you should avoid using regular athletic shoes for pickleball because they aren’t designed for this sport. Running or walking shoes are not recommended for pickleball.

Can you wear tennis shoes for pickleball?

yes, you can wear tennis shoes for outdoor pickleball. Tennis and pickleball have similar courts and rules; therefore, you can wear tennis shoes for playing pickleball if you don’t want to buy another pair.

What are the risks of wearing running shoes for pickleball?

Wearing running shoes for pickleball can increase the risk of slipping, twisting an ankle, or experiencing discomfort due to inadequate lateral support. The lack of proper traction and stability can also affect your performance on the court and increase the likelihood of injury.


So, can you wear running shoes for pickleball, depending on the situation? Not every time it is recommended, but you can wear them occasionally or in case of some urgency. Choosing suitable shoes is essential for pickleball players to enhance their game.

Specialized pickleball shoes are the ideal option for maximum performance and safety on the court, even though running shoes might be a multipurpose choice. To truly excel in pickleball, it’s recommended to invest in shoes specifically designed for the sport, like court shoes. 

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