10 Best Badminton Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Badminton shoes belong to the category of indoor court footwear, which puts them quite close to volleyball trainers, basketball shoes, and some soccer cleats. While it’s not a problem to use any of these shoes for occasional games, we recommend looking for a dedicated badminton shoe if you are getting serious about the sport.

6 things that make a great badminton shoe

Traction

When looking for a pair of badminton shoes, make sure to check out the outsole. The type of rubber should be soft and pliable. It helps the underside grip the smooth indoor court floor. The tread pattern on these shoes also permits multidirectional traction to ensure players can move swiftly without slipping. In some models, there is a pivot point under the ball of the foot. This feature helps wearers turn aggressively without torquing their knee.

Cushioning

With all the sprinting and jumping performed while playing badminton, players should look for a pair with reliable underfoot protection. Though badminton shoes are crafted with a low-profile midsole, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do its job in attenuating shock. The most common type of midsole used is ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam because it provides comfort and has some rebound properties. However, some models use proprietary cushioning technologies. For example, Asics badminton shoes are often equipped with Gel. This semi-liquid compound helps keep the foot comfortable and makes the heel-to-toe transition smoother.

Foothold

When searching for a pair of badminton shoes, check if the collar and the tongue are padded. The plushness of these areas helps provide a secure lockdown and prevents your footgear from slipping off. Also, synthetic overlays, especially at the lateral and medial sides of the upper are also important. When the laces are cinched, the sides of the footwear are drawn closer to the foot, thereby providing better support during lateral movements.

Breathability

Look for badminton trainers with a mesh top because playing can become intense and cause your feet to sweat a lot. Mesh allows air to cool the interior of the footwear while assisting in the dissipation of heat. The inside of the shoe should also be lined with mesh or soft fabric that helps wick moisture away and air to pass through.

Weight

The fast-paced nature of badminton requires players to be quick on their feet. Thus, your next pair of badminton shoes should not weigh your feet down. A pair typically weighs about 250 grams to 330 grams, which are considered lightweight compared to other performance footwear like weightlifting shoes that could weigh as much as 450 grams per shoe.

Flexibility

Another characteristic to look for in badminton trainers is its overall flexibility. You should be able to bend it at the forefoot with minimal effort. Meanwhile, the middle should not be as pliable since it still needs to prevent arch injuries. A flexible shoe can facilitate natural foot movements and smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

Frequently asked questions

Can I wear volleyball shoes instead?

Yes, you can use volleyball trainers for badminton. They both have soft rubber for the outsole, a cushioned midsole, and a supportive upper. However, volleyball trainers are more cushioned at the forefoot because players spend most of their time on the balls of their feet. Meanwhile, badminton shoes have more cushioning at the heel.

Are running shoes suitable for indoor court use?

Running trainers are constructed with sufficient cushioning to attenuate the impact from sprints or jumping. However, they are built to support forward movements. The outsole of badminton shoes has rounded edges that allow players to move in various directions effortlessly. The outsole of running shoes isn’t designed the same way.

Can I use my workout shoes for badminton?

It is not advisable to use training shoes to play badminton. These trainers are built differently because the movements while working out are not the same when playing badminton. The outsole of these shoes is hard and may not offer the grip needed for badminton courts. They can also leave streaks on indoor court floors. The midsole of workout shoes is not bouncy. They are firm because they need to provide the necessary support and stability for various kinds of physical fitness regimens which can include weightlifting.

Can I use my badminton shoes to play other sports?

Yes, mainly indoor sports like volleyball and squash. Most indoor sports shoes are constructed similarly: a sticky outsole, a cushioned middle layer, and a top that properly holds the foot during fast movements.

Are there badminton shoes that cater to specific court positions?

Not all brands offer this recommendation, but Asics does. According to the brand, back-court players will do well with wearing badminton shoes that provide more cushioning since they will be sprinting from various parts of the court. Meanwhile, net players will do well wearing footwear with a prominent pivot point at the forefoot. This helps them quickly turn without hurting their knees.

Are there high-top badminton trainers?

No, there are none. Badminton requires players to move in various directions and usually in quick successions. So their ankles need to be able to move freely. When a person wears something that covers their ankles, though they get supported, the movements become impeded. Also, by wearing low-top trainers, the leg muscles and the ankles get stronger with use. Some believe that wearing high-top shoes can actually weaken the ankles because the person will rely on them for support.

How should my badminton shoes fit?

The general rule is that they should not be too big that your heel will slip out and it should not be too tight that your toes feel pinched. The perfect fit depends on the wearer. Some may like it a bit loose, while others prefer a really close fit.

Just keep in mind that badminton is a fast-paced sport. You need to be able to move your feet quickly without feeling pain or your trainers accidentally flying off.

Are there badminton trainers for wide feet?

At present, no brand offers their badminton shoes in wide. The best option is to look for models with a U-shaped toe box. It provides ample space to accommodate fuller feet.

In some cases, people order shoes half- to a full-size bigger than what they need to alleviate the tightness at the forefoot. It may work for some people. If the footwear you obtained still feels too tight even after going up a size, it would be best to get a different model instead.

When should I replace my badminton trainers?

As badminton shoes are used indoors, they can last for months or years with proper care and use. But some professionals recommend replacing them after 7 to 9 months of use, especially when you play 3 or more times a week. The reason behind this recommendation is to ensure that your feet are protected against impact and the upper can still securely hold the foot.

However, even if you’ve only been using them for only a few months but notice signs of wear, it may be time to get a new one. Signs to watch out for include:

  • Loss of traction even after clearing the outsole.
  • Loss of underfoot protection against impact.
  • Upper has become too loose and causes the foot to slip inside.
  • Holes in the upper that compromise the fit and hold.

Can badminton trainers serve as daily street shoes?

It is not recommended because of the soft outsole. The rubber easily attracts dirt which can cause loss of traction when playing on indoor courts. Also, if small rocks get trapped on the underside, they can cause damage to the court’s surface. Also, because the type of rubber is soft, it can easily get destroyed when walking on rough surfaces.

The best badminton shoes in every category

Now, are you ready to buy badminton shoes?