What Are The Best Racquetball Shoes?
Racquetball is a fast-paced game that requires the player to be quick on their feet. Your ability to rapidly move around the court is important to your success in the sport.
This is why you need the right shoes. But how can you know which shoes would be best?
What are the best shoes for racquetball? Typically, the best shoes for racquetball would be racquetball shoes. They are specifically designed to grip the court floor, and to support your body as it moves in quick, direction changing motions during play. Shoes for sports played on similar courts are also beneficial, but not as ideal as shoes specifically designed for the sport.
That being said, not all racquetball shoes are created equal.
To help you find the right shoe for you I have put together some helpful information to consider, along with six racquetball shoe reviews for men and women, and some tips for shoe care.
My Favorite Racquetball Shoes
Head Sonic 2000
Perfect shoes exclusively designed for racquetball. My top pick on the list.
Racquetball Specific Shoes - What to Consider
When deciding what shoes to wear there are quite a few things to consider. From deciding between racquetball specific shoes and similar sport shoes, to considering the shoe soles, and so much more.
Indoor racquetball is played on courts that have a protective polyurethane sealer. This coating can be slippery if your shoes don’t have the right amount of grip to them. Racquetball shoes are designed with this flooring in mind.
Like many indoor sport shoes, the soles of racquetball shoes are gum rubber soles. These soles are really beneficial for playing on the court floor because of their ability to grip the surface. They also don’t mark up the floor which is nice.
But it is not just the flooring that the shoes are designed for. They are also designed considering the type of movement the sport requires. In racquetball, the players have to shuffle and pivot all over the court very quickly. These motions require the right amount of support and mobility.
You’ll find that racquetball shoes have the kind of support needed. Some shoes have high tops to protect the ankles, while others have low tops to provide more mobility. In fact, there are even shoes with mid-level tops that offer both support and mobility. You’ll want to try different shoes to see which kind will work best for you.
Similar Court Sport Shoes
Basketball is played on a similar court, but basketball shoes are actually not recommended for racquetball. This is due in large part to the fact that basketball shoes are heavier, and they are more constricting on the foot. These factors will impact your agility and stamina while playing.
On the other hand, indoor volleyball shoes would be a great option! They are made of the same things and offer even greater shock absorption due to all the jumping in volleyball.
In fact, volleyball shoes are probably the most similar type of shoe to racquetball shoes. It’s important to note that volleyball shoes are generally more restrictive than racquetball shoes.
Why Other Sport Shoes Aren’t a Good Idea
Generally, other sport shoes, such as tennis or running shoes, are not suitable choices for racquetball. These shoes are designed for completely different surfaces and functions.
Tennis is a similar sport to racquetball, but the court surface and the movements of the sport are quite different. Wearing a shoe designed for the needs of tennis wouldn’t be able to meet the needs of playing racquetball as adequately as racquetball shoes or even volleyball shoes.
Running shoes are designed to move generally in a forward direction on outdoor surfaces. This design would be limiting in a game of racquetball where you need to be able to switch directions repeatedly and quickly on a much smoother surface.
Wearing the wrong shoes can make you more susceptible to injury. So, while it seems easier to just use whatever shoes you may already have, in my opinion, it’s worth investing in some more appropriate shoes to avoid injury and have more stability while playing.
Known Brands Are a Safe Choice
While most people can agree that they love saving money, it's worse to have to throw something out because it is useless. We advise if it's your first pair of shoes and you are a novice in selecting shoes, stick to some well-known brands.
A couple of examples of good brands for racquetball shoes are:
- New Balance
There are plenty more good brands like Ektelon and HEAD for example, but that is just to name a few.
It’s better to go with a bigger name brand because they can provide better customer service, in-store options (like pick-up in store), and more.
It’s also more difficult for you to receive a terrible quality product as larger companies have a better quality check process in place.
Fit and Sizing
It’s important that you get the right size of shoe and that you have a comfortable fit. If not, you will experience issues while playing.
Shoes that are too big will cause you to slip around in the shoe, even if the shoe isn’t slipping around on the floor. But having shoes that are too small can also cause discomfort and instability, not to mention possibly cause blisters.
Make sure you get a shoe that fits correctly by ensuring that it fits comfortably. If it’s comfortable then you are off to a good start.
You’ll want to make sure your toes aren’t pressing against the front of your shoes. You also want to be able to wiggle your toes. The shoe shouldn’t be too tight or too loose on your foot.
You will also want to make sure the shoe is wide enough for your feet. That may require that you buy a shoe that is a half size to a full size bigger than your normal shoe size.
One suggestion I read said to try on shoes when your feet are a bit swollen. If it’s comfortable like that, then it’s a good shoe.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to delve into our shoe reviews!
6 Racquetball Shoe Reviews
After scouring many articles listing reviews for racquetball shoes I’ve summed up the three commonly recommended shoes for men and women. These shoes come highly recommended but keep in mind there are many other highly recommended shoes. So, if any of these don’t fit what you are looking for don’t worry, there are still plenty of other options out there!
Men’s Racquetball Shoes
#1 My Favorite Pick
HEAD Men’s Sonic 2000
Perfect shoes exclusively designed for racquetball. My top pick on the list.
|Breathable||Bit heavier than other options|
HEAD is a pretty big name in racquetball, and that is well deserved. This shoe has the gum rubber sole, mid ankle support, and EVA midsole fitted in the shoe to provide comfort. The materials used for the shoe (Amazon link) make it really breathable and it is reasonably priced.
Other than the fact that this shoe is a bit heavier than others, it really is a great option!
#2 Great Value for Money
ASICS Men’s Gel Rocket 9
These pair of shoes are great if you are looking for a multipurpose item. They are arguably one of the best for the money.
|Durability||Low ankle support|
The ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 9 shoes come in a good variety colors. While these shoes are originally designed for volleyball, a ton of people recommended them for racquetball. The gel in the shoe makes it very comfortable.
It is also a lightweight shoe (Amazon link), which is definitely a desirable quality. Because they are volleyball shoes, they have good shock absorbency.
On the slight downside, they don’t have a lot of ankle support, so if you are looking for ankle support this may not be the shoe for you.
It can also be hard to remove the liner so if you need to add an insert you may want to consider a different shoe.
#3 Lightest yet Durable Pick
Python Men’s Deluxe Indoor
Very comfortable shoes made to last. Perfect for indoor surfaces.
This shoe has so many great qualities. The inner mesh gives you flexibility while keeping your feet fresh and dry. The gum rubber soles have great grip providing you with the traction you will need, and the inner sole is removable so you can replace it if you need to.
It is durable and really lightweight, making it a great shoe (Amazon link) for racquetball players of any skill level.
Women’s Racquetball Shoes
#1 Best Quality-Price
ASICS Women’s Gel Rocket 9
Lightweight shoes perfect for different sports. They come with a nice extra cuishoning.
|Lightweight||Not the best option for wide feet|
The ASICS Women’s Gel Rocket have a lot of the same pros as the ones for men. They are lightweight, breathable, have the gum rubber soles, and they have extra cushioning since they are volleyball shoes.
They also have mid-level ankle support, giving you stability and freedom. They also come in a variety of colors (Amazon link) , which is always nice.
The only downsides are that the insoles are hard to remove, and they are not the greatest shoe for wide feet. Other than that, they are great shoes!
#2 Premium Choice
ASICS Women’s Gel Blade 5
Although pricey, these shoes can be used for many sports, which make them a great option if you don't want to buy a different pair for each sport you practice.
This shoe is a much more versatile shoe that the others on the list. It was designed to be able to perform for any indoor court sport.
While versatility is a nice trait, this shoe has many others. It is more lightweight (Amazon link) than most volleyball shoes, and still has the comfort of gel. The inserts are also easy to remove.
These shoes tend to be a bit more expensive and they run a little large. I would recommend trying them on in person before purchasing.
#3 Great for Advanced Players
Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z4
High-end racquetball shoes delivering great quality. Perfect for racquetball players looking to get more seriously into the game.
The fit and breathability of this shoe is unlike any other due to the AIRMesh Upper and Intercool technology.
It also has grooves in the forefoot and midfoot that allows the wearer to maneuver with agility and stability. But it doesn’t stop there, this shoe also has amazing shock absorption.
These shoes (Amazon link) can be a bit pricey, but it might be an investment worth making, especially if you are serious about racquetball.
Once you’ve found your perfect pair of racquetball shoes, you’re going to want to follow some basic care practices to keep them in tip top shape.
The most basic and most effective thing you can do to care for your racquetball shoes is to not wear them outside of the court. This is not only good for your shoes but it’s also good manners.
By not wearing your shoes outside of the court you are also not tracking in dirt, dust, or anything else your shoes could come in contact with. That leaves the court clean for the next people who play.
In addition to that, it keeps your shoes able to adequately grip the court floor enabling you to perform to the best of your abilities. It’s really worth the inconvenience.
It also keeps your shoes protected from normal wear and tear. If you wear your shoes out and about then they will wear out quicker.
REMEMBER: Just normal everyday activities will shorten the lifespan of your shoes leaving you to either need new ones or play with worn out shoes.
To Sum Up
While it might seem like you can wear any sport shoe to play racquetball, I’ve learned that racquetball specific shoes are probably your best option. Although, volleyball and indoor court shoes are also great choices for the sport.
Not all good shoe options are created equal and it’s important that you try them on before committing to a shoe so you can make sure you get the shoe that works best for you.
Remember to pay attention to ankle support, breathability, weight and even how easy or hard it is to remove and replace inserts if you need to.
Make sure to care for your shoes by not wearing them outside of the racquetball court. This will extend the life of your shoes and keep them in good enough shape to play. Not to mention, it will also keep the courts you play in cleaner.
Now you are ready to find your perfect pair of shoes! Hopefully this list is at least a good starting point.