Pickleball player from the waist down wearing turquoise shoes, red shorts, with a yellow paddle on a green court.

What Type of Shoes Are Best for Pickleball?

by Mark Paigen 6 minute read
Explore the best shoes for pickleball and learn how specialized insoles can boost your on court performance.

The Basics: TL;DR ---

  • Key Shoe Features for Pickleball
    • Traction. Essential for quick, agile movements on the court.
    • Support. Provides stability and reduces the risk of ankle rolls.
    • Cushioning. Key for comfort and impact absorption during play.
    • Durability. Withstands the demands of frequent, intense games.
    • Fit. Ensures the shoe remains secure and comfortable throughout the game.
      The Benefits of Insoles for Pickleball Shoes
      • Better Support. Enhance foot stability and support during play.
      • Better Shock Absorption. Significantly reduce impact on the feet.
      • Improved Alignment. Ensure feet are correctly positioned, reducing strain.
      • Reduced Fatigue. Alleviate foot stress, allowing for longer play without discomfort.
      • Pace and Dash Models. Designed to improve alignment, reduce injury, and boost performance, Tread Labs' Pace and Dash insoles are ideal for pickleball players.

        What You Need To Know---

        For pickleball, key shoe features include traction for agility, support to prevent ankle injuries, cushioning for comfort and impact absorption, durability for intense play, and a good fit for consistent comfort.

        Adding performance insoles like Tread Labs' Pace and Dash models further enhances these benefits. These insoles provide better support and shock absorption, improve foot alignment, and reduce fatigue, making them ideal for pickleball players looking to boost their game and reduce injury risk.

         Shop Insoles

        Table of Contents


        The Rise of Pickleball and the Importance of Proper Footwear

        Pickleball, a sport that blends elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has rapidly grown in popularity, attracting players of all ages and skill levels. This fast-paced game requires quick reflexes, agility, and strategic play. In such a dynamic sport, the right footwear is not just a matter of comfort but a crucial component for peak performance and injury prevention.

        Choosing the appropriate shoes and insoles can significantly impact a player's ability to move efficiently on the court, maintain balance during fast exchanges, and enjoy the game with reduced risk of foot-related discomfort or injuries. This article explores the essential role of footwear in pickleball, guiding players to make informed choices for their athletic needs.

        pickleball player

        What Types of Shoes Are Best for Pickleball?

        For pickleball, court shoes are the best choice. They're made for court surfaces, offering the right traction for quick moves. They balance cushioning and stability, perfect for the game's fast pace.

        Are running shoes ok for pickleball?

        Pickleball requires shoes that support side-to-side action in addition to forward motion. Hiking and running shoes are designed exclusively for forward motion and do not provide the lateral support needed in pickleball. Court shoes meet pickleball's specific needs better than other athletic footwear like running shoes, aiding performance and reducing injury risks.

        Is there a difference between tennis court shoes and pickleball shoes?

        Pickleball shoes and tennis shoes share many similarities. Both are designed for rapid lateral movements and both feature durable outsoles for stability, extra cushioning for sharp movements, and midsoles built for durability.

        They differ primarily in their design for specific court surfaces. Indoor pickleball shoes have soles suitable for gym floors, while outdoor tennis shoes are made for harder, more abrasive courts. While tennis shoes can be used for pickleball on outdoor courts, shoes specifically designed for pickleball are better suited for both indoor and outdoor courts.

        What pickleball shoes are good for knees?

        For players concerned about knee health, choosing pickleball shoes with excellent shock absorption will help reduce stress on knees. Performance insoles like the Pace and Dash models from Tread Labs will improve body alignment and significantly enhance shock absorption, supporting knee health. These insoles can be especially beneficial for players with existing knee conditions or those looking to prevent knee pain.

        What pickleball shoes are good for plantar fasciitis?

        For pickleball players with plantar fasciitis, it's crucial to choose shoes that provide exceptional arch support. Look for shoes with a well-structured arch support system to reduce strain on the plantar fascia. A deep heel cup in the shoe can also help alleviate pressure and pain. Many people suffering from plantar fasciitis find that quality insoles with provide firm arch support significantly improve comfort and reduce symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis during play.

        Key Features of Pickleball Shoes:

        • Traction. Essential for quick movements on the court, good traction ensures safety and agility during play. Look for a herringbone or similar pattern on the sole for optimal grip on court surfaces.

        • Support. Ankle and foot support reduces the risk of injuries like sprains during rapid and multi-directional movements.  Shoes with padded ankle collars can help stabilize your ankle, but a firm insole that provides arch support is the most important feature.

        • Cushioning. Comfort and impact absorption are crucial for intense gameplay. Adequate cushioning reduces stress on feet and joints. Performance insoles can significantly enhance shock absorption.

        • Durability. High-quality materials and construction are necessary for shoes to withstand the demands of pickleball play. Features like reinforced toe caps and sturdy outsoles contribute to the longevity of the shoe.

        • Fit. A well-fitted shoe not only enhances comfort but also improves overall performance, ensuring the shoe stays in place during dynamic movements. Ensure the shoe fits snugly without being too tight, with no slipping at the heel.  For more information on how a shoe should fit, read 'How Should Shoes Fit? A Complete Guide.'

        Each of these features plays a vital role in providing pickleball players with the support, comfort, and performance needed for their game.


        Insoles for Pickleball

        In pickleball, the right insoles can be a game-changer. They are essential for enhanced support, better alignment, and reducing fatigue, crucial factors in a sport that demands agility and quick movements. Check out, 'Sports Insoles for Peak Performance and Injury Prevention' to discover more. Quality insoles can significantly mitigate common issues such as foot and arch pain post-play.

        Tread Labs Dash Insole from the side.

        Tread Labs insole review, "Barry M Verified Buyer 4 months ago Good for flat feet I am an avid pickleball player, and play every day for 3-5 hours. My feet are very flat, which has produced significant bunions over the years. Without good arch support, I feel not just in my feet but also in my knees and overall alignment.     I purchased the medium arch Dash insoles, and found the arch support to be insufficient. These were exchanged for the high arch, which are much better. Bu... Read more Review left on: Dash Insoles - Men 10-10.5 || Women 11-11.5 || EU 42.5-43.5 / High"

        Why do my feet hurt after playing pickleball?

        This discomfort often results from excessive impact on hard court surfaces or from overall foot fatigue due to the sport's dynamic nature.  Pre-existing foot conditions like Morton's Neuroma can make post-play pain even worse. 

        Tread Labs' Pace and Dash insoles are designed to alleviate these issues. They provide deep heel cups that help absorb impact, overall foot support to combat fatigue, and sturdy relief for conditions like Morton's Neuroma. By enhancing comfort and reducing stress on the feet, these insoles can help make your pickleball experience more enjoyable and pain-free.

        Why does my arch hurt after pickleball?

        Arch pain after playing pickleball can often be attributed to the repeated stress and impact on the feet during the game. Rapid movements and lateral shifts can strain the arch, especially if your shoes lack sufficient arch support. Playing on hard court surfaces exacerbates this stress.

        To alleviate such discomfort, consider using insoles like Tread Labs' Pace or Dash, which offer 'extra firm' and 'ultra firm' arch support respectively, effectively reducing strain and pain in the arch area.

        The Best Insoles for Playing Pickleball

        The best insoles for pickleball bring significant improvements to your game:

          • Enhanced Stability. Providing essential foot stability and support, these insoles help you maintain balance during the game's quick and agile movements.

          • Impact Reduction. Designed to absorb shocks, they significantly reduce the impact on feet, crucial during fast-paced plays.

          • Optimal Foot Alignment. By ensuring feet are correctly positioned, they reduce strain, aiding in proper posture and movement.

          • Fatigue Alleviation. These insoles alleviate stress on the feet, enabling longer, more comfortable play without discomfort.

        Tread Labs insole review "Brock H Verified Buyer 5 months ago Amazing Great insoles for my pickleball shoes. Will buy again "


        Tread Labs' Pace and Dash models stand out as the best insoles for pickleball. They are specifically designed to provide superior support and comfort. These models cater to the unique needs of pickleball players, offering improved arch support and shock absorption.

        This makes them ideal for players seeking to enhance their performance and prevent foot-related discomfort or injuries. Pace and Dash insoles ensure players can enjoy longer, more comfortable games without the typical stress on their feet.

         Shop Insoles

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