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Playing any sport required the proper equipment. The use of the right equipment allows you to perform well and keeps you safe.

The shoes you wear are a big part of that. For a sport like pickleball where quick action and movement are often focused on your arms, shoes can be forgotten.

Shoes can be especially hard to find for women’s sizing, as many companies base their lines off the average foot size or make shoes in only men’s sizing.

Finding the best women’s outdoor pickleball shoes is key to accomplishing proper form and movement during a game and can even help prevent injury and strain to your feet and legs.

Why shoes matter in Pickleball

Running shoes are common options for those beginning a new sport since they are used to the feel and abilities of these shoes.

But they are not the best option and should not be used for a sport like pickleball.

Ordinary shoes are not the best option for many sports, not just pickleball.

These shoe types are not made with the specific intention of being used for pickleball or a similar sport and therefore will not help reduce risk of injury or increase your playing ability.

The right pair of shoes will change your movability, traction, and help to support your legs.

Durability and comfort are the main areas you want to focus on though other factors like the soles and mobility will also play a role.

Similar sports shoes can be used and are in fact encouraged. Sports like volleyball and tennis will feature many of the same qualities required for pickleball shoes.

The equipment of these three sports is often made versatile due to their similarities.

Indoor and Outdoor Courts

The difference between the courts may not seem big but can actually have a big impact on your choice of shoe.

If you play particularly in one court type, then finding a shoe that matches best with that court’s requirements will be extremely beneficial to your skill.

For indoor courts, a shoe should offer more grip.

Like a volleyball shoe, the sole of the shoe should be made of natural rubber to provide stability and keep you from slipping on the cleaned court.

Indoor shoes should not leave any marks as well, as many gyms will have restrictions against those shoe types.

Indoor shoes will also be lighter in weight as they will not need to feature as thick of soles to that of outdoor soles.

Outdoor shoe’s soles must be thick in order to increase their durability.

These shoes will not be facing the clean indoor courts but rather, rougher courts that face the elements of weather and use daily.

Outdoor shoes should be harder in order to support your feet and joints more on the rough, hard surface of the ground.

Tennis shoes are often a good choice for outdoor play.

What’s the difference between women’s and men’s shoes?

Women can struggle to find the right shoes as so brands do not feature all their shoe lines and types in both men’s and women’s sizing.

The major difference between men and women’s shoes is the length and narrowness of their feet.

Women’s feet are often not as long as men’s and adjusting their sizing can be difficult due to the narrowness of women’s feet.

Finding the right sizing is important as you want to rely on the support and snugness of your shoe.

This will prevent injuries around your ankle and blisters from forming due to losing shoes.

Ankle support

The ankle can easily be injured, whether you are playing pickleball, basketball, or just running along an uneven trail.

The ankle is prone to both minor and major injuries. One way to prevent this is having the proper support and fit of your shoes.

The padding and lacing of your shoes should work to prevent your ankle from shifting and allow you easily movability over the court.

The key is to play smart and be prepared.

Wearing shoes designed for pickleball or a similar sport like volleyball or tennis, which have extremely similar elements in not only their shoe design but also in their game requirements, and even doing warm up stretches can prevent a sprained ankle or worse.

Material

The material of your shoe should offer support, comfort, and durability. These elements work to keep your feet happy and moving easily.

Common materials are leather or synthetic leather. These materials can also be combined or include elements of mesh to help increase the comfort and air flow within the shoes.

Leather is a more comfortable, durable, and breathable material.

Durability is an important feature for your shoes, as a long life will prevent the unnecessary need to buy multiple pairs of shoes.

Leather is heavier than synthetic leather though, so shoes will weigh more with this material.

Synthetic leather is more stable, lighter, and cheaper than real leather and is often resistant to things like water or moisture and tears.

Both materials are breathable in some way.

This is also extremely beneficial as it helps increase air flow, and therefore, comfort.

It also prevents moisture from building up and damaging your shoes.

More durable and water and tear resistant materials include types of nylon or polymer.

Sole

The soles for a pickleball shoe would be a smooth sole. This allows more agile and angled movements.

The smooth, flat nature of the sole should also be partnered with some type of light pattern to help increase grip and prevent you from slipping around on the court.

This pattern will be increased for outdoor pickleball shoes and the sole will often be harder to increase the durability.

This is the feature of the shoe that will be either non-marking or what is known as soft court soles, where the shoes will not leave marks on indoor courts.

Weight and Cushion

The weight of a shoe will change based on a lot of factors, like shoe size or materials.

Yet choosing between a heavier shoe or lighter shoe can change the way your shoe works.

The major factors you must choose between are your shoes ability to support you and how quickly you need to move.

Shoes that are more heavy offer greater support while lighter shoes help to increase your speed and movements on the court.

Extra cushioning can also change the weight of a shoe. Extra padding featured on the top of a shoe provides increased comfort.

Another additional feature to add to your shoes for cushioned comfort is a toe guard.

Best Women’s Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

There are a number of shoes that could potentially work well for outdoor pickleball play. It’s important to always consult a medical professional before using any new product for your game.

The following shoes may prove a good start to your search.

Babolat Women’s Jet Mach II All Court Tennis Shoes

The Babolat Jet Mach II shoe is a tennis shoe designed for all courts, both indoor and outdoor.

This means it has a balance between the features needed for indoor and outdoor play.

It will also feature a sole that is for soft courts so that it will not leave marks.

The women’s sizes range from 6 to 11 and the recommendation from the brand says to select a size that is a half size bigger than your usual choice.

This is due to the width of the shoe being a tad narrow.

The shoe comes in 6 different color options and is extremely versatile for all court-based sports like tennis and pickleball.

The Jet Mach II is one of the lightest performance shoes on the market.

The support of the shoe is increased with Babolat’s design and technology. The EVA padding is made of high-quality foam.

It is featured at both the heel and along the length of the foot to help protect and absorb shock.

There is also a cushioning KPRS-X which is a shock absorption system and a four rigid fiber straps that create a stability arch system.

The textiles used to create the upper material of the shoe are designed through zone-woven and ultra-durable Kevlar and polyamide materials.

The insole is made from ortholite memory foam and compressor cushioning.

The sole of the shoe is made to resist abrasions and to increase traction, so it balanced the features of indoor speed and outdoor durability well.

If you are interested in learning more about this shoe, view at Amazon for more information.

ASICS Women’s Gel-Rocket 9 Volleyball Shoes

The ASICS Gel-Rocket shoe comes in women’s sizes ranging between 5 and 14. There are also five different color options for you to choose from.

This is a versatile shoe made for several different gym-based sport options.

As a volleyball shoe it is best to use this shoe for indoor gym use only, as it is made lighter and less hard than shoes made for outdoor pickleball courts.

The forefoot of the volleyball shoe features gel technology.

This technology works to absorb shock that can be caused from long hours on the court or from harsh movement and steps.

This element also provides strong, lasting comfort to your feet.

The volleyball shoe also features an EVA midsole.

This springy cushion is an extra addition to the shoe to help allow the midsole to create a more rebound-like feel.

The EVA cushioning also provides more stability to the shoe.

The cushion models to the shape of your foot with its unique sock liner.

This liner can be removed for those wishing to add their own liner.

The shoes have a Trusstic system technology added to the underneath of the midfoot region.

This molded addition to the shoe helps to establish more control in speed, directional change, and prevents your ankle from twisting while you are completing these quick actions.

More ankle support can be found with the side support which is made for multi-directional movements.

The materials used in this shoe are man-made fabric within the shoe’s upper and strong, tractional rubber for the outer sole.

View at Amazon for more information on how this shoe could work for you.

Sources Consulted:

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @kingmaphotos@gmail.com

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