Are Volleyball Shoes Good for Pickleball? – A Comparison

Are volleyball shoes good for Pickleball

As an experienced volleyball player, I know that safety and performance are super important in any game worldwide. Compromising on these makes the game much harder. Since our topic is volleyball and pickleball shoes, both games have their requirements and standards.

Regarding volleyball shoes, the major focus is on good ankle support, considering high jumps and explosive movements. On the other hand, pickleball shoes’ design emphasizes pressure, strategy, and quick action due to the shorter courts and net height.

However, based on the given analysis, using volleyball shoes for pickleball might not be optimal. Like selecting gear options in other games involves considering various factors, choosing shoes involves comparing weight, price, midsole, soles, and design before deciding which shoe suits another game’s use.

So, to find out the detailed answer to the question “Are volleyball shoes good for pickleball,” read the article till the end.

Basic Concept of Volleyball And Pickleball Shoes

Volleyball shoes are designed to provide players with the necessary support, cushioning, and traction for the quick movements and jumps required in the sport. They typically feature a lightweight, breathable upper material, a supportive midsole, and a gum rubber outsole for enhanced grip on indoor courts.

The shoes for pickleball offer lateral support, stability, and a durable outsole that can withstand frequent stops, starts, and direction changes on the pickleball court. Pickleball shoes also provide ample cushioning to absorb the impact of the game’s quick movements.

Essential Features of Volleyball And Pickleball Shoes

After basic understanding, let’s learn how Volleyball shoes share some similar features with pickleball shoes, which include:

Volleyball Shoes

  • Cushioning: Volleyball shoes provide ample cushioning to absorb the impact of jumps and landings.
  • Traction: Gum rubber outsoles offer excellent grip on indoor courts.
  • Lightweight: Volleyball shoes are made to be light so you can move fast and jump quickly.
  • Breathability: Many volleyball shoes feature breathable mesh uppers to keep feet cool and dry.

Pickleball Shoes

When choosing pickleball shoes, consider the following essential features:

  • Lateral support: Look for shoes with a wide, stable base and reinforced sidewalls to prevent ankle rolling during side-to-side movements.
  • Cushioning: Enough padding in the middle part of the shoe helps soak up the shock and lessens the strain on your joints.
  • Traction: A strong, no-marking sole with a good grip design is important for keeping your footing steady on the court.
  • Breathability: choose shoes with breathable upper materials to keep your feet cool and dry during intense play.

Similarities and Differences Between Volleyball and Pickleball Shoes

Volleyball and pickleball are two popular sports with unique footwear requirements. While both games involve quick movements, the shoes differ in design. Let’s explore the key comparison between volleyball and pickleball shoes.

Volleyball Shoes vs Pickleball Shoes

Similarities between Volleyball and Pickleball Shoes

  • Both shoes prioritize cushioning and shock absorption.
  • They feature non-marking outsoles for indoor court use.
  • Lightweight construction is common in both types of shoes.
  • Breathability is a key feature in both volleyball and pickleball shoes.

Differences between Volleyball and Pickleball Shoes

  • Pickleball shoes offer more lateral support and stability than volleyball shoes.
  • The outsole pattern and tread design may differ to cater to the specific movements of each sport.
  • Pickleball shoes may have a lower profile and a wider base for better court feel and stability.
  • Volleyball shoes often have extra padding in the heel to endure the shock when you jump and land.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wearing Volleyball Shoes for Pickleball

Using volleyball shoes for pickleball has both advantages and disadvantages. Although they might help somehow, they also have things they can’t do. Understanding these pros and cons is crucial for making an informed decision.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of using volleyball shoes in pickleball!


  • Volleyball shoes have nice padding, which can help pickleball players.
  • The lightweight construction of volleyball shoes allows for quick movements on the court.
  • The gum rubber outsoles offer adequate traction on indoor pickleball courts.


  • Volleyball shoes might not give enough support for moving sideways in pickleball.
  • The bottoms of volleyball shoes may not be perfect for all the different ways you move when playing pickleball.
  • The higher profile and less stable base of volleyball shoes may affect a player’s court feel and balance.

Risks of Wearing Volleyball Shoes for Pickleball

Volleyball shoes are not ideal for pickleball. Different court surfaces require specific shoes. Injuries can occur if improper footwear is used. Let’s see the risks.

  • Increased risk of ankle rolling and sprains due to insufficient lateral support.
  • Reduced court feel and stability can affect a player’s performance and shot-making ability.
  • Potential for premature wear and tear of the outsole due to the different movement patterns in pickleball.

Are Volleyball Shoes Good for Pickleball? 5 Reasons for Unsuitability

Using volleyball shoes for playing pickleball outdoors is not a good idea because they can get damaged easily on the rough outdoor courts. However, you can use volleyball shoes to play pickleball indoors.

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Choosing the right shoes is important for playing well. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t wear volleyball shoes for pickleball:

  1. The middle part of pickleball shoes is made to absorb shocks and provide cushioning when hitting the ball hard. Volleyball shoes are made to give a strong grip on the court.
  2. Volleyball shoes have rubber soles glued on to help players avoid slipping. Pickleball shoes have aggressive soles to give players a tight grip while moving around the court.
  3. Volleyball shoes are lighter than pickleball shoes because volleyball involves more quick side-to-side movements. Pickleball shoes are a bit heavier to provide stability and cushioning when hitting the ball.
  4. Pickleball shoes often look more stylish and compact than volleyball shoes, which can appear bulky.
  5. Pickleball shoes usually cost more than volleyball shoes.

Quick Overview on the Comparison of Volleyball and Pickleball Shoes

FeatureVolleyball ShoesPickleball Shoes
Lateral SupportModerateHigh
CushioningHigh, especially in the heel areaAdequate, evenly distributed
TractionGood, with gum rubber outsolesExcellent, with durable, non-marking outsoles
BreathabilityGood, with breathable mesh uppersGood, with breathable upper materials
Outsole PatternDesigned for volleyball movementsDesigned for pickleball movements
Shoe ProfileHigher profileLower profile
Base WidthNarrower baseWider base for better stability
Sport-Specific DesignDesigned for volleyballDesigned specifically for pickleball
Injury PreventionModerate, may not provide sufficient lateral support for pickleballHigh, with features tailored to pickleball movements
DurabilityDurable for volleyball, but may wear out faster when used for pickleballHighly durable, designed to withstand the demands of pickleball
PerformanceOptimal for volleyball, but may not provide the best performance for pickleballOptimal for pickleball, enhancing court feel, stability, and quick movements
Recommended UsageSuitable for casual pickleball play, but not ideal for serious playersHighly recommended for all levels of pickleball play

Expert Tips for Choosing Volleyball Shoes for Pickleball

If you must use volleyball shoes for pickleball, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose lower profile and wider base volleyball shoes for better stability.
  2. Look for shoes with reinforced sidewalls or additional lateral support features.
  3. Ensure the outsole pattern provides adequate traction for the quick stops and starts in pickleball.
  4. Replace your volleyball shoes more frequently, as they may wear out faster due to the different movement patterns in pickleball.

Last Words!

At first glance, you might think volleyball and pickleball shoes look the same. But they’re quite different in many ways. While volleyball shoes are similar to pickleball shoes, they are not ideal for serious pickleball players. Investing in dedicated pickleball shoes is recommended to ensure optimal performance, comfort, and injury prevention. 

When selecting pickleball shoes, prioritize lateral support, cushioning, traction, and breathability. You can make your pickleball time better with the proper shoes and play your best on the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use running shoes for pickleball?

Running shoes are not recommended for pickleball, as they lack the lateral support and stability required for the sport’s side-to-side movements.

How often should I replace my pickleball shoes?

The condition of pickleball shoes depends on how often you play, what kind of court you play on, and how you wear them down. Generally, replace your shoes every 6 to 12 months or when you notice significant wear and tear.

Can I use pickleball shoes for other sports?

While pickleball shoes may be suitable for other racquet sports, such as badminton or tennis, it’s best to use sport-specific shoes for optimal performance and injury prevention.

Can I wear my volleyball shoes to play pickleball?

Yes, it’s usually okay to wear volleyball shoes when playing pickleball, especially if you’re just playing for fun. They provide good traction, support, and stability. Just ensure they’re in good condition to avoid slipping or injury on the court.

Can wearing the wrong shoes affect how well I play pickleball?

Yes, wearing shoes not made for pickleball can make it harder to play your best. Pickleball shoes are special because they give you support and stability when you move from side to side. They also last longer. 

If you wear the wrong shoes, your feet might hurt, you might not be able to move as quickly, and you could get hurt more easily on the pickleball court.

Are pickleball shoes good for volleyball?

Volleyball and pickleball share comparable on-court movements, such as lateral shuffles and quick directional changes. As a result, shoes designed for pickleball often perform well for volleyball players, too. 

However, when selecting pickleball shoes for volleyball, it’s important to ensure they provide adequate support and stability to meet the specific demands of volleyball gameplay.

What type of shoe is best for pickleball?

For playing pickleball indoors, the best shoes have soles made of soft rubber. This special rubber helps you grip the smooth indoor floor better. It also works well with the padding in the middle part of the shoe to make it more comfortable. 

Many indoor pickleball shoes use a lot of mesh fabric on the top part, which makes them lighter than shoes made for playing outside.

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