The Right Shoes for Badminton
If you play badminton competitively then you know the game is fast and exhilarating and requires the right equipment. On a court, you need to dress comfortably so you can easily reach and stretch for the birdie, and you need the right shoes for support and traction. If you wear plain sneakers then you may slide around the court and your feet and ankles may be prone to injury.
To find the right badminton shoes, first opt for those with the most cushioning on the sole. Because badminton is such a fast game, you are constantly pounding the court and your feet absorb this shock. Without thick soles, the shock will travel up to your ankles, your knees, your hips, and even your back. Once your shoes get worn out, they need to be replaced, but start with thick soles to begin with.
The soles also need to be nonskid rubber. This will mean a lot of scoring on the bottom as the scoring is what gives you traction when on the court. Many badminton shoes used by professionals have rows and rows of small dots or holes in the rubber to provide additional traction, as opposed to the squiggly lines you might see on normal sneakers or athletic shoes. When you try on shoes for badminton, note how they feel if you move side to side and if they give you plenty of traction and grip. When on the court you’ll be twisting and turning and your feet will need to stay planted to keep you in your place, so look at the bottom and then test them out before you purchase.
Rubber non-mark soles are also important so that you don’t leave marks on the court. Avoid black shoes and look specifically for those that say non-mark if you plan on playing anywhere indoors. For outdoor play this won’t be as important but black shoes can leave unsightly marks on a court.
Look for a grip around the ankles and check for a good grip in the back. You’ll notice a difference in running shoes versus those you wear for sports like badminton or tennis; you want a higher back which will keep your ankles in place and give support on all sides. Because there are so many stops and starts in badminton, without this higher grip you may suffer more ankle turns and sprains.
You don’t need shoes made specifically for badminton to play but it can help to search for those in particular if you’re serious about your game or want to join a league. They can protect your feet and keep you safe so that you enjoy your game and perform better when on the courts.