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Athletic vs. Pickleball Shoes: What Are the Differences?

July 12, 2022

The differences between athletic and pickleball shoes can improve your performance and keep you injury-free before playing your next match.

If you are the type of person who used to shoot hoops in flip-flops or run the bases in soccer shoes, you might tend to grab any pair of shoes to hit the pickleball courts. However, knowing the differences between athletic and pickleball shoes paints a clear picture of why shoes designed for the sport are the best decision.

What You Need In a Pickleball Shoe

You must have high-quality, lightweight, comfortable tennis shoes for the best results. With the sudden movements in the game, you need shoes that give you traction, won’t fall apart, and keep you light on your feet. Choosing a pair of ratty shoes will hurt your performance and lead to a possible injury. 

Why You Should use a Pickleball Shoe

You might be able to skate by with a pair of athletic shoes, but tried-and-true pickleball competitors know that pickleball shoes take their games up a notch. The design of pickleball shoes is specific to the sport, rather than being a multipurpose athletic shoe. 

Pickleball shoes accommodate rapid cutting and lateral movement while providing stability with a sturdier shoe. These shoes do better at preventing injuries with their shock absorption, limiting your aches and pains when you wake up the following day. 

Pickleball Shoe Benefits
So what are the benefits of pickleball shoes? Here are just a few: 
Better Stability
Pickleball shoes include a plastic shank for cushioning to keep the foot steady. This helps anyone with a history of ankle injuries, considering twisting an ankle in a regular shoe could happen with swift movements in the game. 
Distributed Body Weight Evenly
Running shoes often have a slope known as a heel-toe drop, in which the shoe’s heel is higher and has more cushioning than the toe box. Pickleball shoes have a heel-toe drop as close to zero millimeters as possible, enabling you to turn on your heels while it distributes your body weight evenly. If you require specific insoles for your shoes, you can remove the original soles in the pickleball shoes to insert them.
Tread Lightly
Typically, the tread on pickleball shoes is herringbone, or as a layperson would call it, the squiggly lines on the bottom of your shoe. This type of tread provides ultimate traction while letting you rotate, lunge, and push your weight forward, whereas a running shoe’s design helps to carry your weight.
Where the Rubber Meets the Court
The rubber used for the outsole of a pickleball shoe is another component that provides durability over time. This rubber is tougher than the rubber in typical athletic shoes, so it should last you multiple years.

Breaking down the differences between athletic and pickleball shoes proves that purchasing a pair of pickleball shoes is a sound investment before you hit the court. Fromuth Pickleball can be your home for anything pickleball related. Whether it’s apparel, paddles, shoes, or other accessories, we have you covered!
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