Difference Between Pickleball Shoes and Tennis Shoes

By: Brandon Fritze

Pickleball shoes are designed for lateral movement and provide excellent grip on indoor surfaces, while tennis shoes are built for multidirectional movement with a focus on durability and support for outdoor play.

In this article, we break down the key differences and help you choose the perfect pair for your game. Let’s step into the court with confidence!

What are the Differences Between Pickleball Shoes and Tennis Shoes

Pickleball shoes and tennis shoes may look similar, but they have some crucial differences:

Sole Design

Pickleball shoes typically have a flat sole with good traction on indoor courts. They’re made to help you move quickly and change direction easily.

Tennis shoes, on the other hand, have a herringbone or zigzag pattern on the sole, which provides a better grip on the tennis court’s diverse surfaces.

Tennis Shoes Sole


Tennis shoes withstand the abrasion from rough tennis court surfaces.

Pickleball shoes, tailored for smoother indoor courts, may have a shorter lifespan on a tennis court.

Toe Protection

Tennis shoes often have extra protection in the toe area because tennis players often drag their toes during play.

Pickleball shoes usually don’t have this extra protection since it’s less common in pickleball.


Pickleball shoes tend to be lighter than tennis shoes. This is due to pickleball’s less intense movement, requiring less support and cushioning than tennis shoes.


Tennis shoes provide better lateral support because tennis involves a lot of side-to-side movement. Interestingly, Pickleball shoes prioritize forward and backward movement.

How is Tennis vs. Pickleball Shoes Similar?

Pickleball and tennis shoes have standard features because they’re meant for similar activities of playing sports on a court. They focus on comfort, style, and performance to help you enjoy the game.

Now, let us see how the shoes of pickleball vs. tennis are similar:

Court Sports

Manufacturers produce both pickleball and tennis shoes for sports played on courts.

They share similarities because they need to provide good traction and support on these surfaces.


Both types of shoes aim to keep your feet comfy while you play. They usually have cushioning to reduce the impact on your feet.

Athletic Style

Tennis shoes and pickleball shoes frequently have a sporty appearance. You can choose your favorite style because they are available in a number of designs and hues.

Brand Options

You can find popular sports shoe brands making both pickleball and tennis shoes. These brands have experience in creating footwear that meets the needs of court athletes.

Can I use Tennis Shoes for Pickleball?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use tennis shoes for pickleball, especially when you’re just starting out or playing casually.

Additionally, Tennis shoes are specifically made for court sports. They provide the traction and support needed for playing pickleball on a court.

Tennis Shoes

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Tennis shoes generally have a good grip, making them suitable for quick movements on the pickleball court.
  • Furthermore, Tennis shoes provide decent lateral support, which can be particularly helpful in pickleball, where side-to-side movements are commonplace.
  • If your tennis shoes are comfortable and in good condition, they should work well for pickleball.

What Kind of Shoes Are Best for Pickleball?

Tennis shoes or court shoes with high grip and lateral movement design are the finest shoes for pickleball. They should also be cozy to wear for extended periods of time.

Pickleball Shoes

Here are some specific features to look for in pickleball shoes:

Non-Marking Rubber Outsole

This will provide good traction on the court without leaving marks.

Herringbone Or Multidirectional Tread Pattern

This will help you grip the court in all directions.

Good Cushioning

This will help absorb impact and protect your joints.

Supportive Upper

This will help keep your feet stable and prevent injuries.

Some popular pickleball shoe brands include:




New Balance



Also Read:

How to Choose the Right Pickleball Shoes?

When choosing pickleball shoes, it’s essential to try on a few different pairs to find the ones that fit best and feel most comfortable.

You should also consider the type of court you’ll be playing on. If you’re playing on a hard court, you’ll want a shoe with more cushioning.

If you’re playing on a soft court, you can get away with a lighter shoe.

No matter what type of pickleball shoes you choose, make sure they’re in good condition before you play.

A worn-out pair of shoes can increase your risk of injury.

FAQs: Pickleball vs Tennis Shoes

1. Are pickleball and tennis shoes the same?

Pickleball and tennis shoes are similar in many ways, but there are some key differences. Shoe designers create pickleball shoes to meet the specific requirements of pickleball. On the other hand, they design tennis shoes to cater to a wider range of court sports.

2. Are tennis shoes good for pickleball?

You can use tennis shoes for pickleball, but they might not offer the best performance. Pickleball shoes provide more traction, support, and cushioning compared to tennis shoes since they are specifically designed for the requirements of the game.

If you’re serious about pickleball, it’s worth investing in a pair of dedicated pickleball shoes. However, if you’re just starting out or only play occasionally, you can get away with using tennis shoes.

3. Does a “pickleball shoe” exist?

Certainly. Various brands offer dedicated pickleball shoes. These provide greater traction, support, and cushioning compared to tennis shoes or other types of athletic footwear because they are specifically designed to meet the requirements of pickleball.

Final Thoughts on Tennis Shoes vs Pickleball Shoes

When you consider the debate between pickleball shoes and tennis shoes, it’s all about finding the right fit for your game. Your playing style and preferences will eventually determine which is best for you because each has particular advantages.

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