The 7 Best Racquetball Shoes of 2019
Racquetball is a fast-paced sport that requires gear that can keep up. Factors like sole, size, breathability, ankle support, price, and overall quality all affect the playability of the shoe. All of these characteristics were taken into account while compiling this list of the best shoes for racquetball this year.
While each player is different and has their own specific needs, there is one shoe that seems to check all the boxes. Winning the top spot as the best men’s racquetball shoe of 2019 is the HEAD Men's Sonic 2000 MID Indoor Court Shoe.
With its durable build, superior support, and excellent stability, it's easily the best racquetball shoes of the year. Find out why and read more about other excellent racquetball shoe options here.
This list was compiled to help players compare key aspects of this year’s top shoes and determine which shoe is best for their unique, individual needs. By the end of this article, players should have a good sense of racquetball shoe for them.
Best Racquetball Shoes
HEAD Men's Sonic 2000 MID Indoor Court Shoes
Ektelon Men's NFS Attack Mid Racquetball Shoes
ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
Python Men's Deluxe Indoor (Mid) Racquetball Shoe
Wilson Unisex Recon
Faux leather, Mesh
New Balance Men's mc806 Tennis Shoe
Leather and Synthetic
Prince Mens NFS Assault Indoor Court Sneaker
1. Head Men’s Sonic 2000 Mid Indoor Court Shoes (Non-Marking)
The first shoe on the list is a mid-ankle shoe, so it provides good ankle support. The comfort continues to the foot and heel, thanks to a comfortable midsole and heel energy frame support.
The gum rubber sole gives excellent traction, helping to keep the foot stabilized. A supporting frame, cushioned interior, and mid ankle height help stabilize and protect players’ feet as they cut back and forth during the sport.
This is another shoe that offers stellar comfort and tackles problems like impact and overuse. Because of that, it is not an incredibly lightweight or breathable shoe.
In terms of support, traction, and stability, this shoe is a great choice. However, the breathability and lightness of the shoe are less of a focus on this shoe. Players who prioritize stability will appreciate this shoe the most.
2. Ektelon Men’s NFS Attack Synthetic Mid Racquetball Shoe
Racquetball shoes are known for their classic gum rubber soles, which provide traction on indoor surfaces. This shoe certainly has that feature, which gives it incredible grip. In particular, however, this shoe stands out from the rest because it is specifically designed for ultimate stability beyond its sole.
First, the high ankle support keeps ankles steady when players cut back and forth during the sport. Also, the shoe features a midfoot strap and high abrasion toe cap to keep the foot secure and still inside the shoe, preventing too much movement of the foot.
Within the shoe, a molded EVA midsole provides cushioning and comfort. Even with all of the interior protection, this shoe remains lightweight and quick.
Overall, it offers the best combination of technology on the court. With important features that prioritize stability, durability, and support, this men’s racquetball shoe is a solid addition to your bag.
3. Asics Men’s Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
Volleyball shoes are an excellent option for racquetball players. These shoes offer great indoor traction, featuring the same classic gum bottom found on most racquetball shoes. They’re also often lightweight, but very supportive to absorb the impact of jumping and landing.
This Asics shoe, in particular, has rubber soles and a gel cushioning system to alleviate shock. Each shoe is pretty lightweight, at about the same weight as the last Python pair.
They are also very breathable thanks to the mesh toe box.
Asics are known for their quick and easy comfort and movement. These shoes, in particular, may not be the thickest, most cushioned shoes, but they are light, breathable, and easy to wear. It is a great pick for players that are looking for a less bulky style and who prioritize quickness on the court.
4. Python Men’s Deluxe Indoor (Mid) Racquetball Shoe (Non-Marking)
There are many different ways that brands address breathability. Often, part of the outside material will be made of mesh for air to circulate throughout the shoe. The Python Men’s Deluxe Indoor Mid Shoe, however, is leather on the outside.
The soft mesh is found inside the shoe, where it is meant to absorb sweat to keep feet comfortable. This allows for a certain level of breathability, without sacrificing the durability of the outside of the shoe. However, the breathability of an interior mesh is often less effective at keeping feet dry and comfortable.
Even with this heavier material encasing the shoe, each one only weighs about 0.7 pounds. There isn’t as much cushioning inside the shoe. In addition, each shoe has a thick back heel for shock absorption.
By prioritizing lightness without sacrificing durability, Python offers a great, long-lasting shoe at a sweet price. The mesh interior is a different approach to breathability but does offer protection for the outer material.
5. Wilson Unisex Recon
Built specifically for use on racquetball courts, this shoe has all of your typical features. This includes a gum rubber sole, breathable mesh inserts, and a cushioned foam insole. These characteristics help with traction, stability, breathability, and comfort.
One of the biggest things that set this shoe apart is its weight. One shoe weighs only about half of a pound, while one of the previous New Balance shoes was a pound. While the numbers don’t sound too dramatic, lightness can make a big difference in how quickly players can get around the court.
That means this shoe is great for lightweight comfort.
This shoe is an excellent shoe for players looking for the best of both worlds- comfort and lightness. Mesh inserts and added plush areas help achieve both of these important factors, but durability may be partially compromised.
6. New Balance Men’s mc806 Shoe
This next shoe was created as a tennis shoe but worked wonderfully for racquetball because of a few key factors. These include durability and traction, which are incredibly important in both tennis and racquetball.
The main difference here is that this shoe does not have the classic tan gum sole that was a feature of the first two shoes. Instead, the shoe has a herringbone outsole that is meant for quick pivoting on the court. Regardless, the sole offers plenty of traction indoors.
New Balance is known for its comfort and cushioning, and this shoe fits the bill. This pair features a mix of leather and synthetic materials to allow for durability without sacrificing breathability.
Unlike the other two pairs, however, there is no mesh upper to help with circulation. There are holes on the toe box and side panels to encourage air flow, but this offers less breathability than mesh.
In summary, this shoe has some major differences from the ones we’ve seen so far. The soles are not gum, but rather, have a herringbone outsole intended to help with quick pivoting and lateral movement on the court.
This traction translates into a great racquetball shoe sole. It’s also incredibly well cushioned and has a reinforced toe and thick soles, which will help it last longer, especially if you are a frequent player.
7. Prince Men’s NFS Assault Indoor Court Sneaker Shoes
Another great shoe to look at if you’re prioritizing support is the NFS Assault Indoor Court Shoe. Prince tends to make shoes with excellent ankle support, which may be in part due to their role as a tennis court shoe manufacturer. In any case, this shoe is no exception.
As with the previous shoe, this one has midfoot support and forefoot protection for toe draggers. It is not a mid-rise shoe, though, so it may not be as effective at supporting the ankle specifically. It also boasts of cushioning for comfort and has a mesh air upper to allow for breathability.
While it does have a few noteworthy flaws, it is overall a great shoe. Here’s the breakdown:
While this shoe seems great for foot support and durability, the dense insole seems to limit breathability, and the thick bottoms add weight and stiffness. Depending on the player’s needs and typical usage, it is still a great option.
Important Things to Consider
There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the best racquetball shoes. The first is the sole, or bottom, of the shoe. How long do you need the shoe to last? How frequently do you play? The answers to these questions can help players determine the level of durability that the shoe needs to have.
Some shoes, like the New Balance Men’s mc806 shoe, do not have a gum rubber sole, but instead, have a herringbone sole. This type of sole is meant to be durable even on the rough outdoor surface of a tennis court so that it may last longer than others.
Another point of interest in regards to the sole is traction. It is important that players use a shoe with ample traction for indoor surfaces while ensuring that the shoe is non-marking so that it doesn’t scuff up the gym floor.
Traction is incredibly important since racquetball requires more lateral movement and quick direction changes than most sports do. Racquetball shoes consider this, which is why they often use gum soles to provide maximum grip.
Another factor is the size. As mentioned, some of these shoes don’t fit true to size. Some brands can also fit differently than others. For instance, the Ektelon Men’s NFS Attack Synthetic Mid Racquetball Shoe tends to run small, so moving up a half size might be necessary. Often you can find information on how the shoe fits in the product reviews.
Each product breakdown also mentioned breathability. Breathability deals with the amount of air circulation the shoe has. Sweaty feet that soak through shoe soles are not comfortable to play in. It is important that a player is comfortable enough to worry only about the game, and not what is on his or her feet.
Also, players should consider shoe quality. Leather or synthetic uppers can protect the shoe from wear and tear, but can also reduce the breathability that mesh offers. Players should decide what aspects of the shoe are most important for their needs.
Another important consideration is ankle support. Mid-rise shoes often offer better ankle support than low rise shoes do. This might be an important category to look at for players prone to injury.
Lastly, an important factor in the decision is price. While there’s typically a mentality that more expensive products are better quality, players must be sure that they are receiving value from their purchase. Is the price tag equivalent to the value of the shoe?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can you wear racquetball shoes for running or vice versa?
A. It is not suggested that racquetball shoes be worn for running long distances because they do not have the support needed for that type of movement. Running shoes are lightweight with a thick sole padding meant to absorb the constant impact of feet against the ground.
When playing racquetball, it is crucial that players have footwear that grips the smooth court and enables them to make quick changes in direction. Wearing running shoes for racquetball can also lead to ankle and knee injuries due to the lack of lateral support. The best option is to use racquetball shoes designed specifically for the sport.
For runners, you might be like more discussion about running shoe on concrete to avoid feet problem.
Q. What types of shoes are acceptable besides racquetball shoes?
A. Basketball and volleyball are both played on similar surfaces as racquetball. However, basketball shoes are typically much heavier and bulkier than is appropriate.
Volleyball shoes are lighter and faster. Because of this, and the fact that they require similar types of movement, volleyball shoes can be an acceptable alternative for racquetball shoes.
It is important to consider all aspects of the shoe discussed above, especially if the shoe is not specifically designed for the sport. For instance, tennis is played on a grainier surface that has more friction and grip. Often, tennis shoes are not appropriate; however, sometimes they are.
An example of this would be the New Balance Men’s mc806 shoe that was discussed earlier. It has a herringbone sole that allows for more grip. That is why, if a player is looking for a multipurpose shoe, it's essential to find out whether or not the shoe will be appropriate for the sport.
Q. How can I make the most out of my shoe life?
A. To protect the traction on your racquetball shoe sole, it is important not to wear them outside, especially for other sports. Doing this will wear out the soles more quickly and cause the shoes to lose traction. This will lead to slipping on indoor courts.
There’s also a chance that debris will get stuck in the grooves of the rubber sole and end up deposited on the racquetball court, which could damage the space by scratching the floor. It is important the racquetball shoes stay inside only.
Q. What does NFS mean?
A. NFS is used to describe a “Natural Foot Shape” technology developed by Ektelon, the makers of the Ektelon Men’s NFS Attack Synthetic Mid Racquetball Shoe, which was the top pick of this article.
It mainly focuses on comfort by shaping the shoe more like a natural foot. This means the back of the shoe is narrower, and the front is a bit wider. NFS shoes not only avoid smushed toes but also increase stability by securing the heel.
By having the shoe shape mirror the natural shape of the foot, the shoe is snugger and more fitted, preventing the foot from moving around too much in the shoe, which could cause injury.
Q. Why do most racquetball shoes have gum rubber soles?
A. Gum rubber soles provide the most grip on indoor surfaces. They are also non-marking, which is a necessity for court sports. Court floors are costly, so owners want to ensure that they aren’t scuffed up with black marks.
Gum rubber does not leave any marks on the floor, which is also why it has become a popular sole material for racquetball shoes.
As a racquetball player, it is essential to consider all factors before purchasing shoes. There are many different options out there, which can make the decision overwhelming.
To keep it simple, consider 6 things: sole, size, breathability, quality, ankle support, and price. These factors are the most critical to finding the right pair.
Remember, every player is different. Prioritize these 6 categories to fit your racquetball lifestyle. Each person will prioritize differently.
At the end of the day, players need gear that will support them and better them in their sport. For a comfortable, injury-free racquetball career, use this article as a guide to finding the perfect pair of shoes to fit your needs.