Indoor VS Outdoor Pickleball Shoes: What’s the Difference?

Whether you opt for indoor or outdoor shoes, their soles and walls are the main difference. Indoor shoes have thinner walls to offer you good ventilation. In comparison, outdoor shoes have enhanced lateral comfortable walls and strengthened materials to provide the best ventilation and support. 

Indoor VS Outdoor Pickleball Shoes – The main distinction lies in the outsole design and the specific features optimized for the playing conditions. When choosing between indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes, consider the type of court you’ll be playing on and the specific demands of that environment.

You should know the key differences between indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes.

Can You Wear Indoor Pickleball Shoes Outdoors?

You can wear indoor pickleball shoes outdoors because rough surfaces like those made of concrete or any other material can also damage the insole and outsole. The rugged terrains can end up the rubber on the soles of indoor shoes.

Because the indoor pickleball court mimics the surface and size of the badminton court, therefore, there is no wonder that the shoe made to play for this game would come with similar features. 

This is how the pickleball shoe works until a specific company designs an indoor pickleball shoe. But, the good news is that the tennis shoes can be used to play pickleball games and are thus ideal for pickleball courts, so they are versatile and come with innovative features that you can easily use indoors. 

Can You Wear Indoor Pickleball Shoes Outdoors

The unique feature of the tennis shoe lies in its versatile design for lateral movements, which is also ideal for pickleball. If you want to opt for something other than two different varieties to cover the cupboard’s space, you can opt for one of your choices. 

Therefore it is best to go for the best indoor shoes indoors and outdoor shoes for outdoors to meet the environmental conditions for best performance and durability.

What’s The Difference Between Outdoor And Indoor Pickleball Shoes? Key Differences

Although in appearance, indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes are the same as athletic shoes because they come with the same durability, soles, and materials to provide you with extra comfort. But there are definitely differences between outdoor and indoor pickleball shoes that make them different to each other.

What's The Difference Between Outdoor And Indoor Pickleball Shoes


Indoor pickleball shoes feature a smooth sole that protects the feet on the indoor playing surface and offers good traction on smooth and even textures.

While outdoor pickleball shoes have more aggressive soles to offer stability outdoors and better traction, the courts may have more debris and uneven surfaces.

So, it is best to wear indoor pickleball shoes for the court.


Outdoor pickleball shoes are made with more durable material to withstand weather conditions and can deal with outdoor rough and challenging surfaces. 

Indoor pickleball shoes are made with minimal material, as there is no risk of harsh weather; therefore, you can wear them when playing in heavy rain, cold areas, or snowy. 


Compared to indoor pickleball shoes, outdoor shoes are more ventilated because they protect the foot from heat and other climatic aspects. They also protect your feet from getting wet and moisture, which can significantly affect humidity damage.

Similarities Between Indoor Pickleball Shoes and Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

Indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes also have some similarities, despite the truth that there made for different types of playing surfaces.

Both indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes have the following parallels.


Both boots are constructed with high-quality, durable materials to offer better support during gameplay and longevity.

Durability in footwear is as essential as any other aspect to eliminate the destructive impacts of weather while playing indoors or outdoors. 

Good Ventilation

The ventilation aspect can be seen indoors or outdoors in both shoes, as it helps keep your feet dry and cool while playing.

Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Shoes

In most tough weather conditions, like in hot climates, if the shoe does not come with a proper ventilation system, your feet can sweat, and you feel very uncomfortable.

Good Traction

To maintain stability and move quickly on the court, a good traction level in both varieties helps a lot. Better traction is significant to avoid injuries and damage to your feet, ankles, and heels while playing.

Reliable Cushion Sole

Whether indoor or outdoor pickleball shoes, a cushioned sole helps significantly to absorb some of the impacts and decrease the risk of injury.

Flexible and Lightweight

The flexibility and lightweight aspect of both kinds of shoes make them a better choice for beginner to professional players. This feature helps them to move quickly with confidence in the court. 

Do I Need Indoor And Outdoor Pickleball Shoes?

Believe it or not, you will need indoor and outdoor pickleball shoes on your preference. You can wear indoor pickleball shoes for the outdoors, but there are better decisions. Pickleball shoes for outdoor play are designed to play on rough surfaces such as concrete and asphalt, providing the best traction. 

Indoor pickleball shoes are designed to play on smooth and even surfaces like tile and wood-made surfaces with a non-marking outsole to protect the court surfaces.

If you are playing pickleball on an indoor court made of hardwood, you will want to opt for a pair of indoor shoes for confidence in a court with maximum traction.

The indoor court shoe has a thinner and softer outsole in various tread patterns optimized for ultimate and complete grip. 

So wearing indoor shoes outdoors cannot offer the stability and traction you need to play on the outdoor floors and courts, thus resulting in falls, injuries, and slips. The outsoles of the shoe also can show wear and tear on rough and tough surfaces, and as a result, the durability of the shoe decreases.

What Shoes To Wear For Outdoor Pickleball?

You can use the shoes for outdoor pickleball games, tennis shoes, or court shoes. The variety comes with excellent grip, traction, comfort, ankle support, rubber soles, and tread pattern to withstand harsh weather condition and deals with lateral movements.

Tennis shoes are good examples of outdoor pickleball shoes because they have good traction level cushioning and support.

What Shoes To Wear For Outdoor Pickleball

Secondly, the outdoor pickleball shoes are built to meet the requirements of multi-directional movements in mind and are specially made to be more supportive, stable, and laterally movable.  

It is vital to remember that comfort, perfect fit, and personal choice are critical in picking the right pickleball shoes. Therefore, going for various models and shoes that work well for you is ideal. So for outdoor pickleball, the shoes should be highly durable and made with the best materials. 

Why Is A Tennis Shoe Ideal For Outdoor Pickle Court?

For many reasons, a tennis shoe is the best option for a pickleball game. You can wear them for outdoor pickleball. However, there are some aspects that you should count on before hitting the court while doing this. 

  • Firstly, tennis shoes come with different tread patterns than special pickleball shoes. As a result, they can significantly affect the traction and your movements in the court.
  • Secondly, tennis shoes can’t offer as much stability and support as pickleball shoes, which can lead to injuries.
  • Thirdly, tennis shoes are uncomfortable like pickleball because they are not made with the aim of lateral movements and quick stops linked with pickleball. 

You can wear tennis shoes for pickleball, but using them for outdoor pickleball is not recommended.  


Can I wear walking shoes for pickleball?

You cannot wear walking or running shoes for pickleball games for many reasons. Because pickleball is a game of lateral movement and lunging forward and backward. So the traditional walking or running shoes are built for moving in a straight line and do not offer the extraordinary level of support needed to stabilize your foot moving in different directions. 

Can you wear indoor shoes outside?

Generally, you cannot wear slippers outside as soft leather or any other fine and synthetic fabric can become damaged if used outdoors for any longer length of time. 

The indoor shoes or bootie-style sliders with rubber soles can be damaged and worn out. 

Do you Wear Special Shoes to play pickleball?

There are many shoe types for playing pickleball, similar to walking and running shoes. However, other varieties of shoes that can be worn for other racquet games like badminton and tennis can work excellently for pickleball. 

What type of shoes do you wear for pickleball?

The best type of shoe that you can wear for pickleball is any tennis shoe or court shoe. These two options have high rubber soles, traction, grip, support, comfort, and tread pattern to conduct more lateral movements that can last for many years. 


Whether you opt for indoor shoes or outdoors, the specifications and features wholly depend on the terrain and preference of the player. It also depends on the surfaces on which the game is played. 

There is only one variety of shoes, i.e., tennis shoes for pickleball that seem more versatile and can be used outdoors and indoors for all types of games like pickleball.

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