Last Updated on March 20, 2020 by Jake
To best enjoy pickleball you need to wear the right shoes! The right shoes are comfortable, supportive, durable and provide the traction needed. They offer you an edge and ensure you perform at your utmost.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the best shoes for pickleball and provide valuable insight on each. Stick around until the end for guidance on features and factors to consider when looking for your pair!
In a Rush? Here’s Our Top Best Shoes for Pickleball Picks
|adidas Men's Barricade 2018 Tennis Shoe, Black/Black/Flash Red, 10 M US||Check Price on Amazon|
|K-Swiss Men's Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe (Gray/White/Silver, 7.5)||Check Price on Amazon|
|adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2 Mens Tennis Shoe - White/Active Red - Size 9||Check Price on Amazon|
|ASICS - Mens Solution Speed Ff L.E. Sneaker, Size: 6 D(M) US, Color: Flash Coral/Black||Check Price on Amazon|
|ASICS Men's Gel-Challenger 12 Court Shoes, 11M, White/Black||Check Price on Amazon|
Best Pickleball Shoes Reviews
Your pickleball paddle is probably the most important piece of equipment for the game, but which shoes you choose is a close second.
When getting a shoe for pickleball, you may need to consider the court on which you play. For outdoor courts, tennis shoes are best. For indoor courts, volleyball court trainers work excellently. Regardless of this, the shoes you go with have to be a good fit for you.
For each performance element, a rating system that includes ratings such as excellent, great, good, average, and poor is used with excellent being the highest rating and poor being the lowest. An excellent rating denotes perfection. A great rating denotes near perfection. The good rating denotes above satisfactory performance. An average rating denotes satisfactory performance.
Adidas Barricade 2018
- Seamless Forgedmesh upper designed with areas of support and stretch to help ensure a custom fit that adapts to every move
- Soft and stretchable tongue for comfort fit; Bootee construction for snug fit; Adiprene+ in the forefoot maintains propulsion and efficiency
- Abrasion-resistant Adituff wraps around the toe and medial forefoot to help protect against foot drag that occurs during serves, volleys and extreme lateral movements
- Geofit construction for anatomical fit and comfort; Ghillie at top of lacing delivers a locked-down fit
- Barricade chassis for support and stability in midfoot and extra freedom and flexibility in forefoot; Adiprene under the heel for superior cushioning at impact; Adiwear 6 outsole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability
Arch Support: Excellent
Foot Support/Stability: Excellent
The flagship Adidas Barricade is one of the best all-court shoes on the market. And with the 2018 edition, Adidas has made several changes that have resulted in a lighter, faster and more comfortable shoe.
Not only is it as supportive and durable as the previous Adidas Barricade edition, but also the Barricade 2018 excels on all courts (both wooden and outdoors).
The forged mesh upper perfectly fits and hugs the shape of your feet and ensures a more pliable feel. Also, the break-in period is minimal. The shoe offers great foot support and stability. The Adidas Barricade’s strong midfoot shank, secure git and low forefoot provide a high level of support during lateral movement.
As with most Adidas court trainers, abrasion-resistant ADITUFF as used. This wraps around the toe and medial forefoot ensuring that there is minimal drag during lateral movements, volleys, and serves.
The Adidas Barricade 2018 is stable, durable and lighter than its predecessor – Barricade 2017, which is considered among the very best court trainers. The Adidas Barricade 2018 is one step ahead. The only downside is the Barricade’s roomy toe box.
- If you want the best, then the Adidas Barricade 2018 is your best bet. The Barricade line offers superior stability, durability, and traction. You’ll love the elite level of durability, the lateral stability, and foot support offered.
- The Adidas Barricade’s upper material feels soft and flexes excellently.
- It is perfectly balanced and the nice cushioning of the upper result in a quick break-in.
- Some may find the toe box to be a tad too spacious.
K-Swiss Hypercourt Express
- The Hypercourt Express is a lightweight tennis shoe designed for performance and comfort.
- Synthetic Leather Upper
- Textile Collar Lining
- Lace Closure
- Draggaurd Rubber & Aosta Rubber Outsole
Arch Support: Excellent
Foot Support/Stability: Great
The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express is the progression of the Ultra Express, which is incredibly stylish court shoes that are comfortable and offer excellent arch support.
The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express doesn’t fail, it is indeed a huge improvement over the Ultra Express. This improvement seems unfathomable (as the Ultra Express is considered perfection by many) unless you slip on a pair of K-Swiss Hypercourt Express.
The outsole is made with Aosta II high-density rubber which provides excellent traction on the court (including outdoor courts and indoor wooden courts). The outsole features a zigzag pattern which ensures excellent grip. The pivot point featured at the ball of the forefoot ensures you can pivot and change direction very quickly. Also, the drag guard located at the toe protects the toe of the shoe from wear and tear.
The midsole of the K-Swiss Hypercourt Express is well cushioned, thanks to the die-cut EVA midsole. It offers pillow-like comfort. Kswiss also updates the upper. Using Seamfree technology, Kswiss creates a breathable and yet comfortable upper.
The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express offers excellent cushioning, speed, comfort, breathability, and a wide foot room at a great price. While it’s still a very durable pair, the outsole isn’t as durable as both the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2 and the Adidas Barricade 2018. (Both of which are reviewed in this article) Additionally, while the wide foot room is great for most people, persons with narrow feet may find it a tad wide.
- The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express is the best-cushioned pickleball shoe on the market. It is one of the most comfortable shoes for pickleball.
- The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express offers the needed lateral support and cushioning for extended play
- Outsole zigzag pattern replaces lugs allows for excellent traction.
- It offers a lot of wide foot room making it perfect for persons with wide feet.
- The shoe is well-ventilated.
- The outsole could be more durable than it is.
Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2
Arch Support: Excellent
Foot Support/Stability: Great
The best feature of the Ubersonics line of court trainers is its lightning speed. The shoes are light while providing great support and stability. With these shoes on, you will feel as if you are moving at the speed of sound. The Ubersonic 2 is even faster than the original Ubersonic.
Along with foot speed, the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2 is very comfortable thanks to the Prime knit upper which provides a breathable and flexible pair of shoes. The Abrasion-resistant ADITUFF wraps around the toe and medial forefoot and ensures that there is minimal drag during lateral movements, volleys, and serves.
The low-to-ground design of this shoe also helps it to maintain its speed and stability ensuring you lose no grounds. The midsole and outsole remain unchanged from the previous iteration. As such, the full-length ADIPRENE+ midsole is present here and offers extra resilience and lightweight cushioning. Additionally, the all-court outsole is reinforced with mesh to reduce the overall shoe weight.
Upsides of the Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2 includes its fit, feel, traction, support, stability and most importantly – speed.
- The Adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2 fits and feels wonderful. As such, it flexes and moves with your feet.
- It offers excellent traction on both indoor and outdoor courts.
- It is very comfortable. In fact, this pair offers improved upper comfort due to the Primeknit technology incorporated into the construction of the Adizero Ubersonic 2.
- In all, the Adizero Ubersonic 2 is super light and lightning fast.
- Some may find the thin laces used uncomfortable.
Asics Solution Speed FF
Arch Support: Great
Foot Support/Stability: Excellent
As you may have already guessed, the Asics Solution Speed FF is one of the fastest court trainers you can find. The Solution Speed FF uses Asics’ new Gel Solution Speed 3 as the basics for its construction. The Gel Solution Speed features FlyteFoam cushioning and a wider fit for the best court experience. These lightweight shoes have great traction and ensure you have the edge during a game of pickleball.
The outsoles of these shoes are made from AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Resistant) rubber which is tough and provides excellent grip. This allows for quick and responsive lateral movement and spins around the court at high speeds.
The Asics Solution Speed FF features Twisstrust midfoot support. This support encourages lateral twisting and ensures that the player is stable as they dive for balls. The excellent arch support featured here ensures that a wide range of foot types are accommodated with no discomfort. Gel Solution Speed 3 provides dense yet light cushioning which reduces stress and impact to the feet.
The FLEXION FIT upper ensures that the shoe is form-fitting. Additionally, the PGuard toe protector at the forefoot ensures that the toe section is protected from abrasion during toe drags. The upper has two layers of memory foam lined on the heel collar to provide support and protection during sudden direction changes which are common in every pickleball game.
- The Solution Speed FF is comfortable as it provides adequate foot and arch support as well as adequate cushioning.
- The shoe’s flexible stability, excellent traction, low-to-ground responsive feel and instant comfort make it the most robust pickleball and tennis shoes you can find.
- Asics Solution Speed FF is one of the lightest and fastest court trainers you can find, and for its weight, it provides better cushioning than any court shoes on the market.
- The Solution Speed FF requires no break-in period.
- It comes in two variants, the Asics Solution Speed FF LE and the Asics Speed Solution FF Clay.
- The Asics Solution Speed FF could offer a bit more ankle support.
Asics Gel-Challenger 12
- Solyte Midsole Material - A lighter weight midsole compound than ASICS standard EVA and SpEVA midsoles. Also features enhanced cushioning and durability.
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System - Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
- Trusstic System technology - Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe.
- Ortholite Sockliner - Moisture management (Ortholite is a registered trademark of ATP Manufacturing LLC).
- Removable Sockliner - A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
Arch Support: Great
Foot Support/Stability: Good
The Gel-Challenger 12 is probably the best mid-range shoe for pickleball. With a price tag below $100 (as of when this review was written), the Gel-Challenger 12 performs admirably. The outsoles are durable and provide amazing grip. In addition to this, it is really comfortable. The Gel-Challenger 12 is a great pair of shoes for pickleball players who want a budget-friendly pair that are comfortable, lightweight and efficient.
The midsole of this shoe features Solyte Midsole Material which is lighter than EVA and SpEVA midsoles. The cushioning here is excellent and so is durability.
In terms of comfort, the Gel-Challenger 12 features Rearfoot and Forefoot Technology Cushioning System. This technology allows the shoes to absorb shock during impact and attenuate toe-off phases ensures that you can quickly and easily more about. The outsole is made of Asics’s AHAR rubber which is durable and made to last.
Whether on hard courts or wooden courts, the Asics Gel-Challenger 12 offers great traction. Traction that is similar to other high-end Asics tennis shoes such as the Gel Resolution, Court FF and Solution Speed.
- The outsoles of the Gel-Challenger 12 trainers provide an excellent grip on both indoor and outdoor courts.
- The Gel-Challenger 12 is an extremely comfortable pair.
- It is a lightweight pair of tennis shoes. The lightweight nature ensures it is fast enough for the most frantic of pickleball games.
- In summation, the Gel-Challenger 12 is an excellent bargain for its price.
- As time goes on, the upper stretches out.
Best Shoes for Pickleball – Factors to Consider
While I have seen first-time players use running/hiking shoes, these are not recommended for pickleball. Pickleball is a court sport and as such you need court shoes, also known as court trainers. These shoes facilitate lateral movements and provide the adequate foot and arch support needed in a game of pickleball.
What are the advantages of court trainers? Firstly, they provide the needed traction during the fast-paced pickleball. They also cushion the knee, ankle, and heels during the game. Lastly, they are light and fast. Court shoes protect and give you an edge during the game.
The outsole of a court shoe is responsible for providing the traction needed. A firm grip ensures that you are able to stop suddenly without slipping and as such reduces the likelihood of you rolling over your foot and injuring yourself.
When choosing the best shoes for you consider the surface you play on. Outdoor courts do better with all-court tennis shoes, while indoor wooden floor courts do better with indoor volleyball court shoes.
The cushioning and breathability of the shoes dictate just how comfortable they are. Many of the shoes reviewed use the latest cushioning technologies such as the Rearfoot and Forefoot Technology Cushioning System (used by Asics). It’s important to review the amount of cushioning provided by the shoes. Cushioning goes with weight. The shoes must be adequately cushioned while being light and fast.
As many of you already know, durability relates directly to cost. The more durable the court trainers are, the longer you can use them before you need to replace them. Expect top quality pickleball to last between 2 and 12 months. It all depends on the shoe’s composition and your playing style. A toe guard can help prolong the life of the shoes. Also synthetic and mesh materials (which are used for the upper) are soft, fitting, and comfortable but tend to wear faster.
Best Shoes for Pickleball – Final Thoughts
Pickleball is an exciting fast-paced sport that borrows elements from tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. The ball used for this game ensures that the game is unique and very different from any paddle/racket and ball game out there.
To be safe and to enjoy the game, you need to use the right equipment and don the right gear. The shoes are a huge part of this. Court shoes are the best shoes for pickleball as this game is played on outdoor courts. Sneakers and running shoes cannot provide the right kind of support for the side-to-side action involved in pickleball.
In this article, we have reviewed the very best shoes for pickleball.
Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API