Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball?

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball?

When it comes to sports footwear, each sport has its specific requirements. So, if you’re a pickleball player, you might find yourself wondering if basketball shoes are a good choice for playing Pickleball. After all, basketball shoes are known for their durability, support, and traction on the court. But are these qualities enough to make them suitable for the fast-paced and dynamic nature of pickleball? We’ll explain what we think.

Demands Of Pickleball

First of all, it’s important to understand the demands of pickleball. This paddle sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, creating a unique playing experience. The game involves quick lateral movements, sudden stops, and frequent changes in direction. As a result, players need footwear that can handle these multidirectional movements without compromising stability or comfort.

Ankle Support And Cushioning

Basketball shoes are designed to provide superior ankle support and cushioning, which are essential for the high-impact nature of basketball. They often feature a high-top design that extends above the ankle, offering increased stability and helping to prevent injuries. Additionally, basketball shoes typically have thick midsoles and responsive cushioning to absorb shock and protect the feet during high jumps and landings.

When it comes to pickleball, ankle support is not as critical as it is in basketball. The lateral movements in pickleball are less aggressive, and the risk of ankle injuries is relatively lower. However, having some level of support is still very important, especially for players with a history of ankle problems or those who prefer the added security.

Tractionbasketball shoes for pickleball traction

Traction is another key factor to consider when choosing footwear for pickleball. The game requires quick movements and rapid changes in direction, so having a shoe with an outsole that grips well is very important . Basketball shoes are designed with a herringbone or multidirectional pattern on the sole, providing excellent traction on indoor courts. This traction pattern can also be effective on indoor and  outdoor pickleball courts, which are often made of similar materials.


Durability is yet another aspect where basketball shoes excel. They are built to withstand the demands of basketball, where players constantly pivot, jump, and slide on an abrasive court surface. This durability can translate well to the rigorous movements in pickleball, ensuring that your shoes will last longer and deliver consistent performance.

While basketball shoes offer several advantages for pickleball, it’s worth mentioning that they might not be the perfect choice for everyone. Some players prefer a lighter and more flexible shoe that allows for quick and natural movements. Basketball shoes, with their heavier construction and stiffer materials, may hinder agility for those who prioritize speed and maneuverability.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, the decision to wear basketball shoes for pickleball comes down to personal preference and individual playing style. If you value ankle support, durability, and traction, basketball shoes could be a suitable option for you. However, if you prioritize lightweight and flexible footwear, you may want to explore alternatives like tennis shoes or shoes specifically designed for Pickleball.

Before making a final decision, it’s advisable to try on different shoe options and see how they feel during gameplay. Pay attention to factors such as fit, comfort, and overall performance. Remember, finding the right pair of shoes can significantly enhance your performance and enjoyment on the pickleball court.


In conclusion, while basketball shoes may not be specifically designed for pickleball, they can still offer several benefits for players. With their ankle support, traction, and durability, basketball shoes can provide the stability and protection needed for this dynamic paddle sport. Consider your own preferences and playing style, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different shoe options until you find the perfect fit. Take a look at our reviews of the Best Pickleball Shoes in order to find the best shoe for your own personal needs.

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