When you start playing a sport, a new sport, it doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on sports gear. Sports shoes, good ones, are expensive and our advice would be to spend the money on shoes you can wear across multiple sports. Once you have specialized in a sport, i.e., you know that badminton is going to be the sport you keep up, then invest in a good pair of badminton shoes.
What are Badminton Shoes?
Badminton courts surfaces are usually made out of a synthetic material; a PVC/PU with an acrylic top. These surfaces mark easily, requiring the player to wear non-marking shoes. Not all shoes leave marks so when you buy a pair of sports shoes, check about the markings.
There are always signs near Badminton courts, or around the club, requesting you to wear ‘non-marking shoes,’ and it is important that you follow the rules. Often, you will not be allowed on the court if your shoes are not correct.
If you are unsure about your shoes, look at the soles. Most non-marking shoes have softer soles. They also have light coloured soles. Black soled shoes do usually leave marks, BUT – and it is a big but – you can get badminton shoes, non-marking shoes – that do have black soles.
As long as they are specialist badminton shoes, the colour doesn’t matter. It is the type of sole you need to worry about and not the actual covering or colouring of the shoe.
Are My Running Shoes Non-Marking Shoes?
One would almost hope so, simply because shoes are expensive and you may not want to spend money on different shoes for different sports.
If you have had your running shoes for a while and are unsure if they are non-marking shoes or not, turn them upside and check out the soles. This is what to look for:
- Soles that are softer.
- Soles that dent slightly.
- Shoes that have raw, rubber soles.
You can always test out your shoes to check if they leave marks or not. Get a piece of cardboard, or white paper, and rub the bottom of your shoe against it.
Do this with some pressure.
If the shoe leaves a mark, it’s not going to be good for badminton. If there are no marks, you are probably good to go. Once you start playing the game regularly, invest in a pair of badminton shoes, and this is because of the good support you get from them.
What about Volleyball Shoes for Badminton?
Volleyball shoes are actually often used for badminton as they have similar soles. The sports also use similar surfaces; a synthetic surface. Anything with a synthetic surface requires a non-marking shoe.
We mentioned that soles should be light, which is what volleyball shoes are, but – if they are specialist volleyball or badminton shoes and they come in black, it means they are black non-marking shoes.
As long as the shoes have good grip, are comfortable and don’t hurt your feet – apart from the not leaving marks or scratches – then your shoes are just fine.
For badminton you do need shoes that allow your feet to move forwards, backwards and also laterally. The sport requires certain agility and footwork is important. Footwork is always important in a bat and ball sport making a good pair of shoes even more important.
What about Basketball Shoes for Badminton?
You can get carried away in wondering what shoes are right for which sport. As we mentioned, if you play a lot of badminton, get specialist badminton shoes.
They will be an investment. But if you are a basketball player who is playing the occasional game of badminton, your basketball shoes will be fine.
Again, just check the sole of the shoe and make sure they don’t leave any marks behind. Basketball shoes tend to be heavier than badminton shoes, which may hinder your game, but they can be worn.
Indoor Sports Shoes v Outdoor Sports Shoes
Road running would be considered an outdoor sport. Soccer is considered an outdoors sports, although you do get specialist soccer boots which can ONLY be worn for soccer.
Badminton is an indoor sport and generally, you can wear sports shoes for badminton that are worn for indoor sports. Table tennis shoes, volleyball shoes and racquet ball shoes are all general fine for badminton too.
If you are unsure about the kind of shoes you can wear for badminton, have a look at this video. John Webb is a badminton coach and offers advice, not just on the game of badminton, but on the right kind of shoes.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Badminton Shoes?
If you are looking for specialist badminton shoes, buy them from a store that specializes in badminton. Some of the online stores you can look at for badminton shoes include:
- Badminton Alley
- Badminton Avenue
- Badminton Direct
- Badminton Warehouse
- Shop Badminton Online
- Sports Direct
- Yonex USA
Find a store that includes delivery and also, one that will do exchanges if your size is wrong. Generally, you can use the chat line to talk about sizes and the all important aspect of non marking shoes.
The above stores specialize in non-marking shoes. You should choose a shoe that fits in with your budget. It’s a good idea to do research before you buy shoes and look into the fit, cushioning, soles, ankle and heel support, and toe room.
Buying shoes can sometimes be tricky online, but once you know your size, you are all set for the future. Also, all good stores will do returns.
Badminton Shoe Brands
Some of the more well known badminton shoe brands include:
- Head Mens
Each of the above have a wide variety of shoes.
They also sell some really beautiful badminton shoes in a fabulous range of colours. We did mention that badminton shoes are light, but that is the color of the sole.
And if the sole is made of the right rubber, as specialist badminton shoes would be, then the colour becomes irrelevant.
Take a look at just a few badminton shoe types and brands, all of which are of course, non marking shoes
Yonex SHB SHB-SC5 MX Badminton Shoes
This is a badminton shoe that comes in navy, orange and white. The sole is a light off-green. The shoe has great cushioning, excellent ventilation, good support and a Hexagrip sole for better grip.
Babolat Shadow Spirit Badminton Shoes
This comes in navy and yellow, with a neutral flat sole. The sole has patterns, non marking, that are great for lateral movement and quick stopping power. The shoe is light, well priced and we quite like the name – Shadow Spirit!
ASICS Women’s Gel Upcourt
Here is a women’s badminton shoe in blue and pink with white trimmings and a neutral coloured and thin sole. The sole may be thin but it is well designed, comfortable and stable, and made from a high quality rubber. A good shoe that not only looks good and fashionable, but works well.
Yonex Men’s Power Cushion SHB-02 LTD Limited Edition
You may well choose the shoe, in a bright red with black trimmings, because it is limited edition, well priced, offering excellent ventilation, a great shape and extremely durable and comfortable. The colour is striking.
Here you will find a couple of badminton shoe reviews. It’s worth watching this video and paying attention, but also, do your own research. You may have your own favourite brand of sports shoe already.
General Sports Shoes/Badminton Shoes
Remember, as we said at the start of this piece, as a beginner player we wouldn’t recommend you go out and pay a fortune on a pair of badminton shoes.
Take your time, make sure you like the game, make sure you are going to continue playing the game, and then buy yourself a pair of shoes.
Otherwise, use your current running shoes, or your tennis shoes, or as above, your volleyball or basketball shoes, as long as they don’t leave marks, are comfortable, offer support and allow you to move around with ease.
You can buy general sports shoes from a huge variety of online stores around the USA. Of course Amazon is one of the biggest, but you will also find:-
- East Bay
- Footwear Hub
- Jack Rabbit
- Road Runner Sports
- Runner Inn
- Running Warehouse
And again, those are just a few examples.
Shoes are important in all sports. They are in fact the most important aspect of your gear. You only have one pair of feet so it’s important you look after them.
A good pair of shoes should last you for many years. A good pair of shoes will also improve your game. You won’t slip and slide with good shoes, you will have good grip and you will be able to increase the speed of your game and be more agile.
Take your time in making a choice and do your research. Shop well. And play well too!