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Why You Shouldn’t Wear Running Shoes To Play Pickleball

January 09, 2023

Understanding why you shouldn’t wear running shoes to play pickleball can help your performance, but more importantly, prevent an unnecessary injury.

Anyone who wants to give pickleball a shot might throw on any pair of athletic shoes and think they’re ready to roll. Unfortunately, the only thing you might roll is your ankle if you put on a pair of running shoes. Let us explain why you shouldn’t wear running shoes to play pickleball.

Forward Motion Only

Running shoes have one goal in their design: pushing you forward. You aren’t zig-zagging or backpedaling when running; you’re going full speed ahead. Track and field events might look slightly different if they were conducive to those movements. 

Pickleball, as well as any court game, requires a person to move in all directions. Any rapid, lateral movement in running shoes is not good, so it’s in your best interest to stick with a pair of women’s or men’s pickleball shoes

Lack of Protection
Since running shoes lack the necessary movement support to play pickleball effectively, you would quickly learn they are nowhere near as stable as court shoes. Running shoes cushion and support your feet with forward movement in mind, whereas court shoes know your feet need care in every way. 
To test this theory, you can grab a pair of running shoes and bend them easily, as they are lightweight and only support forward movement. You won’t get far when you bend a pickleball shoe since you need more protection for side-to-side movement.
Playing a sport and wearing shoes that aren’t relative to the game is a grave mistake. You wouldn’t wear a baseball batting helmet as a substitute for a football helmet. While they are both helmets, each design protects you in different ways. You should use that same logic when finding a pair of kicks to play pickleball. 

Soles Can Trip You Up
The soles are the last part of the shoe that massively impact your performance. The bottoms of running and court shoes are drastically different. A pair of running shoes have several ridges and patterns to give your feet ultimate comfort on all terrain. However, you won’t play pickleball on a dirt trail or the sidewalk. 
Court shoes have smooth soles that allow for uninterrupted lateral movement. Defending a lob shot over your head is much easier if you’re wearing court shoes. The soles of the running shoes could trip you up, causing you to fall flat on your face. 
These reasons why you shouldn’t wear running shoes to play pickleball all have to do with safety and performance, but there is one more key element to consider. Running shoes are expensive, and using them for every activity will wear them down quickly.
Instead, grab a pair of pickleball shoes from Fromuth Pickleball to ensure your running shoes stay intact for your morning jogs. You’ll play pickleball to the best of your ability with the appropriate footwear.

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