What to Wear for Pickleball?

As the popularity of pickleball continues to grow, it’s essential for players to understand the nuances of the game, including appropriate attire. Knowing what to wear for pickleball not only ensures your comfort and safety on the court, it also enables optimal performance and fosters a positive playing experience amongst fellow enthusiasts. This comprehensive guide will delve into the key factors to consider when selecting your pickleball attire, encompassing both clothing and footwear suggestions, materials to look for, and various factors to consider when building your perfect pickleball wardrobe.

What to Wear for Pickleball?

For pickleball, wear comfortable athletic clothing made from moisture-wicking materials that allow for ease of movement. Appropriate attire includes a breathable shirt, shorts or athletic pants, moisture-absorbing socks, and shoes specifically designed for court sports with non-marking soles and ample lateral support. Remember to consider factors such as weather conditions, dress codes at local venues, and personal preferences when selecting your pickleball attire.

Importance of Appropriate Attire for Pickleball

Wearing the right attire for pickleball is crucial for several reasons: it ensures safety and comfort on the court, allows for optimal performance, and fosters a positive playing experience. By understanding the various factors to consider when choosing your pickleball attire, you’ll be well-prepared for an enjoyable game. Below, we’ll discuss each element of your pickleball wardrobe in detail, from clothing to footwear, material selections, and other factors to consider.

Clothing Options for Pickleball

The clothes you wear while playing pickleball should be comfortable, breathable, and provide adequate freedom of movement. Let’s break down the various clothing options that cater to these requirements.

Shirts and Tops

A moisture-wicking, breathable shirt is essential for staying cool and comfortable during a game. Opting for a shirt or top made from synthetic materials like polyester or a blend of polyester and spandex will help keep moisture away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate quickly. Avoid cotton shirts, as they tend to absorb sweat, which makes them heavy and uncomfortable during play. If you prefer additional protection from the sun or a little extra coverage, consider wearing a long-sleeved shirt with moisture-wicking properties.

Shorts and Pants

Similar to shirts, the shorts or pants you choose should allow for easy movement, provide ample coverage for your range of motion, and be made from moisture-wicking materials. Shorts made from synthetic fabrics or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers tend to be lightweight and breathable. Athletic pants or leggings are also suitable options, particularly during cooler weather, as long as they are made from moisture-wicking materials that allow for a full range of motion. For added convenience, select shorts or pants with pockets to hold your pickleball and personal items.


High-quality, moisture-absorbing socks should not be overlooked as they play a vital role in your comfort on the court. Sweat-absorbing socks made from synthetic materials or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters. Look for socks with compression support and arch reinforcement for additional comfort and stability during play.

Choosing the Right Footwear for Pickleball

Proper footwear not only provides comfort and support during the game, but it also prevents injuries and ensures optimum performance. As pickleball requires quick lateral movements, the shoes you select should be specifically designed for court sports.

Pickleball Shoes

Shoes specifically designed for pickleball provide essential features, such as lateral support, non-marking soles, and proper cushioning to withstand the quick movements and impact associated with the sport. While you may find dedicated pickleball shoes on the market, options are still limited in comparison to more established court sports. Be sure to choose a shoe that fits your foot type and offers the necessary support and stability for your style of play.

Alternatives to Pickleball Shoes

If you don’t have access to pickleball-specific shoes or prefer a wider variety of options, shoes designed for tennis, badminton, or volleyball can be excellent alternatives. These court shoes provide similar support and features essential for pickleball, without sacrificing quality or performance. Avoid running shoes, as they lack adequate lateral support and may cause injuries due to the differing demands of pickleball.

Material Considerations for Pickleball Attire

When selecting your pickleball wardrobe, the materials that your clothes and shoes are made of play a significant role in your comfort and performance. Opting for appropriate materials will ensure that you remain cool, dry, and focused during a game.

Moisture-Wicking Fabrics

Moisture-wicking fabrics are essential for pickleball clothing, as they keep sweat away from the skin and dissipate it quickly, preventing discomfort during play. Synthetic materials like polyester or a blend of polyester and spandex are ideal choices for moisture-wicking properties. Avoid cotton, as it tends to retain moisture, leading to a heavy and uncomfortable feel on the court.

Breathable Materials

Along with moisture-wicking properties, breathable materials help regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating during play. Mesh panels and vents in clothing can improve airflow, further enhancing breathability for optimal performance on the court. Additionally, materials that offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) sun protection can be beneficial for outdoor play.

Weather Considerations

The weather conditions under which you play pickleball can significantly impact your choice of attire. To ensure optimal comfort and performance, consider these factors for varying weather conditions.

Warm Weather Attire

For playing in warm or hot conditions, lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable clothing is essential. Light-colored clothing can also help reflect the sun’s rays, keeping you cooler during play. Don’t forget to wear a hat or visor and apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Additionally, bring a towel to wipe away sweat and maintain a secure grip on your paddle.

Cold Weather Attire

For cooler weather, wear moisture-wicking clothing and consider layering for warmth. Start with a base layer of moisture-wicking fabric, followed by an insulating layer, such as a long-sleeved shirt or fleece pullover. If necessary, add a wind-resistant, breathable outer layer for added protection. Also, wear thermal socks to keep your feet warm, and consider a hat or beanie to retain body heat. Remember to adjust your clothing layers as needed to regulate your body temperature during play.

Personal Preferences and Dress Codes

While the functional aspects of pickleball attire are important, personal preferences and local dress codes should always be considered when choosing your wardrobe for the game. This will ensure that you feel comfortable, confident, and well-prepared on the court.

Personal Style

Your personal style is an important factor when selecting your pickleball attire. Choose clothing and footwear that reflect your preferences and boost your confidence during play. Feel free to express yourself through various colors, patterns, and designs while prioritizing comfort and functionality.

Dress Codes

Some pickleball facilities may have specific dress code requirements, such as mandating collared shirts or prohibiting certain types of clothing. Familiarize yourself with the rules of your local venue and ensure your attire complies with any regulations to avoid any difficulties during play.

Accessorizing for Pickleball Success

Accessories can complement your attire, enhance your performance, and further personalize your pickleball experience. Incorporating the right accessories into your game provides additional convenience, protection, and style.

Sun Protection

When playing outdoors, sun protection is crucial. A hat or visor can help shield your face, while sunglasses with proper UV protection can guard your eyes from harmful rays. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed skin, and consider clothing with built-in UPF protection for additional coverage.

Paddle Grips and Overgrips

Perspiration from your hands can become problematic during a game, making it difficult to maintain a secure grip on your pickleball paddle. Paddle grips or overgrips can help absorb sweat, improve your grip, and reduce vibrations, ensuring greater control and performance. Choose a grip that feels comfortable and suits your personal style and preferences.

Braces and Compression Gear

Braces and compression gear can enhance support and stability while playing pickleball. Wearing a knee, ankle, or wrist brace can provide added support and protection if you have a history of injuries or joint instability. Compression gear, such as sleeves or socks, can assist in circulation, alleviate muscle stiffness, and reduce the risk of injury during play.

Final Thoughts on Pickleball Attire

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of what to wear for pickleball, you can confidently build your ideal pickleball wardrobe. Prioritizing comfort, functionality, and personal style will ensure that you can perform at your best while enjoying the game. Always keep in mind the weather conditions, local dress codes, and the various materials and accessories available to create the perfect attire for every game on the court.

Additional Tips for Pickleball Wardrobe Success

Now that we have extensively covered the essential pieces for a well-rounded pickleball attire, let’s touch upon some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind for a complete pickleball wardrobe experience.

Proper Care for Pickleball Clothing

Extending the life of your pickleball wardrobe depends significantly on how you care for your clothing and accessories. Improper washing and drying can cause damage to moisture-wicking properties, reduce elasticity, and lead to premature wear and tear. Follow these maintenance tips to ensure the longevity of your pickleball wardrobe:

Laundry Tips

Always follow the washing instructions on the labels of your pickleball clothing. Washing clothes in cold water can help maintain their moisture-wicking properties and prevent color fading. Similarly, avoid using fabric softeners, as they can negatively affect the breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities of synthetic materials.

Drying Tips

Avoid high heat when drying your pickleball clothing, as it can reduce elasticity and cause shrinkage. Instead, opt for air drying or using a tumble dryer on a low heat setting.

Storage Tips

When storing your pickleball clothes, ensure they are fully dry to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Store them in a cool, dry place, and avoid direct sunlight to minimize discoloration.

Building Your Pickleball Wardrobe on a Budget

Creating a functional and stylish pickleball wardrobe does not need to be expensive. If you are building your wardrobe on a budget or simply want to save money, consider these cost-effective solutions:

Utilize Sales, Discounts, and Coupons

Take advantage of sales, discounts, and coupons to purchase pickleball attire at reduced prices. Check online or in-store for periodic promotions and sale events at your favorite sports retailers.

Buy in Bulk

Purchasing essential items like shirts, shorts, or socks in bulk can lead to significant savings. Consider investing in multi-pack options or coordinating with friends or teammates to make a larger purchase together, qualifying for bulk discounts or reduced shipping fees.

Invest in Versatile Clothing

Opt for versatile clothing options that can be utilized for other sports or activities, maximizing your usage and value. Choose high-quality, durable clothing that will last longer, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Additional Clothing Recommendations for Female Players

Female pickleball players may have specific needs or preferences when it comes to their attire. Here are a few additional recommendations to consider:

Sports Bras

Wearing a supportive sports bra is essential for female pickleball players. Choose a sports bra made from moisture-wicking materials and offering adequate support based on your level of activity and personal preferences.


A skort, a combination of shorts and a skirt, is another versatile option for female players. Skorts provide the stylish appearance of a skirt while allowing for the full range of motion that comes with shorts. Select a skort made from moisture-wicking materials and featuring built-in shorts for added functionality and comfort.

With these additional tips in mind, you will be well-equipped to build and maintain the perfect pickleball attire that meets your needs, preferences, and budget!

FAQ: Pickleball Attire-Related Questions

In this section, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and concise answers regarding pickleball attire. These FAQS will address common concerns and help clarify any remaining uncertainties you may have about choosing the perfect clothing and footwear for the game.

1. Can I wear my regular workout clothes for pickleball?

As long as your workout clothes are comfortable, allow for a full range of motion, and are made from moisture-wicking materials, they should be suitable for pickleball. However, consider investing in sports-specific apparel for added functionality and durability.

2. Why should I avoid cotton clothing for pickleball?

Cotton clothing tends to retain moisture, which can become heavy and uncomfortable during play. Choose moisture-wicking materials like polyester or blends to ensure comfort and breathability on the court.

3. Can I wear running shoes for pickleball?

Running shoes typically do not provide optimal lateral support and are not recommended for pickleball. Choose court shoes or shoes designed for other court sports, like tennis or badminton, which offer better lateral support and non-marking soles.

4. How should I protect my eyes while playing pickleball outdoors?

Wear sunglasses with proper UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful sunrays as well as prevent irritation caused by glare during outdoor play.

5. How do I know if a shoe has a non-marking sole?

Non-marking soles can typically be identified by their lighter, often translucent colors. You can also perform a quick test by pressing the sole against a smooth, hard surface and twisting. If it doesn’t leave a mark, it’s a non-marking sole.

6. How important is it to wear moisture-absorbing socks for pickleball?

Moisture-absorbing socks play a critical role in keeping your feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free during play. Opt for socks made from synthetic materials or a blend of fibers for maximal moisture absorption.

7. What clothing options are suitable for female pickleball players?

Female players can opt for sports bras for adequate support, moisture-wicking shirts or tops, shorts, pants, leggings, or skorts as comfortable and functional attire options.

8. Can I wear compression gear while playing pickleball?

Yes, compression gear such as sleeves or socks can provide support, improve circulation, reduce muscle stiffness, and lower the risk of injury during play.

9. What type of hat or visor is best for sun protection during outdoor play?

Choose a hat or visor made from moisture-wicking, breathable materials and with a wide brim or bill to shield your face from the sun.

10. How do I dry my pickleball clothing without damaging it?

Avoid high heat when drying your pickleball clothing. Opt for air drying or using a tumble dryer on a low heat setting to prevent damage to the fabric and maintain elasticity.

11. How can I save money while building my pickleball wardrobe?

Utilize sales, discounts, and coupons, buy in bulk, and invest in versatile clothing options to save money while building your pickleball wardrobe.

12. Can I customize my pickleball paddle grip?

Yes, adding a customized paddle grip or overgrip can enhance your hold, absorb sweat, and reduce vibrations, offering better control and performance during the game.

13. Do I need to follow a specific dress code for pickleball?

While there isn’t a universal dress code for pickleball, some local venues may have specific requirements. Ensure that you adhere to any venue-specific rules before playing.