Can You Wear Regular Sneakers In Pickleball?

As you may know, there is no real dress code when it comes to pickleball. This means that people can wear what they like to both practice and games! 

However, the attire you choose to wear while playing pickleball still has to be sensible. It is not wise to show up to a pickleball game wearing a dress and high heels, no matter how stylish you may look! 

Can You Wear Regular Sneakers In Pickleball?

So, this leaves us with a lot of questions as to what is acceptable attire for a pickleball game and what is not.

In this article, we hope to answer one of the most common pickleball attire questions out there: what to wear on your feet. 

Read on to find out whether or not you can wear regular sneakers in pickleball, and more! 

Can You Wear Regular Sneakers In Pickleball?

Generally, no. You should not wear regular sneakers when you are playing pickleball. Here is a list of other shoes you should not wear: 

  • Lounge shoes
  • Hiking boots
  • Open-toe shoes 
  • Trail running shoes 

Now, this does seem like most of the shoes you can think of. Unfortunately, most shoes are unsuitable for pickleball games.

Just like any sport, wearing the right footwear is important. Let’s check out the reasons why in more detail below! 

The Right Footwear Reduces Your Chance Of Injury

When playing pickleball, just like playing any other sport, you need to be wearing the right shoes to reduce your chance of injury. Shoes are specifically designed to protect your feet in different ways. 

For example, running shoes provide stabilization for the feet to prevent the impact of the foot hitting the ground from being too harmful. 

While there are no shoes specifically designed for pickleball. There are shoes that are designed for similar sports that will protect you in the same way. 

The Right Footwear Helps You Move Laterally

Wearing the right types of shoes helps you move laterally. Pickleball is a fast and intense game where you will run, turn, shuffle, contort, and twist a lot just to hit the ball.

The most common way you will move in pickleball is sideways. 

So, you will need footwear that allows for this lateral movement with ease. Ordinary trainers may seem like they are suitable for pickleball.

But, they don’t have the right amount of bulk to ensure that you will be able to move laterally with efficiency. 

What Factors Go Into Choosing Shoes For Pickleball?

Here are the main factors you need to consider when it comes to choosing pickleball shoes.

The Court’s Surface

There are generally two types of surfaces for pickleball courts: a gymnasium floor or an outdoor court. So, you will need different shoes depending on what kind of pickleball you play: indoor or outdoor.

Game Movements 

Lateral movements are vital to pickleball games, so you will need the right kind of shoes to protect your feet while performing these movements.

What Are The Best Shoes To Wear While Playing Pickleball?

When it comes to the right shoes for pickleball, you have two options: tennis shoes and court shoes. Let’s check out these options in more detail below. 

Can You Wear Regular Sneakers In Pickleball?

Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes are a very popular option for pickleball players. Tennis shoes are best when it comes to playing outdoor pickleball.

It is not wise to wear indoor shoes for playing pickleball outdoors because the hard court can damage the rubber of the shoes. So, if you have tennis shoes, then it is best to wear those instead! 

Here are the advantages of tennis shoes when it comes to playing pickleball:

  • Designed for use on tennis courts, which also makes them suitable for pickleball courts. 
  • Bulkier and heavier than other types of shoes which means they are very durable
  • Flat soles that do not have rubber so they will not become damaged on outdoor pickleball courts
  • The shoe does not bend in the middle (it bends at the toe box)
  • Extra stability on the sides of the shoes 

However, tennis shoes do come with a set of disadvantages when it comes to playing pickleball. For example, because they are so heavy, it can be difficult to turn them and move around the court quickly.

But, quick turns and moving around a lot are essential for playing pickleball. 

Court Shoes

Court shoes are considered to be the best shoes for playing indoor pickleball.

Court shoes are designed specifically for athletes and come with many advantages that regular shoes, such as sneakers, just don’t have. Let’s check out some of the basics of court shoes:

  • Has a sole partly made of rubber 
  • Stability on both sides of the shoe 
  • The shoe does not bend in the middle, but at the toe box 
  • Specifically designed to be worn on an indoor court. 
  • Not too bulky, especially compared to tennis shoes

Think of court shoes as versatile gymnasium shoes. Not only can they be used for indoor pickleball, but they are also suitable for badminton, volleyball, squash, and racquetball. 

This means that if you play a lot of different sports, you will be getting a lot of wear out of these shoes.

However, because they are designed for indoor courts, have stability on the sides, and do not bend in the middle, then they are more likely to last! 

Not only that, but the rubber soles of these shoes mean that players will be able to grip onto the floor of the gymnasium without sliding. 

Should You Wear Court Shoes Or Tennis Shoes?

That depends! Court shoes and tennis shoes are both suitable for playing pickleball.

However, tennis shoes are more suitable for outdoor pickleball games, since they are bulky shoes made without rubber soles and can last on the hard outdoor courts. 

Meanwhile, court shoes are more suitable for indoor pickleball games. They all typically have rubber soles and stability on the sides which means they will not allow you to slide around on the gymnasium floor. 

If you only want one of these types of shoes, then there are other factors that can go into your decision. 

For example, if you play a lot of different indoor sports on top of pickleball, such as badminton, squash, or racquetball, then court shoes would be more suitable.

However, if you also play outdoor pickleball, then you should choose tennis shoes over court shoes since tennis shoes can be worn at both outdoor and indoor pickleball games, whereas court shoes cannot. 

Final Thoughts 

Even though there are no cemented rules on what shoes you need to wear to play pickleball, there are some shoes that are more suitable for the game than others.

It is advised that you choose the correct shoes to help protect your feet from injury. 

You should also choose shoes suitable for pickleball so you can play the game to the best of your ability. For example, you will need to move laterally and not slip on the floor. 

Unfortunately, sneakers are not suitable for pickleball. This is because they are not made with the right materials to withstand either type of pickleball court.

The best shoes for indoor pickleball games are court shoes, while the best shoes for outdoor pickleball games are tennis (see also: Tennis Sneakers VS Pickleball Shoes: What’s The Difference?)shoes.

Michael Walter
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