Tennis Sneakers VS Pickleball Shoes: What’s The Difference?

Pickleball is a game that draws upon elements of both badminton and tennis, so it only makes sense that you might be wondering whether or not it is acceptable to wear tennis sneakers out on the pickleball court.

But, should you simply invest in a pair of pickleball shoes instead?

Tennis Sneakers VS Pickleball Shoes: What's The Difference?

If you’re asking yourself this question, we’re here to help. In this article, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the differences between tennis sneakers and pickleball shoes in order to help you decide which is going to be right for you.

So, without further ado, just keep on reading!

Tennis Sneakers VS Pickleball Shoes: What’s The Difference?

As we’re sure you already know by now, there really aren’t many rules when it comes to clothing etiquette in pickleball.

So long as you are wearing appropriate shoes and clothing, you will be fine to play at recreational level with friends and family, or even as part of a pickleball league!

The only instance in which you might be required to wear certain clothing and footwear is if you have decided to play at a professional level and are going to be competing in tournaments.

That being said, it is highly common for many pickleball players to opt to play pickleball in shoes that aren’t intended specifically for pickleball itself – but is this a good thing?

As far as tennis shoes are concerned, you can certainly get away with wearing them to play pickleball.  They’re lightweight, offer great tread and can provide enough stability to support all types of pickleball play, including drinking. 

Still, even though you can technically play pickleball in tennis shoes, there are many reasons why you should consider wearing shoes that have been specifically designed for pickleball. This brings us to our next point. 

Why Should You Use A Pickleball Shoe?

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider using a pickleball shoe as opposed to tennis sneakers.

Even though you can technically play pickleball with all types of shoes, experienced pickleball players will surely tell you that opting to wear (see also: Can You Wear Regular Sneakers In Pickleball?)shoes that have been specifically designed for pickleball will be able to level up your game and take your pickleball playing ability to a whole new level.

Wondering why? Well, unlike other types of sports shoes such as tennis sneakers, pickleball shoes have been specifically designed with the game of pickleball in mind.

Due to this,  it means opting to wear a pair of pickleball shoes will ensure that you will be able to move without any restrictions while out on the course, all while ensuring that you will have plenty of stability, as well.

In addition to this, you should also keep in mind that pickleball shoes will also do a much better job at helping to prevent any and all unwanted injuries while you are playing.

This is because, unlike other types of shoes, pickleball shoes are specifically designed to be able to offer a superior level shock absorption capability, which will ensure that you will be able to play to your full potential on the pickleball court without having to worry about getting any aches, pains or strains in the leg and ankle areas.

In the next section, let’s go ahead and break down some of the main benefits that you can expect to get from pickleball shoes. 

Tennis Sneakers VS Pickleball Shoes: What's The Difference? (1)

The Benefits Of Pickleball Shoes

If you decide to go for a pair of pickleball shoes over tennis sneakers, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits:

Increased Stability

The first main benefit that you can expect to get from opting to wear pickleball shoes is an increased stability while you are out playing on the court.

Thanks to this, you will be able to move freely around the court, serve underhand and make great volley shots without fear of slipping or getting injured.

This is all thanks to the thick rubber soles that pickleball shoes are commonly made of, while tennis shoes are typically made to be much more lightweight in order to support running and jumping.

Evenly Distributed Weight

For the most part, tennis shoes tend to have a slope in their designs that is known as a heel-toe drop, which has the ability to situate the heel slightly higher than the toes.

This helps to support fast movement and running, which are two things that tennis players find themselves doing during a tennis match!

In contrast, pickleball shoes often tend to be made without a slope, which will in turn allow you to easily turn on your heels and make rapid movements that are suited towards drinking and other pickleball moves.

Lightweight Traction

For tennis shoes and running shoes, the tread is designed to help carry your weight in the soles.

However, when it comes to pickleball shoes, the tread typically tends to be a herringbone tread, which is an innovative tread that has the ability to offer incredibly good traction without compromising on feeling weighed down.

In fact, herringbone tread has the ability to allow you to bounce, side step and run around the pickleball court all the while pushing your weight towards the front of the foot. 

The Bottom Line

You’ve made it to the end of the article.

Now that we’ve taken the time to talk you through the differences between pickleball shoes and tennis sneakers, we are hoping that you now have a much clearer idea of which shoe is going to be the best option for you. 

All in all? Even though you can technically wear any kind of sports shoe to play pickleball, if you want to play to the best of your ability without risking an injury, we highly recommend that you opt for a pair of pickleball shoes.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide, and goodbye for now! 

Michael Walter
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