Can You Use Tennis Shoes for Pickleball?

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Tennis and pickleball share the similarity of being both racquet sports with a net in the middle of the court and a ball. They are played either in singles or in doubles.

However, there are many disparities between both sports, and the equipment should be adapted to meet the requirements of each one of them.

Can you play pickleball using tennis shoes? Yes, you can use your tennis shoes on an outdoor pickleball court. But it is recommended to invest in proper pickleball shoes if you play regularly, especially indoors.

Surface Difference Between Tennis and Pickleball

Tennis and pickleball are both racquet sports, but they are played on different court surfaces, and these differences have a significant impact on the way the games are played. Here are the primary surface differences between tennis and pickleball courts:

Tennis Court Surface:

  1. Hard Courts: Tennis is commonly played on hard courts, which are made of asphalt or concrete. These courts provide a firm and consistent surface with a relatively fast ball bounce.
  2. Clay Courts: Clay courts are another popular option for tennis, especially in Europe and some parts of the United States. They are made of crushed stone, brick, or shale and are slower than hard courts. The ball bounces higher on clay courts, and players often slide into their shots.
  3. Grass Courts: Grass courts are less common and are typically associated with prestigious tennis tournaments like Wimbledon. Grass courts are the fastest of all court surfaces, providing a low and unpredictable bounce.

Pickleball Court Surface:

  1. Hard Courts: Pickleball is often played on hard courts, similar to tennis. These hard courts can be made of asphalt, concrete, or interlocking plastic tiles. The surface is typically smooth and provides a relatively fast pace of play.
  2. Indoor Courts: Many indoor pickleball courts are made of hardwood, synthetic flooring, or other indoor sports court surfaces. These surfaces offer good traction and consistent ball bounce, which is important for competitive play. However, they are vulnerable to scratches and marks that can damage their properties.
  3. Grass Courts (Less Common): While grass is not a typical surface for pickleball, some informal games may be played on grass, or artificial grass. These courts provide a slower and less predictable bounce compared to hard courts.

Difference Between Tennis Shoes and Pickleball Shoes

There are not many differences between both shoes. The concept of pickleball shoes is recent with brands shifting their attention more to pickleball.

However, since there are some disparities between tennis and pickleball surfaces, you can guess that small adjustments have to be made to tennis shoes.


indoor pickleball

One major example is that pickleball outsoles are relatively thinner and softer to protect the court surface like wood or plastic. Standard tennis shoes will eventually leave scuffs and scratches since they are sturdy and thick.

This is why you should consider dedicated pickleball shoes for indoor play, since they are lightweight and they provide good traction and lateral support, without running the risk of damaging the surface.


outdoor pickleball

Outdoor pickleball shoes should provide good traction and anti-abrasion features to withstand the court conditions. In addition, the shoes need to be durable and breathable since the feet are exposed to more heat.

In addition, good support and cushioning are required on an outdoor pickleball court.

So, the best shoes to wear on an outdoor pickleball court are hardcourt tennis shoes.

If the surface is made of grass, then you can use grass tennis shoes as well.

To Sum it Up

Thank you for reading this post, here is the final takeaway:

  • You can use your tennis shoes for outdoor pickleball, especially on a hard concrete surface like in tennis.
  • You should preferably invest in proper pickleball shoes for indoor play, especially on a hardwood surface.

Read Also: Can You Use Tennis Shoes for Padel?

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