I often get asked what shoes are best for pickleball. Well, I am the absolute worst person to ask because I tend to put more weight on fashion than function. When people ask me what shoes, I wear I usually answer with, “The one that matches my outfit.” When I first started playing, I truly was more concerned about being color-coordinated than avoiding injury so, in the beginning, I was mostly wearing my Zumba shoes. I tried to find appropriate footwear but most of them were clunky and just not comfortable. I resorted to wearing my Zumba shoes because they allowed me to comfortably move forward and laterally and they allowed me to twist and turn on the pickleball court. However, as I continued to play more, I noticed that my shoes weren’t lasting as long. My Zumba shoes are designed for wearing in the dance studio and, as comfortable as they are, they’re just not ideal for extended wear on an outdoor court surface.
Anyway, I’ve bought and tried a lot of shoes since and I have some favorites but, before I tell you which ones they are, I think you should hear from one of our local pickleball players who is actually an expert on these things.
Cody Barnett is an orthopedic physical therapist and founder of Bodyworx Physical Therapy and Concussion Center. He graduated from Wichita State University (Go, Shockers!) and has been helping people overcome pain and injury since 1991. I would definitely take his advice over mine.
That said, if you still want to know which shoes are my favorite, here they are:
The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 is my absolute favorite. I tried them at the recommendation of a friend and immediately fell in love. There was no break-in period. They were comfortable the moment I first put them on.
I’m actually on my second pair of these. My first pair lasted about seven months before the uppers ripped probably from too much wear. These were my go-to shoes and I wore them all the time.
They’re only guaranteed for a couple of months but when I contacted K-Swiss they were nice enough to send me a 40% OFF code on a replacement pair. I ordered two pairs (one white and one gray) this time around because I figured I would probably need to replace them in another seven months. I believe these shoes meet all the criteria that Cody mentioned in the video. I absolutely and unequivocally recommend these. They are absolutely amazing.
The Wilson RUSH PRO 3.0 are my second favorite. These are super comfortable. I just love how these feel. I’m not sure if you’ve checked our Deals and Discounts page but, if you order these directly from Wilson.com, you can use discount code KAS-300 to get 30% OFF. If you know me, I never pay full price for anything if I can help it, so do not ever buy anything online without checking our Deals and Discounts page first.
I have a bunch of other shoes that are quite comfortable and I have them mostly to coordinate with various outfits but these two shoes are my absolute go-to shoes for pickleball.
Although, I do like my Zumba sneakers also because they are super lightweight and they are very colorful (in fact, I have them in colors that match every color of Dura ball available). They just don’t last very long when worn continuously for extended periods on outdoor court surface but, if you’re playing mostly inside, they’re actually pretty good. You can get the Zumba sneakers from Zumba.com and save 10% OFF by using savings code CHING.
I have a friend (Debbie) who swears by Brooks running shoes. I have some of those too (for matching with different outfits) and I do like them but I don’t find them as comfortable as my K-Swiss or Wilsons for pickleball. My friend Donnie also recently fell in love with Babolat court shoes. I have a pair of Babolats but I’m not sure I got the right kind or size because they do not feel all that comfortable to me.
What about you? What shoes do you like to wear for pickleball? Post your favorites in the comments.