Do You Need Special Shoes For Pickleball? – A Detail Guide

Do you need special shoes for pickleball? The answer is yes. Regarding pickleball, having the right footwear is crucial for both performance on the court and injury prevention. Pickleball involves a lot of lateral movements, quick stops, and starts, so a good pair of shoes can make a significant difference in your game.

As the game continues gaining popularity, players realize the importance of having the right footwear to improve their performance. With many special pickleball shoes available in the market, choosing the right footwear for the demands of the game is as important as the other gear. 

Do you need special shoes for pickleball

If you are wondering whether you need special shoes for pickleball or not, then here is what we have experienced and what we, the experts, think about the need for pickleball shoes. 

The Need For Special Pickleball Shoes: Why is it important? 

Playing pickleball means you must move fast, go sideways a lot, and speed up suddenly. Your feet do a lot of work in these actions, so it’s super important to wear shoes that give them good support, provide stability, and protect them from any possible injuries. 

Here is why pickleball specialized shoes are a must for every pickleball player: 

1: Protects Your Feet and Lower Body:

Pickleball involves moving quickly from side to side, stopping suddenly, and playing fast. This puts a lot of stress on your feet. 

Special pickleball shoes are made to support your feet, keep you stable, and give enough cushioning to protect your feet and legs while you play. These shoes are designed to handle the unique challenges of pickleball.

2: Provide Lateral Support:

Since pickleball requires frequent side-to-side movements, there is always a high chance of putting strain on the feet and ankles. Specialized pickleball shoes offer strengthened sidewalls and enhanced lateral support, reducing the risk of ankle sprains and providing stability during quick lateral movements.

3: Enhanced Stability: 

Players are required to perform precise movements with confidence and agility while playing pickleball. Pickleball shoes are designed in such a way that offer enhanced stability which enables players to move with control and balance, especially during sudden changes in direction.

4: Better Cushioning: 

Pickleball involves continuous impact on hard court surfaces, leading to potential strain on the lower body. Specialized pickleball shoes offer cushioned midsoles and heel support that absorb shock and reduce the impact on the joints. These shoes also provide comfort during prolonged play.

5: Improved Traction: 

Quick stops and starts are quite common in pickleball. This makes the need for reliable traction crucial. Specialized pickleball shoes are crafted with outsoles that are designed to offer superior grip on hard court surfaces. 

Such outsole design allows players to maintain stability and perform swift directional changes without slipping and hurting themselves. 

6: Durability: 

Considering the lateral movements and frequent stops involved in pickleball, specialized shoes are constructed with durable materials to withstand the severe and harsh nature of the game. Such shoes are not only durable but also provide long-lasting performance on the court. 

Wrong Pickleball Shoes: What Are The Risks? 

Proper footwear is critical for any athletic purpose, and pickleball is no exception. Wearing the wrong shoes for pickleball can pose significant risks to players, potentially leading to injuries and restricting overall performance on the court.

Lack of Proper Support and Stability: 

Playing pickleball involves moving and changing directions a lot, so for this, your shoes need to support and stabilize your feet well. If your shoes don’t have strong sides and good lateral support, you are more likely to twist your ankle or feel unsteady when you quickly change direction. 

This can make it harder to move confidently and precisely during the game, resulting in poor performance. 

Increased Risk of Ankle Injuries: 

If your shoes don’t give enough support to the sides of your feet and ankles, there’s a higher chance of twisting or rolling your ankles, especially when you stop suddenly or change direction. Bad shoes can make the risk of sprains and strains worse, making it harder for you to move well and play your best in pickleball.

Increased Risk of Ankle Injuries

Limited Cushioning and Shock Absorption: 

If your shoes aren’t made for pickleball, they might not have enough cushioning to handle the impact or have enough shock absorption. Without proper cushioning, if you suddenly stop, jump, or move sideways, your feet, knees, and lower back can get more tired and strained. 

This could lead to problems like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and discomfort in your joints, making it harder for you to play for a long time comfortably.

Poor Traction and Grip: 

If your shoes aren’t right for pickleball, the bottom part might not grip well on hard courts. This means you could slip more, lose stability when making quick moves or lunges, and have a higher chance of falling or getting hurt. 

It’s important to have shoes that grip well, especially on surfaces where you need a solid footing to move quickly and make accurate shots in pickleball.

Lack of Comfort and Breathability: 

If your shoes aren’t made for pickleball, they might not let enough air in, making your feet feel too hot and uncomfortable during long games. When shoes lack the breathability feature, you could get blisters and discomfort, distracting you and affecting how well you play on the court. 

It’s important to have shoes that keep your feet cool and comfortable, especially when playing for a while.

Compromised Durability and Performance: 

If your shoes aren’t made for pickleball, they might wear out too soon because they aren’t built to handle the quick side-to-side moves, sudden stops, and fast direction changes in the game. 

As the shoes wear down, they might not give you enough support and stability, making it harder for you to move confidently and securely on the court. This can also increase the risk of getting hurt while playing. It’s important to use shoes designed for pickleball to make sure they last and support you well.

Pickleball Special Shoes: Do You Really Need Them? 

If you play pickleball now and then, regular tennis or cross-training shoes will do just fine. But if you’re really getting into pickleball, taking the game seriously, and playing it more often, it’s worth getting and investing in shoes just made for pickleball. 

These specialized shoes can improve how well you play, keep you from getting hurt, and make you feel more comfortable on the court. It’s like upgrading when you decide to take pickleball more seriously.

Top Picks: 

Here are our top 10 picks for special pickleball shoes: 


Do you really need special pickleball shoes?

Special pickleball shoes can be absolutely necessary for players who take pickleball as a serious game. These shoes can benefit serious players by providing them with stability and lateral support.

What happens if you wear the wrong shoes for pickleball?

Wearing the wrong shoes for pickleball may impact your performance and comfort on the court, leading to potential discomfort or injuries.

What to consider before buying pickleball shoes?

Before purchasing pickleball shoes, think about your level of commitment to the sport and whether the specific features of the shoes align with your playing style and needs. You should also consider traction, grip, support, and cushioning factors.

Can I Wear Indoor Soccer Shoes for Pickleball?

Indoor soccer shoes may provide some of the traction and maneuverability needed for pickleball, but they may lack the lateral support required for the sport’s side-to-side movements. While indoor soccer shoes could be used as a temporary solution, it’s advisable to opt for shoes specifically designed for indoor court sports like tennis or volleyball for optimal performance and injury prevention in pickleball.


Having the right shoes for pickleball is really important. Specialized pickleball shoes can be super helpful for serious players and make a huge difference. Before splurging on pickleball gear, think about how much you love playing. Next time you’re wondering about a pickleball shoe selection and if getting special shoes matches your goals and what you need for better performance, then go for it.

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