A pickleball shoe (any court shoe, really) should fit like a winter mitten, not a surgical glove.
If you choose a pair of pickleball shoes that fit like surgical gloves, you are asking for trouble. The result is sure to be unnecessary foot pain.
Unlike surgical gloves, which fit tightly, court shoes should have a relaxed and roomy fit — like a winter mitten. They should not fit so loosely that they are falling off, but there should definitely be space for your toes to spread out and move up and down. There should be a slight bit of movement in the heel as well. As long as this is movement without friction, a bit of heel movement is healthy and desirable.
The most important thing to understand about pickleball shoes is that there should be a full thumb-width of space between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe. This space will prevent your toe from slamming into the end of the toe box when you stop and reverse. If this space is insufficient, you will probably end up with black toenails that fall off and take months to grow back.
Pickleball shoes should never be tight. A relaxed fit prevents your shoes from impeding circulation. Over-tightening them restricts blood flow and contributes to premature foot fatigue.
For these same reasons, pickleball shoes should be sufficiently wide. Shoes that are too narrow not only cut off circulation, they contribute to off-balancing which is a contributing factor to on-court trips and falls.
The best way to ensure that your pickleball shoes fit is to come into our store and have one of our shoe experts fit you properly.
We will ask you a series of questions about where you are playing and how frequently you are playing. We will also make sure that the shoes you buy are both long enough and wide enough.
Unlike some of the box stores, our shoe experts are not focused on telling you want you want to hear. We are committed to tell you what you need to hear. We are committed to tell you the truth.
That is why we have hundreds of five-star reviews and customers that come back again and again and again.