Are you a pickleball enthusiast with a penchant for running shoes? The burning question on your mind might be, "Is it OK to wear running shoes for pickleball?" After all, pickleball requires quick footwork and agility, and so does running. It's a conundrum! Fear not, as we embark on a journey to explore the world of footwear for the pickleball court.

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The Burning Question: Is it OK to Wear Running Shoes for Pickleball?

Now, let's address the million-dollar question: Can you get away with wearing your beloved running shoes while you engage in a thrilling game of pickleball? Let's break it down!

The Pros of Using Running Shoes for Pickleball

Yes, you heard it right, there are some pros to strapping on your running shoes for pickleball. But remember, the grass isn't always greener on the other side!

Comfort, Comfort, Comfort

Running shoes are renowned for their comfort. They are your best friends when you want to pamper your feet during those long jogs. If you have a comfy pair of running shoes, you might feel like you're walking on clouds while playing pickleball. Your feet will thank you!


Running shoes are the multitaskers of the shoe world. You can wear them for a variety of activities, from jogging to walking, and even light workouts at the gym. So, if you're an all-rounder and want to switch between activities without changing shoes, running shoes are your go-to option!


If you're on a tight budget, using your existing running shoes for pickleball can save you some money. No need to splurge on a separate pair of pickleball shoes when your runners are sitting there, ready for action!

A pair of running shoes.
A pair of running shoes.

Running Shoes vs. Pickleball Shoes: The Showdown

Before we dive into the heart of the matter, let's set the stage for our running shoes vs. pickleball shoes face-off!

The Rumble in Your Closet

Your running shoes are like the heavyweight champion in your closet. They are designed to cushion your feet during long runs, provide support, and offer a comfortable fit. Running shoes typically come with a thick sole that can absorb shock and reduce impact on your joints. They're your go-to for those daily jogs or marathons!

The Mighty Pickleball Shoes

On the other side of the ring, we have pickleball shoes. These lightweight, low-profile wonders are designed to help you zip around the court with precision. They provide the necessary grip and lateral support, which are crucial for those quick cuts, pivots, and dashes that make pickleball so exhilarating.

Looking for top-notch pickleball shoes? Amazon has some fantastic options to explore:

ASICS Gel-Rocket 10

Mizuno Wave Lightning Z6

A man playing pickleball.
A man playing pickleball.

The Cons of Using Running Shoes for Pickleball

Now, let's take a look at the other side of the coin. Using running shoes for pickleball isn't all sunshine and rainbows, and here's why:

Traction Troubles

Running shoes are designed for forward movement. In contrast, pickleball involves a lot of lateral (side-to-side) movement. Running shoes lack the necessary lateral support and grip that pickleball shoes provide. This can lead to slips, slides, and possibly even accidents on the court.

Durability Concerns

Pickleball courts can be tough on shoes. The quick stops and starts, abrupt changes in direction, and dragging your feet during a thrilling rally can cause your running shoes to wear out faster. You might end up with a pair of beat-up running shoes sooner than expected!

Potential Injury Risk

Using running shoes for pickleball can increase the risk of injuries. The lack of proper lateral support can strain your ankles, leading to sprains or twists. You might not be laughing on the court if you end up nursing an injury.

The Final Verdict

After all the pros, cons, and FAQs, it's time for the ultimate showdown - the final verdict on wearing running shoes for pickleball.

While it's okay to use running shoes for pickleball on occasion, especially if you're a casual player or a beginner, it's not the ideal choice for pickleball enthusiasts. Your performance, comfort, and safety on the court should always take precedence.

So, if you're looking to step up your pickleball game and have a blast on the court without any footwear inhibitions, consider investing in a pair of dedicated pickleball shoes. Your feet and your fellow players will thank you, and you'll be well on your way to mastering the exhilarating sport of pickleball!

For a wide selection of pickleball shoes, check out Amazon's offerings:

New Balance Fresh Foam Lav V1


In the end, the answer to the age-old question, "Is it OK to wear running shoes for pickleball?" is a nuanced one. You can get away with it occasionally, but it's not the ideal choice for dedicated pickleball players. Your performance, comfort, and safety should be your top priorities. So, whether you're just starting or have been playing pickleball for a while, consider investing in the right shoes for the game.

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Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Can I Use Running Shoes If I'm a Beginner in Pickleball?

Absolutely, but proceed with caution! If you're new to pickleball and want to give it a try without investing in pickleball shoes, your running shoes can suffice. Just be mindful of the potential traction and support limitations.

How Do I Improve Traction with Running Shoes?

To enhance traction on the pickleball court with running shoes, consider adding grip-enhancing accessories like court shoes' "sticky" soles. These can give your running shoes a little extra bite.

When Should I Make the Switch to Pickleball Shoes?

Once you catch the pickleball bug and find yourself playing regularly, it's a smart move to invest in proper pickleball shoes. They are designed to meet the demands of the sport and can improve your game while keeping you injury-free.

Are There Any Running Shoes That Are Suitable for Pickleball?

Some running shoes are better suited for pickleball than others. Look for running shoes with a wider sole and good lateral support. However, they still won't match the performance of dedicated pickleball shoes.