Best Badminton Shoes 2021 (Instructor’s Top Picks)

As a badminton instructor, one of the questions my students ask very often is, “what shoes will make me a better badminton player?” or “What are the best badminton shoes I should get?”

Honestly, I would say “it depends.” Most of the time I will ask them to take off their shoes and let me take a look at their feet, then I will make a suggestion.

Every badminton player is different, with different shapes of the foot, different playing styles… This is what makes finding the right badminton shoes difficult since all players have different needs.

In this article, we will tell you some useful tips we found it’s applicable for 80-90% players to find the best badminton shoes that are suitable for them.

Best Badminton Shoes – Quick Summary

In case you are in a hurry, we’ve summed up our top picks so you can get an idea about the best footwear in the market:

Best badminton shoes for value: LI-NING Men Saga Lightweight Badminton Shoes AYTM085, a great price point option that is durable, lightweight, comfortable, and comes with many color options! 

LI-NING Women Badminton Training Shoes AYTM076 – the ladies version of LI-NING Men Saga Badminton Shoes, gotta take care of our gals right!?

Yonex Comfort Z Men’s Badminton Shoes – a pair of nice, supportive, and comfortable badminton shoes, and they are from Yonex!!!

ASICS Men’s Gel-Hunter 3 Badminton Shoes (For UK Players), we love these shoes, they saved Bun’s twisted ankle during his 3 weeks training plus competitions in the UK.

Best Badminton Shoes – Who Should Get These?

The shoes suggested in this article are mainly for serious players, that kind of player with at least one to two games every 2 weeks and who are planning to play for a long time.

If you happened to just go for a friend’s gathering with the theme of “Badminton Day”? Or you just like chilling in a badminton court? Honestly, any pair of sports shoes would do the work.

But then if you are planning to win the game? Do check out this article since very likely you will do a lot of jumping, sprinting and sudden stops, with the wrong type of shoes, your chance of suffering from injuries or even broken ankles are much higher.

At the end of the day, a pair of badminton shoes are designed for this flying sport’s unique movements.

Best Badminton Shoes in 2021: What to Consider

There are three factors we would suggest our students look for while playing badminton:


Try to look for a pair of badminton shoes that’s as soft as possible, you are non stop jumping, accelerations, and sprinting. You want to perform these movements comfortably and easily, right? Well, a pair of soft but strong badminton shoes would help you a lot!

Support and padding

This one is easy, do look for a pair of shoes with enough paddings to offer strong supports to your foot. The more intensive and exciting your game is, the more support you need to gain from your shoes. You need enough padding to absorb all those energies built up during the game so your knee, leg muscles, and foot will be facing less stress and harm.

Snug Fit

Do make sure your feet fit perfectly inside your shoes, make sure the shoes are wrapping your foot well so you can share the stress from the quick turns, stop jumps and sprint with your shoes. A pair of snug fit badminton shoes can greatly reduce the chance of leg injuries too.


All those exciting movements of badminton started from the floor, are initialized by your feet. The grip of your shoes is always a big factor in your performance during the game. The better the grip is, the easier for you to perform better. So yeah, do try to pick a pair of shoes with great traction!


Sole is the most important factor to determine the grip and traction, there are 2 main components:

Sole material

Depending on the badminton court surface, we need to put on shoes with suitable soles, here are the most common soles used for badminton shoes:

  1. Rubber Soles – great for some uncommon court surface that’s rougher, such as cement
  2. Gum Rubber Soles – great for the most common court surface nowadays, such as wood and PU (Polyurethane). Gum Rubber Soles could offer better grip and higher traction on these surfaces.

Sole Structure

We do recommend our readers to pick a pair of badminton shoes with soles a bit thinner than your running shoes since we require a better grip for all the sudden jumps and stops. A thinner sole could result in lowering your center of gravity and hence improve your balance and movement speed.

However, we also need a sole that’s thick enough to absorb the shock and protect our knee and foot. It may be different to get the balance but according to our experience, picking a pair of shoes with the soles that are around 1-2mm thinner than your running shoes is probably a good start.

 A very important part is to make sure your soles are Non-marking, it is quite common that nowadays quite a lot of clubs and courts would apply a penalty if players leave marks on the floor. Do make sure you get a pair of soles made by Non-Marking Rubber.


We prefer to pick a pair of shoes that’s as light as possible, well you want to save more energy for your game, right? But then for sure this is just a personal preference.


I think most of you would agree with me that we all want to keep our feet dry and nice during the game, as mentioned in our other article “The Best Badminton Socks”, badminton shoes with high breathability (normally comes from a good ventilation system would do the work.

Best Badminton Shoes for 2021: Instructors’ Picks

Best Badminton Shoes for Value: LI-NING Men Saga Badminton Shoes

We had been wearing products from Li-Ning for a long period since it used to be our sponsor brand. This pair of shoes is one of our favorite, great price point, snug fit, offering extra protection on the toes and heels.

What we also like about this product: 

  • They are very lightweight
  • Great price point shoes – and now they are doing this buy one get one free offer!!!
  • They offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Policy for this product this
  • Sharp color combination!

What we don’t like:

  • This shoes may be a bit stiff for beginner, it takes a longer time to break-in
  • Not so suitable for players with wide foot since they are just medium-wide for this model

LI-NING Women Badminton Training Shoes Breathable Support Anti-Slip Lining Wearable Sport Shoes Sneakers AYTM076

This is pretty much the ladies version of the Li-Ning Saga Shoes, same buy one gets on free option, really affordable shoes. 

What we also like about this product:

  • There is an adjustable tighten device at the heel side so provide some sort of flexibility 
  • There is extra reinforcement at the toe, heel and inside front so offer better support and durability

What we don’t like

  • Consider the price of this shoe, NONE!!! (well, maybe they don’t fit the shape of your foot?)

Yonex Comfort Z Men’s Badminton Shoes

The Yonex Comfort Z is designed for providing extra stability and support to the player. Their power cushion is comfortable and does a really good job in reducing the stress applying on the ankle and heel

What we also like about this product:

  • It’s Yonex!!!!
  • They are very lightweight
  • Not extra wide, but then they are wider than The LI-NING Men Saga Lightweight Badminton Shoes so it’s good to have another option
  • This is a pair of shoes that fit snuggly and yet comfortably, once I had my ankle twisted but still gotta teach. I was wearing these shoes and they protected my footwell.

What we don’t like 

  • It’s more expensive than other options
  • Compared to the old model, the structure of this year’s model has changed a bit. So some players may find it not as comfortable as before

ASICS Men’s Gel-Hunter 3 Badminton Shoes (For UK Players)

This is a pair of nice badminton with a well-balanced grip, support, and protection. This is probably the most breathable shoes among all our recommendations too!

What we also like:

  • Grips are excellent in different floor situation
  • Very durable, they survived almost 30 days more than our other badminton shoes

What we don’t like:

  • Probably it would be a bit too stiff for some players
  • Only one color option and they are… not our taste…

Best Badminton Shoes – Useful Tips and Resources

So we’ve talked about what to consider in picking a great pair of badminton shoes and our recommendations, Here are some great tips you may find them useful:

  1. Bring the pair of socks you often wear for the game when you go to the shop for a fitting.
  2. Bring a pair of your old badminton shoes with you for the first 3 days after switching to your new shoes, because you may need some time to break into your new shoes. This break-in process maybe even longer if your shoes are stiffer.
  3. A custom footbed may be a great idea if you want to bring your performance to the next level. (Most of the time your footbed is reusable even you changed your boots)
  4. If you have stopped playing badminton for a while (i.e. a few months or even longer), do check the traction of your shoes before you play a game. The sole of your shoes may lose their grip and traction because of hardening

Best Badminton Shoes (FAQ)

Do Badminton Shoes Make a Difference?

Yes, high-quality badminton shoes are designed for the special movements and footwork of badminton. The following designs will protect your feet and minimize the chance of injury while playing badminton:

  • Non-marking soles so you won’t leave any marks on the indoor court 
  • Extra paddings to protect your feet against the impact caused by take-offs and landings
  • Snug Fit to protect your toes and ankles during acceleration and stop
  • Specially designed soles to provide extra traction for badminton footwork and movements

Can I Wear Badminton Shoes for Gym?

No, badminton shoes are specially designed for providing enough traction and shock absorption against badminton movements, so you won’t slip, sprain your ankle, or hurt your toes and feet.

Gym workouts such as running, aerobic, rowing would wear out the sole and reduce the traction, probably you should get a pair of cross-training shoes or running shoes for a gym workout, depending on your workout type.

How Long do Badminton Shoes Last?

It depends, but the range could be from 1 month to 1 year.

As a professional badminton instructor who needs to wear badminton shoes for training and playing matches with students for around 6 – 8 hours, 6 days per week, I need to change my shoes every month.

According to my personal experience, a pair of shoes could last for around 200 – 240 hours. So depending on how often you play, you could figure out how long your badminton shoes could last.

We don’t recommend you to wear any badminton shoes that are over 1 year, since the rubber parts of the shoes may harden and hence lose flexibility and traction from time to time.

Can we Play Badminton with Running Shoes?

No, we don’t recommend playing badminton with running shoes since they couldn’t offer you enough lateral support while moving in the badminton court; you may also hurt your toes during sudden stops. 

Wearing running shoes for badminton may increase your chance of injury and performance and hence we don’t recommend you to wear running shoes for playing badminton.

Should Badminton Shoes be Tight?

Yes, for badminton shoes, we want it to be tight instead of loose, one of the main points of picking a badminton shoe is a snug fit so your foot will not be moving around in the shoes. 

Make sure you bring along a pair of badminton socks when you go and try out the shoes. Put them on, push your foot forward until your toes touch the tip of your shoes, if there is around 1 finger space between the back of your shoes and the ankle, that’s probably a good fit.

Can I wear Tennis Shoes for Badminton?

Yes, but there would be some problems if you wear tennis shoes for badminton. Comparing with running/ cross-training shoes, tennis shoes offer more similar designs and functions than badminton shoes, such as extra lateral supports and snug fit, however, here are some problems you may come across

  • Tennis shoes may not come with non-marking soles and hence you may not be allowed to play in indoor badminton courts.
  • Tennis shoes are heavier than badminton shoes so you will need to spend more energy and it’s less maneuverable 
  • When a badminton player wants to arch back, the thicker paddings of tennis shoes make it harder to move

Best Badminton Shoes – Conclusion

Okay… that’s all I can think of for now my dear readers…

After almost 40 years of my life as a badminton player, I cannot stress enough how important it is to pick a pair of right badminton shoes, in terms of improving our performance and preventing injuries.

I hope you found this article useful for helping you to find the right footwear for your game. Stay safe and enjoy it!

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