The new squash player is always faced with the initial Squash Problem: Equipment. Every squash player needs rackets, shoes, balls, clothes, goggles, grips, and other accessories. I admit this shopping list is quite annoying, and not having the right stuff can deny you entry on a squash court. While everyone is willing to buy rackets, balls, and shorts, not everyone agrees with the necessity of squash shoes. However, even for the casual player, proper shoes are the most important equipment after your racket. Even more important than clothes.
In this article, we clarify which shoes or sneakers can be used on court
Which shoes can be used for squash?
The most important thing about court shoes, regardless of your level, is that they should be non-marking. The sole must be transparent, or at the very least, of genuine non marking material. Transparent sole shoes are usually a dark yellowish. The rubber material used for these soles are non marking and they will leave the courts without any dark stains. This material also helps grip the wooden court floor better compared to other types of soles, but we will get to soles later.
Non marking soles are also produced by some great manufacturers such as nike and adidas, but sometimes they need to be tested. The bottom line, make sure the soles are non-marking otherwise most clubs will not even let you on court.
The second most important thing about a shoe is its base width.
Squash shoes generally have flat and wide soles which help lateral movement prevent you from twisting or rolling your ankle. I think this design has been inspired by duck feet. Although ducks have wide feet for pedaling in water, they it gives them more stability while walking on ground, especially with their wide wobbly bodies. Watch this racket stringing timelapse.
Can running shoes or trainers be used for squash?
You can use non-marking running shoes on court for casual play. However, because they are not that wide, there is a high chance of rolling your ankle. Running shoes are designed for running forward in a generally straight path. Your foot may slip inside your shoe when you apply pressure to strafe left or right, or push backwards to get the ball from the back of the court.
Can basketball shoes be used for squash?
Yes, basketball shoes can be used for squash. They have a wide base, are designed to grip well on wooden court floors, and are light and comfortable for lateral movement. They also have high ankle tops which can give some extra support to your ankles. And they look way better than actual squash shoes. Just make sure that they are non-marking.
Can tennis shoes be used for squash?
As long as they are non marking, I do not really see a problem. However, because tennis shoes are meant for clay and concrete courts, their thick soles may not give you good feel of the wood floor which helps you glide around court. They are also slightly heavier than a proper squash shoe. But for casual play, go ahead. Tennis shoes are fine for squash.
Can badminton shoes be used for squash?
Yes. Badminton shoes have transparent soles and are good for fast movement on badminton courts, which is what we like. However, a proper squash shoe has a wider base for lateral movement. You probably wont have any issues with badminton shoes for casual play, but will prefer a good pair of squash shoes for the long run.
Can volleyball shoes be used for squash?
Yes, definitely. They grip well on the wooden floor, usually have transparent soles, and are wide soled for lateral movement. Many shoes designed for squash are also marketed to volleyball players, and vice-versa.
Can a squash shoe be used for squash?
Hmmm, I wonder…
Can you play squash barefoot?
Yes. Your feet are (hopefully) non marking. However, you will end up with blisters on your feet.
Can you Play Squash in Flip-Flops or Sandals?
No. Play barefoot if you must.
Can Timberlands or boots be used for squash?
If you intend to break the court.
Read about the best squash strings
Learn how to string at home
Read up on this great squash fitness routine.