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Choosing the Right Pickleball Shoe

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Over the last few years, pickleball has become extremely popular. In fact, pickleball is considered one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, the sport has seen a 650% increase in numbers over the last six years, according to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA).

With its rise in popularity, many new pickleball shoes have hit the market from top brands like K-Swiss, Fila, Asics, Nike, & Wilson. Today we are going to take a look at what to look for when you are buying your next pair of pickleball shoes as well as our top 5 pickleball shoes for 2021.

How to Choose the Right Shoe for Pickleball

A Cushioned Midsole

While playing pickleball, you’ll be jumping, running from point to point, and jumping up and down a lot. These quick movements can put a lot of stress on your knees and feet if you’re not wearing the proper shoes.

The best pickleball shoes feature a cushioned midsole (usually made out of foam or EVA) to provide protection from impacts and overall comfort.

Solid Lateral Support

The most common injury in pickleball and tennis is a twisted ankle. The ankle is one of the most vulnerable parts of the foot and you place a lot of stress on it while playing pickleball.

While you’re sprinting back and forth across the court to get to a ball, you’ll want to make sure your pickleball shoe has a solid base and structured midsole which provides sturdy support to ensure you’ll be safe during quick changes in direction.


Many indoor pickleball and tennis courts won’t even let you on the court without a shoe featuring a non-marking sole. This is simply because they don’t want you to ruin the court while playing.

Most of the top tennis and volleyball shoes feature this but you should still double check to make sure they are non-marking before buying a pickleball shoe for indoor courts.

Check the Weight

One last thing to remember when choosing the best pickleball shoe is to look at the weight. While the weight will vary depending on your shoe size, you will want to compare weights across several different shoes.

Many volleyball shoes weigh in at or under 9 oz while some tennis shoes can be upwards of 1 lb. Typically, a heavier shoe will provide more support while you’ll move faster on the court with a lighter pickleball shoe.

It really depends on what you need from your pickleball shoe. Are you worried about injuries? Don’t worry about the weight then – instead go for a pickleball shoe that gives you plenty of support.

Are you worried about not being able to move quickly? Go with a light pickleball shoe that still features good support.

Midwest Sports’ Top 5 Pickleball Shoes for 2021

K-Swiss Express Light

K-Swiss is the first brand to introduce a court shoe specifically designed for Pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The Express Light Pickleball was created to give players a comfortable, lightweight, breathable shoe that supports on-court movement and performance needed for the sport. It is an all-around shoe, perfect for the new or frequent player.

Fila Volley Zone

The Volley Zone, FILA’s first performance pickleball shoe, features a herringbone rubber outsole for added traction and durability, pivot areas in the forefront of the shoe for added traction, and Energized midsole for extra cushioning.

Asics Gel Challenger 12

This shoe features a Solyte midsole, rearfoot and forefoot Gel Cushioning systems for maximum comfort, along with Trusstic technology that gives the shoe its impressive stability. The upper fit has a personal heel fit system in the collar and excellent support with an extended Flexion Fit forefoot and synthetic leather midfoot brace for improved stability.

Nike Air Max Volley

The Air Max Volley from Nike is designed to contour a player's foot. It has a sleek profile that will keep your feet comfortable and locked down. The Air Max Volley features an adaptive fit with a stitched down the center seam from heel to toe. Cushioned comfort thanks to a visible “Max Air” unit in the heel that helps absorb impact.

Adidas Court Jam Bounce

This shoe offers out of the box comfort and match readiness, and features a lightweight, breathable upper, TPU and mesh on the toe cap for durability, a newly engineered vamp construction with Bounce technology for cushioning and comfort, and adiwear rubber for ultimate durability.

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