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Stay Comfortable and Injury-Free with Pickleball Specific Footwear

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Proper shoes are highly recommended when playing sports, whether professional or recreational. Can wearing pickleball footwear help increase optimal performance and prevent injuries?

Pickleball Footwear

Pickleball has become quite popular because individuals of all ages and abilities can play it. Although it is a relatively new sport, it emerged in 1965. (USA Pickleball, 2021) It’s now one of the fastest-growing sports, with over 8 million players nationwide. (Brandon, 2023) The game can be played with most shoes designed for sports, like running or cross-fit shoes. There are shoes specifically for pickleball that improve traction, enhance stability and cushioning, and increase impact absorption. For those getting into the game long-term, investing in high-quality pickleball footwear is a worthwhile investment that can contribute to long-term enjoyment and injury prevention.

The Demands of Pickleball

Like tennis or table tennis, pickleball involves dynamic and fast-paced movements, including lateral strides, pivoting, and quickly changing direction. The body has to move forward, backward, and side to side across the court and pivot. When chasing the ball, to control the shots, produce power, decrease the risk of injury, and change direction while maintaining balance, the feet, body, and shoes must work together to make all this possible. One consideration depends on where the game will be played, whether flat ground or a harder surface. Wearing sneakers or tennis shoes is recommended for flat-ground play, as they provide supportive cushioning and shock absorption. For harder surfaces like concrete or hardwood courts, specialized shoes like those designed for pickleball are recommended.

Benefits

Some of the benefits of investing in pickleball footwear include.

Optimal Traction

Traction is incredibly important in pickleball. Optimal traction can help players execute quick movements, maintain stability, and prevent slips and falls. When looking for the right shoes, consider traction-specific materials like rubber, nylon, and leather. Individuals are most likely to find rubber pickleball shoes because they’re cheaper and commonly used in other outdoor sport-specific shoes, such as soccer. Nylon is more expensive but offers better traction than rubber and is often used in high-tech sneakers because it provides significant shock absorption and long-term durability. Leather is the most expensive material but offers the best grip. Because of its natural look and feel, it is also becoming more popular in sneakers.

Stability and Support

Moving from side to side in a lateral fashion requires players to be on top of their balance and maintain steadiness when making shots. Pickleball shoes are designed to support stability and can help reduce injuries like sprains.

Impact Absorption Cushioning

Pickleball footwear is designed similarly to running shoes, with cushioned comfort and a midsole that offers shock absorption and reduces the impact felt in the joints, including the knees, lower back, and feet. Individuals can find pickleball footwear that utilizes various sports technologies, like gel inserts or responsive foam, which can help cushion and reduce the impact on the joints. When cushioned, the body can maintain more balance, promote positive movement habits, prevent muscular fatigue and joint pain, help reduce overall stress, and allow individuals to play harder without experiencing pain. Long-term benefits result in a stronger, more flexible body.

Proper Fit and Considerations

Make sure that the pickleball shoes fit well and provide adequate support. Measure your feet using a ruler or measuring tape, and have the measurements handy while shopping. Suggestions include:

  • Look for shoes that fit snugly but don’t allow the feet to move around too much during play.
  • Pay attention to arch support.
  • Individuals with high arches should look for shoes with adjustable straps or more supportive materials built into the sole.

Using an integrated approach to treat and prevent injuries and chronic pain syndromes, improve flexibility, mobility, and agility, and help individuals return to normal activities, Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic works with primary healthcare providers and specialists to develop a personalized fitness program. Each case is different and requires reviewing individual medical history and physical examination to determine the proper training plan.  Dr. Jimenez has teamed up with top trainers, clinical specialists, medical researchers, and rehabilitation providers to provide the most effective treatments if other training is needed.


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References

USA Pickleball. (2021). History of the game. usapickleball.org/what-is-pickleball/history-of-the-game/

Mackie, B. Pickleheads. (2024). Pickleball statistics. www.pickleheads.com/blog/pickleball-statistics#h-key-pickleball-statistics

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Stay Comfortable and Injury-Free with Pickleball Specific Footwear" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

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Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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