We have published a few articles recently talking about the rise of pickleball injury, so it is encouraging to see a company with the reputation of Dr. Scholl’s announce it has developed a specialized pickleball sneaker.
For the more fashion-conscious among us, it is doubly comforting as the shoe looks great as well as offering protection from foot- and ankle-related injuries!
Tristain Venables, a distinguished tennis and pickleball professional at the esteemed hotel and country club Keswick Hall located just east of Charlottesville, says the women’s “Dink It Pickleball Sneaker” has been meticulously crafted to address the agility and stability requirements of pickleball players on the court.
Keswick Hall has established a collaboration with Dr. Scholl’s to provide this specialized sneaker directly to their patrons in conjunction with the unveiling of the Hall’s new pickleball courts.
Venables told The Daily Progress, “Pickleball requires a lightweight shoe with lateral movement. It’s important to have that good lateral movement” in a shoe.
Surge In Popularity
The introduction of this new shoe comes when pickleball is experiencing a surge in popularity at Keswick Hall, which recently expanded its facilities in June with the addition of two new pickleball courts.
Venables noted that seasoned tennis players are often taken aback by the challenge that pickleball presents despite its outward resemblance to a scaled-down version of tennis when viewed from the sidelines.
“They realize it’s harder than it looks,” says Venables. “It surprises a lot of tennis players. Tennis players can pick it up immediately — and there’s some unlearning to do.”
Cushioned Court Surfaces
The design of the new pickleball courts took into account the distinctive sound the hard plastic perforated balls make – something we have reported on extensively.
“The perimeter of the court is surrounded by trees for noise deafening,” says Venables.
The court surfaces are cushioned to suit hard- and clay-court enthusiasts alike. The more forgiving material is designed to absorb shock, bearing those delicate knee and ankle joints in mind.
“It’s definitely softer on the body, especially on the knees [but] it’s still a hard court,” Venable points out.
Enhancing Depth Perception
The courts also feature three distinctive colors to divide the important areas of the court. The non-volley zone or kitchen is red, while tan and blue are used for the other zones.
Venables explains the colors enhance depth perception to aid in play.
He adds, “It’s so much more fun when you understand the different areas of the court and how to use it. It’s worth learning it the right way.”
As we know, it was mainly older players that propelled pickleball into popularity, as it initially gained traction in senior living facilities and retirement homes. However, Venables pointed out that an increasing number of young adults and children are now embracing the sport.
A Membership Exceeding 600!
To emphasize the point, enthusiasts founded a pickleball club 10 miles east at the University of Virginia just two years ago.
The club has already amassed a membership exceeding 600, and furthermore, several of the university’s conventional tennis courts have been repurposed into pickleball courts.
“Not Intimidating At All”
“Anyone can play pickleball. If you can play ping-pong, you can play pickleball,” Venables continues. “It’s not intimidating at all and allows different levels to play together.”
Keswick Hall will remain open, come rain or shine, so just because summer is over, you won’t have to hang up your paddle until it comes around next year.
“We’ll keep them open, like our tennis, year-round,” says Venables.
The “Dink It” sneaker is priced at $70, and players using the Keswick Hall courts have the option to test them out during play before making a purchase decision.
The sneakers received the following glowing review from a user on zappos.com:
“I just got these and wore them on the pickleball court yesterday for outdoor play. Honestly, wasn’t expecting much, but these are great sneakers! They are amazingly comfortable, have a supportive insole, and provide the lateral stability needed for the quick movements needed in the game.”
Sadly, they won’t make me a better player, but I do think they will help to decrease the risk of falling.
I am a 6½ and purchased a 7 to give enough room for hot feet and socks. The fit was perfect.”
Lateral Cutting And Responsive Movement
The Dr. Scholl’s site describes the shoes as follows:
- In independent lab testing, its shoes beat competitors on stance time for lateral cutting, responsive movement, peak push-off force, and overall cushioning and comfort.
- The topcloth, toe box, and heel counter are partially made from recycled materials.
- Microfiber partially made from recycled bottles or faux leather.
- Lace-up front with a padded heel for a secure fit.
- Anti-microbial, anti-odor Insole Technology with cushioning, comfort, & support. Insoles crafted with cushy, algae-infused BLOOM® foam.
- Lightweight, flexible construction moves with you.
Keswick Hall Tennis Shop
The tennis shop at Keswick Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and stocks an assortment of Keswick-branded gifts.
It also provides a comprehensive selection of racquet services, strings, and grips.
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