Finding the best shoes for squash can be a tricky experience, especially with the increasing variety of squash shoes becoming available in the market. It can also be mildly frustrating as many squash shoe models get discontinued every few years and we find ourselves having to deviate from our tried and tested preferences. There are also a few manufactures who specialize in squash shoes, and most of these brands are not available in mainstream sports shops. Hence, we squash players have to go specialized racket sports stores to find a pair to suit our court needs.
In this article we look at some of the best shoes that have been produced for playing squash, along with some recommendations of what to actually look for in squash shoes. At the end we share some tips and tricks about squash shoes. If you are a beginner, you may have this question: Do we even need squash shoes? What If I used basketball shoes for squash? Find the answers to this here.
The best shoes for squash
After playing squash for decades, here are some pairs that have been tried and tested. Hopefully, they will make your decision making easier. A good squash shoe can last anywhere from six months to a year of continuous use. You cannot go wrong with any of these pairs if you find them in the market:
#1: ASICS Gel Blade 6
This is by far the best squash shoe I have ever used. Its extremely soft and has a sleek design to fit the contours of your feet. The sole is very flat, giving it a natural feel and ensuring your toes, balls, and ankles remain in good contact with the court. I also like the plastic out material of the shoe which does not stretch out too much with usage. Even if it does, you can lace them up a bit tighter.
In terms of durability, I would not say they are the best because they are so thin, but you can get good usage out of them. See recommendations on how to extend the life of your squash shoe. Between Asics Gel blade 6 and Salming Hawk, I would recommend the Asics gel blade 6 due to better value for money. Although, the Salming Hawk has more or less the same characteristics as the Gel Blade 6.
Having said all that, the new asics gel blade 7 is also a pretty good shoe. Probably just as good.
#2: Salming Viper
I am not a huge fan of Salming squash shoes, and the budget shoe Salming Eagle was quite uncomfortable. Also, the Salming Cobra looks weird and the Salming Hawk is overpriced. But the Salming Viper is an excellent shoe in terms of materials and performance. Its comfortable, durable, and lightweight, making it easy to glide around the court. The base is also very wide, making it a stable shoe for squash.
#3: Eye Racket Squash shoes
One thing I really like about this emerging squash brand is that they have only one variety of squash shoes and they have absolutely perfected it. The Eye rackets squash shoe looks good, is fits around your feet well, and bends quite easily, making them comfortable to move around in. Despite being so comfortable, they are also durable and give proper support to your feet, which helps in preventing injuries. Great names including Diego Elias, Miguel Rodriquez, and Paul Coll are seen in these, sporting all the different colors they are available in.
While they may be difficult to find in the market, they can be easily ordered from the Eye rackets website. They are also a bit higher on the price scale, but the price is right.
#4: ASICS Gel Rocket 9
This is a fan favorite and has been around for years for good reason. Its reasonably priced, and performs well for the club level player. It has all the good things we could want in a shoe and is well ventilated so it dries easily.
Honorable Mention: Salming Race R9 Mid
Ramy Ashour uses this shoe. While it has good construction and excellent grip on court, a great feature is that its a mid shoe. In squash, a mid-shoe has a higher ankle top than a normal shoe, giving extra ankle protection and stability. They also look really cool. Unfortunately, this shoe is difficult to find in the market as Salming seems to have discontinued them.
Recommendations on squash shoes
Squash shoe sizing
Because this intense sport puts extreme pressure on your shoe, don’t be surprised if your shoe begins to loosen. I recommend trying on a shoe when buying it, and buying a snug fit size. A slightly tighter shoe is much better than a slightly loose shoe as the tight shoe will eventually break in and fit perfectly, while the loose shoe will become too big and cause you to slow down because of your feet slipping inside the shoe.
How tight should squash shoes be laced
While this depends on your personal preference, I recommend lacing them as tight as possible. This gives better feel on court stability during intense rallies. Your shoe should be an extension of your foot, and should have as much contact with your foot as possible. Over tightening your shoe may cause blood circulation issues, and you might break your laces if you pull too hard. But overall, the tighter, the better.
Extending the life of your squash shoes
If you find a shoe that you really like, buy a second pair of the exact same shoe. This will help your shoes last longer as a single pair wont have to deal with your nonsense every session. This means alternating between the pairs. Another benefit of this is that it gives your shoes more time to dry between wears. Also, as I mentioned earlier, shoes tend to disappear from the market pretty quickly. If you have two pairs that will last you a while, then you wont have to source your favorite pair for a long time.
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