Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball? (Alternatives To Pickleball Shoes)

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball?

As a sportsperson who doesn’t want to jiggle between shoes where each one is dedicated to a specific sport. You must be looking for the answer “Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball?”

Basketball shoes are dedicated to bringing speed and agility to your moves. It gives tons of stability and control over side stops and landings after dunks. Basketball shoes can only replace professional pickleball shoes if;

  • If the they have phenomenal lateral stability and arch support
  • If the sneaker material is super durable to bear the weight of lateral force exerted on it during the game 
  • The outsole is non-marking for being used on turf on the pickleball court
  • The upper is breathable to maintain the constant airflow in the toe box 
  • Has the ability to cut through the air to achieve the speed 
  • Lastly, they are lightweight, and not snug

Keep reading to know if any suitable basketball shoe fits the above criteria. And what are the reasons why you can or cannot wear them for both sports?

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball?

No, basketball shoes are not the best alternatives for pickleball shoes. Even though these are both court games and one may consider that an indoor basketball shoe would have the same feature as pickleball shoes. But pickleball requires non-marking shoes to play on the indoor court on turf. 

Moreover, most basketball shoes are bulky as they need the best underfoot cushioning. That saves their knee and foot muscle from being crushed after repeated jumps. 

But the pickleball shoe sole is made up of lighter rubber that is so lightweight to achieve fast speed with their aerodynamic shape in the game. So it employs minimum cushioning and maximum comfort.

Remember that despite every difference, the basketball shoes remain the closest alternative to pickleball shoes. So never ever choose ordinary runner shoes to wear over the pickleball court. 

There is no drastic hazard of wearing basketball shoes over a pickleball court. If you can find a suitable pair of basketball shoes with non-marking rubber soles that are durable for toe drags, sprints, lunges and numerous lateral moves, you can wear the basketball shoes over a pickleball game.

Also Check out: Can You Play Basketball In Skate Shoes?

 Factors That Affect a Pickleball Shoe’s Performance 

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball?

Your shoes must have the following features to be used as pickleball shoes. If it checks all the performance boxes, then there’s no harm in wearing a non-pickleball shoe on a pickleball indoor or outdoor court.

Check out: Can You Use Basketball Shoes For Volleyball?

Width and Length

When you get a shoe to wear on a pickleball court, ensure it is comfortable and has the best fit right out of the box. That said, look for a shoe that is not too snug and not too wide because, for pickleball, you need to have a shoe that has enough space on the sides to make lateral moves. It should not pinch on the pinky-toe area.

Non-Marking Sole

The pickleball game is played on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. An indoor court covered in turf, like tennis and badminton, requires a non-marking shoe made up of a rubber that grips well but does not leave marks on the turf surfaces. 

Such shoes have a specific traction pattern that grips well on the court but does not leave a mark. So look for a pickleball shoe alternative that has a non-marking outsole.



A Pickleball game needs a good amount of physical stamina. Your body must remain hydrated to keep up with such a demanding game.

A leather upper or non-breathable upper shoe will not allow the air to flow around your feet. Ultimately you will get tired sooner than later. So breathability is a vital thing to consider in a pickleball shoe.


Pickleball shoes are the most durable sportswear. Their upper needs to be very durable to bear the extreme lateral force a player exerts on its upper during the game.

Moreover, most shoes have synthetic overlays on the toe box to prevent damage on the upper from toe drags. Additionally, some shoes have rubber coming up to the upper, reinforcing the material’s durability.

The rubber is hard to last longer on outdoor concrete surfaces. There any pickleball shoe alternative should have a solid durability profile.

Lateral Stability

Pickleball shoes are built with high lateral stability because it’s a game where you make maximum side-to-side moves.

That said, the best choice is a shoe that allows rapid turns, sideways and backward moves. A wide shoe base which is also lightweight will allow fast, nimble and stable moves on the pickleball court.

Forefoot Flux and Arch Support

In pickleball, you focus on agile forward and backward movement. It should have a shape to cut through the air and aid the player’s speed.

The slightly bent rocker shape shoes will give an excellent forefoot flux. That forward thrust is necessary to increase shoe aerodynamics.

Moreover, the hard midfoot plate protects the foot muscles and tendons from breaking in speedy moves. A high-ankle collar shoe will give better ankle protection.

Best Basketball Shoes To Be Used As PickleBall Shoes

Are Basketball Shoes Good For Pickleball, Alternatives To Pickleball Shoes

Here are the basketball shoes that can be the best pickleball alternatives for their durability, low-to-the-ground profile and lightweight material.

Check our Guide about: Can You Use Basketball Shoes For Squash?

Jordan One Take 4

Jordan One Take 4 has a non-marking outsole suitable for indoor and outdoor pickleball courts.

Its outsole comes up on the toe area, increasing durability during toe drags. It’s a lightweight and low-to-the-ground shoe. Moreover, its got a good ankle support profile. 

However, it’s less durable than a dedicated pickleball shoe, but it’s the best option the Jordan brand offers for 99$. It would be a perfect bang for your buck.

Nike Kyrie 7 

Foot Doctor Zach compared the Nike Kyrie 7 with a pickleball shoe and concluded that it could be a good alternative for pickleball shoes.

Its upper is less durable than a dedicated pickleball shoe upper, but it competes every criterion and is best to be used on the outdoor pickleball court.


When you play a game that highly relies on your footwork, I would highly recommend going with professional footwear designed to go with the game’s playoff style.

However, if you plan to try on a new game for a limited time, then there is no harm in wearing a suitable alternative sneaker for a few days.

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