One of the first things to check on when helping a new player test the pickleball waters is to take a minute when the time is right (usually after play or during a break) and have a chat about Pickleball shoes and possible injuries. This is especially important for senior players who may not have been very active in quite a while. Injuries caused from not wearing proper Pickleball shoes - tennis or court shoes - can be quite serious. I’ve seen new players with the wrong shoes on their feet take a fall when running and turning for a ball. Often the fall results in nothing more serious than embarrassment. However, I’ve also seen an Achilles tear, a broken wrist, a twisted ankle, ligament knee tear and a players head bouncing off a gym floor. These are not minor injuries and take time to heal. Often, when pickleball players talk about a fall of the court, it is caused by 1) poor footwork on the court or 2) wearing non-Pickleball shoes.
Pickleball/tennis shoes are specifically designed to bend, twist and grip when making the wide range of foot moments a player effects during practice or play. Running shoes and cross-trainers are NOT designed for racket sport movements. Non-pickleball shoes and worm out shoes of any kind will cause falling/tripping/slipping injuries. Just ask any sports' surgery practitioner.
If you are a newcomer to Pickleball and have been become hooked on the game, as so many of us have, it is well worth the cost and time to get a proper pair of Pickleball shoes for play. The most difficult part of buying Pickleball shoes, besides the cost which is well worth it, is to decide on the make, color and design of the shoe for you. The number of Pickleball shoe choices in the market place is remarkable.
Lastly, count yourself lucky if you have a local tennis or Pickleball store near you. They can show you an extensive variety of shoes, ensure you are buying shoes good for Pickleball, that fit correctly and are comfortable, and give advice on the quality of different manufacturers. Buying local also helps your community to maintain a strong economic base and to continue to supply the best products for you, its customers.