Last Updated on May 22, 2020 by Austin Cunningham
Ever wondered what shoes professional table tennis players like to play in? In my opinion, the best table tennis shoes are those that are made specifically for this sport or other sports with similar floorings and movements.
For example, shoes made for racquetball, squash, and volleyball can also be used as table tennis shoes.
Most intermediate to professional players uses something from the Mizuno Wave line. It’s either that or something that is flatter with less heel that makes it easier to move from side to side.
Table tennis shoes like the Mizuno Wave Drive have a good grip and tight fit, and they are also lightweight. You can also try volleyball shoes like the Asics Gel Rocket line. They work great on many floor types like wood, concrete, etc.
There are also other brands that make ping pong shoes with similar key elements like low, flat sole and a bit wider sole than, say, running shoes. (Running shoes are bad for this sport. Seriously, avoid running shoes.)
If you want a lightweight shoe, go with the Butterfly 8001 Classic. It has a high-friction rubber outsole with a soft canvas upper. The Butterfly 8001 Classic is considered one of the good shoes made by a TT company (Butterfly) for table tennis players. (If you know what I mean)
If you play mostly leisurely or don’t play often, consider getting something cheap. But even cheap shoes should definitely be low/flat. Now, to narrow down your search, here is a list of some of the best shoes for playing table tennis.
Best Shoes for Table Tennis – Top Pick [Comparison Chart]
Currently, Mizuno Wave is among the best ping pong shoes you can buy. However, if you are on a budget, go with the Asics shoes. Also, keep in mind that most indoor court shoes will be fine as long as they have flat soles.
Top 7 Best Table Tennis Shoe Reviews
Here are some of the top table tennis shoes that will provide comfort, good grip, and lateral stability.
1. ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 8
Starting off our list, we have the excellently designed Gel-Rocket 8 by Asics. For those getting a grip on the game, expensive shoes are not always the way to go. However, this shoe, despite its affordability, provides all the quality components that you want from a fantastic table tennis shoe.
The mesh design of the shoe offers better breathability, therefore, it keeps your feet cool and feeling fresh even in a heated match. It has a traditional lacing system to wear it snugly. Thanks to the amazing Molded-EVA midsole, you get high absorption of shock and cushioning for a comfortable experience.
Additionally, the rear and forefoot are also cushioned with the GEL cushioning system giving you an overall better motion control and support during tight turns. To reduce the weight, it uses the time-tested Trusstic System technology, which also protects the integrity of the Asics table tennis shoes.
The outsole of the shoe comes with much more rubber content than you normally get with other shoes. As a result, you do not have to worry about the durability of the unit as you move around the court. Additional foam padding on the tongue and collar makes it one of the best investments for any player.
It’s a great pair of shoe that has good material quality and the right amount of comfort. You will definitely find the right size for your feet. This means great footwork is just a few clicks away. Even though it’s a volleyball shoe, it is still considered as one of the best table tennis shoes on the market because of similar properties.
2. Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z5 Indoor Court Shoes
For players looking to take their game to the next stage, this indoor court shoe is the perfect tool. The Wave Lightning z5 shoes come packed with exciting new upgrades to provide the players with the utmost comfort and stability, thus enhancing the overall playing experience. Let’s talk about the material.
Firstly, Mizuno table tennis shoes feature an EVA midsole that is extremely lightweight and durable. These shoes feature a 360-degree DynaMotionFit technology. It brings precision engineering to the table by allowing the mesh fabric to hug the shape of your feet, giving you a good fit & excellent grip.
In the midsole area, you also get a D-Flex groove, which allows you to take sudden turns without sacrificing speed or power. The rubber sole feels sturdy with good traction to prevent any skidding. With a breathable upper mesh, you do not need to worry about the rancid smell when you take it off.
These shoes are quite lightweight even when you may consider the degree of cushioning in its interior. The cup-in-sole design of the unit manages to fit the bottom of your fit in a way that is anatomically perfect. Despite packing a bunch of improvements in its design, the unit still manages to be quite affordable.
Last but not least, it’s among the shoes that offer great footwork and quick movements. Treat your feet right with good quality shoes that will last longer and offer better service. Would you like to find out why the top players only wear the best table tennis shoes? Get this one and find out. You might fall in love with this one.
3. LI-NING Men Table Tennis Shoes
Coming in at third on our list, we bring you another highly rated table tennis shoe for you that is packed with excellent quality and design. The Whirlwind by LI-NING has all the quality to captivate you because of its groundbreaking technology.
This product has a combination of mesh and synthetic leather for its upper, therefore, providing you with both breathability and durability. No matter how heated the game gets, you can rely on its synthetic leather properties to keep your feet well ventilated. It also comes with additional reinforcement on the inside to extend its lifespan and give you high performance.
The Rubber sole of the unit comes with specially designed grooves to give you a better grip and prevent skidding to avoid injury. With an EVA midsole, the weight of the shoe feels practically non-existent. Additionally, it gives a comfortable experience thanks to the contoured shape of the shoe.
These table tennis shoes also feature a unique anti-collision toe technology, in the form of extra rubber in the toe area. It effectively reduces the risk of injury from the collision of the toe from tripping. For people looking to get complete freedom over the court, this shoe is the one to buy. There are other similar synthetic leather shoes out there but this one is better than the rest.
4. Butterfly Table Tennis Shoes – Trynex (Best Value)
If you want to get the best table tennis shoe for the money, then you should go with a brand that specializes in table tennis footwear. The Butterfly is a brand that gives you just that in their Trynex line of shoes. It brings a combination of high-performance and an affordable price tag that is attractive to any table tennis players.
Featuring a superior grip thanks to its rubber sole, therefore, you do not need to worry about any stability or control issue. Its scuff-resistant design keeps it looking new and allows you to take tight turns and pull-off complex foot works without breaking a sweat.
The upper mesh construction of the Butterfly Table Tennis Shoes does two things. Firstly, it keeps the shoe lightweight to let your foot glide around the court. And secondly, you get a highly breathable pair of table tennis shoes. Additionally, it comes with Eva sports memory foam in the insole that offers greater comfort when making quick movements.
Whatever your playing style may be, you will find that this shoe matches your every move. The design and construction of the product give you a high degree of comfort and control over your movement. All these features make it one of the most versatile table tennis shoes in the market.
5. Butterfly Lezoline Rifones
It looks like another product from Butterfly made its way on our list because of their specialized care towards table tennis. The Lezoline Rifones takes all that is great about the Trynex and improves on it to bring you the best possible experience with your footwear.
On a side note, the Butterfly Lezoline shoes for table tennis are used by a lot of table tennis players. You would be surprised to know that Timo Boll uses Butterfly Lezoline on his foot. A lot of players use Lezoline because these shoes are made using better material.
The Butterfly Lezoline shoes offer a high amount of cushioning. If you love to play table tennis and prefer comfort over anything else, go with the butterfly Lezoline. It features a B-Armor cover on the front upper along with extra KPU cushioning on the forefoot region. Because of its comfort and protection, it is highly suited for new players looking to get into the game.
Along with its cushioning, it also provides great support for your ankle and foot. Therefore, the design of the footwear prevents any skidding or unwanted movement giving you the perfect control and stability that you want. The midsole is shaped like a bridge that allows you to slide when you need to without losing control.
The outer sole of the shoe comes with a wingtip, which is a fancy name for a specially designed sole featuring superior grip. Additionally, it provides you with a shock-absorbing sponge between the outer and mid-sole region of the forefoot that takes away the impact from heavy steps, enhancing your comfort.
6. Adidas Performance Men’s Samba Classic
Very few people in the world have not heard the name of Adidas when it comes to making sporting goods. It comes as no wonder that Adidas table tennis shoes made its way on our list. The Samba classic by Adidas is one of the top-performing shoes to play table tennis if you are playing on a concrete or carpeted floor.
These shoes come with a quality suede leather upper that is both durable and lightweight, along with a high traction rubber sole to provide you with control and stability. Table tennis shoes need to take a lot of beating, but this shoe takes it all on like a champ.
It comes with a comfortable EVA insole that allows you to find the perfect size thanks to the Fit tip. Featuring a removable sock liner, you have some degree of customization option to put in your favorite one if you want. The outsole of the shoe is non-marking, allowing for greater traction and stability.
Despite the leather construction, the weight of the unit is quite minimal. The suede overlay protects the upper of the shoe from any type of abrasion. Although advertised as a soccer shoe, thanks to the intricate design, it serves perfectly well as a shoe for table tennis.
Make sure to choose the size that fits your feet. If not, there are plenty of other products available. Size is important therefore take the time to find the corresponding size.
7. Nike Men’s Free 5.0
What better brand to follow up Adidas than Nike? These two giants of the sporting world constantly bring out innovative designs in their footwear, and this product is no different. The Free 5.0 is a perfect entry-level Nike shoe with a plethora of color choices as well as size available that are perfect for table tennis.
It features an intricate mesh upper that gives you high breathability and keeps your feet adequately fresh and free of odor. The synthetic overlay further adds to the durability of the shoe as well as adding to its exquisite design. Furthermore, the 2.85-inch shaft from the arch allows any foot shape to wear it comfortably.
The molded saddle in the midfoot area ensures that you have a snug and comfortable fit with the shoe without adding any extra weight to it. Weight is always a concern with table tennis shoes, and this unit tackles it perfectly because of its light as a feather design.
To add further support, it features the right amount of rubber wraps on the medial side of the foot. The outsole provides better traction because of its rubber material.
Ping Pong Shoes – A Definitive Buyer’s Guide
Keep in mind that it’s important you choose only the top quality pair of shoes that offer quick movements and better footwork. There are a lot of shoes available to buy that provide great support, come with the right level of comfort and fit and provide better movements.
For example, Asics offers shoes that are light and ideal for players that prefer quick footwork. You can also choose the same level of quality shoes from Mizuno. What makes a table tennis shoe great? Let’s find out.
A table tennis shoe must feature a thin sole; firstly, for quick movement, thin products are ideal and also for raw power. In this game, players are always on their feet, moving laterally and sideways. So all the pressure is on the entire feet rather than only the heel. And because of the low center of gravity that comes with a thin sole, it is generally a much better choice for table tennis.
The weight of the shoe is also a concern with table tennis. Generally, the lighter the weight, the quicker you can move. So a table tennis shoe should not exceed 300 grams of weight. Lightweight table tennis shoes offer good value.
Since it is a fast sport that involves a lot of footwork, your footwear should not get in the way of speed. Professional table tennis players always use the most lightweight table tennis shoes available. They should have a thin sole too.
In a game of table tennis, you mostly focus on lateral movement along the end of the table. So for table tennis, you need a shoe that offers you decent support for lateral movements, not for running. That is why the heel is flatter.
If your shoe helps you in your movements, you can pull off complicated footwork and be a lot more reactive in the table. You will also reduce the risk of sprains and injuries that comes from a sudden change in direction. Excellent lateral support is a staple for a fantastic tennis shoe.
Another essential feature of an excellent tennis shoe is its traction. As a rule of thumb, you should look for shoes that have great grips. But it must not feel sticky, or you will feel constricted in your movement. You need to find a shoe that has good traction without getting too constricting.
The traction of the shoe depends on the nature of the sole. Typically, the bottom of a tennis shoe comes with some form of rubber or other materials with grooves that give you the grip. Depending on the court type, your outer sole needs to have the right number of grooves to provide you with the perfect result.
If you want a comfortable experience with your shoe, you need to give some attention to its breathability features. When playing, it can often get heated, and your body produces a lot of sweat. The same goes for your foot. Additionally, since you are always moving around, humidity and heat get trapped in your shoe.
As a result, naturally, your feet sweat up. If your shoe is made of breathable material, it can dissipate some of the heat and help your leg to stay cool. It will even elevate your playing experience since you will feel less fatigue and stress. Shoes with breathable mesh are great for air circulation and ventilation.
It seems like a no-brainer, but the shoe must fit your leg perfectly for the best experience. The insole of the shoe needs to allow free ankle and feet movement so that you can do your footwork effortlessly, without the shoe slipping off. Besides, if the shoe is too light, you will also risk tripping over and hurting yourself.
The same is true if the shoe is too tight. It will feel suffocating, and you will not have a comfortable time moving around the table. To get the perfect fit, you need to find a shoe that can support all the vital sections of your foot. An imperfect fit will cause blistering or pain in the joints.
Only the top quality shoes like the Asics Gel or the Mizuno Wave Drive will offer you good support, better movements, and good material quality. You can also rely on other popular brands like Butterfly table tennis shoes, Stiga table tennis shoes, Joola table tennis shoes.
Table tennis shoes, in general, have very limited cushioning. Since more padding will result in a thicker shoe, which in turn adds more weight, it is limited to only the midsole area.
However, if you are just starting out, you can go for a bit more protection. If your shoe comes with padding on the forefoot area and the heel, it will effectively reduce pain or stress. It can help you find your stride on the floor until you get more comfortable moving on to more advanced shoes with lower cushioning.
Things to Consider While Purchasing The Best Table Tennis Shoe
Now that you understand the basic features of a table tennis shoe, it is time to move on to some other factors that are not apparent at first. These things would help you fine-tune your needs and figure out which product is the best one for you.
The shape of your feet is an important factor to consider when buying shoes for table tennis or any other sports for that matter.
- High arch foot – shoes with high cushioning
- Normal arch foot – shoes with high stability
- Flat foot – shoes that allow greater motion
Width Of The Shoe
Generally, you can find two types of shoes, narrow-mouth or wide-mouth. For average-sized toe, you can buy narrow-mouth shoes. However, people with wider feet should opt for wide-mouth ones. Some shoes will be ideal for you while some won’t. Most of these shoes are unisex shoes so check the size guide first and see if the brand provides the size you need.
It is best not to use the same shoe for all types of surfaces. For concrete floors, more cushioning is better. In the case of Taraflex floors, you can rely on any kind of non-marking sole; traction is vital in this case. Playing table tennis on outdoor surfaces are a bit more forgiving on your shoe, and you can choose the one that feels best to you.
The main reason you may consider getting a pair for indoor sports is to play on the same level as a pro. You may or may not become Timo Boll just by wearing one but you can become better. Search for the ideal shoes for your feet if you want to prevent injury. Some are designed for men while some are unisex. Search for the product that offers the available size for your feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can getting a good table tennis shoe drastically improve my playing?
Table tennis is a game that requires a lot of practice to master. Although getting an excellent pair of shoes will improve your flexibility, but your playing capacity depends on you.
2. Are shoes like the Mizuno Wave Drive, Butterfly Lezoline, worth buying?
Recreational table tennis players can get away with just about any type of shoes. However, for people who regularly practice for competitive playing, these are a must because these shoes have better material quality, durable and last longer.
If you want to keep on using your favorite shoe, grab yourself the best glue for shoes, and repair them by yourself.
3. What is the requirement of shoes in a professional table tennis game?
In competitive sports, there are no specific rules when it comes to the type of shoe you wear, except for the core equipment. As long as your sports shoes are non-marking and clean, you can play with them. However, table tennis shoes do give you an edge in professional games.
That was a long guide, phew. Well, now that you know what shoes are best for playing ping pong or table tennis or whatever you want to call them, go ahead and pick the right pair for your next match.
With the best table tennis shoes that are designed for lateral movement, you will get the advantage you will need to be agile and get ahead of the competition. If you are serious about this sport, you will need all the advantages you can get.