The Best Pickleball Shoes of 2022

In the market for a pair of pickleball shoes? Then there are some things you need to know! You’ll thank yourself for reading through our post before purchasing your first pair of shoes. If you bought the first shoes you came across, it will likely have cost you more in the long run.

I, for one, have been guilty of this in the past, but no more!

In this post, I will break down everything you need to know about pickleball shoes and provide some of my favorite options. I’ll cover both men’s pickleball shoes and women’s shoes, so everyone is covered. Enjoy!

Featured products

Asics Men’s Gel-Challenger 12 Tennis Shoes — Best Men’s Shoe

Asics Women’s Sky Elite FlyteFoam Mid Top Court Shoes — Best Women’s Shoe

Nike Men’s Court Lite 2 Tennis Shoe — Longest Warranty Period

Our Research Parameters

Ping Pong ruler is independent and not pressured by manufacturers to recommend products. We were not paid for the reviews in this article. These pickleball shoes were selected by our team, who have over 25 years of experience playing golf and hundreds of hours reviewing products. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase something through our retail links.

Best Pickleball Shoes for Men

1. K-Swiss Men’s Express Light Pickleball Shoe

pickleball shoes

Specifications

Type of shoe: Pickleball

Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors

Available sizes: 7-13

Available colors: Black/lollipop, highrise/navy, barely blue/white/brilliant blue-black, strong blue/neon citron

Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Durawrap protects against toe-dragging
  • Highly breathable

Cons

  • Sizes run a little small
  • No removable insoles

Rating: 9.4

As one of the few shoes designed specifically for pickleball, the K-Swiss Express Light is a shoe that you should certainly consider. Special EVA foam supports the midsole giving you high levels of comfort while extending the shoe’s durability.

The outsole is also very durable as it is made from a high-density rubber compound with a modified herringbone grip. The Express Light even has a durawrap guard on the upper part of the shoe to protect against toe-dragging — a movement many players are guilty of.

Another area we love is breathability. The open-cell structure of the Ortholite foam helps to wick away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry.

2. Asics Men’s Gel-Challenger 12 Tennis Shoes — Best Men’s Shoe

pickleball shoes

Specifications

Type of shoe: Tennis

Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors

Available sizes: 7-14

Available colors: White/silver, black/silver, cherry tomato/black, mako blue/gunmetal, white/peacoat

Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Lightweight Solyte™ midsole
  • Very comfortable
  • Removable insole

Cons

  • None

Rating: 9.7

One of the advantages of the Gel-Challenger 12 over other Asics shoes is the Solyte™ midsole material. It is much lighter than standard Asics EVA and SpEVA midsoles, yet it provides great cushioning. And as with other Asics shoes, the rearfoot and forefoot are very comfortable due to the GEL technology cushioning system. You even can remove the insole for the use of a medical orthotic. So all of your bases are really covered in terms of comfort.

Other great features include the Trusstic System, which enhances grip to prevent overtwisting, leading to injuries. And also the AHARPLUS outsole, which mitigates wear and tear. I couldn’t find any issues with this pair of shoes, and trust me, I looked hard! Therefore, this makes the Gel-Challenger 12 the best court shoes for pickleball.

3. Nike Men’s Court Lite 2 Tennis Shoe — Longest Warranty Period

pickleball shoes

Specifications

Type of shoe: Tennis

Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors

Available sizes: 9.5-15

Available colors: White/black-white, black/white – white, white/black – white – university gold

Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Multiple colors available
  • Thousands of happy buyers

Cons

  • Not particularly comfortable
  • Poor arch support

Rating: 8.8

Nike’s Court 2 Lite shoes are designed for hard courts and feature an EVA midsole and rubber outsole. While they are not the most comfortable shoes you can buy, they provide plenty of support which we believe is more important. The outsole uses 5 specific patterns to accommodate the 5 basic movements that new players must master.

The arch support isn’t the best on the Court 2 lite shoes, but you can always add insoles if you find they are not a great fit.

4. Head Men’s Grid 2.0 Low Racquetball/Squash Indoor Court Shoes

pickleball shoes

Specifications

Type of shoe: Racquetball/squash

Indoors/Outdoors: Indoors

Available sizes: 7.5-13

Available colors: Black/white, white/navy

Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Long warranty period

Cons

  • Plain looking

Rating: 9.1

The Head Grid 2.0 shoe may be marketed for racquetball and squash, but it makes for a great shoe for pickleball. Head’s Cooling System™ keeps your feet cool by absorbing and releasing excess heat. Yet the mesh coverage is not so widespread that it would negatively affect longevity.

Also present in the shoes is Head’s Hybrasion technology™. It’s a high abrasion compound rubber formula designed for the susceptible areas of the sole, and it also provides significant toe-drag protection. As such, you can expect this pair of shoes to last for a long time.

Best Pickleball Shoes for Women

1. Asics Women’s Sky Elite FlyteFoam Mid Top Court Shoes — Best Women’s Shoe

pickleball shoes

Specifications

Type of shoe: Volleyball

Indoors/Outdoors: Indoors

Available sizes: 6-14

Available colors: White/pure silver, electric blue/white, white/laser pink, white frosted almond

Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Lightweight and springy midsole
  • Very comfortable
  • Removable insole

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A little narrow

Rating: 9.3

The Sky Elite Flytefoam is one of Asics most advanced women’s shoes. It is no surprise that it uses Asics TRUSSTIC™ technology, which is a staple of their shoes. It helps to stabilize the foot to prevent excessive twisting. You also get the standard Gel technology at the rear of the foot, which is of particular help when landing from smashes.

One of the less common features we like is the midsole which uses FluidRide™ technology. This incorporates a mix of Solyte™ and SpEVA™ to get both a lightweight and spongey midsole. You can also remove the insole if you want to use your own.

We don’t see many issues with this shoe. The cost is expensive but worth the money. Perhaps a bigger drawback is sizing. We found that they run a little narrow.

2. Asics Women’s Gel-Game 8 Tennis Shoes

pickleball shoes

Specifications

Type of shoe: Tennis

Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors

Available sizes: 5-12

Available colors: Murasaki/white, white/light indigo, white/black, white/blazing coral, peacoat/pure silver, pink cameo/white

Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Highly breathable
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Very comfortable

Cons

  • No mention of whether the soles are removable

Rating: 9.1

The focus of the Gel-Game 8 is to maximize breathability and flexibility. It uses an open mesh design to keep your feet cool. These synthetic leather overlays and a polyurethane film are paired to enhance firmness when making quick movements. As with the other Asics shoes that made this list, TRUSSTIC™ technology is also present. The gel support at the forefoot helps keep you comfortable when you are on your toes and prevents you from over twisting.

Pickleball Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Unfortunately, there are very few types of shoes specifically designed for pickleball. This forces us to look to similar sports to get the most suitable footwear.

Indoor Pickleball Shoes

Indoor pickleball is often played on indoor gym courts made from wood. This means you need a really grippy shoe because the floor can be somewhat slippery. Try to choose a shoe from a similar sport such as badminton or volleyball. These sports use similar courts and have similar lateral movement patterns. This makes them great choices for pickleball.

Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Playing on concrete wears away at your pickleball sneakers, so you need a pair with high durability. Your mind may go straight to running shoes, but we recommend avoiding these. Running shoes are built for forward motion with heavy impacts on the heels.

As such, they lack the support needed for lateral movement. They also have thicker soles at the heels and thinner soles at the ball than what is ideal for pickleball.

Tennis shoes, on the other hand, are the perfect fit! The court and movement patterns are similar to pickleball, and so are the shoe requirements. And the great thing is, there’s ample supply so that any great pair can serve as pickleball court shoes.

Comfort

With movements in all directions, your feet take quite a bit of punishment during pickleball. The best shoes for pickleball provide just the right amount of padding and support to keep them lightweight yet comfortable.

Breathability

Pickleball is a fairly demanding sport, and you’ll likely sweat a lot — especially if you’re playing in hot, humid conditions. So do yourself a favor and purchase a pair of court shoes for pickleball that are breathable. Your feet will thank you for it.

If you want to learn a little more about choosing the correct pickleball shoes, I recommend checking out the video below. This gent does a great job breaking down the basics.

FAQs

What Kind of Shoes Should You Wear for Pickleball?

Any kind of sports shoe that mimics the conditions of pickleball is perfect. For outdoor pickleball, tennis shoes are the best choice. And for indoors, badminton, squash, and volleyball shoes are all good choices.

What Is the Difference Between a Partial Herringbone Tread Pattern vs Full Herringbone?

A full herringbone tread pattern is a tread with a zigzag design perpendicular to the direction of your feet. It’s primarily used for clay courts and provides optimal grip when traveling forwards and backward. However, it isn’t well suited to pickleball as it is usually played on asphalt or concrete. Instead, you are better off using shoes with a partial herringbone tread pattern. These shoes use a mixed tread design to cater to movements in all directions.

Can You Wear Tennis Shoes for Pickleball?

Tennis shoes are great for pickleball. This is because you play tennis on a very similar court, and the movement is almost identical, just on a smaller scale. Remember that pickleball tennis shoes are best suited for outdoor pickleball, not indoor pickleball.

What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Shoes?

While it used to be easy to tell indoor and outdoor shoes apart, the lines have become blurred of late. Indoor shoes used to be made almost entirely of organic gum, with outdoor shoes instead of using resilient synthetic rubber. However, these days many shoes use various blends of both for indoor and outdoor shoes.

Often an outdoor shoe is fairly easy to identify from its style. Nonetheless, we always recommend checking out the shoe’s product description to be sure.

Final Thoughts – Which Shoes Do We Recommend?

We have no trouble recommending any of the pickleball shoes on this list as we found all of them to be very high quality. However, there were a few pairs that stood out to us.

Our favorite pickleball shoe for men is the Asics Men’s Gel-Challenger 12. It’s an outdoor shoe that is well supported, breathable, and comes in 5 different colors, so there is a pair to fit everyone’s preferred style. We couldn’t find any issues with it, so it takes the number 1 spot overall.

As for the top pickleball shoes for women, we credit the Asics Women’s Sky Elite FlyteFoam MT. They may be a touch more expensive than the other shoes on this list but are well worth the money. They look incredible and are packed with advanced Asics tech such as TRUSSTIC™ and FluidRide™, which helps keep the shoe light and springy while preventing over twisting. Please note this is an indoor shoe, so if you are playing outdoors instead, consider the Asics Women’s Gel-Game 8. We love that shoe too!

Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.