As with all sports, picking the necessary footwork is essential to being successful. Squash is no different. Squash is a quick-moving game that requires its players to be light on their feet. A player must be able to accelerate quickly, turn at a breakneck pace, and stop at a moment’s notice. And they must do all of this while being safe and being courteous to the other player. In addition to this, squash shoes must be able to support the player for long periods of time due to rallies lasting great lengths of time. Therefore, a good shoe has to have a lot of durability!
Squash– as you may or may not know- is a racket sport that is built upon the foundation of etiquette. While it is still competitive in nature, this does not mean that civility is forgotten. In contrast to say, racquetball, squash players have to be much more cognizant of the other player. You have to allow the other player an opportunity to play the ball without impeding her or him. This is important to note because there are many more customs in squash that need to be kept in mind at all times. This is a game about respect and class, and is quite reminiscent to me of golf culture- which is great! So just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should in the squash world. Keep in mind that etiquette isn’t restrictive or ridiculous. Usually, it is etiquette because it benefits everyone.
Top Squash Shoes Comparison Chart
Right off the bat, one of those customs relates to our shoes. Squash shoes are almost always required to have soles that are NOT black. Gum rubber soles are the norm and are a requirement in most clubs and gyms where the sport is played. Also, a big custom that should be kept is to never wear your squash shoes outside of the gym. Have you ever been to a basketball court? They are usually very dirty and slippery because people come and go wearing the same shoes (almost always) that they had on when they entered the facility. This means that all of the dirt, mud, or whatever else they had on their shoes comes with them. Oftentimes, these gyms don’t get swept often enough, which leads to people slipping. This is the reason this custom is in place for squash. Squash requires you to have great cardiovascular endurance throughout a rally; as such, you must have a court that is clean so you don’t slip and injure yourselves! So, keeping another pair of shoes for wear before and after is a must!
Finding the Perfect Fit
There are many factors to consider when buying a pair of shoes to play squash in. If you want to do it right, you must find a pair of shoes that are a perfect fit! I really have never understood the idea of buying a pair of shoes that feel “pretty good,” or buying a pair of shoes that “I’ll grow into.” Why people think this is a good idea, I’ll never know. If your shoes don’t fit properly, no matter what their purpose in my estimation, you are defeating the purpose of wearing them. The point of shoes is to protect and support the feet and their natural shape. By buying a pair too large or too small, your gait is going to change! This will put pressure on other parts of your body as the body naturally tries to make up for this change.
The reason you need to buy a perfectly-fitting pair of squash shoes is that this sport takes a toll on your body from a cardiovascular perspective. As you play squash (or any sport that requires heavy cardiovascular involvement), your blood begins to pump more and more rapidly. When this happens, as bodybuilders can attest to, you start to get a “pump” in your muscles. This is simply a swelling of the veins. Depending on the level of training and fitness levels, you can have a variety of looks. Nonetheless, you will see some type of swelling. Therefore, your feet and your ankles will swell, making the sizing of your shoes come into play more and more. This is vital, then, that you make sure that you buy a pair of squash shoes that fit just right. If you do buy a pair that is already slightly tighter than you liking (meaning that your toes hit the end of the shoe and stay in place), the swelling is more than likely going to make you uncomfortable. And no one wants to play a game for an hour or longer with feet or ankles that are hurting! Another thing that this can do is cause blistering or even the loss of a toenail because of the constant pressure put on the toes as a result of the loading pressures put on the front of the feet.
The ankles, as pointed out just a bit above, are also important to look at. If your ankles are bigger than most, you need to make sure to find a pair that is no too snug. If the pair of shoes are snug on your ankles before you begin play, you can potentially have a major issue when your ankles begin to swell. This time, the blood to your feet can be cut off because your ankles cannot breathe! Also, a larger shoe on your ankle can cause problems for people with skinny ankles because they may become loose and slip off or slide up and down your foot, which can and probably will lead to you falling. All of this is said because it is very important that you go to the store and try a few pairs on first to see what sizing you will need. I encourage everyone to do this, even if you do plan to buy online. This is not like buying the same shirt you have ordered before or the same pair of socks or underwear. These are shoes. Companies differ greatly, and between companies, they do as well!
Tread and Traction
Another thing to keep in mind is that your shoes have a good tread on them. In order to turn quickly or stop on a dime, you have to traction. Without traction, you are going to either slide or fall. Either of those can cause injury to you and/or your playing partner. You must ensure that you buy a new pair of shoes when this begins to happen because there is a lot at stake here. In the end, buying a new pair of shoes is going to be a whole lot less costly than having to go the hospital!
Depending on how you wear shoes, different areas of that shoes are going to show wear first. For example, I put a lot of pressure on the outside of my shoes. I have a gait that puts pressure on the outsides of my feet, so the shoes bow out and extra pressure is applied to the outside of my sole exterior. That means I need to look in that area for wear. For others, the insides of the shoes are the problem area. Still others walk or stand a lot on their toes, so those will be a problem. Identify your area of potential problems to make sure that you are safe. By looking at that area as well as the tread on the bottom of the shoe, you should be able to gauge properly about when you need to replace your pair of shoes. One more thing to watch for is pain and discomfort on the inside of the shoe after play. If you have had a pair of shoes that were comfortable in the past and haven’t ever given you problems and they suddenly begin to hurt you, then you need to check the inside. The inside could be wearing out, and you may need to replace them so that you don’t develop blisters or more severe pain or potential injury!
The types of materials that squash shoes are made out of are also important to look at when considering what to buy. Certain types of material are used to make shoes last longer. Other types allow you more comfort, less weight (which gives you more speed and agility) or possibly an easier clean. There are various applications, and the choice you should make should depend on what kind of player you are. A quicker and smaller player on the squash court can go with something that is a little less binding. This is because there is less weight to support, thus they can fly around and not have to worry nearly as much about causing themselves an injury. Remember, the older you are, the more cushioning you are going to need. A ten-year-old can get away with a lot less cushioning than a 50-year-old! It’s just a fact of life, and we have to make sure to take care of ourselves. So it is only natural that the heavier shoes that have more arch support and a tongue are probably going to be right for those that are advancing in age or have joint problems. Ultimately it comes down to the type of player you are and the level of comfort you want. If you want comfort, stability, and speed, you are going to have to pay a high premium for it!
Purpose and Specific Use
Why must be purchase squash shoes for squash you ask? The answer is that they are specifically designed to be worn on the specific court that squash is played on. While it is true that squash shoes can also be called “volleyball” or “indoor court” shoes- they look a lot like volleyball and indoor soccer shoes– it is important to wear only these when playing squash. Regular running shoes will not suffice for squash. The reason may seem puzzling, but when we look back to all of the things we have discussed before, we can see why. Running shoes are meant to propel you FORWARD. One of my pairs of running shoes has a curved point at the front of the shoe. This is there to help you drive off as you run forward. However, if you were to put them to use in an activity where you are driving off your feet from side to side, this can cause you to fall because of that extra little spike. So running shoes or, tennis shoes, even are not a good idea for use on the squash court.
Last-Minute Tips and Tricks
Before we get started, there are a few more tips to keep in mind when making your purchase decision: socks. Socks can be a very important part of the shoe-wearing process. Many socks on the market today are meant to help athletes perform better during their various activities. Some wick sweat, some cushion you, and others provide comfort. There are numerous uses for socks, so look for socks that will help you in your application.
If you do buy a pair of shoes that aren’t 100% right (but are like 90% or better), then a good pair of socks that meet your purpose might just do the trick for you. Keep a lookout for socks that have some sort of arch support. This can be big in squash because most shoes tend to have low-arches in the back. This can lead to wear and tear depending on how you wear your shoes, so these socks can help you a tremendous deal by preventing pain or possibly even plantar fasciitis pain! Going right along with this are insoles. Insoles can also give you added comfort or protection. They can either be mass-produced, gel fitted to your feet, or specially molded for just your feet. These, too, can also help you reach a 100% satisfaction level so that you are ready to hit the court with absolutely no worries or concerns.
One thing that I have learned about Squash is that there are a number of companies out there making court shoes that you have to choose from. In many sports, you usually see two or three big companies take over the market. This is, unfortunately, the case with soccer. It is frustrating when this happens because it becomes difficult to find true differences in each pair of shoes. With squash, you have so many companies out there working to help you. Some of them are better at doing certain things than others. This is a great thing! It means that you have tons of options to help alleviate any issues that you may be having when you play this great game! So keep looking because there is an answer to every problem out there. With the right combination of shoe, insert and sock, you are going to be looking great, feeling comfortable, and playing well!
Best Squash Shoe Reviews
Coming in a wide range of colors, these Asics shoes will help you stand out on the courts while also providing you the great traction for a great value. They’re at the top of our list for a reason. They’re loved by millions and offer the performance of a court shoe, have one of the most iconic industry brands behind them, and offer it all for an affordable price point. For a moderate price, these shoes will last you some while, as they are synthetic, and have been shown to help those with joint problems as well!
They feature a forefoot GEL cushioning system which reduces shock on the impact phase of each stride, and the proprietary Truss Tic system Technology reduces the weight of the outsole while retaining all the support qualities and integrity of the structure of the shoe. These also have the ability to support a wider foot, so definitely take a look at these.
The adidas Stabil Bounce is one of the most unique shoes on our list. It’s officially a “handball” shoe but it’s meant for EXACTLY the same conditions as one would want a squash shoe for. Furthermore, it’s one of adidas’ top-selling shoes for squash. The shoe is ultra-breathable and with TPU overlays you’ll have durability. Durability is especially important for this shoe since it has a “sock-like” fit and construction. A beautiful external heel-counter is included in the carefully-engineered construction and two-row lacing provides a really snug locked-in fit. The Bounce technology in the midsoles provides unparalleled comfort while the active elastic cells in the midsole cushion AND propel the foot when it lands. The energy return is ample, and it actually feels bouncy.
This shoe truly offers the maximum return of energy for a minimum effort (if that’s possible!)
The Head Sonic 2000 Mid Indoor Court shoe carries with it one of the best name brands in the court sports industry. There’s lots of breathable mesh (especially on the tongue) and synthetic leather to offer stability and ventilation. There’s a pre-molded heel counter (internal) that adds to the stability factor, and of course, it includes a non-marking outsole. Finally, an EVA midsole helps soften and absorb shock on landings. Here’s one of the better offerings we feature!
These shoes have a classic black and white look with the normal gum rubber on the bottom. They are made from lightweight synthetic and nubuck, which is a form of cowhide leather, that looks like suede. There’s a removable EVA sock liner and of course a super light EVA midsole. These have a traditional tongue like everyday shoes, so that will probably be a feature that will appeal to a lot of folks who are looking for something predictable in a lightweight performance shoe.
Hi-Tec is a very able brand in this industry and I’ve personally owned 2 pairs over the years, with great success! This shoe fits a bit wide in the middle, but a tight lace job will solve that, and they will break-in to your foot better than most shoes. The accolades for comfort are plentiful on Amazon, and by the sheer number of reviews and the quality of reviews, it’s not hard to see that these shoes are popular and of good quality. However, prices vary wildly based on the popularity of the size. Some cost $45 while others cost $150! What’s with that?
right off the bat Salming proves that they have to have the coolest-looking shoes on the market. Now, these may be too much for your club, but they sure are flashy! These are gecko green, and they also have an eye-catching circle toward the very back of the sole toward your arch that will give you increased traction on the court. They are worn by 2/3 of the world’s top 30 squash players, and as such, you are going to pay for the quality!
Harrow comes in with a pair of yellow and black shoes that will help you stand out on the court (just a little, anyway!), or you can opt for the grey/white color combo that’s a whole lot more subtle. These shoes are available at a very low price starting, so they are worth a look for any beginner. They have nubuck in the top of the toes to help the toe-dragging player get more durability out of his/her shoes as well as breathable mesh and synthetics to help give you comfort and stability.
The Gel Blast 5 fall into the category of “you can’t go wrong with these”. I say that because Asics consistently gets the highest (I mean THE HIGHEST!) reviews of all court shoes online – PERIOD! The Gel Blast 5 court shoes are not only made for a variety of sports like volleyball, badminton and racquetball, but they truly are a “master of all”, and for squash, it’s one of the best performers. I’ve owned over a dozen Asics during my years of varsity volleyball, so I know first hand!
Ultimate stability, personalized memory foam and Wet Grip Outsole (for traction even with some moisture like a spilled water bottle or sweat) are just standard in one of the world’s best court shoes!
Salming comes with a premium price, but more than a few folks are convinced they are worth it. Here’s a design that will probably infuriate some– and a price that likely will turn a few heads. These are designed for very high-level players and they are priced as a premium shoe. But they differ so much from the other products we’ve seen, as they have a nylon/polyester blend on the upper part of the shoes. They even have anti-bacterial insoles in them. Features like a forefoot rebound foam and a roll bar are just a sampling of premium features that work towards justifying a $170-ish price point. Aside from cost, one trade-off for getting this great combination of comfort, feel, performance and speed is the fact that they are probably going to wear out more quickly!
A popular racket company, HEAD, finally makes the list at #10 with this classic-looking squash shoe. This shoe features Head’s cooling system and it’s HyBrasion Technology (you gotta love all the proprietary words for “new tech” all the shoe companies are inventing!). The cooling system basically involves providing maximum breathability and air flow by absorbing heat and releasing excess heat build-up. That sounds like black magic and I’m not sure how they do that, but if it’s true, I’m all in! The HyBrasion Technology refers to the rubber compound placed in high stress/abrasion areas of the outsole. Toe drag resistance is what it was meant to address perfectly, and it provides maximum wear resistance on any surface.
You Have the Shoes, Now What About Inserts?