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Ryka Women’s Courtside Pickleball Shoes In-Depth Review

I saw that Ryka was releasing a pickleball shoe, so I thought it’d be a good choice for my first shoe review.

My partner and a number of women in my family have worn various styles of Ryka shoes over the years. They appreciate the performance of their shoes and that the company is women-owned.

My partner and I play pickleball together and share the same shoe size, so we both tested out a pair of Ryka’s new pickleball-focused court shoes that Ryka sent me. She and I typically wear Merrell Vapor Glove 5 shoes for pickleball.

In this post, I’ll share my first-hand experience with this new Ryka pickleball shoe line.

I feel these shoes will be popular, and I’m glad to help potential buyers decide if this Ryka line suits them.

Specifications

Here are some design specifics of the shoes:

  • Weight: 8.9 oz/250 g per shoe
  • Sole Height: 1.375″
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm drop
  • Insole: EVA insole for arch and heel support
  • Midsole: Lightweight compression-molded EVA
  • Outsole: Molded rubber outsole with a firm rubber shank on the medial side for stability & traction
  • Upper: Cow leather with perforations for breathability
  • Collar: Padded collar for added comfort
  • Style/aesthetics: The Ryka Courtsides have a simple, classic court shoe design that is sharp yet understated. I’m glad it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.

Quick Summary

My partner and I have enjoyed these shoes on indoor and outdoor courts over a couple of weeks of intensive daily play.

All the essentials are there – comfort, support, and stability. They fit well out of the box. We didn’t really notice a break-in period. We have put them through their paces in our couple of weeks wearing them but will need more time with them to give a conclusive durability assessment.

I typically wear zero-drop shoes, but I found the insole cushioning and EVA midsole quite comfortable, and I appreciated the shock absorption. The outsole was plenty grippy on multiple surfaces, both indoor and outdoor. Traction was there on multi-directional movement, and stability was solid.

The EVA foam on the midsole/insole does well to smooth out impact and allow for long, pain-free sessions. My feet, knees, and legs felt unbothered when transitioning to these shoes, which I can’t say for many of the other shoes I’ve been testing. The cushioning and shock absorption get good marks from me. I really appreciate that they’re not overly squishy/bulky, too.

The rubber outsoles are plenty grippy, and I have no problem moving in all directions at all speeds. The tread has a good blend of flexibility and stiffness to grip well without feeling rigid. My feet always felt secure, and I didn’t fear rolling an ankle in them.

Fit

The Ryka’s fit feels true to size. If I had to lean in one direction, I’d say they run slightly on the larger size. Those with narrow feet may consider sizing a half-size down.

They felt good on mine and my partner’s somewhat wide feet. There’s enough room in the toe box to not squish our feet (a problem I’ve encountered often). At the same time, they didn’t feel loose at all.

The structure of the shoe was firm and comfortable. I felt really stable and protected, which is important to me, as I’ve suffered ankle injuries from ill-fitting footwear. I do have a tiny bit of wiggly room at the very top of the toe box. Despite this, my feet feel securely locked in without sliding or lifting.

Overall, Ryka’s Courtside offers an excellent glove-like fit, which I feel is suitable for narrow, average, and slightly wide feet.

Comfort

These are comfy shoes. I never experienced heel, arch, or forefoot pain during or after 3-hour indoor & outdoor sessions. I loved the roomy toe-box immediately. My outer midfoot felt a little pressure on first wear, but this dissipated in 30 min and didn’t return.

The EVA midsole/insole is nice and provides responsive cushioning. It absorbs just enough shock and impact without sacrificing too much feel (important to me as a minimalist shoe connoisseur).

We didn’t notice any abrasion at the top of the shoe’s collar, which we’ve faced with other court shoes. The padded collar is comfortable without hugging the ankle too tight.

Overall, both of our feet felt fresh and energized on the court wearing these shoes for 3-4 hour long sessions, day in and day out. The generous toe box and pliable upper are comfortable with lateral room for wider-footed women.

Foot Support/Stability

I feel like Ryka did a good job with the insole. It mimicked the shape of both of our feet quite well. Neither of us experienced arch fatigue and felt like we could move freely. The arch support is tailored specifically for women, and my partner really felt that Ryka succeeded here.

The midsole was supportive, and being made of EVA foam, it kept things soft yet responsive without being too pronounced. I’ve been turned off testing some shoes with more pronounced midsoles. You get good impact protection without the shoe feeling bulky or unstable.

The rubber outsole adds some shock absorption, along with the rubber shank that goes along the medial midsole. The rubber shank definitely reinforces intense lateral movement and directional changes. This is a big bonus for pickleball, which features a ton of lateral movement. I appreciated my ability to play aggressively when pushing off laterally in these shoes.

Weight

At 8.9 ounces, these shoes are quite lightweight. The low-profile design moves seamlessly with my feet and delivers good performance features for being this lightweight. The medially positioned rubber shank that supports lateral reinforcement is well-positioned and doesn’t add unwanted heft.

I was happy with this since I’m used to barefoot/zero-drop shoes. I don’t cope well with heavy or cumbersome shoes. The low profile of the Rykas is ideal, in my opinion. The weight and good breathability make them suitable for all-day wear off the court, as well.

Durability

I’ve only been testing these shoes for a couple of weeks, so I can’t give a definitive review of Ryka’s pickleball shoe durability yet.

I can say that they’re holding up great so far and that Ryka shoes are usually well-designed with durability in mind. It seems that they’ve reinforced high-stress areas for longevity. The rubber outsoles still look new after many hours playing on rough, older outdoor courts.

Should You Buy Ryka’s Courtside Pickleball Shoes?

I think these shoes are a great choice for casual and competitive players alike who are seeking lightweight performance shoes with an optimal mix of cushioning and stability without added bulk. You’ll get good arch support and grippy traction for indoor/outdoor courts. They’re also good for wide-footed players needing a somewhat roomy toe box.

Ryka is also a women-owned company that prides itself on making quality performance equipment for women, so in addition to getting a great shoe, you’re supporting a great company.

I think most female players will be satisfied with these shoes. But shoe choices are ultimately very subjective, so your mileage may vary.

A note on style: these Rykas are sharp-looking yet understated. Those wanting bright, bold, or flashy colors might not like the muted color palette of Ryka’s pickleball offerings. But if you prefer a classic aesthetic that’s low-key style, these shoes deliver. The sleek silhouette of the shoes really conveys understated performance.

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