Ever wondered what shoes 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, pickleball, badminton, and volleyball. Most intermediate to professional players use 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 from the Mizuno Wave line 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 playing table tennis)
Some often feature a non-marking gum sole. But for lateral movement, low, wider sole is preferred. I can try suggesting a few pairs, but ultimately, you should pick what’s comfortable on your foot.
If you play mostly leisurely or don’t play often, consider getting something cheap. But even cheap shoes should definitely be low/flat.
If you go with higher, narrower soles, you will be at risk of rolling your ankle when stopping or making a quick lateral movement. 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 the best table 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 Shoes for Playing Table Tennis
Here are some of the best table tennis shoes that will provide comfort, good grip, and lateral stability.
1. ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 8
- Asics's extremely popular Gel Rocket shoes continue the same low-to-the-ground feel that makes them a favourite for squash and badminton players alike. The extremely comfortable fit of the Gel Rocket 8 and enhanced traction have improved the shoe's performance.
- Fits true to size
- Medium width
- Asics Trusstic System Technology
- Forefoot Gel Cushioning System
Starting off our list, we have the excellently designed Gel-Rocket 8 by Asics. For those getting a grip on the game, high-budget shoes are not always the way to go. However, this shoe, despite its affordability, offers all the premium features that you want from a fantastic table tennis shoe.
The mesh design of the shoe allows for high breathability and keeps your foot feeling fresh even in a heated match. It features 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 footwear.
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.
2. Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z5 Indoor Court Shoe
- Lightweight EVA midsole
- 360° DynaMotionFit: Precisely engineered 360°DynamotionFit upper with Engineered Mesh seamlessly follows every contour of your foot for the ultimate fit
- D-Flex Groove: Diagonal flexible groove. A diagonal groove in the mid foot area allows the player to turn at maximum speed and power by efficiently transferring natural body movement and shift in direction
- POWNCE: Power + Bounce = PoWnCe. Cushioning performance is the same as ap+, but it's 10% lighter
- Anatomical Cup-In-Sole: Cup-in-sole designed anatomically to fit the bottom of your foot
For players looking to take their game to the next stage, this indoor court shoe is the perfect tool. The Wave Lightning z5 is packed with exciting new features to provide the user with the utmost comfort and stability, thus enhancing the overall playing experience.
Firstly, it features an EVA midsole that is extremely lightweight. This shoe features 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 perfect fit.
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.
This shoe is quite lightweight even when you consider the high 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 features in its design, the unit still manages to be quite affordable.
3. LI-NING Men Table Tennis Shoes
- UPPER MATERIAL: Synthetic leather with textile material used in upper of Lining shoes, provides you breathable and helps you keep cool and dry sports environWoment.
- EVA/RUBBER OUTSOLE: Non-marking gum rubber sole with special grooves designed for abrasion resistant and anti skid, EVA midsole helps reduce shoe's weight to bring a soft and comfort wearing feeling.
- ANTI-COLLISION TOE CAP: Reduce the toes collision to get comfortable table tennis, walking, running, and playing basketball.
- UFF TIP: An extra layer of reinforceWoment is applied along the inside front and toe area of the table tennies shoes. This helps to help extend the life of the shoes and provide superior product performance.
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Brand New and 100% Authentic, you could check the authenticity of the product by scan QR code inside of the shoes. Besides, if for any reason you’re not satisfied with our Lining brand sports shoes, we will be responsible because our core value is consumer oriented.
Coming in at third on our list, we bring you another highly rated table tennis shoe for you that is packed with excellent features and design. The Whirlwind by LI-NING has all the quality to captivate you because of its groundbreaking technology.
This product features a combination of mesh and synthetic leather for its upper, providing you with both breathability and durability. No matter how heated the game gets, you can rely on it 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 better traction and prevent skidding. 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.
This shoe also features 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.
4. Butterfly Trynex Table Tennis Shoes (Best Value)
- HIGH VALUE – Trynex is a Butterfly table tennis shoe with high value due to its high performance features and reasonable price.
- SUPERIOR GRIP – Rubber sole provides superior grip on any surface and is scuff resistant.
- GREAT COMFORT – The Trynex is a comfortable shoe due to its all mesh construction and lightweight shoe design. The cushioned sole contains EVA sport foam memory for extra comfort.
- DURABLE ATHLETIC SHOE – This ping pong shoe is a very durable shoe that is made for multiple table tennis playing styles.
- COLORS AND SIZES – Available in red or white colors in sizes 4.5-10.
If you want to get the best bang for your buck shoe, then you should go with a brand that specializes in table tennis footwear. Butterfly is a brand that gives you just that in their Trynex line of shoes. It brings a combination of high-performance features and an affordable price tag that is attractive to any lover of the game.
Featuring a superior grip because of its high-quality rubber sole, 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 unit does two things. Firstly, it keeps the shoe lightweight to let you glide around the court. And secondly, you get a highly breathable shoe. Additionally, it comes with Eva sports memory foam in the insole that provides greater comfort while playing.
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 Table Tennis Shoes
- BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS SHOE - Butterfly table tennis shoes are the preferred choice of top table tennis players
- EXTREME CUSHION - The B-Armor covers the front upper part with KPU material that cushions the forefoot and protects your foot during rapid movements
- SUPERIOR SUPPORT - Design prevents undesired movements and enhances the feeling of a perfect fit. The bridge-shaped middle sole supports a sliding motion during play
- EXCELLENT GRIP - Contains a wingtip: specially formed outer sole with superior grip and assists your footwork
- SHOCK ABSORBENT - Contains a B-Absorber: a special shock absorbing sponge placed between the outer and middle sole of the forefoot which features cushioning and flexibility
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.
This product features a high amount of cushioning and prefers comfort over anything else. 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. 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 – Best TT Shoes for Concrete and Carpet
- Classic soccer shoe with full-grain leather upper featuring three-stripes branding
- Removable sockliners. Fit tip-If in between sizes, for tight fit, go one size down and for loose fit, go one size up
- EVA insole. Synthetic leather upper for light weight and durability
- Non-marking outsole;Durable gum-rubber outsole
- Suede overlay for abrasion resistance and upper protection
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 one of their indoor shoes made its way on our list. The Samba classic by Adidas is one of the best options if you are playing in concrete or carpeted floor.
This shoe features 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.
7. Nike Men’s Free 5.0
- Enhanced Nike Flywire offers greater stability without the weight.
- Hexagonal flex grooves with rubber grip allow your foot to move naturally.
- Highly breathable mesh with lateral support for hard cuts.
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 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 rubber wraps on the medial side of the foot. The outsole provides good traction because of its rubber material. Although it does not feature a very high degree of cushioning, the other features of the unit more than make up for it.
Table Tennis Shoes – What Makes Them Different?
One mistake that a beginner often makes is thinking that a table tennis shoe is the same as a running shoe. However, there are some striking differences between them, and playing this game with a running shoe can lead to some less than fortunate circumstances, not to mention injuries.
The design of a table tennis shoe gives you a better grip and footing to allow for quick and stable movement. It comes with a reinforced sole that facilitates complex footwork and fast reflexive motions. Additionally, they give you ankle support so that you don’t risk spraining your ankle during any sudden movement.
On top of these features, a TT shoe is light as a feather that weighs a maximum of 300 grams. Because of this lightweight design, you can move freely around the table without hassle. To put it bluntly, table tennis shoes feature a much better build quality than your traditional running shoes.
Where running shoes focus on forwarding motion, a table tennis shoe tends to both your forward and side movement. Besides, running shoes do not offer you that much ankle support without which, you risk serious injury while playing table tennis.
Table Tennis Shoes – A Definitive Buyer’s Guide
What makes a table tennis shoe great? Well, there are a lot of factors that come into play when answering this question. And in the following section, we will take a look at each of them.
A table tennis shoe must feature a thin sole; firstly, for quick movement, and secondly 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.
Additionally, with a thin sole, you can exert a lot more force behind your strokes since it facilitates a faster upper body movement. You can also plant your feet on the ground to get a robust forward motion with a thin sole. As a result, you get a better experience with flat bottoms while playing table tennis.
The weight of the shoe is also a concern with table tennis. Generally, the lighter the pump, the quicker you can move. So a table tennis shoe should not exceed 300 grams of weight. Since it is a fast sport that involves a lot of footwork, your footwear should not get in the way of speed.
In a game of table tennis, you mostly focus on lateral movement along the end of the table. Whereas in sports such as running, badminton, and volleyball, you need to move both horizontally and vertically. So for table tennis, you need a shoe that offers you decent support for lateral movements.
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.
Cushioning is another factor when choosing your table tennis shoe. One thing to note, though, 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 court 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 a crucial factor to consider when buying your table tennis shoe or any shoe for that matter. Your foot shape dictates your posture and shoe requirements. It directly affects your experience with the shoe. There are typically three shapes of feet and the shoe requirement for them is listed below.
- 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
The width of the shoe is also important for you to have a comfortable time on the table. You need to give your toes enough space to breathe. 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.
The type of shoe you wear should be decided based on the court. As long as there is a tennis table, it can be played on any kind of flat terrain. From outdoor grass to the concrete or even wooden floors are a viable candidate for a table tennis court. And with the change of terrain, your shoe option should also change.
It is best not to use the same shoe for all types of court. 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. Outdoor courts are a bit more forgiving on your shoe, and you can choose the one that feels best to you.
Table tennis shoes are designed keeping the needs of specific players in mind. For this reason, your style of playing should directly affect the choice of footwear. If you focus on offense and deliver strong strokes, then more cushioning is better. For a defensive player, lightweight shoes are a better option.
Things to Avoid When Buying Ping Pong Shoes
When buying a table tennis shoe, you should never cheap out. If you can afford it, go for high-quality footwear by a reputed brand. It would give you the best value in the long run since you can get better durability and will save a lot on repair costs.
You should never wear shoes made for another purpose for table tennis. They will not give you the proper support and freedom that you need while playing. For example, volleyball shoes are quite heavy. It will constrict your movement and get in your way when you are moving around the table.
However, squash shoes or badminton shoes can serve as a decent substitute for table tennis until you get to advanced levels. Avoid shoes that are heavy with a low heel cap. Also, check for proper grips. With cheap shoes, you will not get excellent traction, which can lead to you slipping or skidding.
Additionally, you should also avoid shoes that are not breathable. When playing, your feet will naturally get hot and sweaty. Without any breathability, the shoes will stink up and need a daily wash. That will, in turn, drastically reduce its lifespan.
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. What are the risks of using table tennis shoes?
If you are using a professional-grade table tennis shoe, you will have very limited padding. In that case, you might feel some pain around the knee joints and heel. Apart from that, there are no other risks that you need to be concerned about.
3. Is it worth getting a table tennis shoe if I am playing for fun?
For recreational playing, you can get away with just about any type of shoes. However, for people who regularly practice for competitive playing, table tennis shoe is a must.
4. Are Table tennis shoes durable?
Yes, a high-quality table tennis shoe is quite durable. If you practice around 30-35 hours a month, a pair of shoes should last around one year without any problem.
5. Do I need any specific sock for table tennis shoes?
Not really. The type of socks you use entirely depends on your preference.
6. Can I use shoes made for other indoor sports in table tennis?
Technically, you can. However, keep in mind that those shoes will not serve you well in a competitive environment. Since shoes made for other sports are typically heavier, you have a high risk of injury playing with them. You might also not get the superior movement that comes with table tennis shoes.
7. Do I need to break in the shoe after buying?
No, unlike other shoes, table tennis shoes do not need any breaking in. You can start playing the moment you get your hands on it.
8. What is the requirement of shoes in a professional table tennis game?
In competitive games, there are no specific rules when it comes to the type of shoe you wear. As long as your footwear is non-marking and clean, you can play with them. However, table tennis shoes do give you an edge in professional games.
Do You Really Need A Pair of Shoes for Playing Ping Pong?
Is it worth spending your hard-earned money buying shoes for a game? Well, if you want the best possible experience with the game and also want to prevent unnecessary risk, the answer is pretty simple. Yes, you should invest in at least a pair of shoes specifically for table tennis.
The main difference between a regular shoe and a table tennis shoe is the build quality. A shoe made for TT is lighter and has better ankle support. Considering how much this game relies on quick ankle movement, you need all the help you can get. Just one misstep could lead you to bedrest for months if you are not careful.
If you are someone who is looking to get into the competitive side of this sport, then you definitely should opt for a decent pair of shoes. Most amateurs suffer from ankle injury solely because of wrong shoes. On top of that, without the right footgear, you will not be able to pull off the correct footwork that you need to shine at this game.
Speaking of footwork, table tennis requires you to do complex foot movements that are honed through rigorous practice. Without the correct pair, even your coach will discourage you from attempting them. That is not to say your table tennis shoe is only a one-trick pony. You can use the same pair of shoes for other sports such as volleyball, badminton, or even indoor soccer.
Truth About Shoes Made by TT Companies
Table tennis companies like Butterfly, Donic, etc. also make shoes, but they are often overpriced to the point that it’s laughable. However, apart from the price, there are some certain things you will get with TT shoes like –
- They will be very breathable
- Lightweight and comfy
- Flat/non-marking sole
Looks too good to be true, right?
The irony is that the material seems cheap. They wear out rather quickly and will stink up if you sweat a lot. I don’t know why they even bother to make these overpriced shoes.
They’ll turn into a skunk shoe in a heartbeat if you don’t wash them regularly. The only thing I like about them is that they are breathable than most shoes out there.
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, 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.