What to Wear to Play Pickleball: A Guide To Getting Started

Importance of Proper Pickleball Attire

New pickleball players might wonder what to wear to play pickleball.

When deciding what to wear, think about:

  • Wear a top and bottom that allow you to move freely and comfortably. Pickleball involves a lot of running, jumping, and quick movement in different directions, so you don’t want to wear clothing that’s too tight or doesn’t wick sweat.
  • If you’re playing on outdoor courts, you want to wear something that’s appropriate for the weather and if you’re playing on indoor courts, you want to wear something that’s suitable for indoor pickleball courts.
Importance of Proper Pickleball Attire

When it comes to playing pickleball, proper pickleball apparel and the right pickleball shoes are essential.

Not only will the right pickleball outfits help you feel comfortable and confident on the court, but the right pickleball shoes can also help your performance and help prevent injuries.

Here are 3 reasons why wearing the right clothes and the right pair of pickleball shoes matters:

  • Flexibility: Pickleball requires a lot of movement, including running, jumping, and pivoting. Wearing clothing that is comfortable and allows you to move easily is important. A tight pair of shorts is sure to cause an embarrassing rip in the seams as you reach for that somewhat out-of-reach ball with your pickleball paddle.
  • Breathability: Pickleball is a high-intensity sport that can cause you to sweat. Wearing breathable clothing made from materials like polyester or nylon can help wick away moisture and keep you cool and dry. Look for labels that state they are moisture-wicking
  • Support: Pickleball involves a lot of lateral movement, which can put a strain on your feet and ankles. Wearing court shoes with good support and traction can help prevent injuries and provide stability on the court. Wearing good tennis shoes is a good option.

General Guidelines for Pickleball Attire

What to wear playing pickleball


When it comes to pickleball attire, the best pickleball clothes are comfortable. You want to wear clothing that allows you to move freely and doesn’t restrict your range of motion.

This means avoiding clothing that is too tight or too loose. Clothing that is too tight can restrict your movement, while clothing that is too loose can get in the way and be distracting.

Choose clothing that is made from soft, breathable fabrics. This will help keep you cool and comfortable, even during intense matches.

Avoid clothing made from heavy materials or fabrics that don’t breathe well, as this can lead to overheating and discomfort.


Pickleball requires a lot of movement, including running, jumping, and quick changes of direction so it’s important to wear clothing that is flexible and allows for a full range of motion.

Look for clothing made from stretchy materials that move with you. This will help you stay comfortable and avoid any restrictions on your movement.

Choose clothing that is designed specifically for athletic activities. This type of clothing is typically made from stretchy, flexible materials that are designed to move with you. Avoid clothing that is too stiff or doesn’t allow for a full range of motion.


Pickleball can be a physically demanding sport, and you’re likely to work up a sweat during a match. To stay comfortable, it’s important to wear clothing that is breathable and allows for good airflow.

Look for clothing made from lightweight, breathable materials that allow sweat to evaporate quickly. This will help you stay cool and dry.

Consider wearing clothing with ventilation features, such as mesh panels or perforations. This can help improve airflow and keep you cool and comfortable.

Pickleball Clothing

what to wear playing pickleball

Wearing the right clothing when playing a pickleball game is key. Here are some guidelines:


Having the right shoes is crucial for any sport, and pickleball is no exception.

The best pickleball shoes have good support, traction, and stability. Tennis shoes and basketball shoes are your best option.

Avoid running shoes because they’re designed for forward motion and not a side-to-side movement. And ensure the shoes fit well and are comfortable, as you will be moving quickly and making sudden stops with lots of lateral movement.

A court surface, such as a tennis court or gym floor, can be hard on your legs so court shoes with good support and cushion are important.


Don’t overlook the importance of good socks when playing pickleball.

Look for socks that are moisture-wicking and have good cushioning. This will help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry and comfortable during long matches. Avoid cotton socks, as they tend to hold moisture and can cause blisters.

Shorts, Skirts, or Skorts

For both men and women, athletic shorts are a good option. Look for shorts that have a wide, comfortable waistband and enough length that when you reach for a ball they don’t ride up causing some embarrassing exposure!

For women, a tennis skort or pickleball skort is a great option because you have the look of a skirt with the comfort of shorts underneath. In fact, there are some skorts that have built-in compression shorts and this is what I prefer to wear.

Now that pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States, pickleball-specific clothing manufacturers are popping up including companies that make pickleball skorts that are specifically designed for pickleball and have pockets to hold pickleball balls.

Remember to look for materials that are moisture-wicking and breathable, such as polyester or nylon.

Pickleball T-Shirt, Tank Tops, or Long Sleeve Shirt

man playing pickleball

When it comes to tops, choose something lightweight and breathable. Look for materials that are moisture-wicking and have good ventilation, such as polyester or mesh.

A tank top or short sleeve t-shirt is a good choice for both men and women. However, if you’re playing outside and tend to burn in the sun, try wearing a shirt that has long sleeves and is made of moisture-wicking fabric with SPF.

For women, a sports bra makes a huge difference when it comes to comfort when playing racquet sports including pickleball.

Sports bras are a personal choice and different types and styles work for different people.

Some women prefer the type that you pull over your head but I personally find that they roll up and are sticky from sweat which makes getting them off difficult.

Hats or Visors

I’m not a hat-wearing kind of girl. They’re great and many people wear them to keep the sun off their faces and off the top of their heads. But I get too hot wearing a hat.

Yes, odd, I know but I overheat easily and if I can’t have my head exposed, I overheat.

So I wear a visor.

A visor still keeps the sun off my face (which does burn easily even with sunblock) but it also lets my head breathe. But wearing a visor also means that I need to keep the part in my hair covered. A bit of a nuisance but it’s worth it to not overheat.

When looking to buy a hat or visor, look for one that is made with moisture-wicking fabric that will keep sweat from running down your face.

If you’re someone who sweats a lot, try to find a hat or visor that has a sweat absorption band. And making sure that it’s lightweight and breathable is key.

Summary – What to Wear to Play Pickleball: A Comprehensive Guide

Playing pickleball requires comfortable clothing and shoes that allow you to move around the court efficiently. Avoid wearing jeans or any restrictive clothing that can hinder your movement.

Instead, opt for breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics that can keep you cool and dry during the game.

When it comes to shoes, make sure to choose ones with good traction and support. Running shoes or cross-trainers are not recommended since they don’t provide enough lateral support.

Instead, look for shoes specifically designed for court sports, such as tennis or volleyball shoes.

Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

And if you’re playing in colder weather, layer up with warm clothing that still allows you to move freely.

Remember, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing so that you can focus on your game.

By following these simple guidelines, you’ll be ready to hit the court and enjoy the game of pickleball to the fullest.

FAQ – What to Wear to Play Pickleball: A Comprehensive Guide

Does Pickleball have a dress code?

Pickleball doesn’t have a dress code but both serious players and newer players tend to wear athletic clothing made of moisture-wicking material and court shoes which are typically the most comfortable shoes for wearing on a court surface.

Can you wear leggings to play pickleball?

Yes, you can wear a pair of leggings to play pickleball. They’re comfortable and it’s easy to move in them when you need to make quick movements. I see some people wearing leggings on cool mornings and then they switch to shorts once it warms up outside.

What shoes do you wear to play pickleball?

The best pickleball shoes have support for lots of lateral movement and good grip. There aren’t many shoes that are specifically called pickleball shoes but look for tennis shoes, court shoes, or basketball shoes. These types of shoes provide good lateral stability and grip the court surface. When playing indoor pickleball, be sure to buy non-marking indoor shoes.