Pickleball vs. Tennis Shoes: Key Differences You Need to Know

If you're new to the world of pickleball, you might be wondering if you can just use your regular tennis shoes for the court. After all, the game is similar, right?

While it's true that there are some similarities between tennis and pickleball, there are also some important differences that you need to be aware of—especially when it comes to footwear.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the key differences between pickleball shoes and tennis shoes so that you can make an informed decision about which type of shoe is right for you.

Pickleball vs. Tennis: Court Surfaces

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a shoe for pickleball is the surface of the court. Pickleball courts are typically made of concrete, asphalt, or another hard surface, while tennis courts can be made of any number of materials, including hardcourt, clay, or grass.

Because of this difference in court surfaces, it's important to choose a shoe that has appropriate traction for the type of court you'll be playing on. Tennis shoes typically have more aggressive tread patterns than pickleball shoes, which means they can provide better traction on softer surfaces like clay or grass.

However, because pickleball shoes have less tread, they can provide better grip on hardcourt surfaces like concrete or asphalt.

Pickleball vs. Tennis: Shoe Construction

Another important consideration is the construction of the shoe. Pickleball shoes tend to have a lower profile than tennis shoes and often feature a wider toe box to accommodate quick movements and changes in direction.

They also tend to be lighter weight and more comfortable than tennis shoes. This is due in part to the fact that they don't need to provide as much support or stability as tennis shoes since pickleball isn't played on uneven surfaces like clay or grass.


So, what's the bottom line? Are pickleball shoes the same as tennis shoes? The answer is no—and for good reason. The key differences between these two types of footwear include court surface, shoe construction, and intended use.

When choosing a shoe for pickleball, be sure to keep these factors in mind so that you can choose a shoe that's right for you and your playing style.

We did an article on the best pickleball shoes for both men and women. Tap below to find the best pickleball shoes for you!