Pickleball Shoes vs Tennis Shoes – Updated 2023

Do you enjoy playing tennis or pickleball? If so, you are aware of how crucial it is to wear the appropriate shoes for your sport. It might be challenging to choose between tennis shoes and pickleball shoes, though, because there are so many alternatives available. We are here to assist because of this. We’ll explore more closely at the similarities and contrasts between these two categories of shoes in this revised 2023 blog post. Read on to learn which choice is ideal for your game, whether you’re an experienced player or just getting started.

What are Pickleball Shoes?

Tennis shoes and pickleball shoes diverge in a number of important ways. Tennis shoes have a somewhat different tread pattern than pickleball shoes, for instance. The sole of pickleball shoes should not be as sturdy as those of tennis shoes since pickleball is played on a smaller court than tennis and on a less abrasive surface.

In addition, compared to tennis shoes, pickleball shoes often have a lower profile. Players can move across the court more swiftly and effortlessly as a result. Pickleball shoes also often weigh less than tennis shoes, which improves player mobility even more. Also, the majority of pickleball shoes are created expressly for usage on indoor courts. Although tennis shoes can be worn on both indoor and outdoor courts, they might not offer as much grip or support on an indoor court as a shoe made expressly for indoor play.

Advantages of pickleball shoes over tennis shoes

Having shoes made particularly for pickleball is essential when playing the sport. Tennis shoes are not made to offer traction and stability on the court as pickleball shoes are. Tennis shoes do not offer the same degree of support and stability as pickleball shoes, and they can actually be extremely slippery on a pickleball court.

Pickleball shoes also have a lower profile than tennis shoes, which helps players move more quickly around the court. They are also typically lighter than tennis shoes, which again helps with speed and agility. In addition, pickleball shoes often have extra padding in the toe area to protect against toe drag, which is a common issue for pickleball players.

Pickleball Court Surface

There are three main types of surfaces to choose from when playing pickleball: hard court, soft court, and clay court.

Hard Court:

A hard court, which is made of concrete or asphalt, is the most common type of court surface. It is critical to wear shoes with a firm grip on this surface to avoid sliding. Buying shoes with proper support will assist keep your feet and ankles in good condition. When playing on hard courts, it is critical to wear the proper shoes. Shoes with more padding might assist reduce the stress on the feet and ankles. It is also critical to wear traction-enhancing footwear to avoid slipping. Shoes with a firm grip on hard courts give stability and aid in keeping the feet grounded.

Soft Court:

A soft court is usually made of softer materials like rubber or synthetic materials. These courts are often found indoors. The shoes you wear for this surface need to have good traction to prevent slipping, but they don’t need as much support as shoes for hard courts because the surface is softer.

Clay Court:

Clay courts are made of compacted dirt or shattered stone. They are common on outdoor tennis courts. While the clay may be harsh on shoes, the footwear you wear on this surface must be exceptionally durable. They also need good traction to avoid slipping. Clay courts are frequently favoured by players who enjoy taking their time and hitting the ball precisely. They also advantage players with a good defensive game because hitting victories on clay courts is more difficult. Clay courts are also slower to play than hard courts, allowing players more time to respond. Also, because the ball bounces lower and slower on clay courts, it might be more forgiving to players who make mistakes.

The different types of pickleball shoes

Tennis shoes and court shoes are the two basic varieties of pickleball shoes. Tennis shoes are made for hard courts, whereas court shoes are made for softer surfaces like clay or grass. Tennis shoes typically have a herringbone tread pattern that helps provide grip and traction on hard courts. Court shoes usually have a flatter sole with less tread to prevent them from getting bogged down in softer surfaces.

Some players prefer to wear tennis shoes even on softer surfaces, while others prefer court shoes for all surfaces. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what type of shoe provides the best comfort and support for your feet.

How to choose the right pickleball shoes

The first thing to consider when choosing pickleball shoes is fitting well and being comfortable. The second thing is choosing shoes that have good traction so that you do not slip on the court. The third thing you want is shoes that offer stability and support. The fourth thing you need to look for is shoes that are breathable and comfortable in hot weather. Fifth, you may want to consider specialty shoes if you have any foot problems.

Support and Durability

Pickleball shoes are built with a reinforced toe area and herringbone tread pattern for enhanced traction. Additionally, they usually have an EVA midsole for cushioning and support. Tennis shoes won’t necessarily provide the same degree of durability or support, and consequently may not have the same tread pattern. But plenty of players find them suitable for pickleball activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can pickleball be played on clay court?

Today you can see clay court pickleball growing nationwide, and soon you will see it grow all over the world. Pickleball is not only going to be the most played racquet sport in the world one day, but it will also be played on different surfaces and at the highest levels, just like tennis.

What is the best surface for a pickleball court?

Asphalt or Concrete both provide an acceptable base for pickleball courts. Make sure to review surfacing requirements before having the base installed, as there are recommended specifications for slope, drainage, and surface finish, and overall construction.

Is it okay to play pickleball on a tennis court?

 You can fit four standard pickleball courts on a tennis court, as long a the corners are square and it is regulation size (60′ x 120′). Each pickleball court should consist of the playing area of 20′ x 44′, and the total recommended size of each court with overrruns is 30′ x 60′.


Overall, the best pickleball shoes are those that offer the most comfortable fit and have a good amount of grip. While tennis shoes may be suitable for some players depending on their needs, dedicated pickleball shoes will always provide better performance due to their specialized features. Whether you choose Tennis Shoes or Pickleball Shoes is up to personal preference but make sure to do your research so you get the best pair possible for what you need.

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