Tennis Shoes vs Pickleball Shoes – What’s the Difference?

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In every tennis shoes vs pickleball shoes discussion, a frequently asked question: Can we use tennis shoes for playing pickleball? The answer is “YES” because both sports have many similarities regarding their courts, equipment, rules, and of course shoes. In both games, you move side to side or forward and backward.

So, the tennis shoes are specially designed for comfortable lateral movement, and this is all you need for playing pickleball.

Pickleball Shoes
Tennis Shoes

The court shoes are specially made for lateral support. In both sports (tennis and pickleball) you need lateral stability and good ground traction. But there’s a big difference in their courts. 

For example: Tennis usually being played on Clay Court, Asphalt Court, Grassy or lawn Court, and sometimes on artificial grass court. On the other hand, Pickleball is generally played on Indoor and Outdoor courts.

Mostly the indoor courts have hardwood polished surfaces but the outdoor courts have hard surfaces, commonly asphalt floors. A pickleball shoe shares some similarities with the tennis shoe.

They’re definitely built for lateral motion and to give you some extra cushioning and support while you’re out on the court. The original shoe that’s specifically designed for pickleball, is different from a tennis shoe. Because there’s more lateral Motion in pickleball than there is in tennis. 

Also Check: Basketball Shoe Collection

Pickleball shoes for outdoor play

What happens when we’re moving laterally? When you stop your lateral motion, your foot actually keeps moving inside the shoe. You need the shoe to help it stop to move the foot. With that you can both gain traction and protection and your foot doesn’t roll off the side of the shoe. And that’s what a pickleball shoe is designed to do.

What Is The Right Shoe For Playing Pickleball

One thing that we see often on the pickleball courts, especially with new players or some experienced players. They come to the courts and they come in a running shoe or a lightweight around town tennis shoe and that’s not the comfortable shoe that you want to use to play Pickleball.

The pickleball shoes are built for the lateral motion that we have in this sport. Whereas other types of shoes, like running shoes, casual joggers, even cross training shoes, or walking shoes does not support these lateral motion. These shoes are built for only forward motion.

Just by coming to the courts and not having the right pair of shoes to play pickleball. You surely put yourself at risk for injury. Potentially rolling an ankle or a fall type of injury from not being able to stop your lateral motion or overuse injuries. 

shoes with reviews

Pickleball shoes are built to absorb some of the shock that we get especially from asphalt courts. You’re putting a lot of excess pressure on your knee joints, your ankle joints, and your hip joints. So, to protect yourself from injury, you need to have the right set of shoes when coming to play pickleball.

Is It OK To Wear Indoor Shoe For Playing On Outdoor Court?

If you’re playing inside with indoor pickleball shoes, it’s probably going to give you more traction as well as more stability. And if you’re going to be playing Outdoors with this type of indoor court shoe. Even that’s designed for lateral movement but that not gonna work well.

However, its a volleyball shoe or even a basketball shoe, they designed for indoor hardwood courts. They built according to the surface nature.

When you’re playing Outdoors, you need a specific sport outdoor shoe and that might be the best choice for you. So, a pickleball hard court shoe or a tennis shoe that’s designed for the outdoor courts have the right type of sole that you need when you’re playing outside.

tennis shoes for pickleball

Choosing the right footwear in tennis is important for a number of reasons. The first thing is the difference that a tennis shoe gives you compared to other court shoes on the market. Tennis shoes are very good at giving you lateral support.

One of the main ways that players move on a tennis court is side to side. There’s much less chance of rolling your ankle wearing a tennis shoe compared to a running shoe. That will only support you moving forward.

Grass Court Shoes

There are different shoes for different types of courts in tennis. The first type of court is the grass court. The main aspects of a grass court shoe is traction and that shoe gives you really good traction on the court.

It can help you stop from slipping around because the grass courts can get a little bit slippery when you’re playing.

One thing that you’ll notice is the outsole unit of the shoe. They surely have a pimpled sole that gives you the maximum amount of traction when you’re Playing.

The midsole has a lot less cushioning than a normal tennis shoe because of the cushioned nature of the grass courts.

Grass Court

Clay Court Shoes

The clay court shoes are different in nature to grass court shoes. The main thing about a clay court shoe is the stability it gives you with the tough upper sole and also the lateral support that it gives you.

A lot of side to side movement on a clay court, gives it less chance of you rolling an ankle as you’re playing. The other thing that you’ll notice about a clay court shoe is the tread on the sole.

Typically it’s a herringbone tread pattern that gives you maximum traction, maximum grip when you’re moving across the courts. The clay court shoes are also great to use on AstroTurf and artificial clay.

Clay Court

Omani Court Shoes

The omni court shoe or all-court shoe is a great shoe for all court surfaces. This shoe gives you really good lateral support and stability with a tough upper sole. The other thing is the sole of the shoe is very very tough and durable.

You’ve to do very well to get through it and it’ll last you a long Time shoe.

Moreover, it’s give you great cushioning that gives you a bit of support and protection with the impact on some of the courts that you play on.

Omni Court tennis shoes

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1 thought on “Tennis Shoes vs Pickleball Shoes – What’s the Difference?”

  1. I am recovering from a lis franc injury on my foot because I also jumped to hit an overhead lob and had zero support upon landing with an expensive tennis shoe. I never played tennis but did play ping pong, basketball and badminton. I have a long recovery ahead and wished I had been wearing a basketball shoe.

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