Best Badminton Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
What do you think of when you think badminton? A court? Racquets? Hitting a birdie over the net?
Have you ever thought about your shoes? Probably not. Just like any sport, badminton requires shoes that can withstand certain actions: shortstops, quick direction changes, jumps, etc., while offering the best support possible. When your shoes aren’t designed for these actions you are more likely to trip, roll your ankle, or simply have a bad game. No matter how competitive the game is everyone wants to have the best one they can, and that starts with having the best badminton shoes for the job.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
Excellent Traction on Wood Courts
Gum Rubber Outsole
Reducing Foot Fatigue
- Asics GEL-Rocket 8
- Asics GEL Tactic 2
- Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3
- Asics GEL-Upcourt 3
- Adidas Barricade Club
- Puma Invicto Sala
- Adidas Performance Ligra 4
- Yonex Pro Cushion Eclipsion 2
- Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 2
- Babolat Shadow Spirit
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Badminton Shoes
1. Asics GEL-Rocket 8
Excellent Traction on Wood Courts
Gum Rubber Outsole
Reducing Foot Fatigue
Poor Arch Support
Needs Breaking In
One of the most popular options on our list is the Asics GEL-Rocket 8. This design allows the sneaker to be lightweight while still maintaining good structural support and cushioning. It means that you will be able to move around quickly and easily while also keeping your balance and avoiding any stumbles or falls. The Gel-Rocket 8 provides good ankle protection and reduces the risk of injuries.Read more
With gum rubber on the outsole, this sneaker provides excellent traction on indoor court surfaces, particularly those made of wood. Its design will prevent you from slipping when moving swiftly.
The cushioning on this model will lessen the shock impact created when jumping to take a smash. This will enhance your performance by reducing fatigue in the feet and legs.
What’s great about the Asics GEL-Rocket 8 is that it is high quality, yet still reasonably priced. It has everything you need - support, cushioning, stability and traction - and all of that comes at a wonderfully low cost! What a great deal!
2. Asics GEL Tactic 2
Trusstic System Technology
Supplemental Toe Guard
No Friction or Blisters
Heel Slips Out
Play to win － and look good while you’re doing it, too. These sneakers by ASICS are designed for volleyball but are amazing for badminton players as they provide excellent shock absorption. They are extremely durable and are ideal for those who train hard and play frequently. Combined with its cushioning and structural support, the Asics Gel Tactic 2 is a good choice for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players alike.Read more
This indoor court sneaker features Trusstic System technology. It is a special system which reduces the weight of the sole, while at the same time not compromising the structural integrity of the design. This means that the Asics GEL Tactic 2 is wonderfully lightweight while being sufficiently supportive as well.
A supplemental toe guard on this model ensures durability. These sneakers will serve you well through all the thicks and thins you encounter. Additionally, they are made out of seamless materials. A seamless construction makes sure that you don’t suffer from any irritation or blisters that are otherwise caused by traditional stitches and seams.
The Asics GEL Tactic 2 is an option that has it all! The shock absorption, the durability, the lightweight, and comfort - you will most definitely want for nothing when you step on the court in these well-rounded babies.
3. Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3
Rubber Outsole for Stability
Even Shock Absorption
Good Arch Support
For Players of All Levels
Prevents Bad Odor
Size Runs Small
Simple yet practical, this model by Mizuno redefines the concept of minimalism. Its clean design features a rubber outsole designed for maximum stability. Shock is absorbed equally throughout the sole to cushion your jumps and help you keep your balance when transitioning from move to move. These sneakers will prevent injuries and maximize performance, rendering them a good pick for players of all level.Read more
A seamless upper keeps the Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3 light while also providing a comfortable fit. You’ll be able to move around quickly and freely so that you can focus on the game instead of on your feet.
The midsole ventilation system in this model reduces the build-up of heat and humidity. This design greatly reduces odor and will prevent the discomfort (and embarrassment!) of sweaty feet.
4. Asics GEL-Upcourt 3
Rearfoot GEL Cushioning Technology
Mesh Inserts for Breathability
Padded Collar and Tongue
Wide Range of Color Options
Minimal Lateral Support
No Ankle Protection
Next on our list is a pair that’s perfect for beginner or amateur players. The Asics GEL-Upcourt 3 provides a balance of different features that are designed to enhance your every move. Its versatility renders it great for many other indoor activities as well. A wide range of color selections is available so that you can pick what best suits your preferences.Read more
A full-length gum rubber outsole on this sneaker provides superior grip on the court and will prevent slips and injuries. Perfect for rapid footwork, the Asics GEL-Upcourt 3 will ensure that you step onto the court with confidence. Moreover, it comes with a rearfoot GEL cushioning technology that disperses shock and enables a smooth transition.
The upper on this sneaker is made of synthetic leather and mesh that keep it nice and light. These materials also provide ventilation by allowing the air to freely flow in and out of the design. Additionally, it is outfitted with a padded collar and tongue for added comfort.
The Asics GEL-Upcourt 3 is admittedly designed for volleyball, but you won’t have any issues using these sneakers for a good racquet game as well. It comes with superior traction, a cushioning technology that ensures your comfort and a flexible, breathable upper that will keep your feet sweat-free. What more could we possibly ask for!
5. Adidas Barricade Club
Air Mesh Upper
Rubber Sole Prevents Sliding
Sleek Streetwear Design
Only for Clay Courts
If you’re looking for something comfortable and versatile, the Adidas Barricade Club is definitely worth a try. Designed to ensure ease of intense lateral movements, these sneakers will prevent injuries and help you move around quickly. What’s more, a sleek design makes these excellent for everyday streetwear, so that you can look fresh and stay comfortable at the same time.Read more
In this model, a synthetic upper with mesh inserts ensures maximum breathability. The air-exchange helps to manage moisture and will keep you comfortable when the game gets intense.
The toe area is reinforced with a durable material meant to prevent foot drags during sports like tennis. In badminton, this translates to more endurance against excessive wear and can also protect your feet from injuries.
6. Puma Invicto Sala
High Quality Leather Materials
Good Adherence to Floor
Reduces Power Loss
Many Color Options
Size Runs Small
If you’re looking something that’s versatile and durable, the Puma Invicto Sala is for you. These sneakers are light, agile, and provide amazing structural support that reduces both power loss and the risk of injuries. On top of that, Puma offers a variety of colors and styles for this model, ranging from yellow to mint green to red. This ensures that you’ll never have to sacrifice style for performance.Read more
A flexible upper made of suede, leather, and mesh will keep you swift on your feet. The low-profile rubber outsole also provides great traction and allows players to stay close to the floor.
This model features a removable sockliner that keeps the sneaker nice and light. Additionally, it provides cushioning for shock absorption which will keep your feet comfortable and protected.
The Puma Invicto Sala is a quality option. It is made out of high-grade materials that are comfortable and ensure a healthy climate for your feet, and it also looks good, aside from feeling good as well. Despite its slightly higher price, you won’t regret investing your money in this elegant design!
7. Adidas Performance Ligra 4
Adaptable to Different Sports
Breathable Mesh Upper
Narrow Toe Area
The Adidas Performance Ligra 4 is by far the most underrated design by this brand. With rubber on the outsole, these sneakers provide a solid grip that will keep you steady on your feet. The material of the insole is soft and comfortable, and a mesh material ensures air-exchange so that your feet can remain fresh throughout the season. Additionally, its versatility makes it an ideal pick for those looking to save money － or who just can’t be bothered to go shopping.Read more
As they are originally designed for volleyball, these sneakers provide excellent shock absorption. The rubber soles will boost your jump and cushion your landing when making jump smashes.
The beauty of the Adidas Performance Ligra 4 is that it is adaptable to pretty much any other indoor activity. A pair of these can double as running footwear or even gym footwear, and can even be worn as an everyday street option thanks to its sleek design.
The Adidas Performance Ligra 4 may be the underdog here, but it is a design which offers everything you need to play badminton, and more! You can take these sneakers with you anywhere you go, and you will enjoy every second of wearing them!
8. Yonex Pro Cushion Eclipsion 2
Good Structural Support
Minimizes Power Loss
Promotes Air Exchange
Asymmetrical Stylish Design
Not for Wide Feet
Not Many Color Options
Ideally, a comfortable pair of badminton sneakers should fit snugly enough that there is no extra space, but not so snugly that it prevents air-exchange. With its asymmetrical fit, this pair by Yonex provides just that - a great fit to allow ventilation, along with superior structural support and an attractive design. Its balance of features will keep you swift and stable with every step you take. Overall, this is a good pick for comfort that will also enhance your performance.Read more
The Yonex Pro Cushion Eclipsion 2 cuts down the amount of extra space in the toe and the midfoot area. This increases stability and minimizes power loss so that you can move around with maximum speed and explosiveness.
Made with an ultra fine mesh that is light and durable, these sneakers provide excellent breathability. The promotion of air flow allows moisture to be released and prevents odor from accumulating.
Unlike most other options on this list, the Yonex Pro Cushion Eclipsion 2 is a badminton specific design. It provides amazing lockdown and stability, as well as peak ventilation, and you will feel both comfortable and stylish as you take on the court in these badass sneakers.
9. Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 2
270g Per Shoe
Breathable Mesh Upper
Reverses Shock Energy
Amazing Structural Support
Limited Color Selection
Not for Outdoor Playing
When an egg is dropped from 7m above a Yonex Power Cushion sheet, it will bounce back 4m in the air without any damage. Not only can these sneakers reverse shock energy for use in the next movement, their design provides excellent ventilation and structural support for maximum performance. Weighing at 270g, they are also Yonex’s lightest option. They are guaranteed to literally － and figuratively － put a spring in your step.Read more
When receiving a shock load, the soft middle layer of this sneaker will quickly return to its original shape. This uses the energy of the impact to aid the player in his or her next move.
Compared to the previous model, the Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 2 features nearly double the amount of see-through mesh. This provides superior breathability that ensures comfort and prevents smelly feet.
Reasonably priced and with such a wide range of features, these sneakers are guaranteed to be worth your every penny.
10. Babolat Shadow Spirit
Active Sculpture Technology
No Break-In Time
Durable and Adaptive
Not for Wide Feet
The Babolat Shadow Spirit comes equipped with a number of features to make sure you get the most out of your game. From the Active Sculpture technology to its ergonomic structure and the ability to adapt to you and your style, this is an excellent sneaker for the court.Read more
Developed in partnership with Michelin, the Active Sculpture technology in the Babolat Shadow Spirit provides premium grip and exceptional shock absorption. Whether you’re into those explosive changes of direction or suddenly stopping altogether - these sneakers will follow your every move without fail.
The Babolat Shadow Spirit will last through game after game, giving you the reliability you need to focus on your playstyle. Thanks to its lines that are designed to correspond with the shape of your foot, you will want to play in these sneakers over and over again throughout your badminton career.
For a mid-range price, you are getting a durable, reliable sneaker that will improve your performance and support you no matter how fast you move. Not only that, but the Babolat Shadow Spirit will last for quite a few seasons of regular play, as well.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In this section, we will take an opportunity to talk about both grip and traction, because both are equally important when it comes to this sport.
The grip of a design is what allows it to hold on to smooth surfaces, such as an indoor wood court. Depending on the material and pattern of the sole, some designs provide you with an excellent grip which allows you to stand more steadily.
On the other hand, traction describes the kind of friction between the sole and the floor. Slippery footwear can still be seen as having good traction. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is practical or suitable for the sport you are playing.
The floors used when playing badminton are usually completely smooth, making it exceptionally easy for the players to slip. This makes it much harder for them to change directions and will slow them down during crucial moments of the game.
Not only that but in extreme cases slipping or skidding may also cause severe injuries that will prevent a person from playing and cause them to shell out a lot of money at the doctor’s office. Prioritizing grip and traction when looking for a pair of badminton sneakers will prevent these problems before they arise.
When hunting for badminton shoes with a good grip, you must take your conditions into consideration. Different types of materials on the outsole will provide a better grip for different types of indoor courts. Most indoor courts are made of wood, in which case you should opt for a gum rubber sole to keep you steady and prevent slipping.
Another aspect of the sole to look for is the pattern on the bottom. A sole with deeper grooves will generally give you a better grip, while a smoother sole is more likely to slip on the floor. Hexagonal patterns, as seen in certain Yonex designs, are also good at providing grip.
Now, from what little we mentioned of traction, you may be wondering: “How could traction ever be practical?”
The truth is, good traction will allow you to move around more easily. To get from one end of the court to another, you’ll need to move fairly quickly – and that can’t happen if your sneakers are gripping so firmly to the floor that it’s slowing you down. More traction will give you more fluidity in your movements.
With all that said, both grip and traction are extremely important when playing any kind of sports on an indoor court. A balance of these two features is what you should look out for, as it would provide mobility while still keeping you steady.
Ventilation or breathability is important in badminton shoes because of many different reasons. Good air-exchange will reduce the amount of bad smells accumulating in a design, as well as keep your feet comfortable by preventing them from sweating too much. Not only that, but breathability can also save you from getting unpleasant foot conditions.
By wearing footwear with bad ventilation for long periods, you run the risk of getting athlete’s foot – or tinea pedis. Simply put, a fungus that thrives in warm, moist environments will spread around the toes or the soles of the feet. Some symptoms include itching, burning, blistering, and discoloration. On top of that, this fungus is contagious and could even spread to other parts of your body.
Thankfully, all of this can be avoided by choosing the right footwear with proper ventilation. In the olden days, manufacturers used to put holes on the sides of their designs to provide air-exchange. Nowadays, the upper part of a shoe (unsurprisingly known as the ‘upper’) is made of mesh to provide maximum breathability. This material in the upper is ideal for indoor sports of all kind.
You should also consider the material of the sneaker lining. Some manufacturers use antibacterial sock liners, which help prevent infections. A lining made of goat or sheepskin will provide better ventilation while a lining made of bovine leather will trap moisture in.
It may be a good idea to search up the materials that were used in the construction of a design that you like before purchasing it.
Overall, breathable footwear is important to keep you comfortable, healthy, and smelling good.
While traction and grip are one of the key features of a good design for badminton shoes, it is also important to ensure that your soles are not so hard and unforgiving that they come in the way of shock absorption. Soft padding on the inside of a design is required to provide good cushioning, which helps absorb the impact that is created when jumping or running.
There are several different types of cushioning, most of which are constructed out of different types of foam.
When your foot touches the ground, a design with good cushioning evenly distributes your weight throughout the bottom of your foot. This way, your toes, arches, and ankles receive a minimal amount of shock that will not cause any harm to your joints. Over time, good cushioning will attenuate the stress on your joints and keep you away from knee and ankle pain.
A springy material is ideal for cushioning in any type of footwear. These are not only soft and energy-absorbent but will also revert back to their original shape after receiving impact. This shape reversal will give you a boost when you take your next step. Not only will you stay protected, but you’ll also be able to perform better.
Short term, cushioning also provides amazing comfort. It ensures that you can focus on the game instead of having to worry about any type of pain in your feet.
However, it’s also important to note that excessive cushioning isn’t always good. Footwear with lots of padding may not be suitable for wide feet, as it often provides a very snug fit. This can make it difficult to find the correct size and can take up a lot of time searching for the perfect pair.
But despite the hassle, it’s worthwhile to make sure you find a design with solid cushioning. This will enable you to jump for smashes, move around quickly, and be on your best performance.
Like we mentioned in our previous sections, this type of footwear needs sufficient cushioning and a good rubber sole. However, you should also keep in mind that these features shouldn’t add up to too much weight.
Footwear that is too heavy will slow you down and make it hard to move with speed and precision. The added weight also puts extra strain on your muscles and joints, causing your feet and legs to tire out more easily. This will definitely take a toll on your performance, and you will find that you are not as explosive at playing this lovely sport as you used to be.
So what to look for in a design, if it needs to be lightweight?
Well, first of all, look at the amount and type of material that goes into its construction. Footwear with less fabric and coverage is generally lighter and enables you to move rapidly without feeling any strain in your feet or ankles. In addition, lighter fabrics provide better breathability which, as mentioned above, is crucial for a cool, comfortable experience.
There are options on our list which also have soles that are specially constructed to be light in weight. This is achieved through different technologies and manufacturing techniques that enable a design to retain all of its supportive and shock-absorbing qualities without becoming too heavy and dragging you down as you play.
Keep in mind as you browse that the importance of lightweight designs isn’t simply restricted to badminton. Other activities such as hiking, running and even standing require light footwear that will go easy on your legs and joints and reduce the risk of injuries or sore feet.
All of this certainly means that you should invest a bit more of your time in picking out a functional, light option that will make your feet happy and ache-free at the end of the match.
There’s nothing like a pair of shoes that make you feel as though you’re walking on clouds, and the same applies to the court as well.
Comfort essentially requires a combination of all the features we mentioned above. For example, footwear cannot be comfortable if it doesn’t come with adequate cushioning, or if it weighs two pounds and barely allows you to walk. What you should look for is a balance of all these features - padding, weight, breathability.
However, with that said, the following things should also be considered:
- Size: Size and width can vary between different types of designs as well as different manufacturers and materials used. You should always allow about a 5/8″ space between the end of your toe and the end of the sneaker. Also, keep in mind that footwear which provides a lot of cushioning will have thick padding in its lining. As a result, these designs tend to provide a more narrow fit that is unsuitable for wide feet.
Also, keep in mind that your feet tend to swell a bit towards the end of the day. Because of this, most people tend to purchase footwear that is too small for them. However, it’s better to have a bit more space than to have to squeeze into tiny models. If you want to be on the safe side, go to the store instead of purchasing online, and wear socks when you try the footwear on.
- Shape: Another factor to consider is the shape of a design. They can be curved, semi-curved, or straight, and it’s important to determine the shape of your foot so that you can find a design that has a similar form. If you’re unsure about the shape of your foot, try stepping onto a surface when barefoot and examining the shape of your footprint. Without the proper design shape, wearing ill-fitting footwear would feel like trying to put a round peg in a square hole.
- Flexibility: Thirdly, you should consider how rigid your footwear is. Wide, flat feet will need a more rigid design that provides more stability. On the other hand, feet with high arches call for more flexibility and cushioning to provide the proper comfort.
A good way to determine the flexibility of a design is to do the ‘twist test.’ The more it can twist, the more flexibility it provides. Keep in mind, though, that if it is overly flexible, this will interfere with its stability and provide less protection for the ankles, therefore increasing the risk of injury.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While badminton is a popular sport around the world, its origins remain somewhat unknown. It is believed that it hails from mid-19th century India and that its name is derived from Badminton House, a country house of a Duke in Gloucestershire, however, the reasons for this are unclear.
While many people refer to it as a 'birdie', the exact term for the badminton 'ball' is actually 'shuttlecock'. It weighs anywhere between 4.75 and 5.50g (0.168 and 0.194 oz), and has 16 feathers that are 70mm (2.8 inches) in length. No matter how you hit it, the shuttlecock will always turn to fly the cork side first.
Other Factors to Consider
What’s best for you will depend on where you play, how often you play, and what type of feet you have. For example, those with narrow feet might look for more cushioning, while those with high arches will require light and flexible upper. There are many different designs from many different brands to choose from, and there’s something out there for everyone.
Generally speaking, solid badminton footwear requires good grip, ventilation, stability, and light weight. These features will not only help you perform well but will also reduce the risk of injuries and keep you comfortable no matter the circumstances.
However, regardless of if you’ve played for three months or three decades, we highly recommend that all players invest on a good pair of shoes, as this is an investment that will help you improve your performance and increase your safety and give you that boost to victory. In the end, even if you play for the fun of it - who doesn’t love to win?
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do I have to play with a pair of sneakers that are strictly designed for badminton?
Definitely not! Although footwear that is specially designed for this sport will give you a boost in performance, other designs that are suitable for indoor courts can serve you just as well.
For example, some of the options on our list are actually volleyball sneakers. However, as they provide great traction and excellent cushioning, they are can be worn when playing badminton as well. What matters most is that the design provides you with all the necessary features mentioned above in our Criteria. So long as it fulfills all of your requirements, it’s of little importance what sport the footwear is designated for.
q: How do I know if a pair of shoes has all the features I’m looking for?
When you’re in a store, the most obvious answer would be to just try it on! However, some of us are shopping from our computer screens and unfortunately don’t have that luxury. In this case, the key would be to check the materials used in making the design. This can give you a fairly clear idea of what it’s is going to be like. For instance, a mesh upper is guaranteed to provide good breathability. Likewise, gum rubber soles provide good grip in indoor courts.
In addition, you might want to consider checking out the reviews of other customers. Other people’s opinions on your potential choice can help you decide whether it will meet your needs. Nonetheless, keep in mind that different people have different feet (that require different designs). So consider other people’s reviews, but choose what you believe will be best for you.
q: How can I improve the grip of my sneakers?
Ideally, your new footwear should have good grip when it is fresh out of the box. That’s how you know it’s of good quality. However, because of age and perhaps inadequate care, footwear can lose its grip. In most circumstances, this is because of dust and dirt build-up on the court floor; only a little of it is needed to interfere with grip. To prevent this problem before it arises, make sure that the court has been cleaned thoroughly before you step on it. But if that’s out of your control, simply cleaning the soles of your footwear can really make a difference.
If you’ve had a pair of sneakers for a long time, it may be that the soles are simply worn out. We recommend that you clean the sole and see if this improves the grip. If it doesn’t, it may be time to go shopping for a new pair. But don’t feel sorry for your old sneakers. Even if they were your favorite, a fresh pair might be just what you need to enhance your performance.
q: How should these sneakers be cleaned?
As mentioned above, you’ll need to clean your sneakers frequently if you’re striving for maximum grip. What you’ll need is some warm water, soap, a brush, a towel, and some sort of pointy instrument. The first step would be to remove any sort of debris stuck in the grooves of the soles with your pointy instrument. Then, thoroughly scrub the sole with the brush and the warm water, taking care not to get too much water on the upper. Lastly, take a clean towel and dry the areas of the sole after you have washed them. Make sure to put away your sneakers in a clean bag so that they’re ready for the next time you play, or all that time you spent on cleaning them would be for nothing.
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you may also want to reserve your sneakers for badminton only. This way, you’re preventing dirt and dust from accumulating in the soles, and you won’t have to clean them as often, which can save you a lot of time and effort.
q: What brand of badminton sneakers are best?
We wish we could answer this question in black and white, but the truth is that there is no right or wrong answer. Although brands such as Yonex and Asics are definitely popular, in the end, it comes down to what suits you. What works for others might not work for you, and what works for you might not work for others. However, we do recommend that you use customer reviews to guide you as you search for your own perfect pair.
q: How do I pick out the right footwear for this sport?
The criteria provided above gives you a good idea of what to look out for. Those are some key aspects of a good pair of sneakers for this sport, but you may require special features to suit your personal needs. For example, one person may need more arch support, while someone else can’t play properly unless their sneakers have over-the-top cushioning. We all have different requirements when it comes down to these designs. In the end, you’ll need to look for and test out different models to find the right pair for you.
q: Are badminton shoes suitable for everyday streetwear?
Frankly, the answer to this question depends on what you intend to do while wearing them. These sneakers are designed to be worn on indoor courts, so if you spend the majority of your time indoors, then go for it. However, wearing them outside is a different story. Though they most likely won’t damage your feet, they certainly will get damaged themselves. These soles do not provide good resistance against surfaces like tar roads. As a result, the grip will wear out, rendering them unsuitable for playing. Overall, if your footwear was purchased for the purpose of playing indoor badminton, it is highly recommended that you don’t frequently wear it outdoors.
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