Best Badminton Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort

What do you think of when you think badminton? A court? Racquets? Hitting a birdie over the net?
But have you ever thought about your shoes? Probably not. Just like any sport, badminton requires shoes that can withstand certain actions; shortstops, quick direction changes, jumps, etc., while offering the best support possible. When your shoes aren’t designed for these actions you are more likely to trip, roll your ankle, or simply have a bag game. No matter how competitive the game is everyone wants to have the best game they can, and that starts with having the best badminton shoes for the job.

Featured Recommendations

ASICS GEL-Rocket 7
  • ASICS GEL-Rocket 7
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Traction
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Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3
  • Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ventilation
  • Price: See Here
Puma Invicto Sala
  • Puma Invicto Sala
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Flexibility
  • Price: See Here

It’s skill and practice that makes a good player - but the right pair of shoes can make a world of a difference, too. Most people are aware that outdoor sports require specific shoes. However, it’s often overlooked that indoor sports like badminton require just as much. You may not be running on rocky mountain paths or trekking through mud and snow, but your feet still need proper footwear in order for you to play well.

Making the effort to choose the right pair of shoes can maximize your performance, prevent injuries, and give you that boost to victory. And in the end, even if you play for the fun of it - who doesn’t love to win?

When picking out a pair of badminton shoes, one of the most important feature to look out for is its grip. A sleek wooden indoor court can cause slipping that will not only causes embarrassment but can also result in serious injuries. Good ventilation is also crucial. You don’t want to be spraying perfume into your shoes at the end of every practice. Other factors to consider include shock absorption, stability, and comfort. Our list includes ten shoes that incorporate a balance of these features so that you can step onto the court with confidence.

 

10 Best Badminton Shoes

 

1. ASICS GEL-Rocket 7

Number one on our list is the GEL-Rocket 7 shoe. Its design allows the shoe to be lightweight while still maintaining good structural support and cushioning. This will allow you to move around quickly and easily while also maintaining your balance. They also provide good ankle protection which reduces the risk of injuries.
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Grip and Traction
With gum rubber on the outsole, this shoe provides excellent traction on indoor court surfaces, particularly those made of wood. Its design will prevent you from slipping when moving swiftly.

Shock Absorption
The cushioning on this model will lessen the shock impact created when jumping to take a smash. This will enhance your performance by reducing fatigue in the feet and legs.

Cost and Value
What’s great about these shoes is that they’re high quality, yet still reasonably priced. Compared to the other shoes on our list, this falls somewhere in the middle of our price range.
Pros
  • Excellent shock absorption
  • Gum rubber outsole prevents slipping
  • Provides structural support
  • Comfortable and breathable

 

Cons
  • May take a while to break in
  • Minimal arch support

2. Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3

Simple yet practical, this shoe model by Mizuno redefines the concept of minimalism. Its clean design features a rubber outsole designed for maximum stability. Shock is absorbed equally throughout the sole to cushion your jumps and help you keep your balance when transitioning from move to move. These shoes will prevent injuries and maximize performance, rendering them a good pick for players of all level.
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Lightweight
A seamless upper keeps the shoe light while also providing a comfortable fit. You’ll be able to move around quickly and freely so that you can focus on the game instead of on your feet.

Ventilation
The midsole ventilation system in this model reduces the build-up of heat and humidity. This design greatly reduces odor and will prevent the discomfort (and embarrassment!) of sweaty feet.

Cost and Value
This model has been discontinued by Mizuno, but thankfully the shoes can still be found in many different stores. With over 70% of reviews with five stars, it’s safe to say they’re worth the purchase.
Pros
  • Ensures stability
  • Good arch support
  • Comfortable
  • Great for walking
Cons
  • May take a while to break in
  • Sizing runs a bit small

3. Adidas Barricade Club

If you’re looking for something that’s comfortable and versatile, the Adidas Barricade Club shoe is definitely worth a try. Designed to ensure ease in intense lateral movements, these will prevent injuries and help you move around quickly. What’s more, a sleek design makes these shoes excellent for everyday streetwear, so that you can look fresh and stay comfortable at the same time.
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Ventilation
In this model, a synthetic upper with mesh inserts ensures maximum breathability. The air-exchange helps to manage moisture and will keep you comfortable when the game gets intense.

Durability
The toe area is reinforced with a durable material meant to prevent against foot drags during sports like tennis. In badminton, this translates to more endurance against excessive wear and can also protect your feet from injuries.

Cost and Value
These shoes fall somewhere toward the low end of our price range - but don’t mistake that for lower quality. They’re a great bargain for all they have to offer.
Pros
  • Air mesh upper provides excellent breathability
  • Removable insole
  • Affordable
  • Rubber sole prevents sliding
Cons
  • Sophisticated lacing method
  • Harder sole designed for clay courts

4. ASICS GEL Tactic

4. ASICS GEL Tactic
Play to win - and look good while you do it, too. These shoes by ASICS are designed for volleyball but are amazing for badminton players as they provide excellent shock absorption. They are extremely durable and are ideal for those who train hard and play frequently. Combined with its cushioning and structural support, these shoes are a good choice for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players alike.
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Comfort
This indoor court shoe features two layers of plush SpEVA midsole material that will not only absorb shock and prevent injuries, but also provides amazing comfort, making them suitable for everyday street wear.

Durability
A supplemental toe guard on this model ensures durability. These shoes will serve you well through all the thicks and thins you encounter.

Cost and Value
As this model has been discontinued, it may be hard to find a pair of these at a low price. However, with all the features mentioned above, they’re definitely worth the consideration.
Pros
  • Plush midsol
  • Attractive design
  • Versatile
  • Shock absorbant
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Narrow fit
  • Discontinued - may be hard to find

5. Yonex Pro Cushion SHB-02 MX

5. Yonex Pro Cushion SHB-02 MX
Ideally, a comfortable pair of shoes should fit snugly so that there is no extra space, but not so snugly that it prevents air-exchange. With its asymmetrical fit, this pair by Yonex provides just that - along with great structural support and an attractive design. Its balance of features will keep you swift and stable with every step you take. Overall, this is a good pick for comfort that will also enhance your performance.
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Snug Fit
This design cuts down the amount of extra space in the toe and the midfoot area. This increases stability and minimizes power loss, so that you can move around with maximum speed and power.

Ventilation
Made with an ultra fine mesh that is light and durable, these shoes provide excellent breathability. Its air-exchange allows moisture to be released and prevents odor from accumulating.

Cost and Value
You won’t pay as much for these as you might for other shoes, but don’t underestimate its quality. Their combination of comfort and practicality make these an excellent choice.
Pros
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good structural support
  • Minimizes power loss
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Attractive design
Cons
  • Might not fit wide feet
  • Not many color selections

6. Puma Invicto Sala

6. Puma Invicto Sala
If you’re looking something that’s versatile and durable, the Puma Invicto Sala shoe is for you. These are light, agile, and provide amazing structural support that reduces both power loss and the risk of injuries. On top of that, Puma offers a variety of colors and styles for this model, ranging from yellow to mint green to red. This ensures that you’ll never have to sacrifice style for performance.
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Flexibility
A flexible upper made of suede, leather, and mesh will keep you swift on your feet. The low-profile rubber outsole also provides great traction and allows players to stay close to the floor.

Lightweight
This model features a removable sockliner that keeps the shoe nice and light. As well, it provides cushioning against shock impact which will keep your feet comfortable and protected.

Cost and Value
These shoes fall on the high end of the price range compared to other shoes on our list. However, with their good quality and versatility, they are definitely worth the consideration.
Pros
  • Suede, leather, and mesh upper
  • Flexible
  • Low-profile outsole
  • Color and style selection
Cons
  • Sizes run a bit small
  • Not suitable for running

7. Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 2

7. Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 2
When an egg is dropped from 7m above a Yonex Power Cushion sheet, it will bounce back 4m without any damage. Not only can these shoes reverse shock energy for use in the next movement, their design provides excellent ventilation and structural support for maximum performance. Weighing at 270g, they are also Yonex’s lightest shoe. They are guaranteed to literally - and figuratively - bring a spring to your steps.
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Shock Absorption
When receiving a shock load, the soft middle layer of this shoe will quickly return to its original shape. This uses the energy of the impact to aid the player in his or her next move.

Ventilation
Compared to the previous model, these shoes feature nearly double the amount of see-through mesh. This provides superior breathability that ensures comfort and prevents smelly feet.

Cost and Value
Reasonably priced and with such a wide range of features, these shoes are guaranteed to be worth your every penny.
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Breathable mesh
  • Reverses shock energy
  • Great structural support
  • Excellent grip
Cons
  • Limited style and color selection
  • Not suitable for outdoor sports

8. Yonex Power Cusion SHB-02 LTD

8. Yonex Power Cusion SHB-02 LTD
Next on our list is a pair of limited edition badminton shoes, worn by the former World No. 1 Lin Dan. These are great for stability and quick movement. Like the previous pick on our list, the power cushion on the sole will reverse shock energy created on impact and boost the player in his or her next move. Combined with an attractive design, these shoes will keep you looking good and feeling good.
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Stability
Stability is crucial when moving around on the court during an intense game. An asymmetrical fit gives structural support to the foot, which guarantees steady footwork.

Snug fit
With a leather and mesh upper, these shoes will help you move swiftly on the court. Their curved design hugs the foot and provides comfort while also reducing the risk of injuries.

Cost and Value
These shoes fall somewhere in the middle of our price range, making them a good choice for amateur players.
Pros
  • Reverses shock energy
  • Asymmetrical fit ensures stability
  • Leather and mesh upper
  • Attractive design
Cons
  • Narrow fit
  • Limited color selection

9. ASICS GEL-Upcourt

9. ASICS GEL-Upcourt
Next on our list is a pair that’s perfect for beginner or amateur players. This model by ASICS provides a balance of different features and is designed to enhance your every move. Their versatility renders them great for many other indoor activities as well. A wide range of color selections are also available so that you can pick what best suits your preferences.
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Grip and Traction
A full-length gum rubber outsole on this shoe provides superior grip on the court and will prevent slips and injuries. Perfect for rapid footwork, these shoes will ensure that you step onto the court with confidence.

Lightweight
An upper made of synthetic leather and mesh keeps these shoes nice and light. It also provides ventilation by allowing the air to flow, and provides an impressive amount of structural support.

Cost and Value
As the GEL-Upcourt has been discontinued by ASICS, its price will continue to rise. This pair currently sits in the middle of our price range, so you’ll need to hurry if you’re planning on getting yourself a pair.
Pros
  • Has a balance of different features
  • Color selection
  • Light and breathable
  • Excellent grip
Cons
  • Short ankle coverage
  • Thin material

10. Adidas Performance Ligra 4

10. Adidas Performance Ligra 4
Last but certainly not least, our final pick for top badminton shoes is by far the most underrated shoe by Adidas. With rubber on the under sole, these shoes provide a solid grip that will keep you steady on your feet. The material of the insole is soft and comfortable, and a mesh material ensures air-exchange so that your feet can remain fresh throughout the season. As well, its versatility makes it an ideal pick for those looking to save money - or who just can’t be bothered to go shopping.
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Shock Absorption
As they are designed for volleyball, these shoes provide excellent shock absorption. The rubber soles on these shoes will boost your jump and cushion your landing when making jump smashes.

Versatility
These shoes are adaptable to pretty much any other indoor activity. A pair of these can double as running shoes or gym shoes, and can even be worn as everyday street shoes thanks to its sleek design.

Cost and Value
These shoes sit on the low end of the price range compared to other shoes on our list. They have received great reviews and are a great bargain for what they have to offer.
Pros
  • Adaptable to different activities
  • Good cushioning
  • Sleek design
  • Breathable mesh
Cons
  • Narrow fit around the toe
  • Sizing may be inaccurate

What’s best for you will depend on where you play, how often you play, and what type of feet you have. For example, those with narrow feet might look for more cushioning while those with high arches will require a light and flexible upper. There are many different badminton shoes of different brands and models to choose from, and there’s something out there for everyone. Generally speaking, a good pair of badminton shoes requires good grip, ventilation, stability, and a lightweight. These features will not only help you perform well but will also reduce the risk of injuries and keep you comfortable no matter the circumstances. However, regardless of if you’ve played for three months or three decades, we highly recommend that all players invest on a good pair of shoes, as it is an investment that will help you in the long run.

 

Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Badminton Shoes

 

Grip

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Grip is incredibly important when playing badminton. The floor is completely smooth, making it exceptionally easy to slip. It’s therefore much harder to change directions and will slow you down during crucial moments of the game.

Not only that but in extreme cases it may also cause severe injuries that will prevent you from playing and cost you a lot of money at the doctors. Prioritizing grip and traction when looking for a pair of badminton shoes will prevent these problems before they arise.

When hunting for shoes with good grip, you must take your conditions into consideration. Different types of materials on the outsole will provide better grip for different types of indoor courts. Most indoor courts are made of wood, in which case you should opt for a gummy rubber sole to keep you steady and prevent slipping.

Another aspect of the shoe to look for is the pattern on its sole. A sole with deeper grooves will generally give you a better grip, while a smoother sole is more likely to slip against the floor. Hexagonal patterns, as seen in certain Yonex shoes, are also good at providing grip.

 Traction

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Although this word seems to be just a synonym of, ‘grip’ there is a distinction between the two. The grip of a shoe is what allows it to hold on to smooth surfaces such as a wooden indoor court. Depending on the material and pattern of the sole, some shoes provide you with an excellent grip that allows you to stand more steadily.

On the other hand, traction describes the kind of friction between the sole and the floor. Therefore slippery shoes can be seen as having good traction. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are practical or suitable for the sport you are playing.

Now, you may be wondering: “How could traction be ever be practical?”

The truth is, good traction will allow you to move around more easily. To get from one end of the court to another, you’ll need to move fairly quickly – and that can’t happen if your shoes are gripping so firmly to the floor that it’s slowing you down. More traction will give you more fluidity in your movements.

With all that said, both grip and traction are extremely important when playing any kind of sports in an indoor court. A balance of these two features is what you should look out for, as it would provide mobility while still keeping you steady.

Cushioning

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In the last point, we discussed the importance of good grip,  but it’s also important to ensure that your soles are not so hard and unforgiving that it comes in the way of shock absorption. A soft padding on the inside of the shoe is needed to provide good cushioning, which helps to absorb shock impact that is created when jumping or running. They are mostly made of different types of foam.

When landing your foot on the ground, a shoe with good cushioning should evenly distribute your weight throughout the bottom of your foot. This way, your toes, arches, and ankles receive the same minimal amount of shock which will not cause harm to your joints. Through time, good cushioning will attenuate the stress on your joints and keep you away from knee and ankle pain.

A springy material is ideal for cushioning in shoes. They are not only soft and energy-absorbent but will revert back to its original shape after receiving an impact. This shape reversal will give you a boost when you take your next step. Not only will you stay protected, you’ll also be able to perform better.

In the short term, cushioning also provides amazing comfort. This ensures that you can focus on the game instead of having to worry about the discomfort in your feet. However, it’s also important to note that excessive cushioning isn’t always good. Shoes with lots of padding may not fit on wide feet, as they often provide a very snug fit. This can make it difficult to find the correct size and can take up a lot of time searching for the perfect pair.

But despite the hassle, it’s definitely worthwhile to make sure you play with a good pair of shoes. Good cushioning ensures that you can jump for smashes, move around quickly, and be on your best performance.

Ventilation

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Ventilation is another important aspect to look for in badminton shoes. Good air-exchange will reduce the number of bad smells accumulating in the shoe, as well as keep your feet comfortable by preventing them from getting sweaty. Not only that, but it can also save you from getting irritating foot conditions.

When wearing shoes with bad ventilation for long periods of time, you run the risk of getting athlete’s foot – or tinea pedis. Simply put, a fungus that thrives in warm, moist environments will spread around the toes or the soles of the feet. Some symptoms would include itching, burning, blistering, and discoloration. On top of that, this fungus is contagious and could even spread to other parts of your body.

Thankfully, all this can be avoided by choosing the right pair of shoes with proper ventilation. In the olden days, manufacturers used to put holes on the sides of the shoe to provide air-exchange. Nowadays, the upper part of a shoe (unsurprisingly known as the ‘upper’) will be made of mesh to provide maximum ventilation. This material in the upper is ideal for indoor sports of all kind.

You should also consider the material of the sneaker lining. Some manufacturers use anti-bacterial sock liners which will help prevent athlete’s foot. A lining made of goat or sheepskin will provide better ventilation while a lining made of cow leather will trap moisture in. It may be a good idea to search up the materials that were used in a pair of shoes before buying them.

Overall, breathable shoes are important to keep you comfortable, healthy and smelling good.

Weight

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Like we mentioned, a good pair of badminton shoes needs sufficient cushioning and a good rubber sole. But you should also keep in mind that these features shouldn’t add up to too much weight. Shoes that are too heavy will slow you down and make it hard to move with speed and precision. They could also cause your feet and legs to fatigue more easily, which would impact your performance.

Shoes with less fabric and coverage are generally more flexible and enable you to move rapidly without feeling any strain in your feet or ankles. In addition, lighter fabrics provide better ventilation that, as mentioned above, is crucial for a good pair of badminton shoes.

However, the importance of lightweight shoes isn’t simply restricted to badminton. Other activities such as hiking, running and even standing require light shoes. Overall, they can also reduce the risk of injuries or sore feet, which renders them a worthy investment.

 

Comfort

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There’s nothing like a pair of shoes that make you feel as though you’re walking on clouds… instead of walking into the court to face a deadly opponent. Comfort essentially requires a combination of all the features mentioned above. For example, a pair of shoes cannot be comfortable if it doesn’t provide adequate cushioning, or if it weighs two pounds and barely allows you to walk. What you should look for is a balance of all these features. But with that said, the following things should also be considered.

Size

Size and width can vary between different types of shoes as well as different manufacturers and materials used. Therefore you should always allow about a 5/8″ space between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe.  In addition, keep in mind that shoes that provide a lot of cushioning will have thick padding in its lining. As a result, these shoes tend to provide a more narrow it that is unsuitable for wide feet.

Some people are also unaware that your feet tend to swell a bit towards the end of the day. Because of this, most people tend to purchase shoes that are too small for them. However, it’s better to have a bit more space than to have to squeeze into tiny shoes. If you want to be on the safe side, go to the store instead of purchasing online, and wear socks when you try them on.

Shape

Another factor to consider is the shape of the shoe.  Shoes can be curved, semi-curved, or straight, and it’s important to determine the shape of your foot so that you can find a shoe that has a similar shape. If you’re unsure about the shape of your foot, try stepping onto a surface when barefoot and examine the shape of your footprint. Without the proper shape, wearing your shoes would be like trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

Flexibility

Thirdly, you should consider how rigid your shoes are. Wide, flat feet will need a more rigid shoe that provides more stability. On the other hand, feet with high arches call for more flexibility and cushioning to provide the proper comfort. A good way to determine the flexibility of a shoe is to do the ‘twist test’. The more the shoe can twist, the more flexibility it provides. Keep in mind, though, that if a shoe is overly flexible, it would interfere with its stability and provide less protection for the ankles, therefore increasing the risk for injuries.

FAQ

Q: Do I have to play with a pair of shoes that are strictly designed for badminton?

A: Definitely not! Although shoes that are specially designed for badminton will give you a huge boost in your performance, other shoes that are suitable for indoor courts can serve you just as well. For example, some of the shoes on our list above are actually volleyball shoes. However, as they provide great traction and excellent cushioning, they are can be worn when playing badminton. What matters most is that the shoe can provide you with all the necessary features mentioned above in our criteria. So long as it fulfills all of your requirements, it’s of little importance what sport the shoes are designated for.

Q: How do I know if a pair of shoes have all the features I’m looking for?

A: When you’re in a store, the most obvious answer would be to just try it on! However, some of us are shopping from our computer screens and unfortunately don’t have that luxury. In this case, the key would be to check the materials used in making the shoe. This can give you a fairly clear idea of what the shoe is going to be like. For instance, a show with a mesh upper is guaranteed to provide good ventilation. Likewise, when seeing that a pair of shoes has gummy rubber soles, you’ll know that those shoes can provide good grip in indoor courts.

In addition, you might want to consider checking out the reviews of other customers. Other people’s opinions on the shoes can help you decide whether they will fulfill your needs. Nonetheless, keep in mind that different people have different feet (that require different shoes). So considers other people’s reviews, but choose what you believe will be best for you.

Q:  How can I improve the grip of my badminton shoes?

A: Ideally, a pair of shoes should have good grip when it is fresh out of the box. That’s how you know they’re of good quality. However, through time and under the wrong care, shoes can lose their grip. Under most circumstances, this is because of dust and dirt build-up on the court floor. Only a little of it is needed to interfere with grip. To prevent this problem before it arises, make sure that the court has been cleaned thoroughly before you use it. But if that’s out of your control, simply cleaning the soles of your shoes can really make a difference.

If you’ve had a pair of shoes for a long time, it may be that the soles are simply worn out. We recommend that you clean the sole and see if it improves the grip. If it doesn’t, it may be time to go shopping for a new pair. But don’t feel sorry for your old shoes. Even if they were your favorite,  a fresh pair might be just what you need to enhance your performance.

Q: How should badminton shoes be cleaned?

A: As mentioned above, you’ll need to clean your shoes frequently if you’re striving for maximum grip. What you’ll need is some warm water, soap, a brush, a towel, and some sort of pointy instrument. The first step would be to remove any sort of debris stuck in the grooves of the soles with your pointy instrument. Then, thoroughly scrub the sole with the brush and the warm water, taking care not to get too much water on the upper. Lastly, take a clean towel and dry the areas of the sole after you have washed them.  Make sure to put away your shoes in a clean bag so that they’re ready for the next time you play, or all that time you spent on cleaning them would be for nothing.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you may also want to reserve your shoes for badminton only. This way, you’re preventing dirt and dust from accumulating in the soles of your shoe. You won’t have to clean them as often, which can save you a lot of time and effort.

Q: What brand of badminton shoes are best?

A:  We wish we could answer this question in black and white, but the truth is that there is no right or wrong answer. Although brands such as Yonex and Asics are definitely popular,  in the end, it comes down to what suits you. What works for others might not work for you, and what works for you might not work for others. However, we do recommend that you use customer reviews to guide you as you search for your own perfect pair.

Q: How do I pick out the right pair of badminton shoes?

A: The criteria provided above gives you a good idea of what to look out for.  Those are some key aspects of a good pair of badminton shoes, but you may require special features to suit your personal needs. For example, one person may need more arch support, while someone else can’t play properly unless their shoes have over-the-top cushioning. We all have different requirements when it comes down to shoes. In the end, you’ll need to look for and test out different shoes to find the right pair for you.

Q: Are badminton shoes suitable for everyday streetwear?

A:  Frankly, the answer to this question depends on what you do while wearing them.  Badminton shoes are designed to be worn on indoor courts, so if you spend the majority of your time indoors, then go for it. However, wearing them outside is a different story. Though they most likely won’t damage your feet, they certainly will get damaged. The soles of the shoes do not provide good resistance against surfaces like tar roads. As a result, the grip will wear out, rendering them unsuitable for playing. Overall, if your shoes were purchased for the purpose of playing indoor badminton, it is highly recommended that you don’t frequently wear them outdoors.

Sources

  1. Pope John Paul II, How To Improve Grip & Traction on Sports Shoes, Jul 31, 2015
  2. Kay Tang, Sneakers That Have Good Ventilation for Athletes' Foot, Sep 11, 2017
  3. Polymer Solutions News Team, What is the Best Cushioning for a Running Shoe?, Oct 18, 2017
  4. Linda Tarr Kent, The Best Badminton Shoes, Sep 11, 2017
  5. Brent Johner, Slipping and Sliding in Badminton Shoes, Nov 22, 2016
  6. David, Can badminton shoes be used for casual wear?,
  7. Foot and Ankle Associates, What Makes A Shoe Comfortable?,