Whether you’re a pickleball newbie or a pro, having the right footwear can be a game changer. Given the explosive growth of the sport, shoe designers now offer men a wider range of options to enhance their on-court performance. What should you look for in a court shoe? The experts say you should consider a number of things including fit, comfort, support, stability, and durability. Whenever possible, you want to try the shoes on and walk around to make sure they feel comfortable and supportive. Remember, the best pickleball shoes for men can vary from person to person based on individual preferences and playing style.
Wearing the right shoe can prevent pickleball injuries, which are on the rise. According to a recent study, emergency room doctors are seeing an increase in pickleball-related injuries. “Because pickleball is a relatively low-impact activity, a lot of people think they won’t get hurt, but we’re seeing more and more people coming in with everything from broken bones and sprains to overuse injuries to the knees, shoulders, and elbows,” says Luis Gandara, MD, a sports medicine physician at the Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute, in a media release. “Any injury that doesn’t seem to be getting better in a matter of a few days needs to be checked out by an orthopedic specialist to get a correct diagnosis and effective treatment.”
Wearing pickleball-specific shoes can significantly reduce the risk of injury while playing the game. These specialized shoes provide essential support and stability, helping players maintain balance during quick lateral movements and sudden stops, common in pickleball. Additionally, their non-marking outsoles offer traction without leaving marks on the court, further enhancing safety and performance.
Need help finding the perfect pair to take your game up a notch? We’ve done the work for you, and our list of the top five best pickleball shoes for men is below. As always, if you’re wearing a shoe you love that isn’t on the list, let us know in the comments section!
The List: Best Pickleball Shoes for Men, According to Experts
The number one men’s pickleball player in the world, Ben Johns has this shoe in his rotation. Rec Room Pick calls the shoe “fast and responsible, which makes them ideal for experienced pickleball players who want to up their game even more.” Babolat teamed up with tire maker Michelin for “enhanced flexibility and additional rubber protection for the high-wear areas.”
Gear Patrol associate editor Ben Emminger says these are his favorite sneakers for pickleball. “I appreciate the unique KPRSX cushioning system that’s boosted with a shock-absorbing EVA foam. Granted, the more performance-based design can leave your feet more tired than not after a day’s worth of games, but for a quick match or two, it can help take some of that sting out of harsher landings.”
Go through shoes like water? Pickle Ball Bliss writes, “The Michelin soles also last longer and the tread doesn’t wear down as fast as other shoes. They have a variety of models with different toe box widths to accommodate both narrow and wide feet.”
Men’s Health calls the shoe’s performance “superb” and says the comfort is the “final selling point.” It boasts a “4D Support Chassis for controlled pivot movements and stability.” Editor John Thompson also likes the shoe’s style because it’s “suitable for wearing in country club environments.”
“From the durable upper to the supportive midsole and grippy outsole, the Rush Pro Ace Picker has everything you need to move quickly and confidently on the court, whether you’re a rookie or a vet,” writes Footwear News. “Lastly, the sticky outsole grips the court like glue, giving you the leverage you need to make quick cuts and powerful shots.”
“The Rush Pro Ace Picklers showcase a wider toe box for a more accommodating fit, and the 4D Support Chassis can work wonders in improving control and stability through on-court pivots,” according to Gear Patrol. “Plus, the R-DST+ midsole foam adds great comfort and energy return to your steps, which keeps you on your toes more during play without too much of an aggressive feel.”
You might be surprised to find K-Swiss at the top of the pickleball shoe market, but the brand has quietly been creating trusted game-ready models for all types of price points, according to Men’s Health Editor John Thompson. “I’ve come to find the Express Light as one of the top supportive and strong pickleball shoes money can buy.”
The K-Swiss Express Light is technically an outdoor pickleball shoe, but Pickleball Bliss calls it the “Best Indoor Court Shoe for Men” because it’s “lightweight and very comfortable, yet provides plenty of stability.”
“This supportive pair of sneakers is our recommendation for the best men’s pickleball shoe,” says Very Well Fit. “Great for both indoor and outdoor play, the Viper features durable rubber soles, great traction, and mesh accents.”
If fit is most important, Gear Patrol, “The Viper Court Pros from Skechers showcase a unique, podiatrist-approved design highlighted by the brand’s patented Arch Fit insole system that molds to your foot and cradles each step in a bed of support and comfort. This tech marries well to the TPU midfoot shank and sturdy upper for a fit that’s near unbeatable.”
Sports Illustrated found “these shoes are great for pickleballers looking to play multiple days in a row. They offer podiatrist-certified arch support and will help with balance on the court.” If you need durability, you won’t be disappointed, becuase, “The Goodyear rubber outsole is possibly one of the highest performers in terms of durability among pickleball shoes.”
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