Skip to Content

Can You Wear Tennis Shoes for Pickleball?

Tennis shoes in orange background.

Pickleball players at all skill levels want to feel comfortable when they play the game. Competing in the driveway pickleball game with family members or competing in a national tournament requires players to know what to wear if they want to win their game. One important part of the choices that you make is to choose the right shoes.

Can you wear tennis shoes when you play pickleball? Do you play or compete wearing a specific type of shoes or a specific brand of shoes? Do competition or tournament rules indicate any requirements concerning wearing a certain type of shoes or clothing item?

These are just some of the questions that many people are likely to have when they want to know if they can wear tennis shoes or if they have to wear another type of shoes for pickleball.

The Fastest Growing Sport

Just one more game, Printable Vector Illustration.

A 2022 article in the Men’s Health Magazine reported that pickleball is the fastest growing sport “for the second consecutive year.” The popularity of the sport recently started leading local areas and private investors to start pickleball clubs and to build public courts to play pickleball. Many pickleball players are likely to say that it is easy to learn to play pickleball.

The sport provides an exceptional opportunity to meet new people, to have fun with family, socialize with friends or co-workers, or to compete in tournaments. People need to know what to wear when they play pickleball. Can you wear whatever you want to wear?

Is there a particular style of clothing and shoes to put on when you play the fastest growing sport in the U.S.?

What to Wear, What to Wear?

Lacing up tennis shoes.

Read five personal blog posts or talk to five different people about what to wear when playing pickleball, including the type of shoes that you should wear, and you are likely to receive five different answers. Are you new to pickleball and have no idea what type of clothing to wear? Do you wonder if any shoes are okay, or if there are shoes specifically designated for pickleball players?

You are not alone. Some people who already play pickleball likely do not wear the right clothes or shoes for the game. Check out what experts have to say about the clothing to wear for comfort, and the best type of shoes that you should wear for safety, for comfort, and to have a long-lasting pickleball shoe.

USA Pickleball suggests that “just about anything comfortable and appropriate for the climate” is a good choice for what to wear for pickleball. Some suggestions include tee shirts and athletic shorts, wicking apparel or sweat pants. Women often wear an athletic skirt or a tennis skirt or dress with a moisture-wicking top.

Pickleball Master Course by Steve Dawson ($199)

Men often choose running shorts or tennis shorts and a moisture-wicking shirt. The organization indicates that running shoes or sneakers are not a good choice for the type of shoes for an individual to wear when playing pickleball. Sneakers and running shoes do not supply the necessary support for the essential side-to-side action of pickleball.

People who wear tennis shoes or running shoes are likely to discover more than the lack of support in these types of shoes. They wear out fast after just a short time of playing on a pickleball court, whether you play on an inside or an outdoor court.

Wearing the Right Shoes to Play Pickleball

Some regular pickleball players and experts explain the importance of choosing the right shoes for pickleball and the benefits of wearing them. A post on The Pickler reveals that wearing proper footwear when playing on a pickleball court is often “the last thing on a lot of pickleball players’ minds.” This is especially true for beginning players.

Do not think only about the importance of buying pickleball clothing and buying a good paddle to play with, or you may learn about the issues caused by not taking the time or effort to choose the proper footwear. Think about the movements that you make when playing pickleball. You twist, turn, shuffle, and make other movements.

Wearing the proper athletic shoes provides stability and likely helps to prevent injuries when you play pickleball. It is important to wear the right shoes whether you play at an outdoor recreation center, a backyard game, or whether you play in a professional pickleball tournament. Forget your cute tennis shoes and your cool running shoes when preparing for playing pickleball, no matter your skill level.

Court Shoes for the Pickleball Game

HEAD Men's Sonic 2000 MID Racquetball/Squash Indoor Court Shoes (Non-Marking) (Black/Blue) 7.5 (D) US

Court shoes are a better choice, compared to tennis shoes, running shoes, or other types of shoes that do not protect you when you make the fast twists, stops, and turns made during pickleball. Choose court shoes and you have a great athletic shoe designed for indoor court play. What should you look for if you want a good pair of court shoes for playing pickleball on an indoor court?

Court shoes are not as bulky as tennis shoes. The shoes bend at the toe box and not at the middle of the shoes. Purchase a pair of court shoes and you have a pair of shoes that support your feet during the lateral movements of pickleball play.

Court shoes, compared to tennis shoes or running shoes, provide greater support at the sides of the shoes, rather than at the top of the shoes.

Five Reasons Why You Need Pickleball Shoes

Skechers Women's Viper Court-Athletic Indoor Outdoor Pickleball Shoes with Arch Fit Support Sneakers, White/Lavender, 8

Yes, there really are shoes designed specifically for playing pickleball. Several brands now make pickleball shoes. Invest in a pair of pickleball shoes for your indoor game and another pair for playing pickleball on an outdoor court.

The first reason that you need shoes specifically made for pickleball is for your safety. Pickleball shoes are made to provide stability during all those fast-paced twists and turns on the pickleball court. Companies that design and manufacture pickleball shoes help to provide pickleball players with the proper structure and responsive features to maximize safety on the pickleball court.

Pickleball shoes provide traction that you need so that you have a great grip on the pickleball court. Look for pickleball shoes and discover how the tread pattern helps to provide for the multi-directional pickleball game movements. You do not have to worry about slipping or sliding on the court when you have the benefit of the traction provided in a pair of pickleball shoes.

The shock-absorbing cushioning feature of pickleball shoes helps to prevent injuries, protects your feet, and helps to maximize your comfort. You have the benefit of cushioning that helps to lessen the impact of your every landing. Nike advises you to look for styles that have responsive cushioning, particularly under the ball of your foot.

Comfort is important for any shoes that you put on your feet. Companies that make pickleball shoes realize the importance of comfort on the pickleball court. Making shoes breathable, with good ventilation and quick-drying abilities helps to provide essential comfort.

Some companies design their pickleball shoes with removable insoles and offer a specially designed comfort fit. Technology found its way into pickleball shoes. Look for shoes from brands that offer information on data that is related to their pickleball shoes.

Consider technology features that help to prevent toe drag, that offers optimized technology for lateral movements and enhanced safety features. Pickleball shoe manufacturers often have their own technology, such as the Skechers technology, with the Goodyear® Performance Outsole, or the GEL technology of Asics pickleball shoes. Improve your performance when you choose a proper pair of pickleball shoes.

The combined safety features, traction, responsive cushioning, comfort, and technology are likely to help you feel confident and to optimize your pickleball game or tournament.