Running Shoes Vs. Court Shoes: Best Shoes for Tennis and Pickleball
If you’re thinking about getting into Pickleball (and everyone seems to be these days!), you might think you can just grab your running shoes and hit the courts. But if you’re already a tennis player, you’ll know that court shoes and running shoes are different and offer different types of support.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference between running shoes and court shoes and what types of shoes you need if you’re hitting the courts for tennis or pickleball.
When you’re running, you’re only going in one direction. Your feet are hitting the ground continuously in the same spot (on your foot) and absorbing a lot of impact. So you need shoes that support and cushion your feet.
Running Shoes Offer:
- cushioned toe and heel areas to reduce impact from heel-to-toe strikes on the ground
- Dense foam material to help prevent pronation (rolling inward)
- “Bars,” “rails,” and “medial posts” built into midsoles by some brands to aid in alignment and relieve your feet from a constant rolling-inward motion
- Arch support for low or flat arches
Court Shoes for Pickleball or Tennis
When we play tennis or pickleball, we move in all directions. We’re not just going forward, but zigging and zagging across the court and pressing into the outside of our foot. So, unlike in running, court shoes need to offer support for lateral movement.
Court Shoes Offer:
- A focus on lateral support and stability
- a low to the ground feel
- Less cushioning (the lower the ground, the more stable the foot will feel
- Lightweight for quick and easy movements
- long-wear drag tip
- Outsole with good traction
If you’re serious about jumping into pickleball or thinking about taking up tennis, your regular running or street shoes aren’t going to cut it when it comes to support or preventing injuries. Make sure you have the right shoe by checking out the options below and if you need a little extra support you can add an Orange Full to your shoe or (if the liner doesn’t come out) an Orange Light.