As someone who has hosted beginner sessions of pickleball at the local community center and tennis club, I have seen first-hand the dangers of wearing the wrong kinds of shoes when playing pickleball. I’ve seen numerous injuries — rolled ankles, ruptured Achilles’ tendons, pulled hamstrings, strains, sprains, and more — many of which may have been prevented with proper footwear.
Leave the walking shoes, running shoes, and cross-trainers at home when playing pickleball. They are designed specifically to support your forward motion — not side-to-side movement with quick stops and starts.
The best shoe for pickleball is a court shoe or tennis shoe — one that has great comfort, grip, ankle support, rubber soles, and a tread pattern conducive to quick lateral movements. Keep in mind, a good pair of pickleball shoes will not last forever. A general rule-of-thumb is that pickleball shoes for outdoor play should be replaced after approximately 60 hours of play — or 3 to 4 months, depending on how often you play.
Remember there are indoor and outdoor court shoes. When playing indoor a rubber sole is best to avoid slipping on the timber floors.
Indeed, pickleball shoes and tennis shoes are very similar as both sports require similar movements and quick bursts around the court. Shoe brands, to their credit, have recently begun introducing shoes that are designed and marketed specifically for pickleball.
Women can also make use of netball shoes (Indoor and outdoor depending on where you play pickleball) when which are also desgined for side to side movement with quick stops and starts.
1. Wear the right shoes.
2. Remember to warm up and cool down after pickleball. Check out these excellent stretches.