Best Squash Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Performance
Finding the right pair of shoes for any kind of sport can be quite difficult if you are unsure of what to look for. Different sports require different shoe demands. With squash being a very high intensity sport that requires fast and sharp movements on the court, there are many qualities you will want to look for when shopping for the right shoe for you.
When playing a fast-moving sport like squash, the most important thing to consider, along with support, is comfortable shoes. You cannot wear any old pair of sneakers and expect to perform at your best, but instead should invest in an indoor court shoe that is designed specifically for the purpose. This means lateral stability, a great amount of traction, a locked-in fit, as well as a cushioned sole that will absorb shock and provide energy return. The game generally demands so much from its players that having the right pair of shoes can make the difference between a successful match and a career ending injury. Furthermore, the best squash shoes will minimize fatigue and foot pain, which are the result of the heavy exercise you will be doing during practice.
- ASICS GEL-Rocket 8
- Gum Rubber Outsole
- GEL Cushioning
- Mizuno Wave Bolt 7
- Wave Plate Shock Absorption
- Flexible Outsole
- Kelme Star 360
- Michelin Rubber Outsole
- Perforated Upper
To help you find the best possible pair of indoor court shoes for your style of play, we have assembled this list of the top ten squash shoes available for purchase. Taking into consideration all their features, as well as their pros and cons, you’ll easily find the necessary info on all models, allowing you to choose the pair that will suit you most. Additionally, you’ll find even more tips and tricks for making the right purchase in the Criteria for Evaluation section, so make sure to read on for a purchase you’re sure to be happy with.
10 Best Squash Shoes
1. ASICS GEL-Rocket 8
One of the things ASICS is best known for is their GEL cushioning which is quite different than anything you’ll find in other athletic footwear. The forefoot of the GEL-Rocket 8 is cushioned with a GEL pad that will absorb shock from impact, and will distribute it to a larger are of your foot, preventing fatigue and joint pain that otherwise comes with hard landings.
Trusstic System Technology
Because racquet sports include a lot of lateral movement, you need a stabilizing pair of shoes that’ll prevent you from rolling your ankles. The Trusstic System in the GEL-Rocket 8 is made so as to prevent unwanted movement, without weighing you down with a heavy shank.
Cost and Value
Boasting an entry level price, the ASICS GEL-Rocket 8 is an affordable option for beginner and intermediate players who want a solid amount of technology in their footwear, without having to spend a fortune on it. The best part of this sneaker is definitely the GEL cushioning, which makes it a worthy purchase, especially if you find the sport is hard on your ankles, knees and back.
Breathable Mesh Tongue
Synthetic Overlays for Stability
Gum Rubber Outsole
Stabilizing Trusstic System
No Arch Support
2. Mizuno Wave Bolt 7
Mizuno’s Wave technology brings innovation to shock absorption through their unique wave plates that work to disperse the shock from landing, preventing it from traveling up your leg to your joints. When the impact is absorbed through a larger area of your foot, your movement remains more stable and centered, keeping you on the shoe’s platform and preventing injury.
The outsole of the Wave Bolt 7 was specially made with a Dynamotion Groove pattern in order to give the best possible traction, while allowing for a good amount of flexibility, so you can move on the court without being held back by your shoes.
Cost and Value
Boasting an average price compared to the other items on this list, the Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 is a good investment for those who need good shock dispersion, and are looking for a reliable shoe. Being made for indoor courts, specifically for lateral movement, they can even serve for other sports practices, including volleyball, pickleball or even badminton.
Moisture Wicking Lining
Parallel Wave Plate
Dynamotion Groove Outsole
3. Kelme Star 360
The Kelme Star 360 was made to last. Durable yet flexible leather uppers provide unique support for lateral movements and will conform to your unique foot shape over time. Michelin rubber technology is evident in the sticky sole, additionally patterned to provide supreme grip and traction. The Kelme logo along the instep and outsides will give additional structural support gives some further arch support for long days on the court.
Along with outstanding performance construction, this shoe comes in a myriad of color choices and combinations, giving that extra flair to the shoe’s styling. The sole is composed of complimenting contrasting colors, so be sure to select one that won’t leave court marks!
Cost and Value
For sophisticated styling, Michelin traction, and a supportive shoe, this is also budget friendly and one of the best buys on our top 10 list. With its unique leather upper design for durable function and support, and tacky grip, it’s a must-have for any squash player.
- Soft Leather Uppers
- Great Midfoot Support
- Perforated for Breathability
- Michelin Rubber Outsole
- Runs Large
- Weak Laces
4. Wilson Recon
Because Wilson specializes in racquet sports, they know the importance of lateral stability during movement. A chassis that’s been inserted into the sole of this shoe will prevent any torque, which, in turn, won’t allow for your foot to go too over the platform. That means that you won’t have to fear sprained and pulled ankles while wearing the Recon.
With a low to ground feel in the forefoot, and a 6 mm drop from heel to toe, you will be getting a pair of footwear that’ll allow your foot to naturally adapt to the court, while giving you a slight advantage in your advances. Plus, you will be able to use every ounce of energy thanks to the great rebound provided by the R-DST cushioning.
Cost and Value
With a selling price that’s somewhat below average, you’ll find that the Wilson Recon is a good option if you’re after a stable shoe that won’t cost a fortune. It features indoor court specific traction as well, and is a fairly comfortable shoe that’s got a good amount of cushioning, and offers great rebound in order to minimize fatigue.
6mm Heel To Toe Drop
Synthetic Leather and Mesh Upper
Forefoot May Get Hot
5. Salming Kobra 2
On the inside portion of the sole, the Kobra 2 features a Rollbar that allows better push-off, and prevents too much torsion. On the outer part of the sole, on the other hand, the shoe makes use of a Lateral Movement Stabiliser+ band, that won’t allow you to roll your ankles outwards, saving you from injury and time off court.
The heel of the Kobra 2 features SoftFOAM that absorbs shock from landing, while the entire midsole is made with Energy Rebound Foam that cushions and provides great energy return, allowing you not only to play for longer, but also to feel less fatigued at the end of every match.
Cost and Value
With a steep price that’s telling of its quality, the Salming Kobra 2 may be a bit too expensive for most players’ budgets. Nonetheless, if you’re a true aficionado, and need something top quality to wear during your training and matches, then this is a model you should definitely check out.
Ventilated Mesh Upper
SoftFOAM Heel Cushioning
HexaGrip Rubber Outsole
Ergo Heel Cup
6. ASICS Upcourt 2
When playing indoors, gym owners may require you to wear a certain type of shoe to prevent doing any damage to the floors. The full length gum rubber outsole on the Upcourt 2 won’t leave any marks, making these a great option for when you need an non marking indoors shoe.
If you’ve got a medium arch, then the Upcourt 2 is likely to be a great choice for you as is. But, if you’ve got flat or high arches that need more support, or need custom orthotics, you can use your own inserts with these shoes, saving you a considerable amount of money.
Cost and Value
Selling for a price that’s almost half of what you’d pay for a professional shoe appropriate for playing racquet sports in, the ASICS Upcourt 2 is an excellent budget option for those just getting into the sport. It has all the features of a professional shoe, without the expensive leather upper and specific technologies better suited for pros.
Breathable Mesh Upper
Synthetic Leather Overlays
Non Marking Outsole
Gum Rubber Outsole
7. Adidas Barricade Club
The Barricade club boasts of a thick rubber sole, giving traction along with superior shock absorption during impact. Pivoting is unhindered, allowing quick swings and powerful strokes without sticking too much to the court surface. Careful when selecting your color options as some may have black soles!
Designed for maximal support and comfort, the Adiprene heel cushion and toe to heel cup arch support will keep your feet feeling fresh throughout the time spent on the court. Adidas’ Torsion System keeps some structure in the midsole for lunges forward or back without compromising propulsion or shoe integrity. Made from textile and mesh for breathability, your feet will feel cool even during the hottest of days.
Cost and Value
Running slightly more expensive than others on our list, this shoe is still a great purchase for all the technology, support, and cushioning found in the Barricade Club shoe. Traction found in the thick rubber sole combined with stability in the midsole is perfect for fast-paced matches.
- Adiprene Heel Cushion
- Thick Rubber Sole
- Breathable Textile upper
- Great Arch Support
- High Price
- Black Sole
8. Babolat Propulse Fury
Babolat packed this shoe full of its S-Shield, Pro-Shield, and Soft Shield technology, designed for high-performance support where you need it most for lightning-fast changes in momentum and pivoting. Combined with Active Flexion technology designed to alleviate pressure points in key areas of the foot, you’ll surely feel the difference during matches on the court.
Designed to be durable, the outsole comes with a warranty, so rest assured the Propulse Fury can take a beating. Sticky patterned tread on the sole helps give additional traction to the rubber sole, and its unique design gives additional arch support where you need it most. Lateral movements won’t wear down the sides of the sole either, as it runs the length of the shoe, and the uppers are designed to support the structure of the shoe all the way down to the side of the sole.
Cost and Value
More expensive on our list, the Babolat Propulse Fury is designed for veteran players, who require a solid performance shoe. It’s a solid investment if you’re looking for something with superior traction, all around support, and performance qualities needed for tough days on the court. Competitors will notice a difference with this shoe, and may not go back to another brand once the Propulse Fury is worn!
- Shield Technology
- Midfoot Support
- Active Flexion Technology
- Sticky Grip
- Partial Black Sole
9. Harrow Vortex
The Vortex is made with special attention to the arch area, where you will need a good amount of stability. It’s a shoe that’ll offer the right level of support, so you can rest assured your feet will be properly aligned, not only preventing overpronation, but also making you safer during those quick lateral movements.
Easy On and Off
Not many court shoes will feature a pull tab at the heel, but the Vortex takes the ease with which you will be able to put these shoes on into consideration during the design process. Featuring a classic lace closure, this is a shoe that’ll allow for a customized fit, that can provide a locked-in feel, and it’s even a good option for those with wide feet.
Cost and Value
Ranking slightly above average in terms of price, the Harrow Vortex is a good option for those looking for a shoe made specifically for the demands of indoor racquet sports. It comes in a variety of colorful designs, adding a bit of a pop to your workout outfit, and performs just as you’d expect a top rated shoe to do while playing.
Mesh and Rubber Upper
Wide Toe Box
Heel Pull Tab
Low Profile Sole
Gum Rubber Outsole
Good Amount of Cushioning
Awkward Shoelace Band
Not for Narrow Feet
10. Salming Viper 5
Located on the inner side of the sole, the RollBar allows the perfect amount of motion control that you can utilize in making your play more powerful. Guiding you through the push off movement, the RollBar allows a larger amount of energy to be used during push off, without sacrificing toe support.
In order to ensure a secure fit, Salming has incorporated a longer heel cup in the Viper 5, that locks your foot in, preventing any unwanted movement that could lead to a loss of footing or injury. Made to be anatomical, you’ll definitely reap the benefits of this piece of tech in your shoes.
Cost and Value
Like all other Salming products, the Viper 5 retails at a price that’s considerably above average, and that may be a bit too expensive for a number of players. However, if your an intermediate player looking to improve your skills, or even someone who’s playing at advanced levels, then, by all means, you should consider investing in a pair of professional shoes such as these, as they’re bound to help improve your game.
Three Layer Breathable Upper
Lateral Movement Stabilizer
Ergo Heel Cup
XR110 Rubber Outsole
There you have it, our top ten choices when it comes to squash shoes. As you’ve seen, all these top rated models have a few things in common, most importantly surface grip and lateral stability. When choosing footwear for indoor racquet sports, you have a wide variety of models available, from tennis shoes made for all-surface use, to pickleball, racquetball and squash shoes, and even to volleyball and handball footwear that has similar stabilizing features as well as a good amount of cushioning. No matter which of the items above drew your attention, you can get some more info before deciding on a model, if you read the Criteria and FAQ sections below.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Squash Shoes
All sports require you to wear footwear that’s not only made with the required performance features, but that also fits well and is comfortable enough to wear for prolonged periods of time where your feet will be doing a lot of intense work. Indoor racquet sports include a lot of running from side to side, quick stops and starts, and changes of direction. That means that a pair of shoes that don’t fit well and comfortably can present serious issues that can even result in injury.
For the best possible results, we recommend looking at the materials the shoe is made of before purchasing. What you need to look for is a soft material in touch with your foot, such as mesh, but a lot of supportive overlays that’ll lock you in, and offer a snug fit that won’t allow your foot to move inside the shoe, no matter in which direction you are moving.
Furthermore, you should look out for any friction or rubbing inside the shoe, as these will only get worse once your foot has started to swear and is swollen from exercising. If possible, look for seamless footwear, or that which does not cause any discomfort when you first put it on. Wear the right pair of socks, preferably ones with moisture wicking capabilities, and if necessary, use preventive measures to avoid getting blisters.
Squash is a forceful practice that involves a considerable amount of rough feet movements. These movements generate a lot of corporal heat that gets trapped within the shoe if it lacks a breathable build. Furthermore, closed courts make it really easy for heat to accumulate as they normally lack any form of ventilation or circulation of fresh air.
Heat accumulation is guaranteed to start building within your shoes if there are no breathing panels. This is bad for a list of reasons, the first one being an excessive stimulation of sweat. Your feet will inevitably sweat when performing at high intensity, and this can contribute to the development of bacteria in the shoe that can cause bad odors, bacterial and fungal infections, and more serious issues down the road.
The best squash shoes should have some manner of allowing air to flow freely within the shoe. These areas are usually located around areas were heat concentrates more commonly, such as the toe box, side panels, and the upper foot. Look for footwear that has either mesh panels, or a perforated upper. A moisture wicking lining is also a good option, as it will draw sweat away from your foot, leaving it dry and cool for a longer period of time.
Flexibility and Range of Motion
You won’t get too far in any sport if your shoes lack flexibility. If you know a thing or two about running, you’ll know that flexibility is the very base of nearly any foot movement. While squash does not directly involve running, it does involve a variety of dynamic and stretching movements that can’t be properly performed with stiff shoes. After analyzing the biomechanical process of walking and running, it’s fairly easy to realize that flexing our feet is necessary in order to perform basically any active movements.
A shoe that prevents your flexibility will cut off a great part of your range of motion. The range of motion consists of the full movement potential of a joint also referred to as the range of flexion or range of extension. The bending of the foot is necessary in order to take the most out of the range of motion when practicing indoor racket sports.
Stiff materials will simply restrain the flexibility of your shoe, ultimately reducing your range of motion. This means you won’t be able to reach as far as you would with flexible shoes. It will also have a direct impact on your speed. Restraining your feet may also place a lot of unnecessary stress on the arch that may eventually lead to arch pain and an interference with your performance. When the materials are non-flexible, your feet will be compressed against them every time you try to bend them.
A properly designed squash shoe should demonstrate a design constructed from durable and supportive materials, but that allows the natural flexion and movement of the foot. Some shoes will have minimal support, while others have unique technology designed to add support without being restrictive.
Squash is unquestionably a high-impact activity; sudden movements and continuous impact can be extremely harsh on your feet if your shoes lack the proper protection. Most users would normally think that protection regards external physical elements that could potentially damage feet from above. However, in a sport like this, the real threat comes from below, and it comes in the form of shock.
If you’ve ever been to a serious match, you’ll know that there’s no time for gentle landing and soft steps when you’re in the court. Intensity sports call for sudden movements one after the other, which leaves users with a very small time frame in between each motion – most of which is consumed when predicting and reacting to the opponent’s movements.
The force from each impact not only affects your joints, but it also has a direct influence on your durability. Impact makes your muscles, bones, and joints vibrate – this oscillation contributes to fatigue. The greater the oscillation, the quicker your muscles will fatigue.
Overall, there are two components of any shoe that are in charge of absorbing shock:
- Midsole: The midsole is generally the element responsible for absorbing the most shock. First things first; there’s some controversy amongst performance shoe users regarding the grade of absorption delivered by a midsole. Let us remind you that midsoles won’t absorb the full impact of your movements during any activity. No matter how good they are, shoe midsoles up to this day are unable to completely diminish shock (nor are they meant to).Shock works its way up from the surface when your feet hit the ground. The very first element of the shoe that shock encounters are the outsole, which in reality is just the bottom part of the midsole. Technically speaking, the midsole is the first element to deal with shock, but it doesn’t mean shock stops there.Depending on the impact force, direction, and inclination of your body, shock may go as high as your spine. While the midsole won’t absorb all of the impacts, it will considerably reduce its depth and force. The most optimal materials for this task are those with decent absorbing properties, the traditional material being rubber. However, technology has allowed manufacturers to create lighter materials that deliver similar (and even better) qualities as rubber, such as foam and gel.
- Heel Cushioning: The heel is one of the toughest parts of our feet, and at the same time, it’s the one likely to suffer the most from the impact. Unlike running and other disciplines in which you can completely control your range of motion, squash involves a lot of unexpected and rushed movements. This means you won’t necessarily have time (or you won’t be in a proper position) to control the way in which your feet strike the floor.Because of this, some players may find themselves hitting the floor heel first with their shoes. Once again, the midsole plays a role in diminishing the impact, but that doesn’t stop it from getting to your heels. Once the shock has passed through the midsole, the obstacle it will encounter is the heel.Shock is reduced gradually as it elevates through your legs, meaning that its most intense point is at the very bottom (when it’s generated). This means that the parts of the body that are closer to the floor, such as the heel, suffer more from each impact in comparison to the knees (or any part of the body that is in a higher position).Thus, we recommend looking for a shoe that, aside from an effective midsole, counts with further cushioning support. Having additional heel support has no drawbacks really, so we advise getting as much of it as you can while still being comfortable.
Durability & Resistance
Performance shoes for intensity sports tend to last much less than your average pair of sneakers. However, the durability of your shoes will finally depend on the number of times per week you use them, as well as the intensity you use them with. Some users would think that squash is a game that could be played with a pair of normal sneakers. While you could potentially endure a match with running sneakers, it wouldn’t be optimal for your performance and it would possibly damage your shoes in the long run.
A match of squash won’t break a pair of sneakers, but it will place an amount of stress on them to which they’re not designed for. Shoes that don’t count with enough flexibility, support, and resistance to shock are not suitable for the court, as the materials are likely to degrade or overstretch. There are multiple features that a shoe should count with before being able to endure consistent and intense performance.
- Materials: The right combination of materials is one of the requirements for a durable pair of shoes. This sport requires materials that can undergo a lot of tension, as well as endure sudden and forceful movements. Normally, the frame of a running sneaker is not designed to be twisted in all directions in a short time lapse.A rigid construction is required in order to keep every element of the shoe in place regardless of the tension the shoe is undergoing. The lack of firmness may result in the frame of the shoe losing its original form, potentially affecting the rest of the elements and its performance in general.For the bottom part of the shoe, the ideal material would be one that is not quickly consumed by friction. When playing, the outsole of your shoe degrades gradually as friction wears away the bottom-most layer of the shoe. Rubber, for example, is a material that perfectly fits these qualities.
- Purpose, Frequency, and Intensity: The way in which you use your shoes is what has the biggest impact on its durability. Leaving brands, designs, and materials aside, it’s important to take into consideration the amount of activity you’ll give to the footwear. As it would be logical to assume, the more you use the shoes, the faster they degrade.A beginner that plays once or twice a week recreationally won’t see any changes on their shoes for a prolonged period in comparison to recurrent players. However, visiting the court isn’t an influencing factor alone – it’s what you do within the court what matters the most. Competitive players are likely to play and practice with much more intensity than recreational users. Moving faster and with more force results in a faster consumption of the shoe materials in general, which may not necessarily be the case for recreational players.Professional-level equipment is much more resistant and durable than standard footwear, but that also means it’s more expensive, too. Beginning users may not want to opt for the most optimal pair of shoes, but rather a simpler pair that is also cheaper. We recommend that users new to the sport grasp the techniques and proper practice before making an investment in professional-level footwear.If you’re serious about your performance, then you might want to consider expanding your budget to get the most effective pair of shoes. Not only are they more efficient, but they’ll also last longer under intensive usage than an average pair. Footwear alone won’t make you a pro, but professional equipment is necessary if you want to reach your true maximum potential.
We like to make specific emphasis on the qualities of outsoles, as they’re one of the principal aspects of every shoe. Outsoles are the elements that determine the activities for which a shoe is suitable for. Other materials may be replaced with less suitable options, but the outsole is one of the key pieces that you just can’t get wrong.
When we’re talking about a sport where stability and firmness are a must, the outsole is something you want to be able to rely on. A shoe that doesn’t count with a firmly gripping outsole simply won’t work for squash, as the strength and spontaneousness required for each motion are likely to take you off balance otherwise.
- Etiquette: Squash is a sport that is played in a very specific court. This means that the shoe’s outsole is no longer related to only your performance, but also the court. The space of the court is pretty limited, so the state of the court means everything during a match. Thus, etiquette covers what you should and shouldn’t wear inside the box. For the sake of the court, it’s expected that all players use a non-marking rubber outsole when playing. The best practice also involves not bringing dirty shoes in the court or cleaning them before entering. Because of this, it’s recommended that you use your squash shoes for this purpose only, as using them outside the box will get dirt on them that you may potentially leave in the court.Something as simple as stepping on some grease can “contaminate” your shoe – this not only will make you slip in the court, but it may also make other people slip who use the court after you, as the grease may adhere to the court. Keep in mind that we are referring to this as etiquette and the best practice to follow, but in multiple gyms, these are very strict rules.
- Grip: The amount of grip is what determines whether you stay on your feet or you slide away. In an indoor racquet sport, you want to get a firm grip that allows you to make strong movements and take firm steps with stability. When selecting the best squash shoes, we kept in mind that the grip must be able to engage the surface in any position or direction. The grip really depends on the intensity of the movement and the direction the motion comes from originally.Impacting the surface vertically isn’t the same as impacting it horizontally. A vertical movement, like the one in running gaits, is the most effective one to obtain a firm grip. However, squash may require sudden movements in which our feet don’t necessarily impact the court in a vertical manner. In this scenario, the lack of a multi-directional grip may result in slippage, as the grip won’t support a forceful movement in a horizontal direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What else can I use my shoes for?
A: The shoes listed above may be suitable for multiple other court sports, but it’s important that they remain specifically for court use. Any usage outside sports courts will most likely get dirt and grease in your outsole, and this very same dirt will potentially remain on the court later on when you play.
Q: How often should I clean my shoes?
A: If you’re noticing deficiencies in the grip of your shoes, cleaning the outsole may be the solution. The outsole should be cleaned consistently, and if it gets particularly dirty for some reason, we advise to clean it as soon as possible – the longer it passes, the harder it will be to clean.
Q: Should I own more than one pair of shoes?
A: There’s no specific reason for owning multiple pairs of shoes at amateur levels. However, dedicated players tend to own two different pairs of performance footwear; one pair for training and recreation and one pair for competitive performance.
Q: How should my shoes fit?
A: It’s important that your shoes support your feet properly without strangling them. You want to be able to move your toes around a bit and have some toe box space for better feet positioning, but you also want your heel and side panels to be held in place at all times.
Q: How long do these shoes last?
A: Dedicated players may need to replace their shoes up to twice per season depending on their level of commitment and performance. However, recreational use is generally much more durable – you can expect a quality shoe to easily endure a year if taken care of and used recreationally.
Q: Will these shoes work for tennis?
A: While they’re not the most optimal choice, squash shoes share multiple features with tennis shoes. Thus, you may get away with playing tennis with these shoes eventually if you don’t have a better option. Make sure the court is clean before using your shoes there.
Q: How much arch support should my shoes have?
A: The arch support is related to your anatomy rather than the structure of the shoe. Since it would be impossible to design an arch that fits all humans individually, performance shoes generally have some arch support. We recommend using custom insoles to obtain the most out of the support.
Q: What are non-marking soles?
A: Non-marking soles are a design specifically meant for surfaces similar to the ones in courts, like hardwood for example. This design won’t print on the wood nor will it scuff it, keeping the court in a healthy state, as opposed to marking soles that will damage the surface. Usually, the sole is a light or neutral color as opposed to black or dark colored soles.
Q: Do I really need squash shoes to play the sport?
A: It’s physically possible to play with other types of shoes, however, it’s not only a bad choice, but squash boxes often have strict rulings regarding the types of footwear allowed in the court. So, it’s possible, but the gym most likely won’t allow it.
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