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The 7 Best Pickleball Shoes for Women in 2024

Everyone wants to find the best pickleball paddle for their game, but no matter what your paddle is, you’ll have an uncomfortable pickleball experience if you’re in the wrong footwear.

The right pickleball shoes provide the stability and lateral support you need for the quick movements of pickleball. I’ve encountered many players who didn’t take their footwear seriously, and they ended up uncomfortable after short periods of play or even got injured while wearing regular running/walking shoes.

In this post, I’ll cover the top seven women’s shoes that my partner and I have chosen out of the 15+ shoes we’ve tested in recent months. You’ll get tailored recommendations in this post that you won’t find elsewhere based on our 100+ hours spent playing pickleball in these shoes.

By the end of this breakdown, you’ll have the confidence to determine which pickleball shoe best matches your playing style and foot type.

Here’s an at-a-glance summary of the shoe rankings in this review:

  • Best overall: Ryka Courtside | Buy Now | Full Review
  • Runner up: Skechers Viper Court Pro | Buy Now
  • Best for wide feet: Babolat Women’s SFX3 | Buy Now
  • Best for narrow feet: Yonex Sonicage 3 | Buy Now
  • Best for indoor surfaces: Mizuno Wave Lightening Z6 | Buy Now
  • Best minimalist: Merrell Vapor Glove 6 | Buy Now
  • Best value: Skechers Viper Court | Buy Now

1. Ryka Courtside

Price: $99

Awards: Best overall women’s shoes

Fit: True to size.

Where they excel: They check off all the essential boxes – they’re lightweight, supportive, agile, stable, and comfortable. The fit is true to size and feels great from first wear, and the rubber outsoles grip on both indoor and outdoor court surfaces well.

Potential drawbacks: They have more of a relaxed fit than some more aggressive pickleball shoes. You don’t get as much padding as with some bulkier shoes if that’s what you’re after. The shoes have a clean, understated look, which might not satisfy players seeking more visual pop.

My take on the Rykas: These shoes balance lightweight performance with good stability and cushioning. Traction and arch support are there for long and comfortable play sessions. They’ve proven durable over extended play and just feel good to play in.

I recommend the Rykas to: Players with average-sized feet who want a lightweight, non-bulky shoe will like Ryka’s new court shoes. The toe box is generous, so you won’t feel cramped if you have wide-set toes. The classic aesthetic is low-key and non-flashy, so if that’s your style, these should feel great for you. Ryka is also a women-owned, women-operated company, which feels good to support.

2. Sketchers Viper Court Pro

Price: $115

Awards: Runner up.

Fit: Mostly true to size. Might run slightly large. Toe box is spacious but not excessive. Can feel uncomfortably roomy in some places, even for those with wide feet.

Where they excel: Stylish with great colors. Very comfortable and lightweight design. Stable without limiting maneuverability. Good arch support, especially when full laced. Improvements over the original Viper Court, including new a flexible and breathable mesh upper and upgraded Goodyear outsole. Sole is well-shaped to prevent stress on plantar area and highly durable.

Potential drawbacks: Unnecessarily short laces prove challenging to keep tied. Feet may slide around, especially if not laced up tightly. The insole is glued in and seemingly cannot be removed, even though it is stated as removable. This makes it challenging to customize the sole/utilize orthotics. 

My take on the Viper Court Pro: This shoe is rated high and delivers as promised. Comfy and maneuverable with a good design that supports lateral, forward, and backward movement. They’re going to be a good choice for most players and have proven quite durable. Tops of the shoes have been known to develop slight tears, though their effect on performance is negligable. 

3. Babolat Women’s SFX3

Price: $99

Awards: Best for wide feet

Fit: True to size but wide. Don’t require much break-in. Fit takes pressure off of the balls of your feet, but can be a bit loose around the heel.

Where they excel: Very comfortable and durable with a notably wide fit. Great stop-start traction both indoors and outdoors. Plush underfoot cushioning is idyllic. More than adequately cushioned, but lightweight and not clunky. The mesh upper is light and breathable.

Potential drawbacks: Too wide for narrow-to-medium feet, which can compromise support and stability. Not super breathable, overall. Heel feels a little high, though still pretty stable. Laces should be a bit longer.

My take on the Babolat SFX3: These are great pickleball shoes that get really high marks in a lot of areas, especially for people who appreciate a wide fit (like me). You do want to ensure a snug fit, though, because a loose-fitting shoe won’t feel stable for all the quick-pivoting directional movements in pickleball. Use a runners-knot to better lock down your heel if it feels a bit loose due to the width. Note that the inside cushioning often wears down before the soles of these shoes, so consider adding insoles.

4. Yonex Sonicage 3

Price: $79

Awards: Best for narrow feet

Fit: True to size in length but narrow

Where they excel: The Sonicage 3 is my go-to narrow shoe recommendation. They’re ideal for women with high arches and narrow feet. If that’s you, these shoes will feel amazing, as they fit like a cloud but with tons of support with the right foot to match.

Potential drawbacks: Finding the right fit can prove difficult. These shoes are require just the right sizing, making it challenging to find your correct size. They’re not the best in durability, primarily with their sole quality. I’ve had (and heard of) experiences with peeling soles. It did take a while, but I still found them to fall apart prematurely.

My take on the Yonex Sonicage 3: Great shoes for narrow-footed people. They were too narrow for me and my partner, but we have a few friends we play with who fell in love with our two pairs.

5. Mizuno Wave Lightening Z6

Price: $120

Awards: Best for indoor play

Fit: They run small and narrow. Need a small break in period.

Where they excel: These are the best indoor shoes my partner and I have played in. They’re lightweight, have great traction, takeoff, cushioning, and support. The stability is top-notch and helps prevent injuries to ankles and ligaments.

Potential drawbacks: Insoles could be better. They can be squeeky. The plastic insignia sort of looks like a cheap sticker. Tongue is quite long and sharp, making ankle socks less appealing.

My take on the Wave Lightening Z6’s: They may be made for volleyball, but these shoes absolutely rock for indoor pickleball. Great traction, stability, support, and they add a nice little bounce. Just make sure that you size up.

6. Merrell Vapor Glove 6

Price: $89

Awards: Best minimalist shoes

Fit: True to size

Where they excel: Being zero-drop (no raised sole), you get a ton of feedback, feel, and quick maneuverability with the Vapor Gloves.

Potential drawbacks: No cushioning. Less durability than thicker-soles shoes. Requires a large adjustment period versus non-minimalist shoes.

My take on the Vapor Gloves: While these are amazing minimalist shoes, this type of shoe is not for everyone. I rarely see people playing pickleball with zero-drop shoes like these, but I personally wear them as my main shoe. I’ve worn most brands of minimalist shoes, going back to the five-finger shoes. The Vapor Glove line has been my #1 minimalist shoe going on 8 years.

7. Sketchers Viper Court

Price: $90

We covered on the Viper Court Pro earlier, but Skecher’s first non-pro version of the Viper Court pickleball shoe entry also warrants a spot on this best-of list.

Awards: Best for casual comfort and value

Fit: Lower fitting on the ankle. Felt mostly true to size but slightly big in areas. Their length is fine, but definitely wide in the toe box and heel. Easy to step out of the shoes if not tied tight. You might try sizing 1/2 down to prevent this, especially if you have more narrow feet. You might have to size up 1/2 if you are wide at your forefoot or have long feet or, as the length teeters on the shorter end of the size range. Avoid if you have particularly narrow heels.

Where they excel: Nice-looking aesthetically with a lightweight fit that’s very comfortable and suitable for all-day use. Roomy toebox. Moderate but sufficient arch support. $30 cheaper than the Viper Court Pro. Sole is removable, unlike Viper Court Pro.

Potential drawbacks: Not a ton of lateral support. Arch support is there, but not as much as others. Laces are a bit short in length. The heel box will be too roomy for most. My partner and I both dealt with some heel slippage in these shoes, which is uncommon for us. We had to tighten up our laces to prevent foot movement. 

My take on the Viper Court shoes: Nice shoes. We found the wide-toe box nice. The heel box felt wide as well, which wasn’t a plus. Our heels did not feel snug at all. This required major lace-tightening to make it manageable. The shoes felt solid and performed well for us after we tightened laces.. Durability is good overall, especially with the Goodyear brand rubber soles that grip and hold up well, but I did experience a slight tear on the sides of one shoe after 4 months.

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