Squash shoes might seem, to a layperson, no different than any other sport sneaker. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fitted with special soles, these shoes are meant to grip the hardcourt floors and provide you with exceptional support during a fast-paced game.
You’re looking to get a breathable, supportive shoe that’s lightweight, and allows you to make pinpoint turns without being dragged down. You also require a quality gum sole, as you want a non-marking feature that’s enjoyed by your squash club.
Even though the Wave Lightning is the best women’s squash shoe, there are many others that top the best-of lists:
- Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z5 Indoor Court Shoe
- Mizuno Women’s Wave Momentum Indoor Court Shoe
- HEAD Men’s Sonic 2000 MID Racquetball/Squash
- Salming Men’s Kobra 2 Squash Indoor Court Shoes
- HI-TEC Mens Non-Marking Squash Classic Leather Sneakers
- Mishansha Mens Athletic Court Squash
- HEAD Men’s Grid 2.0 Low Squash
The Best Squash Shoes
Yet another of the best women’s squash shoes, the Mizuno brand seems to be quite superior. The Wave Lightning has features that set it apart from other less reputable brands. Like the other Mizuno footwear, you may wish to size up from your street shoes for maximum comfort.
The sole of this shoe is doubly special since it has the traditional gum material but also has a D-Flex Groove; this split in the sole creates stability to enable better turning. Though like the others on this list, it’s a low-top sneaker, it still has miles of support, though perhaps not as much as the Wave Momentum, listed below.
If you need to wear specialty insoles or ankle supports while you play, it may be advisable to size up even more than a half size. The toe box can be quite tight, which is good for stability but not for comfort. There’s also a more pronounced heel, which can affect your balance if you aren’t used to it.
The Wave Momentum features a supportive sole and heel cup that makes it one of the best women’s squash shoes. It’s light and bouncy so that you can be unheeded by weight while you play. Though they’re low top sneakers, it’s a high support model, which is a good feature if you have weaker ankles.
There are a number of other features to distinguish these particular shoes, such as the Mizuno Wave plate, which is unique to this brand. It allows you to jump and land as hard as you can without feeling as much impact on your ankles and knees. If you have issues with bunions or blisters, the Dura Shield toe box might help to cushion the front area of your feet.
It also features a no-sew fabric, which is incredibly unique. The stitches can’t wear out, because there are no stitches.
Though these shoes might run small, you can simply size up a half or more to make sure you get the best fit. If you have wider feet, you may want to search for another model on this list, but you will never know until you try them on.
If you’re looking for a quality vegan option, the Sonic may be your best squash shoe. Its synthetic leather is still excellent quality but allows your feet to breathe throughout the game— as does the mesh tongue. It’s a medium support shoe, so you can still play on a substantial foundation.
It’s true to size, which means you can order the size you normally wear in day sneakers. The HEAD brand also gives specialty heel support, which is perfect for a game like squash with explosive movement and quick decision making.
The only downside is the inner construction. The insole is difficult and almost impossible to remove, so if you have orthopedics that are necessary, it may not be the best squash shoe for you. The inside tends to ‘pill’ (where small balls of fabric are raised after wear) after a short amount of time.
A high support shoe, the Kobra 2 is well made and has a high ankle to give you lots of stability. When you’re playing the striker, you’ve got to be able to keep up with gameplay. A well-made shoe can help keep you stable and ready for defense.
A feature we love is the connected eyelets that are part of the shoe itself. Many shoes have this area attached with stitching, which can wear out over time. By designing these parts as one, it gives a unique feature that will keep you comfortable throughout the whole game.
In the sole, it has rollbar technology which is an excellent feature from this brand. The slightly rounded arch area on the sole makes it easier to execute movement. Maneuverability is increased, which allows you to play your game with better precision.
This shoe offers a large number of colors to compliment it, though some users say that the style is a bit too clunky for quick movement. It doesn’t have white soles, though the brand insists that the gum sole is perfect for court play. The excellent grip could help you increase your winnings on the rally.
Medium support and plain style doesn’t mean that this shoe isn’t one of the best squash shoes. Customers mention that the stability is exceptional due to its excellent waffle bottom gum sole— this shoe can really grip.
It has a gum rubber sole and white rubber ball-of-foot to increase your landings so that you can make the most out of your time as the hand. The best squash shoes allow you to change direction quickly, while still supporting your foot.
This shoe is lightweight, which is excellent for maneuverability. Men’s court shoes can often seem clunky, but these well-shaped models conform to the foot for a great fit. Sometimes the best squash shoes can come in plain packaging, and if you wear traditional squash whites, you’ll be well matched.
Though it’s shaped well, you may still need to size up when ordering, especially if you wear thicker athletic socks. The inner heal’s padding also cushions your achilles tendon, for increased stability.
We find the Mishansha shoe to be the most aesthetic on this list. With 10 colors to choose from, it certainly has the most options so you can match your modern squash clothing. It’s also the most affordable on this list, which means that you’re getting quality and a great deal.
It has an elastic midsection, which makes it quite comfortable, and the high top design gives you high support. It has excellent breathability as well, due to the mesh in the upper part of the shoe. Though the entire sole isn’t white, it does have a non-marking gum sole for a large percent of the bottom so that you can grip the floor well.
Users have reported that the eyelets can wear out quickly, so it may be a good idea to switch the laces out for something less abrasive or an elastic variety.
An air mesh upper allows the Head Grid to be superior in its breathability. If your feet are comfortable, then you will be comfortable throughout your game. With its HyBrasion feature, the grip on the floor is superior.
One downside of its good grip sole is the color. Though it’s constructed of non-mark gum rubber, the bright color does lend itself to be a bit more dangerous in the possibility of marking the floor.
Users report that the shoe can be heavier than other models, which can slow you down. This may be because the heel area of the sole is thicker than other models. It does have a recommendation through the manufacturer to size up a half size or more for comfort, as it runs small.
If you are a constant player or play more often than a few times a month, this shoe may not be right for you. The stitching tends to fray after heavy-duty bouts, which can affect the fit. The stitches are less stable in the toe box, so if you are more flat-footed and don’t play on your toes, these may be the best squash shoes for flat feet.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Squash Shoes
Beware of ‘All Sport’ Shoes
One of the main issues you might have buying squash shoes is the tendency for online retailers to advertise any shoe as a ‘court shoe.’ As manufacturers make all sneakers for specific sports in mind, you may not be getting the best out of your game.
Heavier sneakers may help you keep your balance while lifting weights, but the lighter court shoes will help you keep up with squash—it’s a fast paced-sport, after all. You wouldn’t want to use a squash shoe to run on a steep mountain trail. On that same thought, you wouldn’t want to use a tennis shoe or basketball court shoe for squash.
In our list, we have tried to choose shoes that are well suited for squash, though some models do cover more than one sport. With online retailers attempting to advertise to the highest number of customers, this is unavoidable.
Gum Soled Shoes
Having the right sole is important in the best squash shoes for two reasons: cleanliness and grip. You want to find shoes with non-mark or gum soles.
Squash is a sport about precision. Having a sole that’s bouncy and light, while still allowing for pinpoint turns, is essential for executing those precision moves to score the maximum points. Many professional shoes are made with gum soles, the natural rubber processed from a specific tree. These soles are also imitated in synthetic form, to varying degrees of efficiency.
It grips the floor, allowing for more precise maneuverability. Support is important, of course, but for a sport like squash that moves so quickly, the grip of the sole is equally important to keep you from ‘foot fault.’ You only have a few feet of area to play in, so it’s imperative that you be as precise with your footwork as possible.
The best shoes for squash are good for playing, but also suitable for the court. Choosing non-mark shoes (whether gum soled or not) ensures that the court stays pristine. Some clubs might even monitor your footwear to ensure their spaces are well taken care of.
Many courts also require that your shoes be indoor only, they should soley live on the court. Never wear your shoes from home. If you do, you might drag dirt from the outside world into the playing area. You’ll have issues with scraping and falling if there’s debris in your way, and sneakers may have problems gripping the floor.
Features to Look for in a Squash Shoe
When you want to find the best squash shoe, there are a few key factors to consider.
- Impact Support
Athletic shoes aren’t like your everyday dress shoes. There’s a more strategic system to keep your foot supported through playtime. In addition to your normal shoe size, you will want to make sure that your shoes are the right width for your feet.
If you’re the kind of player who really hits the court hard, you may want to opt for the best squash shoes for wide feet, since your feet are likely to swell due to activity. For many shoes, you will also want to go up a half size or full size from your street shoe for an optimal fit.
If you’re a serious player, then it’s imperative to support your arches, ankles, and toes while playing. Choosing sneakers that fit all these categories is important. If your feet have low arches, selecting the best shoes for flat feet will help to support your playing in style and function.
In studies of athletes landing after a jump, foot position was key to avoiding ankle sprains. By choosing the right sneakers to give you support, you can help to prevent injury.
It’s a good idea to find breathable sneakers, even if you’re only a once-in-a-while player. Socks can only go so far in keeping your shoes free of sweat. Blisters are most prone to form on damp, moist skin. Ensuring dry, comfortable feet will help both your game and your health. Wet feet can slide in shoes, and you might lose your balance.
While it seems rather minor, the weight of your shoes can seriously slow down your game on the hardcourt—but not for the reasons you think.
In a small sports experiment, players completed the same exercises with two different weights of shoes. When participants knew (or were told) that their shoes were lighter, they outperformed their heavy-soled attempts. However, when a control group was unaware of their shoe weight, they performed almost the same during both trials.
This may be due to expectancies in performance and not actual ability. It seems that physiological effects could have more to do with sports than we like to think. Knowing that, find the shoe that you believe is the right weight for you, and you just might be exactly right!
The heaviest men’s shoes on our list are the HEAD Men’s Grid 2.0 Low Squash shoes, at 13.9 oz, while the lightest are 11.6 ounces—Salming Men’s Kobra 2 Squash Indoor Court Shoes.
Women’s shoes tend to be lighter over men’s shoes, and this is true as both of our women’s shoes are lighter than the lightest men’s model. Choose the number one on our list, the Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z5, for the lightest women’s shoe.
The Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z5 Indoor Court Shoes are the all-round best women’s squash shoes. This is because of their unique fabric and the variegated gumshoe sole. High support, as well as their low weight, make them ideal for playing a long game.
If you’re looking for the best squash shoes for men, try the Salming Men’s Kobra 2 Squash Shoes. Its ergonomic interior and single-piece vamp, where the eyelets are attached, make it a hardy shoe that will last through lots of play.
The best squash shoes, which are also budget-friendly, on this list include the Mishansha Mens Athletic Court Squash.
By choosing the right shoe for your game, you’ll be able to stay comfortable and keep you hitting above the tin.