Best Squash Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Performance
Squash is a high intensity sport that requires specific footwear in order to keep you safe from injury and performing at your best. To ensure a great training session, you should invest in an indoor court shoe that is designed specifically for the purpose. This means lateral stability, a great amount of traction, a locked-in fit, as well as a cushioned sole.
The game generally demands so much from its players that having the right pair of shoes can make the difference between a successful match and a career ending injury. Furthermore, the best squash shoes will minimize fatigue and foot pain, which are the result of the heavy exercise you will be doing during practice. To help you find the best possible pair of indoor court shoes we’ve put together the list below, giving you the highest rated options currently available for purchase.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Breathable Mesh Tongue
Synthetic Overlays for Stability
Gum Rubber Outsole
Stabilizing Trusstic System
- ASICS GEL-Rocket 8
- Mizuno Wave Bolt 7
- Salming Kobra 2
- Kelme Star 360
- Salming Viper 5
- ASICS Upcourt 2
- Harrow Vortex
- Babolat Propulse Fury
- Wilson Recon
- Adidas Barricade Club
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Squash Shoes
1. ASICS GEL-Rocket 8
Breathable Mesh Tongue
Synthetic Overlays for Stability
Gum Rubber Outsole
Stabilizing Trusstic System
No Arch Support
The ASICS GEL-Rocket line has been around for more than 15 years, and is, to this day, one of the best options you can get for racquet sports. Made for tennis players who needed exceptional traction on multiple surfaces, this is a pair of footwear that’ll do well for indoor courts thanks to its gum rubber outsole that’ll provide the needed grip, with long lasting effects. The upper is made with a combination of synthetic and mesh for breathability and support, with a padded collar to maximize comfortability.Read more
One of the things ASICS is best known for is their GEL cushioning which is quite different than anything you’ll find in other athletic footwear. The forefoot of the GEL-Rocket 8 is cushioned with a GEL pad that will absorb shock from impact, and will distribute it to a larger are of your foot, preventing fatigue and joint pain that otherwise comes with hard landings.
Trusstic System Technology
Because racquet sports include a lot of lateral movement, you need a stabilizing pair of shoes that’ll prevent you from rolling your ankles. The Trusstic System in the GEL-Rocket 8 is made so as to prevent unwanted movement, without weighing you down with a heavy shank.
Cost and Value
Boasting an entry level price, the ASICS GEL-Rocket 8 is an affordable option for beginner and intermediate players who want a solid amount of technology in their footwear, without having to spend a fortune on it. The best part of this sneaker is definitely the GEL cushioning, which makes it a worthy purchase, especially if you find the sport is hard on your ankles, knees and back.
2. Mizuno Wave Bolt 7
Moisture Wicking Lining
Parallel Wave Plate
Dynamotion Groove Outsole
Originally made for volleyball players who need a good amount of traction on indoors courts, this is a pair of sneakers that will do great for racquet sports played on indoor courts. It features Mizuno’s Wave technologies that give excellent stability and cushion for rapid lateral movement, an Airmesh upper that’s breathable and moisture wicking, and a removable insole that allows you to customize the level of support you get from this shoe.Read more
Parallel Wave Plate
Mizuno’s Wave technology brings innovation to shock absorption through their unique wave plates that work to disperse the shock from landing, preventing it from traveling up your leg to your joints. When the impact is absorbed through a larger area of your foot, your movement remains more stable and centered, keeping you on the shoe’s platform and preventing injury.
The outsole of the Wave Bolt 7 was specially made with a Dynamotion Groove pattern in order to give the best possible traction, while allowing for a good amount of flexibility, so you can move on the court without being held back by your shoes.
Cost and Value
Boasting an average price compared to the other items on this list, the Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 is a good investment for those who need good shock dispersion, and are looking for a reliable shoe. Being made for indoor courts, specifically for lateral movement, they can even serve for other sports practices, including volleyball, pickleball or even badminton.
3. Salming Kobra 2
Ventilated Mesh Upper
SoftFOAM Heel Cushioning
HexaGrip Rubber Outsole
Ergo Heel Cup
Made with some of the most advanced technologies you can find in a shoe, the Salming Kobra 2 is made for high performance and safe, comfortable lateral movement. The upper is made with a perforated, mesh-like material that’s supported by an exoskeleton, giving you the assurance you’ll have just the right snug fit you’re after. A leather toe overlay, with the rubber toe guard, ensures the longevity of this shoe, giving you a pair of footwear that’ll wear evenly in all areas.Read more
On the inside portion of the sole, the Kobra 2 features a Rollbar that allows better push-off, and prevents too much torsion. On the outer part of the sole, on the other hand, the shoe makes use of a Lateral Movement Stabiliser+ band, that won’t allow you to roll your ankles outwards, saving you from injury and time off court.
The heel of the Kobra 2 features SoftFOAM that absorbs shock from landing, while the entire midsole is made with Energy Rebound Foam that cushions and provides great energy return, allowing you not only to play for longer, but also to feel less fatigued at the end of every match.
Cost and Value
With a steep price that’s telling of its quality, the Salming Kobra 2 may be a bit too expensive for most players’ budgets. Nonetheless, if you’re a true aficionado, and need something top quality to wear during your training and matches, then this is a model you should definitely check out.
4. Kelme Star 360
Soft Leather Uppers
Great Midfoot Support
Perforated for Breathability
Michelin Rubber Outsole
Kelme originally designed this shoe for indoor soccer, but it acts as a great shoe for indoor racquet sports as well, with its sticky rubber and traction patterned sole. Teaming up with Michelin, the Kelme Star 360 which encompasses the performance attributes of a court shoe with Michelin’s brilliant rubber technology. It’s almost like performance tires were designed just for your feet to make a beastly machine on the court.Read more
The Kelme Star 360 was made to last. Durable yet flexible leather uppers provide unique support for lateral movements and will conform to your unique foot shape over time. Michelin rubber technology is evident in the sticky sole, additionally patterned to provide supreme grip and traction. The Kelme logo along the instep and outsides will give additional structural support gives some further arch support for long days on the court.
Along with outstanding performance construction, this shoe comes in a myriad of color choices and combinations, giving that extra flair to the shoe’s styling. The sole is composed of complimenting contrasting colors, so be sure to select one that won’t leave court marks!
Cost and Value
For sophisticated styling, Michelin traction, and a supportive shoe, this is also budget friendly and one of the best buys on our top 10 list. With its unique leather upper design for durable function and support, and tacky grip, it’s a must-have for any squash player.
5. Salming Viper 5
Three Layer Breathable Upper
Lateral Movement Stabilizer
Ergo Heel Cup
XR110 Rubber Outsole
If you prefer to stay away from mesh, and are looking for a leather shoe that’s both supportive and breathable, you should check out the Salming Viper 5, made with a synthetic leather upper that’s more lightweight than genuine leather, but offers the same amount of durability. Furthermore, the XR110 outsole was designed to be extra sticky, making this a winner shoe for indoor gym courts, even those that are not well maintained.Read more
Located on the inner side of the sole, the RollBar allows the perfect amount of motion control that you can utilize in making your play more powerful. Guiding you through the push off movement, the RollBar allows a larger amount of energy to be used during push off, without sacrificing toe support.
In order to ensure a secure fit, Salming has incorporated a longer heel cup in the Viper 5, that locks your foot in, preventing any unwanted movement that could lead to a loss of footing or injury. Made to be anatomical, you’ll definitely reap the benefits of this piece of tech in your shoes.
Cost and Value
Like all other Salming products, the Viper 5 retails at a price that’s considerably above average, and that may be a bit too expensive for a number of players. However, if your an intermediate player looking to improve your skills, or even someone who’s playing at advanced levels, then, by all means, you should consider investing in a pair of professional shoes such as these, as they’re bound to help improve your game.
6. ASICS Upcourt 2
Breathable Mesh Upper
Synthetic Leather Overlays
Non Marking Outsole
Gum Rubber Outsole
If you’re on a budget, and are looking for something solid to get you through your practice sessions, the ASICS Upcourt 2 is a great choice. It’s a lightweight pair of shoes that features all of ASICS’ much loved technology, giving you great traction on indoor courts, a good amount of cushioning, and a breathable upper that will promote moisture evacuation so that your feet are at a comfortable temperature even when you’re giving your most on the court.Read more
Non Marking Rubber
When playing indoors, gym owners may require you to wear a certain type of shoe to prevent doing any damage to the floors. The full length gum rubber outsole on the Upcourt 2 won’t leave any marks, making these a great option for when you need an non marking indoors shoe.
If you’ve got a medium arch, then the Upcourt 2 is likely to be a great choice for you as is. But, if you’ve got flat or high arches that need more support, or need custom orthotics, you can use your own inserts with these shoes, saving you a considerable amount of money.
Cost and Value
Selling for a price that’s almost half of what you’d pay for a professional shoe appropriate for playing racquet sports in, the ASICS Upcourt 2 is an excellent budget option for those just getting into the sport. It has all the features of a professional shoe, without the expensive leather upper and specific technologies better suited for pros.
7. Harrow Vortex
Mesh and Rubber Upper
Wide Toe Box
Heel Pull Tab
Low Profile Sole
Gum Rubber Outsole
Good Amount of Cushioning
Awkward Shoelace Band
Not for Narrow Feet
The Harrow Vortex is a court shoe made for the athlete who wants plenty of tech features, but is looking for a price that’s affordable. Made with a mesh upper for breathability, this shoe has rubber overlays that give just the right amount of flexibility, without sacrificing midfoot support. This is one of the rare pairs of footwear designed for squash, which means that you’ll be getting your money’s worth if you decide to go with this model.Read more
The Vortex is made with special attention to the arch area, where you will need a good amount of stability. It’s a shoe that’ll offer the right level of support, so you can rest assured your feet will be properly aligned, not only preventing overpronation, but also making you safer during those quick lateral movements.
Easy On and Off
Not many court shoes will feature a pull tab at the heel, but the Vortex takes the ease with which you will be able to put these shoes on into consideration during the design process. Featuring a classic lace closure, this is a shoe that’ll allow for a customized fit, that can provide a locked-in feel, and it’s even a good option for those with wide feet.
Cost and Value
Ranking slightly above average in terms of price, the Harrow Vortex is a good option for those looking for a shoe made specifically for the demands of indoor racquet sports. It comes in a variety of colorful designs, adding a bit of a pop to your workout outfit, and performs just as you’d expect a top rated shoe to do while playing.
8. Babolat Propulse Fury
Active Flexion Technology
Partial Black Sole
Babolat is well known for their racquets, but did you know they make quality performance shoes as well? The Propulse Fury is packed full of features to keep you pounding away on the court. From its durable comfort and Active Flexion technology to its Shield technology for reinforced support and structure, this shoe is made for competition.Read more
Babolat packed this shoe full of its S-Shield, Pro-Shield, and Soft Shield technology, designed for high-performance support where you need it most for lightning-fast changes in momentum and pivoting. Combined with Active Flexion technology designed to alleviate pressure points in key areas of the foot, you’ll surely feel the difference during matches on the court.
Designed to be durable, the outsole comes with a warranty, so rest assured the Propulse Fury can take a beating. Sticky patterned tread on the sole helps give additional traction to the rubber sole, and its unique design gives additional arch support where you need it most. Lateral movements won’t wear down the sides of the sole either, as it runs the length of the shoe, and the uppers are designed to support the structure of the shoe all the way down to the side of the sole.
Cost and Value
More expensive on our list, the Babolat Propulse Fury is designed for veteran players, who require a solid performance shoe. It’s a solid investment if you’re looking for something with superior traction, all around support, and performance qualities needed for tough days on the court. Competitors will notice a difference with this shoe, and may not go back to another brand once the Propulse Fury is worn!
9. Wilson Recon
6mm Heel To Toe Drop
Synthetic Leather and Mesh Upper
Forefoot May Get Hot
A shoe made for badminton players who require a good amount of lateral stability on indoor courts, the Wilson Recon is a good choice, especially for those who prefer to buy their equipment from brands that specialize in racquet sports. The upper is made with a combination of synthetic leather in the forefoot and mesh in the rearfoot, giving you the best possible combination of stability and breathability, while the fit itself is intuitive and sock-like, for the best possible lateral stability.Read more
Because Wilson specializes in racquet sports, they know the importance of lateral stability during movement. A chassis that’s been inserted into the sole of this shoe will prevent any torque, which, in turn, won’t allow for your foot to go too over the platform. That means that you won’t have to fear sprained and pulled ankles while wearing the Recon.
With a low to ground feel in the forefoot, and a 6 mm drop from heel to toe, you will be getting a pair of footwear that’ll allow your foot to naturally adapt to the court, while giving you a slight advantage in your advances. Plus, you will be able to use every ounce of energy thanks to the great rebound provided by the R-DST cushioning.
Cost and Value
With a selling price that’s somewhat below average, you’ll find that the Wilson Recon is a good option if you’re after a stable shoe that won’t cost a fortune. It features indoor court specific traction as well, and is a fairly comfortable shoe that’s got a good amount of cushioning, and offers great rebound in order to minimize fatigue.
10. Adidas Barricade Club
Adiprene Heel Cushion
Thick Rubber Sole
Breathable Textile Upper
Great Arch Support
Adidas has created a performance court shoe with its Barricade Club model. With added insole support for comfort and a rubber sole for traction, it’s also quite a stylish sneaker. Adiprene lies under the heel for extra cushion, and Adidas brings its Torsion System technology in the midsole for quick lunging movements. Designed for lateral quick moves and changes in momentum, it’s perfect for practices or heated matches on the court.Read more
The Barricade club boasts of a thick rubber sole, giving traction along with superior shock absorption during impact. Pivoting is unhindered, allowing quick swings and powerful strokes without sticking too much to the court surface. Careful when selecting your color options as some may have black soles!
Designed for maximal support and comfort, the Adiprene heel cushion and toe to heel cup arch support will keep your feet feeling fresh throughout the time spent on the court. Adidas’ Torsion System keeps some structure in the midsole for lunges forward or back without compromising propulsion or shoe integrity. Made from textile and mesh for breathability, your feet will feel cool even during the hottest of days.
Cost and Value
Running slightly more expensive than others on our list, this shoe is still a great purchase for all the technology, support, and cushioning found in the Barricade Club shoe. Traction found in the thick rubber sole combined with stability in the midsole is perfect for fast-paced matches.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
We like to make specific emphasis on the qualities of outsoles, as they’re one of the principal aspects of every shoe. Outsoles are the elements that determine the activities for which a shoe is suitable for. Other materials may be replaced with less suitable options, but the outsole is one of the key pieces that you just can’t get wrong.
When we’re talking about a sport where stability and firmness are a must, the outsole is something you want to be able to rely on. A shoe that doesn’t count with a firmly gripping outsole simply won’t work for squash, as the strength and spontaneousness required for each motion are likely to take you off balance otherwise.
Squash is unquestionably a high-impact activity; sudden movements and continuous impact can be extremely harsh on your feet if your shoes lack the proper protection. Most users would normally think that protection regards external physical elements that could potentially damage feet from above. However, in a sport like this, the real threat comes from below, and it comes in the form of shock.
If you’ve ever been to a serious match, you’ll know that there’s no time for gentle landing and soft steps when you’re in the court. Intensity sports call for sudden movements one after the other, which leaves users with a very small time frame in between each motion – most of which is consumed when predicting and reacting to the opponent’s movements.
The force from each impact not only affects your joints, but it also has a direct influence on your durability. Impact makes your muscles, bones, and joints vibrate – this oscillation contributes to fatigue. The greater the oscillation, the quicker your muscles will fatigue.
Overall, there are two components of any shoe that are in charge of absorbing shock:
Performance shoes for intensity sports tend to last much less than your average pair of sneakers. However, the durability of your shoes will finally depend on the number of times per week you use them, as well as the intensity you use them with. Some users would think that squash is a game that could be played with a pair of normal sneakers. While you could potentially endure a match with running sneakers, it wouldn’t be optimal for your performance and it would possibly damage your shoes in the long run.
A match of squash won’t break a pair of sneakers, but it will place an amount of stress on them to which they’re not designed for. Shoes that don’t count with enough flexibility, support, and resistance to shock are not suitable for the court, as the materials are likely to degrade or overstretch. There are multiple features that a shoe should count with before being able to endure consistent and intense performance.
All sports require you to wear footwear that's not only made with the required performance features, but that also fits well and is comfortable enough to wear for prolonged periods of time where your feet will be doing a lot of intense work. Indoor racquet sports include a lot of running from side to side, quick stops and starts, and changes of direction. That means that a pair of shoes that don't fit well and comfortably can present serious issues that can even result in injury.
For the best possible results, we recommend looking at the materials the shoe is made of before purchasing. What you need to look for is a soft material in touch with your foot, such as mesh, but a lot of supportive overlays that'll lock you in, and offer a snug fit that won't allow your foot to move inside the shoe, no matter in which direction you are moving.
Furthermore, you should look out for any friction or rubbing inside the shoe, as these will only get worse once your foot has started to swear and is swollen from exercising. If possible, look for seamless footwear, or that which does not cause any discomfort when you first put it on. Wear the right pair of socks, preferably ones with moisture wicking capabilities, and if necessary, use preventive measures to avoid getting blisters.
Squash is a forceful practice that involves a considerable amount of rough feet movements. These movements generate a lot of corporal heat that gets trapped within the shoe if it lacks a breathable build. Furthermore, closed courts make it really easy for heat to accumulate as they normally lack any form of ventilation or circulation of fresh air.
Heat accumulation is guaranteed to start building within your shoes if there are no breathing panels. This is bad for a list of reasons, the first one being an excessive stimulation of sweat. Your feet will inevitably sweat when performing at high intensity, and this can contribute to the development of bacteria in the shoe that can cause bad odors, bacterial and fungal infections, and more serious issues down the road.
The best squash shoes should have some manner of allowing air to flow freely within the shoe. These areas are usually located around areas were heat concentrates more commonly, such as the toe box, side panels, and the upper foot. Look for footwear that has either mesh panels, or a perforated upper. A moisture wicking lining is also a good option, as it will draw sweat away from your foot, leaving it dry and cool for a longer period of time.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Just starting out with squash? Shoes are important for your traction to be able to execute quick pivots and stops, but even more critical is learning proper technique and the gameplay itself.
Other safety gear is needed most times, such as eye protection, and some even wear knee pads. Take a few lessons at the local club to quickly learn how the game is played, and the most effective moves to get started!
Squash is a very demanding sport! Think of it as bouts of high intensity effort, followed by a few seconds of rest. In order to help your endurance, you can hit the local gym for weight training, to help build muscle in the quads to maintain your stance and power off the floor, as well as work on cardiovascular fitness.
Other Factors to Consider
You won’t get too far in any sport if your shoes lack flexibility. If you know a thing or two about running, you’ll know that flexibility is the very base of nearly any foot movement. While squash does not directly involve running, it does involve a variety of dynamic and stretching movements that can’t be properly performed with stiff shoes. After analyzing the biomechanical process of walking and running, it’s fairly easy to realize that flexing our feet is necessary in order to perform basically any active movements.
A shoe that prevents your flexibility will cut off a great part of your range of motion. The range of motion consists of the full movement potential of a joint also referred to as the range of flexion or range of extension. The bending of the foot is necessary in order to take the most out of the range of motion when practicing indoor racket sports.
Stiff materials will simply restrain the flexibility of your shoe, ultimately reducing your range of motion. This means you won’t be able to reach as far as you would with flexible shoes. It will also have a direct impact on your speed. Restraining your feet may also place a lot of unnecessary stress on the arch that may eventually lead to arch pain and an interference with your performance. When the materials are non-flexible, your feet will be compressed against them every time you try to bend them.
A properly designed squash shoe should demonstrate a design constructed from durable and supportive materials, but that allows the natural flexion and movement of the foot. Some shoes will have minimal support, while others have unique technology designed to add support without being restrictive.
If you’ve decided to take up squash, or already have some experience and want to take your game to the next level, a proper pair of shoes made for this sport can really improve your performance. Just like a soccer or basketball player wouldn’t play in sandals, as a mountaineer wouldn’t climb in pointe shoes and a dancer wouldn’t wear steel toe boots to their next performance, you really need to consider the best possible features for your squash practice sessions.
While finding the right pair may seem daunting - after all, there are very few companies who make footwear for this sport, it can actually be an enjoyable experience, as long as you know what it is you need. To ensure the most streamlined purchasing process, there are a few things you should do in preparation:
As you’ve probably already noticed, there are several criteria that you need to look out for in the best squash shoes. If you don’t feel like reading about everything we took into consideration when choosing the top styles, here’s a quick summary of what to look for:
The latest update to this article updates the general look of the page, making it easier to find the most important info you need for making a good purchase. We’ve rated all the models based on the five most important criteria, and you can now sort them based on what’s most important for you. Furthermore, a Bottom Line section has been added at the bottom of the page to give you a short overview of what to look for in your next purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What else can I use my shoes for?
The shoes listed above may be suitable for multiple other court sports, but it’s important that they remain specifically for court use. Any usage outside sports courts will most likely get dirt and grease in your outsole, and this very same dirt will potentially remain on the court later on when you play.
q: How often should I clean my shoes?
If you’re noticing deficiencies in the grip of your shoes, cleaning the outsole may be the solution. The outsole should be cleaned consistently, and if it gets particularly dirty for some reason, we advise to clean it as soon as possible – the longer it passes, the harder it will be to clean.
q: Should I own more than one pair of shoes?
There’s no specific reason for owning multiple pairs of shoes at amateur levels. However, dedicated players tend to own two different pairs of performance footwear; one pair for training and recreation and one pair for competitive performance.
q: How should my shoes fit?
It’s important that your shoes support your feet properly without strangling them. You want to be able to move your toes around a bit and have some toe box space for better feet positioning, but you also want your heel and side panels to be held in place at all times.
q: How long do these shoes last?
Dedicated players may need to replace their shoes up to twice per season depending on their level of commitment and performance. However, recreational use is generally much more durable – you can expect a quality shoe to easily endure a year if taken care of and used recreationally.
q: How much arch support should my shoes have?
The arch support is related to your anatomy rather than the structure of the shoe. Since it would be impossible to design an arch that fits all humans individually, performance shoes generally have some arch support. We recommend using custom insoles to obtain the most out of the support.
q: What are non-marking soles?
Non-marking soles are a design specifically meant for surfaces similar to the ones in courts, like hardwood for example. This design won’t print on the wood nor will it scuff it, keeping the court in a healthy state, as opposed to marking soles that will damage the surface. Usually, the sole is a light or neutral color as opposed to black or dark colored soles.
q: Do I really need squash shoes to play the sport?
It’s physically possible to play with other types of shoes, however, it’s not only a bad choice, but squash boxes often have strict rulings regarding the types of footwear allowed in the court. So, it’s possible, but the gym most likely won’t allow it.
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