The shoes that you choose to wear on the court are one of the most important pieces of gear for the game of pickleball. With so many options to choose from, selecting the right pair of shoes can feel like an overwhelming task. The best pickleball shoes for women include brands like New Balance, Asics, K-Swiss, Wilson, and Nike.
5 Best Pickleball Shoes for Women
The New Balance Fresh Foam Lav V2 is ready to upgrade your on-court performance. Durable and functional, these women's tennis shoes have a FRESH FOAMx midsole for precise underfoot cushioning with every stride.
New Balance has been in the sports footwear industry since 1906, and is well known for producing high-quality shoes for most popular sports. Racquet sports are no exception, and New Balance offers a great variety of court shoes that can improve your on-court performance.
Of their many models, the Fresh Foam X Lav V2 ($150) and the FuelCell 996v4.5 ($145) stand out as being some of their best pickleball shoes. The Fresh Foam X Lav V2s are known for their high durability, incredible comfort and breathability, and serious support provided by the external heel counter. Weighing in at around 11.7 ounces, they are also fairly lightweight.
The FuelCell 996s are one of the most popular tennis shoes and work just as well for indoor pickleball courts. New Balance’s FuelCell technology gives the insole and midsole of your shoe a springy feel, allowing you to move across the pickleball court with more agility. 996s are also highly durable due to the NDure technology, and the Ndurance outsole of the shoe allows for great traction. Coming in at just under 10 ounces, these shoes are even lighter than the Fresh Foam X Lavs.
Asics are a great option for players looking for extra support and comfort while on the court. The TGuard Toe Protector technology offers extra stability and protection from injury.
Asics is an incredibly popular brand for tennis gear, and their court shoe offerings have a lot of crossover for pickleball players. Two of their best models are seen in the Gel-Resolution 8 ($140) and the Gel-Rocket 10 ($70).
Their higher-end model, the Gel-Resolution 8s, is Asics’s most popular court shoe model. The Gel-Resolutions offer the perfect amount of support and heel protection to help prevent injury thanks to the DYNAWALL technology. Asics’s GEL technology helps cushion the midfoot and heel, which grants shock absorption and reduces the impact your feet deal with when you’re moving around the court.
Even though they’re considered volleyball shoes, the Gel-Rocket 10s is one of the best budget pickleball shoe options. They offer the same GEL technology as the Gel-Resolutions, protecting your feet and ankles from injury during gameplay. The TRUSSTIC midsole of the shoe greatly improves your stability, allowing you more control as you move around the court. The flexible grooves of the outsole pair perfectly with the improved side grip that the Gel-Rockets offer, granting the player confidence in their movements.
K-Swiss is a premium tennis shoe brand that has recently started producing pickleball-specific shoes. They currently offer two pairs of pickleball shoes: the Pickleball Supreme ($125) and the Express Light Pickleball ($105).
Both models are fairly similar, with the primary goal for both shoes being the optimization of your on-court performance. K-Swiss has integrated many of its tennis shoe technologies, such as K-EVA cushioning, Ortholite sock lining for better breathability, and Dragguard support to help prevent the stress of impact.
The Pickleball Supreme has thicker materials than the Express Light, giving better protection in areas such as the forefoot and toe box. Due to their overall design, K-Swiss also has some of the best shoes for players with wider feet.
The Rush Pro Ace Pickler was built from the ground up with a high performance for pickleball in mind. They offer a spacious feel with consistent structure and support for speed and agility.
Wilson is one of the most recognizable brands in the racquet sports industry, offering a wide variety of fantastic pickleball products. They currently offer one model of pickleball shoe – the Rush Pro Ace Pickler ($99).
The Rush Pro Ace Pickler was built from the ground up with a high performance for pickleball players in mind. These shoes are incredibly comfortable on the court and provide a lot of support and stability through their 4D Support Chassis technology.
Nike’s NikeCourt collection is highly regarded by the tennis community and is becoming a favorite of many pickleball players. Two of their most popular court shoe models are the NikeCourt Zoom NXT ($140) and the NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3 ($70).
NikeCourt Zoom NXTs are Nike’s most premium hard-court shoes. Their unique design allows them to be both lightweight and durable simultaneously, with most of the shoe’s fabric also being incredibly breathable.
At half the cost of the Zoom NXTs, the NikeCourt Zoom Lite 3s still offer a lot of value for pickleball players. Their classic tennis shoe design is simple but still features the modern Zoom Air technology, giving the shoes a lot of spring and arch support. The herringbone outsole and synthetic leather materials also make the Zoom Lite 3s highly durable and will last you many games of pickleball.
How to choose the best pickleball shoes for women
The models mentioned above are fantastic options for all pickleball players, but each has unique differences. Choosing the right footwear will help prevent you from rolling your foot, improve your mobility on the court, and increase your overall stamina if you play for prolonged periods.
Before making a purchase, weigh your options and consider what each brand brings. Going to a store and trying different pairs of shoes on will give you a better idea of how comfortable a particular model is for your feet.
If your feet or legs require special needs for medical reasons, you may need to reach out to different stores to see if the model you’re interested in meets your needs.
Indoor Court Shoes vs. Outdoor Court Shoes
The primary difference you’ll see between indoor court shoes and outdoor court shoes is in the shoe’s outsole.
Many outdoor courts are hard and can easily chew through soft outsoles, so many outdoor court shoes have thicker and denser outsoles that can take a beating. A disadvantage to a thick rubber sole is that this naturally adds weight to the shoes. The tradeoff is well worth it, as your shoes will last much longer and offer better support when playing on outdoor surfaces.
Indoor court shoes tend to be softer and thinner. This is because indoor court surfaces can be more forgiving to your shoe’s outsole. Because many indoor pickleball shoes have a thinner outsole, much of the shoe’s grip comes from the intricate tread patterns spreading across the bottom of the outsole.
Budget Shoes vs. Premium Shoes
Your budget is one of the biggest factors determining which shoe model you will purchase.
Of the previously mentioned pickleball shoe models, I would argue that the best budget option is the Asics Women’s Gel-Rocket 10 ($70), and the best premium option is the New Balance FuelCell 996v4.5 ($145).
At just $70, the Gel Rocket 10s bring a lot to the table in terms of comfort, durability, and support. You can rely on these shoes to get the job done, even though they might not be the flashiest on the court.
On the other hand, the FuelCell 996v4.5 are stylish and implements fantastic technology for pro-level play. They’re springy, well cushioned, and utilize the durable Ndurance outsole for extra protection.
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