Squash. A game that requires intelligence, quick movements, and constant activity. Because of that, footwear becomes paramount to not only how well you do in the game but also for how you will end up doing off the court as well. Without a good pair of shoes, you could find yourself injured, or you could find yourself in a bad situation socially as someone will have a big problem with you and the way you have acted. Today, we are going to take a look at the most popular squash shoes out there at the moment, and we will break down what makes them good and bad. We’ll also help you figure out what you are looking for in our buying guide while answering any questions that you might have about the game and the shoes that are needed to play the game.
Top Squash Shoes Comparison Chart
|1. Adidas Men’s Barricade Club||Men||$$$$|
|2. Salming Viper 3.0 Men’s Squash Shoes||Men||$$|
|3. Asics Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF MT||Men||$$$|
|4. HEAD Men’s Grid 2.0 Indoor Court Shoes||Men||$$|
|5. Asics Women’s Gel-Rocket 8||Women||$$$|
|6. Salming Kobra Women’s Court Shoes||Women||$$$$|
|7. Asics Women’s Upcourt 2||Women||$$$|
|8. Adidas Women’s Originals Crazyflight Bounce 2||Women||$$$$|
Squash Shoes Buying Guide
Squash Dress and Ediquette
Before we start, we are going to talk about squash etiquette. We referred to it briefly in the intro, but we need to expand upon it so that you can get a firm grasp on the situation. Squash, like golf and tennis, are games that require a certain amount of etiquette and decorum. This is not the wild, wild west. The courts used to play squash are small, so every inch of the court is needed. Therefore, it is expected and traditionally demanded that you do not wear your court shoes into the court for any reason. At some big gyms and clubs, this is a very strict rule that can get you kicked out. If you wear your shoes in off the street, you will have all kinds of dirt, oils, and grime on them. This gets laid down on the court, and bam, you’re on the ground injured.
But even worse than that is the fact you could injure someone else, whether it is your playing partner or another person later on. Now, some people will clean them off as best as they can when they get there, and that is better than nothing, but you should really never be wearing them out anyway. It compromises your performance and your safety when you take a risk like that. Invest in a gym bag, it will save you so much trouble. Apart from that, the other thing is to make sure to have a non-marking shoe. It’s safe to say that almost all shoes marked for squash are not going to leave a mark on the floor, but just to be safe you should check to make sure. Lastly, never wear shoes that aren’t for squash to play. Chances are, you have been walking around in them and can ruin the court, as we have already discussed. So just steer clear of it because grip is a very sought after commodity in the game.
Quick Aside: Because of the issue with marking the court, a lot of gyms are nervous about black colored soles. While most will let you get away with it as long as they say that they are non-marking, it can be an issue. So it might be better for you to steer clear of that if you know of any potential issues.
As with all shoes, getting the best fit possible is a big, big part of the battle. If you are not able to get a good fit, you will be left unhappy and ruing the day you bought those dang shoes. First and foremost, shoes are made, even the really good ones, for large swathes of people. They’ll never be a perfect fit made just for you unless you make it big and go to one of the big companies and demand that they make one for you. So it’s always a balancing act to get the best feel possible while nearly sacrificing at least a little bit.
To get the best fit, you need to get your foot measured. This is easier than ever nowadays, and I’m sure there are even apps on your phone that could do this. Knowing your shoe sizes is very helpful, too. Once you have this info, I always suggest going to a store and trying on shoes. If you can start to get a feel for each brand and how they tend to run, then you can get an idea on what to order and at what size. If you have wide feet, you might notice that brand ‘X’ happens to run very narrow. You might find that brand ‘Y’ has a tongue that restricts you. Little stuff like that make a world of difference with your choices. The thing to keep in mind is to make sure you have a good thumb between the toes and the end of the shoes. If you don’t, you are just asking for it because…
Squash is notoriously tough on the ankles. Anyone that looks online for a few minutes about the game will find out that swelling of the ankles and feet is a big problem that is asked about. Because of that, you need to make sure you aren’t pushing the shoes right to the very limit. If you aren’t comfortable when you try on a pair of shoes, there is absolutely zero point zero percent chance that you will feel good while playing. Eve if you are ordered online and received them and feel like this, you need to send them back, even if you are paying the fee to return them. Your feet will thank you if you take the time to try on shoes when you are either after you have been active or toward the end of the day. This will give you a much better read on what they will feel like when you are playing and have stood on them for a while, cutting to the sides and moving back and forth to return shots to your playing partner.
So, to summarize. What you are looking for is a good, stable feel that allows you some freedom of movement. You don’t want to have too much of it, because your feet will slide up and down in your shoes, which can cause blisters and other issues. You also don’t want them to be too tightly fit because it can create hotspots as well. The heel area is important. If you don’t feel like you are secured there, then there is a problem with the heel of the shoe or the laces which are meant to snugly secure you. All of these things contribute to giving you the right feel.
Feet Temperature & Breathability
Once you hit the court, comfort doesn’t just pertain to the feel of the shoe on your foot. It also is very much dependent on how well your foot are able to air out. This is where breathability comes into play. Breathability is a big word that just refers to whether or not your shoes have a mechanism for airing out moisture. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is, especially to those of us that play a lot. If you are a heavy sweater, you will know that this is even worse for you. As you play, you sweat and you start to feel both slick and heavier. This is not very helpful in a sport where you need to be quick and agile.
Therefore, finding shoes that have breathable materials built in is an absolute must. If you have ever played at a closed court, you will know just how hot it can get. Breathable materials, which uses vents with most likely mesh, are the best way to go to keep your temperature down. A lot of people cannot play very well when they are too warm, and this is what will happen to you without something to allow your foot to breath out at least a little bit. Not only can it make it heavier on you, but you can also get bacterial infections as a result of that if you keep on playing. The places where you most commonly will see mesh used is in the toe area, the sides of the shoes, and sometimes on the tongue and other upper parts. Some have more than others built in, but just be aware that usually a ton of mesh means a shoe will be less durable than other shoes. Mesh is very fine and not a strong material, so it can break down quicker than other materials would.
Sole and Heel Traction
We have covered this a little bit before, but we should probably mention it a little more here. Traction in squash is a major component to not only etiquette but also safety and performance. You can have shoes that meet the requirements of your club but still not do you a lick of good on the court when you play. Because of that, we are going to be taking a deep look at what people have to say about each pair we review. If there are any issues with them, we will let you know. Most squash shoes uses what is called “gum rubber” on the soles of the shoes. Gum rubber- which isn’t even really made from rubber and instead is formed from a ‘processing oil’- is almost always a yellow-brownish color, but it can be something else, and it is quite distinctive. You don’t have to look too hard to figure out if it’s gum rubber or not! The same kind of look is present in indoor soccer shoes as well. Gum rubber is really awesome at keeping you on your feet, and it does so without using spikes or anything that some other sports might see used. This compound is about as grippy as it comes for a court-like scenario, meaning it has been used in a variety of court sports footwear for a while now.
Light vs Heavy Shoes
Let’s say that you are a new squash player that has bad knees. What are you to do? On one hand, you want to be as light and quick as possible. But on the other you’d love to have as much support as you can. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get everything. So, this section is going to explain the trade offs you get with being light and being heavy. The lighter the shoe is, the quicker in general you are going to be able to be. A lot of people underestimate how much a couple ounces make on each shoe, but the difference is profound. You just feel lighter and much, much better.
You’re able to play longer and you have that little extra zip that keeps you going. However, you do lose something with a lighter shoe, and usually the extra protection afforded to you goes first. Typically, a lighter shoe is going to be a low top, for starters. A low top is a shoe that doesn’t offer much in the way of ankle and heel protection and support. A high top, mind you, like basketball players frequently wear, would be the opposite of this.
A heavier shoe, then is most likely going to have a lot of support. If you are a heavier person, or if you have issues with your knees, ankles, heels, and/or feet, this is the best way in which you could go. Provided, of course, that the shoe does have a lot more support. If you ever run across a shoe that is heavy but doesn’t have good support, you should walk away from it. It will just weigh you down on the court and make you feel sluggish, causing you to lose point after point. Unlike the world of basketball, you just don’t see a lot of high top squash shoes, so you should be looking for mid tops- which are a cross of the two- if you want more protection for your ankles and heels. All things being equal, if you have identical shoes that give the same comfort, support, and performance, then you should go with the lighter of the two out of principle.
Shock absorption is a big thing in the world of sports today, and that is no different when it comes to squash. Even in the world of casual shoes, we are seeing more and more shock absorbing qualities used than ever before. In addition to that, there are things like energy return, which seeks to either help give you your energy back or to make sure that you don’t sap out as much, that also help you. These sorts of things are just as important as finding a shoe that has a comfortable insert inside. A comfy insert is great, it makes you feel like you are walking on pillows on top of the clouds. But that alone doesn’t get you anywhere, does it?
It’s what is underneath you that plays a much more important role. You could feel great and comfy the whole time you play a match with your friend yet you go home with your feet hurting and being to be kicked up on the couch. Why is that? Was it the insert’s fault? Of course not. It was either a lack of support or protection. Maybe they had no ability whatsoever to minimize the shocks to the body. While you aren’t going to be jumping around like a bad man as you’d be doing in basketball or in the gym, you still are standing and shuffling front and back, occasionally pushing off one foot or the other. This adds up quickly and takes a toll on the body. Not having a responsive shoe will cause you end up feeling the pain later on, even if you don’t notice it right away as you are playing.
The best way to judge this is to wear the shoes for yourself. Some people love a lack of support, because they feel lighter and they feel closer to the ground. But most people love a lot of it. Since we don’t want you to have to wait to find out how good- or bad- each pair are until you have already bought them, we’ll make sure to do the research for you and let you know if any of the pairs in our review have issues with a lack of support or if they don’t absorb shocks very well.
Before we begin our list, a quick word. We will be splitting it into men’s and women’s options. This will make it easier to find a style you like, and it will keep the ladies from getting shoes that are too heavy on their feet! Also, if you see a shoe marked for volleyball, don’t just assume it is of no use. Court shoes have a ton of versatility to them, and as long as they have gum rubber, you should be good to go!
Best Mens Squash Shoe Reviews
Adidas Men’s Barricade Club
Coming in a range of great looking colors, the Adidas Barricade is a great option for the court for a number of reasons. One of the big reasons they are so great is the very thick rubber sole of the shoe that they use. This carries over to the front of the shoe, where the toe area has a lot of grip on it, meaning you will be able to push off well into your shots throughout your match. In the insole of the shoe, Adidas uses its ‘Adiprene’ heel cushion to give you great arch support. It takes that Adiprene and combines it with a toe to heel cup to do this, making you feel so much better both during and after. The Torsion system Adidas uses helps the shoe retain its shape as you lunge without making you lose your balance or stability. Also, despite their status as a low top, they are good for the ankles in terms of support as well meaning they will give you all-around coverage protection. The biggest issues with these shoes begin with the price, which is higher than many people would want to pay. Another problem you might have is with the laces, which are designed differently than some are used to having and can create frustration. Lastly, the sole of some of the shoes can be black, so that might create too much fuss at your club to deal with.
- Top notch looks
- Great support
- Toe made to push off on
- Price is pretty high
- Laces can be frustrating
- Some have black soles
Salming Viper 3.0 Men’s Squash Shoes
If you are looking for a shoe that is lightweight and durable, then this is the shoe you might want to look at provided that you don’t mind paying a little bit extra money. Another thing you might not like is the lack of mesh, which can make you overheat. That is where the extra durability comes in because instead of using it, they have gone with leather and fabric. Leather is a premium feel, while the fabric contributes to make the shoes durable, meaning that they can be lightweight and also durable at the same time, all without using mesh. It’s just a by-product, and one that some people will love and others will just hate.
Like the ladies Salming, you get a lot of the same great qualities, including the heel cup that is ergonomically fitted to you to reduce slipping inside of the shoes. The exoskeleton design they have used helps the foot not only during lateral movements but also helps to reduce the amount of pressure put on the foot joints, something that is sure to leave you happy over the long haul. The rollbar is included in this premium pair as well, so that is another thing that will leave you happy with them. The last thing to mention is the crazy looks of the shoes. They are very flashy, which might or might not be your cup of tea.
- Lightweight and durable
- Has the awesome heel cup
- Great laterally
- Hefty price
- Design might not be to your liking
- Not as breathable due to lack of mesh
Asics Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF MT
If you really want and need a pair of squash shoes to make you feel better about your ankles, then this mid top design from Asics could be just what you are looking for. Sporting a truly mid top these shoes will lock you in and make sure to support you better than most out there will be able to. As such, though, you can expect them to be slightly heavier than other options, so choose accordingly. Inside the shoe is, you guessed it, Asics’ very own gel cushioning system.
Joining it is its flyteform midsole, which helps the shoe be more lightweight than with other materials and also very responsive, which just means you are going to be able to spring off of your toes quicker and get to shots you might not have been able to reach before. The insole also is laced with an ortholite sockliner, which is super comfy and meant to also give you cushion and support on the upper and sides of the foot while you play.
This can be taken for granted by some players, but once you don’t have it you will really notice it and miss it. They also seem to run quite wide, meaning unless you happen to have very wide feet, you should be able to have plenty of room in them to fit you. The price is a little bit high, though not as bad as the previous one from Salming, so just keep that in mind. Some of the soles have a little black on them, too, which can be a hindrance.
- True mid top supports ankle
- Comfy inside
- Nice amount of room
- A little pricey
- Heavier because of added material
- Has a little black on the soles
HEAD Men’s Grid 2.0 Indoor Court Shoes
Because they are one of racket sports’ biggest suppliers of clothing and equipment, Head makes the list and is no shock at all. The first thing that you might note about them is that they don’t have the greatest of aesthetics to them. Especially the whites ones, which scream retired gentleman’s shoes. Other than that, these shoes have a lot of pluses. The upper is made from a combo of synthetics and mesh, giving you a lot of durability and breathability at the same time.
The sole uses rubber, but the highlight of that is its HyBrasion technology. This tech is used to make the high stress areas of the shoe more averse to ripping and taking on wear, which in turn helps increase the life of the shoe. The toe area has a pronounced guard to with plenty of grip, giving you the chance to move off your toes and into action in a moment’s notice while keeping full balance. The cooling system is another big thumbs up, working to absorb and release moisture that might come into contact with it. These shoes do not have the best of arch support to them, so if you aren’t a medium arched person, you might want to stay away. After a lot of play, the sole will start to separate, so just know that they will not last forever. They are also stiff, which can be good but also gives you a lack of some flexibility.
- Soles are durable
- Great grip on the toes
- Excellent cooling
- Lots of play makes the sole tear
- Lack of flexibility
- Plain looks
Best Womens Squash Shoe Reviews
Asics Women’s Gel-Rocket 8
If it is outside of the purview of the ‘bigger’ team sports, then chances are that Asics are right in there, and that is the case here. Asics, first and foremost, have long had a commitment to making comfortable shoes, and they accomplish that through their gel cushioning system. In this particular pair, they do it in the forefoot, which not only makes you feel good wearing them but also keeps up you healthy by absorbing the shocks when you push off on them.
The trusstic technology they have used to construct the shoe means that it will keep its structure while reducing the overall weight of the shoe, which is a huge plus. Unlike a lot of Asics, the aesthetics are top-notch, with none being as nice as the Carolina blue offering. At an entry level price, you really can’t beat this shoe because it is light, fairly stable, great looking, and it also has their awesome gel system.
The negative about this particular shoe has to be the lack of flexibility that it has. The trusstic system does a good job, but it also brings rigidity to it, making it stiffer than some would like for it to be. Another issue is the fact that it doesn’t have a lot of support in the arches, which means if you are flat footed you’d really be in trouble.
- Great looks
- Gel cushioning is exceptional
- Stable trusstics
- Lack of arch support
- Not a lot of flexibility afforded
Salming Kobra Women’s Court Shoes
As one of the leaders in the court shoe industry, it is no surprise at all to see Salming come into the list. This pair of shoes, despite being pretty expensive, has an awful lot going for it for the very dedicated and serious player. For starters, they have ‘rebound energy foam’ in the forefoot of the shoe that gives better energy return and bounce than normal EVA ones. They’ve also used got a torsion guide system installed in them to help give you extra stability and flexibility to make you feel as if you are not wearing a shoe at all.
The heel has a ‘cup’ that ergonomically is shaped to your foot, and it is will help lock you in and make you more secure as it is longer than the average one you’ll find elsewhere on the market. In the upper, they combine leather over the toe and a guard on it to make sure that it will last in what is the part of the shoe that typically takes the biggest beating of all. The rollbar feature is quite an impressive one as well, serving to prevent too much torsion, while the band on the outsole works to give you great lateral support as you move from one side to the other. Other than the price, which is far from entry level, it’s hard to find an issue with these shoes.
- Heel cup enhances play
- Great support laterally
- Energy returned
- Quite a steep price to pay
Asics Women’s Upcourt 2
A second shoe from Asics, the Upcourt 2 is another one that is more in line with a player that has to stay within a much smaller budget. Like the previous Asics product on the list, this is a shoe that has above average looks for the brand. Also like the other one, it has the same sort of issues. If you have flat feet or even high arches, you won’t see a ton of arch support with these, meaning that you will need to either bring over your own pair of inserts to put into them or steer clear. Still, though, they can save you a lot of money even if you do choose to bring over orthotics in the mix.
Like nearly all Asics, it has the patented Gel cushioning in the rear of the foot that they are so well known for having. The upper of these does a good job at airing you out with mesh, while also keeping you as durable as they can with synthetic leathers being used. The traction is one of their main calling cards, too, so you will not be let down by them in that regard! These are even lighter than the two pairs we have looked at before as well, so you might expect them to have less support. They definitely have durability issues resulting from that fact, so it will have to be something that you have to consider. The other problem for them is that they tend to run large, making sizing an issue for some customers out there.
- Great price for those on a budget
- Gel cushioning as always
- Very light
- Not as durable as heavier options
- Size runs large
- Not great for high arches or flat footed players
Adidas Women’s Originals Crazyflight Bounce 2
As ever, Adidas are not ones to let you down with their designs and color schemes, and this pair lives up to the hype in a very big way. In the back, you will notice that this pair is effectively a mid top, so that will give you a little bit more support and protection if you have ever had ankle problems before. Another thing that is very apparent from looking at them is the use of mesh.
There is a lot of it in the upper and on the sides of them, making them able to air you out a lot better than many shoes out there. The insole is laced with the trademark Bounce cushioning system that has become so popular and prevalent in all kinds of different Adidas models. It also serves to give you added flexibility, which is never a bad thing for squash. The rubber outsole that they have used is lined with asymmetrical patterns in order to help give you not only the best grip and control but also to help you move to the sides as effortlessly as possible.
The laces used a lockdown system, which means they will a whole lot easier to tie and keep in place, while making you feel snug and secure during play. One of the problems you might run into is with the size, which is a little big. Also, players have found the toe area to be too rigid for them, which rolls over to the final problem. That being that they are a little heavier than most others, which can be a bad thing for a smaller player.
- Mid top for ankle support
- Rubber sole uses asymmetrical patterns for grip
- Top of the line looks
- Sizing issues
- Kind of heavy
- Toes are rigid
Conclusion & Final Squash Shoe Recommendations
Getting on the court and playing squash is a very fun and freeing experience, and once you have started to play it is hard to stop. However, without the right shoe to support you, you will find it tough to continue on. Many people run into this problem and seek an answer. Today, we have looked into the things that you need to know revolving around this great game. We’ve looked at the complex etiquette problems, the specific challenges that the game presents that others that similar do not, and we have look at pairs that will help you respond to your own needs. Getting the correct shoes has never been easier, but sometimes the selection can be so large that is tough. Thankfully, we have waded through and helped you. If you need any further help, look below for frequently asked questions that will help you on your way!
FAQ’s About Squash Shoes
Can I Use My Squash Shoes For Other Sports?
The answer to this is a yes, but there are some other things to consider. Most shoes that are good for squash will convert over very well to other racket and/or court sports. However, it’s not a good idea to wear them on an outdoor court because of all of the dirt and stuff that can get on them. So, unless it’s another indoor sport, of which there are some, you might not want to use them.
How Long Will My Squash Shoes Last?
This all depends on the type of player you are and how hard on shoes you are. For players that play for fun or just every now and then, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see your shoes last a year or two, maybe even more, if used properly. If you are dedicated and play three times every week, then this is probably going to be considerably less. You might have them last a season or so, but then you will need a new pair. You’ve also got to consider how hard you wear shoes. Some people are just really bad on shoes, so if you are one of those people you might end up halving those estimations.
Do I Need to Keep Two Pairs at Once?
This isn’t necessary unless you just so happen to be a player that is at the top level, or you are aspiring to get there one day. Top tier players usually will have two pairs, if not more, and they will use them for only practice or only for games. That way, the ultra nice ones that are meant to aid in performance don’t get bruised up every single day. If you find yourself playing a lot of matches and tournaments, then this might be a good idea for you. A lot of times, but not always, match shoes are better overall but lack durability, while practice shoes will last much longer but are a little bulkier. So there are some valid reasons you’d go with two pairs.
When Do I Know to Replace My Squash Shoes?
Replacing squash shoes might be a chore for you. Let’s face it, we all want to save money, no matter who we are and where we come from. But if you are starting to notice a change in your footwear, it’s probably time to consider a new pair of shoes. The first thing I suggest is to just evaluate how you feel. Are you getting the same amount of support and comfort that you got on Day 1? If the answer is no, and you are starting to get pains in your feet or ankles, then you have a problem. This will eventually cause a serious injury if you let it keep happening. Outside of that, you can also look at the shoe itself. Are the outsoles (the part on the very edges on the outside) coming apart? If you see peeling, this is a sign that you need to change. Another sign is if you see holes forming. Tears are never good, and this is a true sign that tells you that you must change.
When Do I Need to Clean My Squash Shoes?
Cleaning your squash shoes should be done whenever it is needed. A good idea for general practice would be to simply clean them after each session of play. By doing that, you don’t allow the dirt to build up and make it a terrible task. You should also clean them if you find yourself slipping around too much. The sooner the better off you will be in either case.