2024-05-30
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How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: Freepik

Padel is a fast-growing sport suitable for everyone. It is important to choose the right shoe to improve performance and avoid injury: discover our guide to learn about the best padel shoes.

A ball, a racket and a playing field surrounded by glass banks. Padel is a sport that in recent years has gained great popularity all over the world, bringing to it tennis players and all those who have been intrigued by this discipline which, despite having gained a lot of popularity in the last period, was born in Mexico in the 60s.

In one of our previous articles we told you about the origins, history and evolution of this sport. While now we want to get into the specifics of the characteristics and the best shoes to practice it.

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: Freepik

What are padel shoes?

Many padel players invest carefully in their rackets, and are now recognizing the equally crucial importance of shoes.

These footwear are designed to ensure optimal and safe performance in the field. Thanks to the growing awareness in the padel environment, there is a greater focus on shoes specific to this sport.

These footwear offer exceptional support to the foot, with a sole designed specifically for the artificial turf of padel courts, ensuring reliable grip and optimal traction.

In addition, padel shoes provide valuable ankle support, which is essential for dealing with the dynamic movements of the game. Before buying, it is advisable to thoroughly inform yourself about the characteristics and technical requirements of padel-specific shoes.

What are the differences between padel shoes and tennis shoes?

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: SideSpin Padel

As we said, using specific shoes depending on the sport practiced is essential to be able to optimize performance and above all avoid injuries, also extending the life of the shoe.

Having many common tools and characteristics, one might think that tennis and padel are two very similar activities, but as far as movements and stresses on the foot are concerned, they are totally different.

Tennis is a sport that is played on a wide court that can be either clay or synthetic concrete or grass, both natural and synthetic. All these different surfaces, as opposed to padel which has only one alternative, make it essential to choose different soles depending on the court. But if even that alone is not enough, there is a difference in field movements.

In both, the rule is to never bounce the ball twice on the ground, otherwise the opponent will score a point. But in padel, being practiced indoors, the walls also count as a bounce surface. This, combined with the fact that the playing field is much smaller, requires the player to move vertically. You go frantically from running in front of the net to the back of the field to send the ball back to the opponent. This is because the sides can be easily covered even if they remain in their place in the center.

On the contrary, tennis has a much wider court, so the prevalence of movements are horizontal, to cover the entirety of the playing area which is limited to the square delimited by white lines. The result is a different type of stress and therefore a different support from the footwear.

For this reason, we do not recommend playing padel with tennis shoes, and vice versa.

Why should you choose the best padel shoes for your feet?

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: SideSpin Padel

Guide to buying the right padel shoe

To be able to find the best shoe for your needs and style of play, it is good to know all the characteristics of the footwear, inform yourself so that you can safely buy a product that will be able to secure and make the sports experience pleasant and dynamic.

First of all, every padel shoe must be able to guarantee and support the movements of the feet while avoiding possible physical problems, helping performance on the court. As we have seen, padel is played in a delimited area and the movements made put great stress on the joints of the lower body. As a result, a crucial aspect of any shoe that is used is that it is stable so as to prevent possible injury or pain. Let’s take a closer look at some of the elements that make a padel shoe optimal:

  • The sole
    As we have seen, padel is played on a specific synthetic turf court, the soles are designed to fit in the best possible way, ensuring traction and grip. There are 3 types of soles:
    • Omni court: ideal for harder surfaces due to its dotted structure that makes it very adherent to the ground and not very slippery. This sole is also recommended especially for those who are approaching this sport for the first time;
    • Herringbone: this type of sole is recommended to be used especially on synthetic ground and is characterized by parallel lines that can give stability even in the most sudden and complicated movements;
    • Mixed: which, as you can understand from the name, is a union of the characteristics seen above. It makes the movements optimal on any type of surface, also adapting to any type of field;
  • Stability
    The shoe is essential to give stability to the player and for this reason plastic inserts are very often used in the shoe with the aim of avoiding possible twisting of the foot. Since the shoe is not a universal product, it is important to remember that everyone will have different needs based on their weight, height and style of play. For this reason, it becomes very important to choose an upper that can offer a correct fit, protection and the right breathability. A wide instep needs, for example, a comfortable upper unlike a slimmer foot that will need a tighter and more snug one;
  • Protection
    When it comes to the protection factor, the upper also plays a very important role. Because it is precisely to the basic structure of the shoe that protective elements are applied. Usually a lightweight shoe has less obvious protective systems than a more robust one, which is why we tend to create standard uppers that are modified later according to various needs. To improve overall comfort and protection, breathability also plays a key role by using mesh inserts or perforated workmanship to offer proper ventilation;
  • Depending
    on the shape of the sole of the foot, three categories are created with their characteristics. A narrow sole will have shoes with a wider footing. A wide sole will make you narrower shoes. Finally, there is a plant called “standard” that is well suited to both types of footwear;
  • Cushioning
    The cushioning technology found in the midsole is very important to give flexibility and comfort. And to give these benefits, two materials are mainly used for its construction: EVA and polyurethane. The first is distinguished by a longer durability of the material and a composition that allows different degrees of rigidity to be achieved depending on the application. While the second offers greater comfort and better cushioning.

Beginner, competitive or professional? Choose based on your level of play

If you are a novice player, it is advisable to use shoes with a rigid sole and an EVA midsole. You will therefore have a shoe with greater durability, extreme comfort and perfect shock absorption. Particular attention will also be paid to grip, for greater control of movements to avoid slips and have more grip when shooting. A perfect shoe for beginners should give the athlete a way to get used to the sport.

On the other hand, if you are at an intermediate level, it is better to focus on a better grip. It is good to pay attention that the footwear has reinforced areas, excellent breathability and greater lightness. Once you’ve mastered the basic padel exercises and movements, it’s a good idea to consolidate your game. Therefore, the main benefits of a shoe for a more experienced player must be grip and grip, therefore having a shoe that can withstand more intense training and matches while maintaining excellent support to the foot.

For a more competitive level we will have to look for lightweight shoes with excellent breathability. But that’s not all. It is advisable to have a reinforced toe box for greater durability and protection of the footwear and a mixed sole to be able to have maximum grip during matches, this allows for much more articulated and fluid movements. The purpose of the shoe, in fact, will no longer be to give generic support, but to adapt perfectly to the athlete’s foot and style of play to support him in every specific action.

Top 3 best padel shoes in 2024

We want to conclude this article by introducing you to some models of shoes based on the best brands on the market that can be inspiring and suitable for all padel lovers.

Asics

The Asics Gel-Padel PRO 5 features excellent support and high comfort, they are designed with layers of synthetic leather and mesh inserts on the upper ensuring greater air circulation.

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: Asics website

TRUSSTIC SYSTEM technology was used in the design, which involves the use of the resin of the same name in the central part of the sole to offer stability in case of very rapid movements. In addition, this technology is well suited to sports contexts because it allows the sole to adapt its shape to the context of use and the movements required.

This model is also equipped with GEL technology that ensures a reduction in stress on the foot and better shock absorption during play.

Babolat

We also mention Babolat, a brand that has become famous mainly for its tennis rackets, but which deals with all the equipment for sports such as padel and badminton. That’s why we’re here to introduce you to one of their models.

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: Babolat website

The Babolat Jet Premura shoe is great for padel as it is equipped with two large ventilation windows on the upper and a perforated sole to improve breathability while offering a high degree of comfort. Matryx 2.0 has been used in its design, an exclusive fabric for high stability and support. An EVA insert positioned under the heel offers excellent cushioning and impact protection, while the Michelin rubber gives a good compromise between grip and durability to respond to the stresses of movement on the court.

There are models for men, women and even younger athletes. It is a shoe that lends itself to all types of levels, but it is designed for padel professionals, including Juan “El Lobo” Lebrón, the number one in the world, who wears them during competitions.

Joma

The latest brand we propose is Joma with its T. Smash 23 model. A shoe developed with the latest technologies to offer maximum performance.

How to choose the best padel shoes: what you need to know
Photo credit: Joma website

This shoe has a flexible upper in breathable fabric thanks to the VTS ventilation system, i.e. a series of small holes that allow the free passage of air so that it lowers the internal temperature of the shoe and foot. The durability rubber sole guarantees high abrasion resistance increasing the durability of the shoe and the midsole has an excellent level of cushioning thanks to a system in which the stiffer phylon stabilizes movements, while the reactive ball part absorbs impacts.

These shoes are suitable for both competitions and training and are particularly suitable for an intermediate level that needs durability and responsiveness of movements.

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