Abrupt turns, quick lateral movements, and sprints across the court — all things a squash player will do in an average match. While you’re busy focusing on your strategy for winning your match, you’ll want to make sure the squash shoes you wear will give you the flexibility, breathability, support, and grip you need to play your best. Court shoes will provide you with better performance than a regular work out or cross training shoe, and will last longer throughout the squash season.
But before you hit the stores or surf the web for the best pair, it’s best to know what the most beneficial features are for squash shoes, which brands make the best pairs, and which shoes will cater to your specific needs for fit, comfort, and stability.
Top Squash Shoes Comparison Chart
|Image||Name||Pros||Feature||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Salming Viper 3.0 Court Shoes||Great for advanced or professional squash players||Lightweight||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|2. ASICS GEL-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe||Great for beginner or intermediate players||Durable||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|3. Salming Kobra Indoor Court Shoes||Great for advanced or professional squash players||Flexible||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|4. Yonex Aerus 2 Indoor Court Shoes||Very grippy||Lightweight||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|5. K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5 Tennis Shoe||Great cooling system||Very durable||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|6. Harrow Vortex Indoor Court Shoe||Roomy toe box||Lightweight||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|7. ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe||Prevents excessive twisting and turning||Comfortable||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|8. Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 Volleyball Shoes||High-power impact absorption||Lightweight||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|9. HEAD Grid 2.0 Low Racquetball/Squash Indoor Court Shoes||Climate control cooling system||Great impact support||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|10. ASICS Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe||Great for beginners||Light and comfortable||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Squash Shoes Buying Guide
Since you’ll be wearing your squash shoes for long periods of time, knowing what the optimal features for squash shoes are before you start shopping will help you get the best pair for your needs and ensure they last longer. The right pair of shoes can improve how you perform in a match, while the wrong pair can cause injuries or make you slip on the court. Squash shoes are not the same as general workout shoes or shoes for other sports, so make sure you keep these details in mind when you’re comparing options.
Court or squash shoes
To make sure you’re achieving your best possible performance during matches, you’ll want to make sure you buy shoes that are labeled either as court shoes or squash shoes. Certain brands are known for their squash shoes. A common mistake beginner squash players often make it to buy cross training shoes instead of court or squash shoes, but cross trainers aren’t optimal for squash. Court or squash shoes will be optimal for indoor use due to their non-marking soles, and will have features that will help keep you from getting injured, like good ankle support, midfoot and heel cushioning, and features to help prevent lateral roll.
Because squash is played inside on a court, it’s considered good etiquette to pick a pair of shoes with non-marking rubber soles so your shoes don’t leave scuff marks on the court. This is another reason you’ll want to look for squash or court shoes, since these will almost always have non-marking soles. Non-marking soles will usually be a light or neutral color. You’ll want to make sure that you only use these shoes for squash and not for any outdoor activities so that you don’t wear dirty shoes onto the court. Some gyms actually have etiquette rules about this, because in addition to leaving marks, dirty shoes can also make the court slippery and dangerous for other players, so make sure you know what your gym’s policy is.
While you’re working up a sweat running back and forth and doing quick turns, you’ll want to make sure your shoes can keep up by picking ones with breathable features. Closed courts get hot easily, and having shoes with no ventilation could cause foot odor or bacterial or fungal infections. Look for shoes with breathable features like a perforated upper or mesh toe box, side panels, or upper foot. Squash shoes with moisture wicking linings will help keep your feet cool too, especially if you pair them with moisture wicking socks.
Since you’ll be playing on a smooth, flat court, picking squash shoes with traction is a must. Look for a pair with a sticky and/or grippy outsole. Test out the shoes’ traction by moving around in them or trying some lunges or lateral movements, preferably on a surface similar to that of a squash court, to see if you feel stable or you’re slipping on the floor.
When it comes to the fit of squash shoes, your best bet is to look for a snug, locked-in fit that will keep your feet from moving inside the shoes. Make sure the shoes aren’t too tight, that you have enough room in the toe bed, and that there is no friction or rubbing when you try on the shoes — it will only get worse once you sweat and your feet are swollen from exercising, so your squash shoes should be comfortable from the very first time you put them on. You should also have enough room for ankle movement. Squash shoes that are too tight on the ankles could cut off blood flow, while shoes that are too loose could cause you to trip. When you try on the shoes, bounce on your toes and jog around to make sure the fit feels snug and that there’s no rubbing or friction.
Squash shoes with the right impact absorption can help minimize the fatigue and foot pain you can get from the intensive sport. Look for shoes with a cushioned midsole, sole, or heel made out of rubber or foam and gel. This will help absorb shock and provide better energy return for when you need to bounce back quickly.
The level of support your squash shoes have is crucial — without proper support for your feet, it will be easier to get injured. Look for a pair that feel durable and have supportive overlays and lateral support but are not too stiff — they should still have flex and allow you to make natural movements.
Your squash needs
Finding the squash shoes that are the best choice for you will also depend on how often you play and what you’re trying to accomplish or improve upon when you play. As a general rule, dedicated squash players should usually replace their squash shoes as often as once or twice per season, while more recreational players can get away with replacing their shoes once a year. So if you’re a dedicated player, you may want to look for a durable pair that will give you the most for your dollar, while more casual players may want to focus more on features that will help them improve their performance, like good traction and grip. If you’re hoping to improve your speed on the court, you should look for a pair with a low profile and a large pivot point for more efficient turns.
Squash shoes run at a variety of prices, and the brand that’s right for you will depend on what your budget is. If you’re not looking to spend much money on your shoes, ASICS makes low-cost court shoes that will still perform well. If you’re willing to spend a little more, Salming, Yonex, and K-Swiss offer squash shoes with high-tech features that are lightweight and comfortable as well.
Best Squash Shoes Reviews
Salming Viper 3.0 Court Shoes
The Salming Viper 3.0 Court Shoes are a solid choice for an advanced or professional squash player who wants lightweight support and the ability to move naturally on the court. The Viper 3.0’s Torsion Guide System gives its wearer extra stability and flexibility to support more natural movements, while the ergo heel cup, which is slightly longer than the average heel cup, stabilizes your heel and keeps your feet comfortable.
Similar to Salming’s running shoes, the Viper 3.0s have a RunLite midsole cushioning compound that helps reduce impact and give you better rebound. In addition, the shoe’s Rollbar helps you push off your toes, the exoskeleton and textile overlays stabilize your feet during lateral movements and relieve joint pressure, and the extra sticky outsole keeps you from slipping on the court.
Similar to the Salming Kobra, the Viper 3.0 is an expensive choice, with a price point almost double that of other court shoes. While the shoes offer fantastic support, some wish they didn’t wear out as fast considering how much they cost.
- Great for advanced or professional squash players
- Lightweight with great impact absorption
- Promotes natural movements and offer great support
- Wear out quickly considering the price
ASICS GEL-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe
Marketed as a top-level court shoe at an entry-level price, the ASICS GEL-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe is a great choice for beginner and intermediate squash players who want great traction and durability. The GEL-Rocket 8’s feature a forefoot GEL Cushioning System that reduces the effect of shock during impact, as well as a Truss tic System that keeps the sole light while maintaining the shoe’s structural integrity. The non-marking gum rubber soles are perfect for hardwood court floors, and removable inserts allow you to use your own orthotics if you choose. The GEL-Rocket 8’s are a good choice for normal arches.
Compared to previous versions, some ASICS GEL-Rocket fans find that the 8’s don’t offer as much gel comfort as previous versions, and some people find that the shoes don’t fit very well around their ankles.
- Great for beginner or intermediate players
- Great traction
- Not as much gel as previous versions
- Fit varies around ankles
Salming Kobra Indoor Court Shoes
Often worn by professional squash players, the Salming Kobra Indoor Court Shoes are an excellent choice for experienced players who want a lightweight shoe that will offer optimal stability and support. The Salming Kobra’s features include forefoot rebound energy foam, which gives you 80% better rebound energy than a traditional EVA compound, which is found in many court shoes.
The RollBar helps your feet roll in and push off your toes, and high sidewalls wrap around and support your heel. The shoe’s exoskeleton is integrated with lacing to fully wrap around your foot and provide optimal support for lateral movements and to help reduce pressure on your joints. A HexaGrip outsole provides great traction, and the shoe is more flexible than its competitors to allow for more natural movement.
If you’re looking for a budget-conscious choice, the Salming Kobra’s are not it — they’re close to double the price of many other court shoes. Although the shoes are lightweight, Salming fans prefer the Vipers as a more lightweight choice. The shoes tend to run a bit small, so it’s recommended that your order them a ½ size up from the size you usually wear.
- Great for advanced or professional squash players
- Better rebound and impact support
- Flexible and promote easy lateral movements
- Not as lightweight as Salming Vipers
Yonex Aerus 2 Indoor Court Shoes
If you’re hoping to buy a pair of squash shoes that are lightweight and will help you be light on your feet during matches, the Yonex Aerus 2 Indoor Court Shoe is a solid investment. The Yonex Aerus 2 has a Hyper ms Lite high-performance midsole, which is 10% lighter than the original midsole to give you a more comfortable fit and help aid you in lighter footwork during play.
The shoes also use Double Reussel Mesh, which is ultra fine mesh that’s lightweight and provides 8x more air exchange than ordinary mesh fabric to keep your feet cool. Power cushion helps aid you during lateral movements. Many Yonex Aerus 2 owners are surprised by how great the grip on these shoes is.
The Yonex Aerus 2 is a more expensive choice, although it’s still cheaper than the Salming Kobra or Viper. Some Yonex Aerus 2 owners find that the shoes fit tight in the toes, so if you need a wide toe box, these may not be the right choice for you.
- Very grippy
- Higher price point
- Tight in the toes
K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5 Tennis Shoe
If your main requirement for your squash shoes is comfort and durability, the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5 Tennis Shoe is a solid choice. Although it’s technically a tennis shoe, the Bigshot Light 2.5 is favored by many for other court sports because of its non-marking soles with a pivot point, Plantar Support Chassis protection that gives you extra mobility, and a DragGuard cage that makes the shoe durable and supportive.
Despite the shoe’s bulkier look, it’s actually lightweight and cool due to an EVA midsole that also absorbs shock and Dri-Lex lining and a breathable flow cool system. The Bigshot Light 2.5’s herringbone tread gives you traction on the court, while the foam padded collar and tongue keep you comfortable — some owners even say these shoe’s don’t have a break in period.
If you have wide feet, the Bigshot Light 2.5 may not be the best choice, as the shoes run quite narrow. They’re also expensive, since their price point is about the same as Salmings, although their durability makes them a good investment for the price.
- Very comfortable, no break in period
- Very durable
- Great cooling system
- Runs very narrow
Harrow Vortex Indoor Court Shoe
Hailed as the company’s most technologically advanced and tested squash shoe to date, the Harrow Vortex Indoor Court Shoe gives squash players lightweight support and great grip. The shoe’s low profile midsole and arch stability keep you grounded during lateral movements while providing solid cushioning, while the soft mesh keeps your feet cool. The Harrow Vortex has a roomy toe box and is a great choice for wide feet. Many squash players found they liked the fit and performance of the Harrow Vortex better than the brands they’d been using for years.
Compared to Harrow’s other squash shoes, some players find that the Vortex has less arch support. The shoelace band is also a little low, which can make tying the laces awkward.
- Roomy toe box
- Great grip
- Not as much arch support as previous versions
- Low shoelace band
ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe
The ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe is supportive, wallet-conscious choice for any beginner or casual squash player. The shoe’s forefoot gel cushioning system helps absorb shock on the court and propel you, while the solid rubber outsole provides traction and makes the shoes a durable choice.
The Gel-Dedicate 5 also features a trusstic system that helps prevent excessive twists and turns in the shoes so your feet feel supported. The shoe is lightweight, and has a flexible mesh upper to keep your feet cool.
Compared to other ASICS court shoes, the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 runs narrow, and tends to run tight in the instep, so if you have wider feet, these may not be the best choice for your squash shoes.
- Prevents excessive twisting and turning
- Runs narrow
- Has a tight instep
Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 Volleyball Shoes
Although it was originally designed for volleyball, the Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 Volleyball Shoe is a perfect court shoe due to its high power shock absorption and INTERCOOL ventilation system. The Wave Bolt 7’s shock-absorbing midsole uses lightweight advanced cushioning that absorbs impact and helps you keep quick transitions smooth and fast.
The INTERCOOL ventilation system reduces heat and humidity build up to keep your feet cool and dry, while the Parallel Wave plate keeps you stable during lateral movements. The Wave Bolt 7’s Air Mesh Upper adds extra breathability and comfort, and the shoe’s snug fit and lightweight feel will ensure you can move quickly during intense matches.
Some Mizuno fans find that the Wave Bolt 7’s have a stiffer insole than other Mizunos, which may make them less comfortable than other models. The shoes also tend to run a bit small.
- Great ventilation
- High-power impact absorption
- Stiffer insole than other Mizunos
- Run small
HEAD Grid 2.0 Low Racquetball/Squash Indoor Court Shoes
If you’re looking for squash shoes that can keep up with intense matches and provide optimal impact support, the HEAD Grid 2.0 Men’s Court Shoes are a solid choice. The shoes feature HyBrasion, a high abrasion compound rubber formula designed to provide toe drag and hard wear resistance to the parts of the shoe that receive the most impact during play.
The HEAD Grid 2.0s also tote a climate control cooling system that keeps the shoes breathable by absorbing and releasing excess heat. Other benefits include non-marking gum rubber soles with great traction, an air mesh and synthetic leather upper, and a comfortable fit.
The HEAD Grid 2.0s don’t have the best arch support available, so if arch support is key for you, you might want to look at other squash shoes first. The shoes also tend to run a bit small and narrow, so you may want to go up a size from what you usually buy.
- Great impact support
- Climate control cooling system
- Great traction
- Not much arch support
- Run small and narrow
ASICS Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe
If you’re a novice squash player looking for a cheap yet effective pair of squash shoes, the ASICS Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe offer great value. Compared to the previous version, ASICS has improved the Upcourt 2 to have a more stable, durable upper. The shoes feature synthetic leather overlays and mesh underlays that are breathable and keep your feet comfortable. The Upcourt 2 also has full length gum rubber outsoles to add traction and rearfoot gel to help absorb impact. The shoes are quiet lightweight, and many customers find they are a good choice if you have or feet.
Compared to other court shoes, the Upcourt 2’s don’t have as much traction or cushion, but are still a good value for amateurs who may not play as many intense matches.
- Great for beginners
- Light and comfortable
- Not the best traction
- Not the best cushioning
Conclusion And Final Squash Shoes recommendations
Any of the 10 squash shoes on this list have the support, traction, and breathability you need to perform your best on the court. However, certain shoes will be better choices based on your needs. If you’re a squash novice or you play infrequently, the ASICS GEL-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe or the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 Tennis Shoe are your best choices, as they provide the comfort and support you need without breaking the bank.
If you’re an intermediate or professional squash player, the Salming Viper 3.0 Court Shoes and Salming Kobra Indoor Court Shoes will suit you better, since they have high tech features that will help you excel on the court and will be worth the higher price point. If you have trouble with foot pain and are mainly looking to stay comfortable on the court, the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5 Tennis Shoe will give you the best value and support for you feet.
Regardless of what your needs are for squash, it’s best to try on a few different pairs before you make a decision on what to buy, as the best fit will differ for each person. No matter what pair you decide on, you can be sure that you’ll be improving the comfort and support of your feet on the court so you can focus on improving your performance in every match.
Frequently Asked Questions About Squash Shoes
Q: What can I use court shoes for?
Court shoes generally work well for any indoor sport that’s played on a court. This can include, but isn’t limited to:
It’s best to only use court shoes for these types of activities so that the shoes don’t wear out too quickly. Generally, court shoes don’t work well for any outdoor sport or activity, and shouldn’t be worn outside so that your shoes don’t track dirt onto indoor courts, which can cause other players to slip and fall. Court shoes are almost always non-marking, so they won’t leave marks on the court as long as you don’t wear them outside.
Q: Should I replace the insoles in my squash shoes?
Many squash players prefer to replace the factory insoles in their squash shoes, although not everyone does. Many find that the insoles that come in the shoes don’t provide as much cushion and support as they’d like, and that they prefer gel insoles instead. Some squash players like Sof Sole insoles — you can find pairs for high arches, orthotic pairs, and more. Before investing in insoles, it’s best to try the factory insoles first, so you don’t end up spending money on new insoles if it turns out that your feet feel well supported by the insoles that came with the shoes originally.
Q: What does an “M” or “W” next to a shoe size mean?
Because many squash shoes come in both men’s and women’s versions, many people assume an M or W next to a shoe size stands for a men’s or women’s shoe, but it actually refers to the shoe’s width. Medium width or regular width shoes have an M or sometimes a B or D next to the size, while wide shoes have a W next to the size, or sometimes a 2E or C/D. Certain shoes may also be available in narrow widths (N, A, or 2A), extra wide widths (XW, 3E, or E), or extra narrow widths (S or 3A). Certain brands may run wide or narrow, so you’ll want to take the brand into consideration when deciding which width shoe to purchase.
Q: Do squash shoes tend to run wide or narrow?
Many squash players find that it’s difficult to find squash shoes for wide feet, as many squash shoes tend to run on the more narrow side. If you have wide feet, the Harrow Vortex or ASICS Upcourt 2 are a good choice, while you’ll want to stay away from the K-Swiss Bigshot Light 2.5, ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5, and HEAD Grid 2.0’s, which all run on the narrow side. The other squash shoes mentioned in this article tend to run normal when it comes to width, so you may find that one of those pairs offers a comfortable fit if you tend to just wear wide width shoes and not extra wide width ones.
Q: How do I know if a pair of shoes are non-marking?
Generally, court and squash shoes almost always have non-marking soles. However, a good way to tell is to check the color of the sole of the shoe — non-marking shoes usually have light or neutral colored soles. If you’re buying shoes online, the descriptions for squash and court shoes will oftentimes mention non-marking soles as a feature of the shoe. If a pair you’re looking at has dark soles and the product description doesn’t say that they’re non-marking, you may want to contact the brand or seller to check. Some gyms have rules about not wearing shoes that will mark up the court, so it’s best to make sure the pair of shoes you’re interested in are non-marking before you buy them. All the squash shoes on this list have non-marking soles.