How To Break In Pickleball Shoes? Without Spending to Much Time

We were ready for our big pickleball tournament with brand-new shoes, but they let us down. Even with brand-new pickleball shoes, the toe area felt narrow, and the toes seemed slightly squished. How to break in Pickleball shoes was a significant concern before we could have started the practice.

Despite having what we thought was the perfect fit, those shoes had us wincing in pain. It was a real pickle, pun intended. But then, our wise coach gave us a golden tip – break in your pickleball shoes.

If you’re familiar with your new ASICS pickleball shoes not being wide enough for you, they might need breaking in. Here are the best ways to break in your pickleball shoes to ensure your feet don’t stay in pain. 

How To Break In Pickleball Shoes

You can invest in a wooden or plastic shoe stretcher for a fast break-in fit without wasting time. Or Wear thick socks for cushioning, then take a 60-minute walk in your new shoes. 

Whether you need a quick solution in just 60 minutes or have more time to spare, we’ve got the perfect techniques. Try the under-given stretching pickleball shoe tips and have a shoe that molds perfectly to your feet before your next pickleball game.

Quick Methods for Breaking in Tight Pickleball Shoes

1. Thick Socks Trick: Padding for Pain-Free Play

To break in your new pickleball shoes comfortably, follow these easy steps:

  • Wear thick socks or double-up socks to add some cushioning.
  • Put on your pickleball shoes and take a 60-minute walk. You can do this at home or on the pickleball court.
  • Try doing lateral lunges and some running in them to test your athletic shoes.

Here’s why this is helpful:

  • Thick socks provide padding and make walking in your new shoes easier.
  • The thickness of the socks helps stretch out the shoes gradually over time.
  • You can break in your pickleball shoes without hurting your feet.

Time taken to break in Pickleball shoe: 60 minutes 

2. Shoe Stretcher Solution

Here’s How you can break in shoes without wearing them. Invest in a Wooden shoe stretcher or plastic shoe stretcher for a precise fit without wasting any time. Carefully flex the inside of your shoes so you do not end up damaging their shape. Or Use Shoe stretching sprays to soften materials, making the breaking-in process smoother and more efficient. 

Time taken to break in Pickleball shoe: No time if you have it 

3. Ease Stiff Shoes with Simple Bending and Twisting

Here’s how to break in Pickleball shoes that rub your heel. Try this if you have time to break in your shoes. For players who want to break in pickleball shoes in a few hours, try other given methods. This works for overall stiff pickleball shoes as well:  

  • Warm up the shoes by using a hairdryer or simply wear them around the house for a little while.
  • Once they’re warmed up, take off your shoes and hold them from both the front and back.
  • Gently twist the shoes. We recommend focusing on the heel area if that’s where they’re causing swelling.
  • Just remember, don’t go too hard on the bending and twisting. The trick is to do it a couple of minutes a few times a week.

Time taken to break in Pickleball shoe: A week 

4. Expand Your Shoe Fit with the Ice Bag Technique 

If your pickleball shoes are still too snug, here’s a cool trick to make them wider. Make sure you use this method on Outdoor Waterproof pickleball shoes as it’ll lessen the durability of indoor pickleball shoes. Here are the simple steps:

  • Get two ziplock bags and fill them halfway with water.
  • Make sure you remove as much air as possible before sealing them.
  • Put these bags inside your shoes.
  • Find a bigger ziplock bag that can fit each shoe and put it in them. This will protect them from moisture. 
  • Seal the bag with your shoes and freeze it for 4-5 hours. This will stretch your shoes as the ice forms.
  • Afterward, remove the shoes from the bag and let the ice melt a bit. Try them on to see if they fit better. Repeat if needed.

Here’s why this is helpful:

  • As the water inside the bags freezes and expands, it will gently stretch your shoes. This method works particularly well for athletic shoes making them more comfortable.

Time taken to break in Pickleball shoe: 4-5 hours 

5. Using Blow Dryer to Loosen Up Shoes

Did you know you can use your hairdryer to make your pickleball shoes fit better? Here’s how:

  • Wear socks and put on your shoes. Notice where they’re tight on your feet.
  • Use a blow dryer in the hottest setting. Hold it about 7-9 inches from the shoes. Don’t expose too much heat to prevent shoes damage.
  • Heat each tight spot for 30-35 seconds.
  • After warming them up, walk around your home for 20 minutes.
  • Keep going until you’ve heated all the tight areas on the shoes.
  • Your shoes should feel a bit looser now. If any part is still tight, heat and stretch it again.

Here’s why this is helpful:

  • This trick works for many other shoes aside from pickleball like dress shoes and suede flats. It’s because heat makes leather and similar materials stretch out.

Time taken to break in Pickleball shoe: 20 Minutes 

6. Easing Tight Spots in Pickleball Shoes with Spoon

Try this DIY Break-in Pickleball method by using household items. You can use a spoon to make your pickleball sneakers more comfortable. We have used this many times for Breaking in pickleball shoe inserts. Here’s how:

  • Grab a regular spoon from your kitchen.
  • Press the spoon gently into the tight area inside your shoe.
  • Move the spoon from the heel to the middle of your foot and down to the ball.
  • Keep pressing and mimicking the walking motion.
  • Your shoes will gradually stretch out, and you won’t have to walk around uncomfortably.
  • Do this for two to three days, and then wear softened pickleball sneakers. 
  • Use a hair dryer if needed for a quicker process. 

Time taken to break in Pickleball shoe: 2 to 3 days 

Tips to break-in your pickleball shoes - chart

Relieving Discomfort in New Pickleball Shoes

Even if you’ve done your best, your new pickleball shoes might still feel uncomfortable or tight. In such a situation, you can use moleskin to make them more comfy and protect your feet. It is a soft, sticky cotton fabric that’s gentle on your skin and can give you extra padding and protection. It’s a Doctor-approved method, so if you have a tournament coming up, wear moleskin with your new pickleball shoes. Here’s how to use it: 

  • Cut the moleskin into small pieces or strips.
  • Apply it on your feet and shoes as well. 
  • Make sure the inside of your shoes is clean and dry before you stick on the moleskin.
  • Focus on the spots where your shoes rub or hurt, like the back of your heel, the sides of your feet, or where you feel pressure.
  • That’s it! Your new pickleball shoes will fit you better without any pain. 

The moleskin acts like a shield between your skin and the shoe, reducing friction and stopping blisters or discomfort. This way, you can keep wearing your shoes and break them in while staying comfy.

Relieving Discomfort in New Pickleball Shoes


1. How to soften pickleball shoe soles? 

To soften pickleball shoe soles, you can walk on them regularly to help break them in. You can also use a leather conditioner or shoe stretcher spray to make the soles more flexible.

2. Is breaking in shoes a myth?

No, breaking in shoes is not a myth. It’s a real process where you wear new shoes until they become more comfortable. 

3. How long does it take to break in shoes?

Breaking in shoes usually takes around 3 to 4 weeks. But the exact time can vary depending on factors like the type of shoe, its material, and how often you wear it. Be patient, and your shoes will become more comfortable with time.


Whether you are using indoor pickleball shoes or outdoor shoes, breaking in is the same for all. We hope these methods have made your pickleball shoes more comfortable as you break them in. How to break in pickleball shoes is simple and easy to understand if you practice. 

Pickleball shoes come in standard sizes, but your feet are unique. Ignoring signs can lead to foot troubles, from deformities to ingrown toenails. For those with diabetes, it’s even riskier. Prioritize comfort and foot health with proper shoe care! 

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