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Are Tennis Shoes Good for Pickleball? All You Need to Know

Are Tennis Shoes Good for Pickleball? All You Need to Know

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of court shoes to choose from with various styles and designs that suit different needs. Some might be designed for tennis and work perfectly for pickleball, while others could be designed specifically for pickleball. In this article, I’ll discuss: are tennis shoes good for pickleball?

Tennis shoes are generally suitable for pickleball as they are lightweight, and easy to wear. These athletic shoes are designed for court use and provide stability from all sides. It is important to wear proper shoes that can help run on the court and prevent the feet from twisting.

Court shoes are an essential part of the game. Pickleball is a fun game that, like tennis, requires you to be on your toes all day. Therefore, you need a shoe that can withstand harsh conditions and provide the foot with enough support and comfort. Stay along the article to find out more insights.

Types of Shoes to Play Pickleball:

Two types of shoes are considered ideal for the pickleball game. One is tennis shoes, and the other one is court shoes. These shoes offer maximum grip, structure, and stability to the feet and are effective for pickleball players.

1. Court Shoes:

Court shoes are considered the best option for pickleball players. These are simple athletic shoes that are designed for indoor court use. Here we will discuss some basics of these shoes, including:

  • Court shoes have a sole that is made of rubber.
  • These shoes provide stability to all sides of the foot.
  • These shoes have the capability of bending at the toe box.
  • These are not bulky like tennis shoes and are designed specifically for indoor court use.
  • A player can play any indoor court game after wearing these shoes. Court shoes go well with any sport like badminton, racquetball, squash, and volleyball.
  • These shoes are recommended after testing and reviewing. They are less expensive than tennis shoes.
  • The rubber sole in this shoe allows the players to play with grip on the gymnasium floors. The rubber sole prevents sliding on indoor court surfaces.

2. Tennis Shoes:

Tennis shoes are also an excellent option for pickleball players. Players can wear these indoor court shoes while playing any racquet sport like pickleball. These shoes also perform well on outdoor courts. Some of the basics of these tennis shoes are:

  • These shoes have a flat sole and black rubber.
  • Tennis shoes are heavier than other shoes and are bulky.
  • These shoes offer strong stability from all sides.
  • Tennis shoes bend at the toe box instead of the middle region.
  • These shoes are significantly designed for tennis court use.

In the discussion of selecting the best shoes for a pickleball game, the type of shoe depends on the playing condition of the player.

Only two kinds of shoes are recommended for indoor gymnasiums and outdoor play: the court and tennis shoes. The tennis shoes, in this aspect, work well for both situations. However, you can check the shoe type and brand before selecting tennis shoes.

Benefits of Tennis Shoes:

Running and training shoes are designed for a limited range of motion, including forwarding and backward motions. Sometimes in pickleball games, lateral moves are tried by the player, and such shoes help to handle the critical conditions.

Tennis shoes are designed after considering the midsole, outsole, toe box, and tread. A player can put their weight on the football and try pivoting the left or right in running shoes. Pickleball shoes are associated with stability and help to follow the range of motion, twisting, and pivoting in the game.

This keeps the foot level stable and in a leveled position and avoids the risk of turning the ankle.

Tennis Shoes Specifications


Tread pattern

  • The tread pattern on the pickleball shoe is mostly a herringbone design. It includes a squiggly pattern with lines at the shoe's bottom under the forefoot and heel.

  • The tread allows you to start and stop quickly, lunge, pivot, and back-pedal. It also helps to exert the weight over the other parts of the pickleball shoe. These shoes are designed to transfer the weight from the heel or midfoot to the toes.

Stability shank

  • Pickleball shoes feature a plastic shank that aids in keeping the foot stable. It runs in between the cushioning of the heel and outsole. The shank runs from the back of the shoe to the forefoot.

  • It is visible from all sides of the shoes and underneath of shoe. In addition, some of the shoes feature an additional plastic heel counter that restricts the movements from the heel and ankle.


  • Running or pickleball shoes often features a slant region called heel-toe drop. The heel of the shoe is higher than the toe box. The pickleball shoes have zero millimeter heel-toe drop that allows one to pivot on heels or forefoot in which weight is entirely distributed from one area to another.

  • This low-to-ground effect makes it hard to find the pickleball shoe with
    arch support. Some people require additional arch support to compensate for the pronation, supination, and plantar fasciitis issues.

  • All the insoles in the pickleball shoes are removable that offer a combination of heightened arch support and cushioning. As a result, it is much safe to wear a pickleball shoe with high arch support.


  • The rubber outsole is another component of a pickleball shoe. It ensures durability over frequent use. Rubber outsoles are harder than athletic shoes' other types of the outsole.

  • These outsoles wear down at a much slower rate than the non-pickleball shoes. Hard rubber is used between the plastic shank that ensures durability and offers the benefits of stability, injury prevention, and increased range of motion.

Shoes to Avoid During Playing Pickleball:

Some shoes should be avoided during the pickleball game to prevent injuries. These shoes include:

  • General running shoes
  • Lounge shoes
  • Hiking boots
  • Open shoes
  • Trail running shoes

These shoes might include all your closets, but these are in the eliminated category. The reason behind their elimination is that these shoes have higher chances of getting injured, so these must be avoided.

Although there is less running in the pickleball game, it still doesn't mean that a player cannot get injured in this game. There are many scenarios in which the players have faced rolling their ankles due to the wrong selection of shoes for the pickleball game.

The right type of shoes for any sports activity reduces the chance of injuries and rolling of ankles.

Qualities of Good Pickleball Shoes:

Are Tennis Shoes Good for Pickleball

A person should look for several qualities before purchasing a pickleball shoe. Some of them are:

  • Sole of the shoe
  • Heel and cushion support of a shoe

1. Sole of the Shoe:

A player must check out the sole before purchasing the pickleball shoe. The indoor courts of such sports are slippery, so buying a shoe with natural gum rubber soles is better.

However, the stiff gum sole is preferred for outdoor courts. You can also check out the comfort level and stability of the shoe on the courts.

2. Heel and Cushion Support of Shoe:

Pickleball also requires running and movement, so there are chances of twisting and jumping on the courts. This can lead to stress on the knees, back, and ankles while playing on hard surfaces courts. Therefore, looking for extra cushioning in your shoe is preferred to protect yourself from twisting.

Tennis shoes are considered pickleball-specific shoes. These running shoes are built in a way that helps the player move in one direction. These shoes are designed for multi-directional movement that offers support and lateral stability.

Tennis shoes are ideal for pickleball players. It is essential to wear combination shoes that can be used for outdoor and indoor places. Pickleball shoes are designed for the court surfaces for optimal performance.

Outdoor shoes should have a modified herringbone pattern. It provides a perfect blend of grip on the surface.

On the other hand, indoor court shoes feature soft and thin outsole in various tread patterns. These are optimized for an ultimate grip and offer lightweight shoes. So, wearing the proper shoe on outdoor and indoor court surfaces is mandatory.

Can I Wear Running Shoes to Play Pickleball?

Fitting the Pickleball Shoe:

One of the players’ most prominent problems on pickleball courts is improper-fitting shoes. It is becoming a trend of online shopping, due to which people face the issue of fitting in some cases. But, unfortunately, there is no option to try the shoe and check how it feels after wearing them. So, measurements and fitting matter a lot in this aspect.

If you want that your tennis shoes last longer than usual, the cleaning and care process also matters. Your tennis shoes can last longer if you handle them with great care. It is better to wash them and dry them to ensure the integrity of shoe components.

It helps to achieve the maximum lifespan of shoes. However, avoiding washing the shoes in the washing machine is recommended as detergents and heat are harmful to the glue that holds the different parts of the shoe together.

You can clean the upper dirty area with a soft brush and mild soap. You can also use a mild all-purpose cleaner or a dish soap. Along with shoes, shoe laces should also be kept clean.

You can separately clean them after removing the shoe laces and can replace them too. The best way to dry the wet running or tennis shoes is to let them air-dry.

Also Read:

Is Pickleball Easier Than Tennis? All You Need to Know
Does Pickleball Require Running? All You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are the best sneakers to wear for a pickleball game?

 The best snickers for pickleball games are:

  • Asics GEL-Challenger sneakers, which are best for shock absorption
  • The Rogger advantage tennis sneaker is best as court shoes.
  • New balance fuel cell V4 Hardcourt, which are best as knitted sneakers.
  • Nike Court Zoom Vapor Pro Tennis shoes, which are best as lightweight sneakers

Why should a person wear tennis shoes for playing pickleball?

It is advisable to wear tennis shoes during playing pickleball as it is a sturdy shoe that improves the safety level on the courts. These shoes allow the person to be stable on the courts while moving, prevent sudden accidents, and absorb shocks.

What should a player wear for the outdoor pickleball game?

The best choice of shoes to wear for the pickleball game is tennis shoes. These kinds of shoes are best for the dedicated outdoor player. However, if you are an indoor player, you can choose the pair of shoes you wear while playing other racquet sports like badminton and squash.

Can a player wear walking shoes for playing pickleball?

Walking or running shoes are not recommended for playing pickleball as they are not designed for multi-directional movement. Instead, court shoes are recommended for the pickleball game, as they can minimize the risk of injury and improve the overall court performance.

What is the difference between outdoor and indoor pickleball shoes?

Indoor court shoes support the players on the hardwood surfaces of the courts for games like pickleball, badminton, and volleyball. On the other hand, outdoor court shoes help to play on the rough surfaces of games like tennis.

Which attire and shoes are recommended for playing a pickleball game?

It is recommended to wear comfortable court shoes that supply the right kind of support and side-to-side action in pickleball. Eye protection is also recommended for the players. Players can also wear other accessories like sweatbands, sweat-shirts, and light jackets to keep themselves safe from outdoor play.

Why are tennis shoes recommended for the pickleball game?

Tennis shoes are recommended to ensure safety, stability, and sturdiness on the pickleball courts. These shoes allow a person to be more stable during moving on the courts and absorb the shock during sudden injuries and accidents.

Can a player wear running shoes for the pickleball game?

It is recommended not to wear running shoes are they are not designed for the multi-directional movement on courts. Tennis shoes, in this aspect, are highly recommended for pickleball games as they offer stability for lateral movements and can accommodate quick starts and stops.

Is a pickleball game recommended for weight loss?

The Pickleball game is similar to tennis but is less aggressive. It involves some moderate exercise and keeps the body active and sturdy. Pickleball game can contribute to weight loss and helps to burn some fat that leads to obesity.