The Best Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Are you looking for the best outdoor pickleball shoes? Whether you’re a new player using running shoes or an experienced player who wants to try other options, I can help! All of these shoes make great choices, so you don’t have to worry about picking the wrong one. Keep reading to find the best outdoor pickleball shoes. 

The Best Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Here are some of the best outdoor pickleball shoes you can purchase today: 

ASICS Women’s Gel-Resolution 8

The ASICS Women’s GEL-Resolution 8 has new technology and features that makes them even more comfortable and stable than past versions of the shoe. The GEL® cushioning provides comfort and support across the whole shoe for optimal court response. For some, the shoe may feel slightly narrow, so if you don’t have a narrow foot, these might feel snug throughout the mid-foot and toe when you first try them on. 

You should expect a slightly longer break-in period so I suggest you ease into using these shoes. People have stated that these are noticeably more narrow than the previous versions so if you’ve worn ASICS in the past, you’ll likely need to go up a half size with these shoes. 

Once they are properly broken in, they’re extremely comfortable. The GEL © cushioning is where ASICS excels. Secondly, the GEL-resolution 8 shoes are constructed with “AHAR+” which stans for ASICS High Abrasion Resistance Rubber. All this means is that they’re made with high-quality rubber, which is perfect for the rough surface of outdoor pickleball courts.

ASICS Men’s Gel-Challenger 12

The Asics Gel-Challenger 12 is one of the best outdoor pickleball shoes for men. In addition to the comfort gel, these shoes feature the new FlyteFoam® technology in the midsole to add extra responsiveness and bounce. This is a great feature for pickleball since you’re constantly moving about the court. 

The shoe also has a seamless design which reduces the friction and irritation from traditional seams and stitches that are commonly found in shoes. These create uneven surfaces on the inside of the shoe that can rub and irritate your feet.

New Balance Women’s 796

The New Balance Women’s 796 is the second version of the tennis shoe for women that features FantomFit. FantomFit is a combination of a lightweight mesh and a thicker synthetic layer. They add support all the while keeping the fabric of the shoe breathable.

The sole of the shoe is herringbone-patterned which increases court traction and helps with lateral movements and quick stops. If you were to get a shoe in a size 8, you can expect the shoe to weigh around 11 oz. This is a manageable weight compared to other common shoes women wear for pickleball. For the most part, New Balance shoes run true to size so you can do ahead and order your regular shoe size. They require some breaking-in as expected with a new shoe but normally do not require an extended break-in.

ASICS Men’s Gel-Resolution 8

The ASICS Men’s Gel-Resolution 8 isn’t the latest pair of men’s Gel Resolution shoes, but they’re still a great option. 

If you are looking for a cheaper outdoor pickleball shoe, I would look at these. They’re definitely a more affordable shoe for pickleball, but they still have the quality and comfort you get from new shoes. As with all of ASICS shoe lines, these will eventually be phased out so new models can be made and sold. 

You may be able to currently get a deal on the earlier versions, so it’s worth taking a look at both the gel-resolution 7s and 8s to compare prices. They are very similar shoes so don’t worry about taking a step down to the last generation. Again, you might be able to get a good deal on them but not always. It’s all about timing and depending on what’s currently in inventory or what deals are currently running. 

Everything You Neen to Know About Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

You might think that any old pair of tennis shoes will do for pickleball. However, the right shoes are critical to preventing injuries and improving your game. 

The Importance of the Right Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Court and tennis shoes are made specifically for the lateral moves that are an integral part of pickleball and other court sports, and they help to support you with more bulk in the middle of the shoe. This is so important because when you are moving side to side quickly, you need to keep yourself centered.

To understand why shoes make such a difference in pickleball, it helps to understand the game. Pickleball involves hitting a plastic ball across a net with a paddle. It can be played in singles or doubles. Pickle-Ball Inc. explains that the sport is played on a badminton-size court measuring 20 by 44 feet. Players can volley or hit after a single bounce.

A game of pickleball moves fast when played right. Similar to tennis, it requires a lot of quick stops and starts. You will have to change directions rapidly and frequently to get to the ball. If you are playing a doubles game with another person, you also have to take care not to get in your teammate’s space.

The rapid stop-and-start movements demanded by pickleball can put an immense strain on your joints, notably your knees and ankles. Older players, in particular, may find that they experience discomfort after a rousing game of pickleball. According to Harvard Health, the joints’ cartilage wears away over time, making you more susceptible to joint pain as you get older.

The right shoes will accommodate the unique stop-and-start nature of pickleball, offering support for joints and reducing the risk of injury. Just what makes the “right” shoe? Read on to find out.

What Makes for Great Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

The Best Pickleball Shoes for Men: What makes for great pickleball shoes infographic

Technically, there is no such thing as a pickleball shoe. That means you have to find shoes designed for other purposes. Tennis shoes are an ideal option because tennis mimics many of the movements seen in pickleball. It likewise requires players to stop, start, and change direction frequently. This stresses muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints, and tennis shoes are designed accordingly.

When selecting the best outdoor pickleball shoes, here are some characteristics to look out for:

  • Shock absorption to reduce the impact on joints.
  • Traction to prevent slips and falls.
  • Ankle support for added stability.
  • Moisture-wicking material to keep feet dry.
  • Venting to prevent moisture and bacteria buildup (and related odor).
  • Scuff-proof sole if you plant to play on indoor courts.

Last but not least, don’t dismiss the importance of style! You want a pair of pickleball shoes that you like the look of and enjoy wearing. As the above guide to some of the best pickleball shoes for men makes clear, there’s no shortage of options regarding color and design. You don’t have to settle for a shoe you don’t find aesthetically appealing.

How to Care for Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Once you’ve found a great pair of pickleball shoes, you want your investment to last. Proper maintenance will ensure longevity. First, keep shoes dry to avoid moisture buildup, which can result in mold and mildew growth — not to mention bad odors.

If the shoes do get wet, place them upside down on some dry newspaper to dry out. Better yet, set them in the sun for faster drying. Sprinkling some baby powder inside will also help absorb added moisture and give the inside of your shoes a pleasant smell.

To keep your pickleball shoes looking their best, use a shoe cleaner like Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaner, which comes recommended by the professionals at GQ Magazine. It’s formulated to keep the sneaker fabric intact while removing stains. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush for cleaning. You can get laces white again by soaking them in warm water with bleach.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

To get the most out of your pickleball shoes, you have to take care of them as described above. Additionally, always wear socks with your shoes. This prevents sweaty feet and blisters. It also keeps moisture and bacteria from building up in the shoe.

Additionally, you want to ensure a proper fit for your shoes. If they are too big, you will slip and slide inside of them. If they are too small, they will be uncomfortable. Tennis Express provides pointers on how to best lace your shoes for an ideal fit and even has guidelines on lacing for different foot types, such as high arches versus wide feet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Now you know why the right pickleball shoes are so important and have an idea of what to look for in a great shoe. You may still have some lingering questions about pickleball footwear, however. Read on for responses to the most common queries.

What makes a good pickleball shoe?

A great pickleball shoe will offer shock absorption, ankle support, traction, and comfort. Good shoes will also be made of moisture-wicking material, preventing sweaty feet and odors. Venting can further help prevent dampness and improve long-term wearability.

Are there pickleball shoes?

There’s no shoe explicitly designed for pickleball. You will have to select your pickleball shoes from other athletic footwear options. Tennis shoes are the best choice because the two sports involve similar physical actions. For those with weak ankles, volleyball shoes (which have a higher profile) are also an option.

How often should you replace pickleball shoes?

This depends on how often you play. If you play once a month, you won’t have to replace the shoes as quickly as you would have to if you played daily. If the traction of the shoe’s sole is worn down or you’re noticing foot or joint pain after playing, it’s time for new shoes.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know about the best outdoor pickleball shoes, hopefully, any questions you had were answered, and you’re now closer to figuring out the right pickleball shoes for you.

When it comes down to it, the type of sole, show weight, ankle construction, and all the other features is not the most critical factor in picking out your shoes as most believe. Each thing has its benefits and drawbacks. The bottom line? Buy whatever shoes feel right for you and are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. I understand if you already have a specific brand in mind; but in the end, it should all come down to shoes that feel right. 

It’s crucial for you to wear comfortable and supportive shoes; this is because the game is going to be much more enjoyable this way. Pickleball is quickly becoming the most popular sport in the country, and it’s a fun activity to pass the time or even grow to play professionally! Take your time and ask questions when picking out your shoes to be sure you get it right!

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Brianna Goulet

Brianna loves to get outdoors for everything creative and fun. She has a passion for all things Pickleball and is an avid player. It is her goal to share everything you need to know about Pickleball so you can get out there and play with confidence!

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