This article will provide you with actionable tips on how to choose the right pair of badminton shoes for yourself.
Let’s dive right in.
Why is it Important to Wear Correct Badminton Shoes on the Court?
Here are the benefits of having a good pair of badminton shoes:
Avoid Ankle Injuries
According to a study, ankle sprains are the most common injury players experience. In most cases, the ankle injury occurs at the end of the match or training, when the players’ energy levels are low and footwork is sloppy.
A good pair of badminton shoes will minimize your risk of ankle injury by giving your feet the extra support they need during fast side-to-side movements, which is when most ankle sprains occur.
Blisters form when the skin on your feet is in constant friction against the material of the shoe. Cheap or inexpensive shoes exacerbate this issue as their poor quality material causes more blisters.
While a good badminton shoe will have softer materials that make it less likely for blisters to occur, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be ridden completely.
See, the shoe also needs to fit. If they’re too large for your feet then you’re feet will be moving around within the shoe, creating more friction. If the shoes are too small, then your skin will be wedged up against the material, which will cause rubbing and lead to a formation of a blister.
Always take your time when at a shoe shop until you find one that fits just right. For me, it can take well over an hour to find a pair of shoes that fit.
Stable Foot Grip
A good pair of badminton shoes will provide your feet with the braking system they need to keep themselves from going too far to the edge of the injury.
At the bottom of the shoe, you’ll see small squares, circles, or squiggles. The aim of these shapes or lines is to increase friction with the surface. The smaller the pattern you have, the gripier the badminton shoe becomes.
The grip on offer will not only reduce your risk of injuries, it will also improve your performance and help you be at your best on the court, because it will prevent slipping and enhance stability.
Dedicated badminton shoes are made to handle lateral ankle movement, enabling them to last longer than running shoes which are not suited to the court.
The support for these foot movements allows these shoes to last longer than any ordinary pair of trainers.
How to Identify a Good Pair of Badminton Shoes?
Watch out for these factors when shopping for badminton shoes:
If you train or play on a synthetic or wooden court, getting a shoe with a non-marking sole should be your first priority.
A non-marking sole will ensure that your shoes don’t leave any marks on the court’s surface, crucial for the surface’s beauty and shelf-life.
Here’s how you can tell if your shoes have non-marking soles:
- Take a piece of plain white paper.
- Drag your shoe’s foot with the heel across the paper.
- Examine the paper for signs of marks. If you do not see any marking, your sole is non-marking.
Breathable Shoe Material
According to an estimate, an elite badminton player produces 1.02 – 1.14 liter of sweat per hour during a match.
While most of the sweat stays on your upper body, some of it will trickle down to your feet, making it necessary for you to invest in a pair of shoes that offer good ventilation.
Otherwise, if your shoe material doesn’t have any ventilation, all those sweat particles on your feet will take a toll on your performance.
Did you know that an average badminton player covers a distance of around 6.4km during a three-set match?
All of this running around will leave your feet vulnerable to blisters unless you have shoes with adequate cushioning.
Cushioning throughout the foot will also reduce your risk of injuries during rapid direction changes and when landing from high jumps. So, it’s imperative to invest in shoes with good cushioning.
If your badminton shoes weigh more than 300 grams, they will drag down your performance.
Good badminton shoes make you forget about their presence, and shouldn’t make you feel like you’re lugging them around while you’re trying to win a point.
For this reason, whether you’re shopping for badminton shoes in person or online, make sure that they weigh as little as possible.
Best Badminton Shoes
Now that you know what to look for in your next pair of badminton shoes, let’s turn our attention to the best badminton shoes on the market.
Yonex Power Cushion Aerus 3 (Best Badminton Shoes for Men)
Weighing at around 270 grams, the Power Cushion Aerus 3 is Yonex’s lightest badminton shoe. It comes with a round sole to provide comprehensive support for quick and smooth footwork.
A toe-centric design helps this shoe reduce the pressure on your big toe. It also offers enhanced support at the heel and mid-foot. Plus, the 3D stability channel in the in-sole provides 15% extra protection against twisting.
ASICS Women’s Upcourt 4 (Best Badminton Shoes for Women)
The ASICS Women’s Upcourt 4 is one of the few badminton shoes whose looks match their performance.
This lightweight badminton shoe comes with a rubber gum sole for enhanced durability and added traction on the court.
A synthetic leather and mesh upper give the air particles all the space they need to enter the shoe, take the sweat particles with them, and leave. All in all, this shoe has everything required to be your reliable companion on the court.