Choosing the Right Footwear So You Won't be Left with An Injury

Paddlepro - Oct 27th 2023

Selecting the right footwear is often overlooked in paddle and racquet sports, yet it plays a pivotal role in both performance and injury prevention. We call them “Court Shoes” whether you’re playing Tennis, Pickleball, Paddle, Padel, or Platform Tennis you are looking for a shoe that is stable and durable.

To make the best choice, remember these key points:

Fit: Ensure your shoes fit well. Poorly fitting shoes, whether too big or too small, can lead to issues such as ankle problems and blisters, which not only affect your game but can also result in injuries.

Structure: Seek shoes with a firm and stable structure, particularly for forward, backward and lateral movements. Unlike running shoes, which are designed for forward motion, footwear for paddle and racquet sports must offer support and stability during the rapid side-to-side movements inherent in these activities.

Material: Opt for shoes made of supportive materials that remain firm during lateral movements. Avoid excessively flexible shoes, such as running shoes, as they do not provide the necessary support for the unique demands of paddle and racquet sports.

Soles: Pay attention to the soles of quality court shoes; they should be robust. This part of the shoe takes the most pounding during play. Court Shoes, particularly hard court shoes are made of durable compounds that are stiffer and more durable than other shoes. They are also non-marking so they wont leave marks where a foot may be dragged across a court. They will also have rounded edges to help avoid catching an edge and rolling and ankle.

Common Questions:
Q: Are Running Shoes ok to wear on a court?
A: Absolutely not. In fact they can be dangerous. Running shoes are meant to go in one direction and provide a lot of cushioning. Court Shoes are stable and meant for quick movements in all directions, soles are harder and more durable.

Q: Aren’t Sneakers the same as tennis shoes?
A: No. Although “Tennis Shoes” are sometimes used as a generic term for a sneaker, a true “tennis” or “court” shoe has distinct characteristics.

Q: Can regular sneakers be worn on a court?
A: Regular sneakers provide less support particularly around the ankle thereby offering less support and are not recommended as a court shoe.

Q: What is unique about a the sole of a court shoe?
A: They are more durable, stiffer and made to not leave marks

Q: Is there a difference between a pickleball shoe and a tennis shoe?
A: Not really. Many companies are marketing shoes for pickleball but they share the same basic properties as a tennis shoe. Feel free to wear the same shoe for both.

Q: Do I need a different shoe for indoor play?
A: This depends on the surface, if indoor play means a wooden floor (like a gym floor) and indoor shoe would be beneficial as they have softer “gum” compounds to the sole and would slide less.

Q: Where did the term “Sneaker” come from?
A: Some of the first shoes with rubber soles were advertised as early as 1917 as making them quieter and stealthy.

In these sports, characterized by swift movements and frequent changes in direction, the right footwear can significantly enhance your performance and, most importantly, reduce the risk of injuries. Thus, investing in appropriate footwear is a wise decision for anyone serious about playing paddle or racquet sports. Happy Playing.