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
Moisture Wicking Lining
Parallel Wave Plate
Dynamotion Groove Outsole
- Mizuno Wave Bolt 7
- Salming Kobra 2
- Wilson Rush Pro 2.5
- Salming Hawk
- Kelme Star 360
- Harrow Vortex
- ASICS GEL-Rocket 9
- Babolat Propulse Fury
- ASICS Upcourt 3
- Adidas Barricade Club
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Squash Shoes
1. 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Originally made for volleyball players who need a good amount of traction on indoors courts, this is a pair of sneakers that will do great for racquet sports played on indoor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
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. 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.
2. 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. 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.
3. Wilson Rush Pro 2.5
6mm Heel to Toe Drop
Pro Torque Chassis
High Energy Rebound
If you’re after a product that is used by some of the top athletes, then trying this model by Wilson is highly recommended. The Rush Pro 2.5 comes in a variety of versions, including a platform one that was made for playing on wooden surfaces that require a special sort of traction (the exact kind you need for volleyball and indoor court sports). It’s a fairly simple model in terms of design, with three color options, but what sets it apart from the others listed are the technical features.Read more
First and foremost, the outsole on the Rush Pro 2.5 is a denser type of rubber that is more durable on this type of surfaces, seeing that it’s abrasion resistant. A classic herringbone pattern will ensure proper grip, and the Pro Torque Chassis will provide the required stability during lateral movements, as it prevents any type of torsion within the sole unit.
A 6mm heel to toe drop ensures excellent court feel, while cushioning technologies found in the Pro Rush ensure both shock absorption, as well as explosive energy rebound that keeps both acceleration and deceleration in mind. A Sensifeel upper layers mesh with no-sew synthetic overlays that ensure a comfortable fit, and generous padding in the collar area allows you to wear this shoe without having to worry about rubbing at the back of the heel. Being a model made for high level performance, it comes at an affordable price that is around average compared to the other items listed.
4. Salming Hawk
Four Layer Mesh Upper
Recoil ERF Midsole
SoftFOAM Heel Cushioning
Outsole Stability Sections
The thing about this brand is that their main focus is on footwear made for sports that are played on indoor courts. These include badminton shoes, handball, floorball, volleyball and others, as well as an entire line of products made for squash players. Thus, what this guarantees is that if you decide to purchase the Hawk, one of their highest performing models, you will receive a product that was made with all the details that can help bring your game to the next level.Read more
The Hawk is a relatively simple model with a colorful, eye-catching design. It features a low profile that helps you remain connected to the ground, increasing stability and grip, with a hexagonal traction pattern on the non-marking rubber outsole. On the outside portion of the sole, at the heel and metatarsal area, there are two LMSplus 8° areas which increase lateral stability, and prevent skidding when moving in a lateral pattern.
The midsole uses Recoil Energy Rebound Foam which absorbs the force generated on each landing, and returns it to you to make your next step more explosive. The heel uses SoftFOAM for a higher level of cushioning, and you get an overall comfortable wear on the whole. The upper is constructed with four layers of mesh and an internal support system that’s highly breathable and helps moisture elimination during and after playing.
5. 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! 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.
6. 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.
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. 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.
7. ASICS GEL-Rocket 9
Breathable Mesh Upper
Multidirectional Traction Pattern
Trusstic System Technology
The GEL-Rocket line by ASICS was originally developed to be used by volleyball players, but it wasn’t until long that other athletes found out about it. Commonly used on indoor courts, both for squash and badminton, this is often the first choice of those who want to take their game to the next level, but without spending a fortune. The latest edition, the GEL-Rocket 9 is a continuation in the direction the previous models headed in, and is an overall good choice for a number of users. It comes in three simple colorways, all of which look great.Read more
The technology behind the GEL-Rocket 9 is the same you will find in the brand’s most successful products. For one, the name comes from the forefoot GEL cushion that absorbs shock upon impact, while an energy returning EVA midsole increases comfort levels. Torsion prevention and lateral stability are ensured by the Trusstic System that doesn’t allow twisting in the shoe.
The outsole is made with non-marking gum rubber with a multidirectional traction pattern that will grab indoor surfaces, and the fact that it’s a flat surface further increases stability. The sockliner is padded to mold to the foot, and the footbed is removable, so it can be replaced with custom orthotics. To top it all off, the upper combines mesh with synthetic overlays for a breathable, yet durable wear. In terms of price, this is one of the more affordable options on this list.
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. 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. ASICS Upcourt 3
EVA Foam Midsole
Herringbone Traction Pattern
No GEL Cushioning
Another volleyball model by ASICS that has become a favorite among those who need to train on indoor courts, the Upcourt 3 is suitable for a number of sports. Due to the low price, it’s ideal for those just getting started with this type of activity, while providing all the technical features you will need for quick lateral movements that are required from you in a game of squash.Read more
The Upcourt combines mesh for breathability with synthetic overlays that wrap around the midfoot for stability. The toe section is protected by another layer of synthetics, as is the heel, with an external cup that ensures a locked in feel that will help with attaining the best possible fit. The classic lace closure and padded mesh tongue are tried and tested features that have become an industry standard in this type of footwear.
The midsole of the Upcourt features simple EVA foam which is lightweight and shock absorbing, while a 10mm heel to toe gradient puts your weight on the forefoot, reducing strain on the limbs. The sockliner is removable and can be replaced with custom orthotics (in case you need a high level of arch support), and the color options are fairly simple, with black and white versions being available.
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. 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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