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The popularity of Pickleball is rapidly growing. It’s good exercise, simple to understand, and, most importantly, cultivates an incredible community no matter how young or old you are. Whether you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, you need quality gear that works with your playing style.

We consulted professional pickleball player and coach Susannah Barr to help curate this list of the best of the best equipment. Whether you’re looking for shoes, grips, or paddles, we’re sure these selections will make the cut.

The Best Pickleball Gear

Best Paddle

ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle

Amazon ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddle


Sure, your overall fitness makes a huge difference in your pickleball performance, as does your hand-eye coordination. But if you really want to see improvement once those two aspects are dialed in, pick up a top-tier pickleball paddle. The Onix Z5 Graphite paddle will take your game to heights you never thought possible. Ideal for beginners and advanced players alike, the Z5 Graphite mimics the grip of a tennis racket for optimal comfort, while the graphite face and nomex core optimize its feel in game.

The shape allows for a huge sweet spot, meaning more good shots, even when you miss-hit the ball (don’t worry, we’ve all been there before). With a weight of 7.5 to 8.2 ounces, the Z5 was designed to have the ideal balance between speed and power. Advanced materials easily justify the higher price point, and the brand’s ubiquity among professional players makes it a no-brainer for those looking to dominate the court.

Best Budget Paddle

JOOLA Essentials Pickleball Paddles

JOOLA Essentials Pickleball Paddles


For pickleball players just starting to find their stroke, the Joola Essentials Pickleball Paddle is the perfect option to grow your game. Combining a response polypropylene core with a fiberglass surface, the Joola Essentials paddle provides excellent pop and the light weight of a pro-worthy paddle, meaning it has everything a beginner needs (and nothing a beginner doesn’t).

The all-around performance makes it as easy on the wallet as it is on the eyes — the graphics look way more pro than the price would suggest. When you’re just starting out, a reliable, technologically-advanced paddle is a huge plus, and we think this paddle from Joola fits the bill.

Best Set

Recess Sunday Set

Recess Sunday Set


If you like pickleball but love design, Recess’ Sunday Set is for you (and whoever is lucky enough to play with you). Their paddles are made with a fiberglass surface and a honeycomb polypropylene core, then finished with a sanded texture on the surface for extra spin and control. This combination makes for a paddle with reliable performance, but where they really shine is in their range of designs. You have a choice of over 30 sets, each of which features a combination of patterns, ranging from cowboy-themed prints adorned with saddled horses to stripes and checkerboard designs.

Best Balls

PCKL Elite 40 Pickleballs

Amazon PCKL Elite 40 Pickleballs


You may think all pickleball balls are created equal — it’s basically just a plastic ball with some holes in it, right? Wrong. Being the official ball of the Amateur Pickleball Association and the Southern Pickleball Association, the PCKL Elite 40 is tailor made for the game. They’re fast, durable, and utilize a unique pattern of perfectly spaced holes to ensure true flight both indoors and outdoors. You can choose between a bright neon green and the familiar yellow you probably used in middle school P.E.

Best Paddle Grips

Gamma Sports Supreme Overgrip

Amazon Gamma Sports Supreme Overgrip


This tacky, absorbent paddle grip from Gamma Sports is our pick for the best grip money can buy. It’s made to soak up sweat, meaning you’ll keep a steady grip even when things get competitive. They come in seven colors and are just a few bucks for a three-pack (you can get 15-packs or more, if you’re okay with white grips). Each grip is 41 inches long, meaning it will fit racquet or paddle grips of all lengths, and they’re exceptionally soft without sacrificing durability.

Best Net

Har-tru PickleNet Deluxe Portable Pickleball Net

Pickleball Galaxy Har-tru PickleNet Deluxe Portable Pickleball Net

Pickleball Galaxy

A pickleball net needs to be easy to move from place to place, be easy to assemble, and be sturdy enough for indoor and outdoor play. The Har-tru PickleNet Deluxe has that and more. It’s made with more than 50 percent aluminum components for ease of use and mobility and, at 42 pounds, is surprisingly lightweight. That might not sound that light for a measly net, but that includes all of the aluminum bits, the powder-coated steel base components, and a rolling bag. 

The steel gives the net some heft to optimize stability while the detachable, lockable wheels ensure that you can always get the net into the right place and keep it there. All that has made the PickleNet Deluxe the official net of USA Pickleball.

Best Paddle Cover

Selkirk Premium Pickleball Paddle Cover

Amazon Selkirk Premium Pickleball Paddle Cover


You may think that just having a nice pickleball paddle is enough. But if you’re spending your hard earned cash on a pro-worthy paddle, you need to spend on a pro-worthy paddle case to keep it protected off the court. The Selkirk SLK Paddle Case is big enough to fit the entire paddle, handle included, meaning every bit of your precious paddle is protected from dings, scratches, and the elements. The case is made with soft PU leather, lined with french terry, and opens easily thanks to a smooth-as-butter zipper. It’s well worth the investment to protect the most important piece of pickleball equipment you own.

Best Retriever

Franklin Sports Pickleball Retriever Tube

Amazon Franklin Sports Pickleball Retriever Tube


Let’s face it, pickleball is pretty easy on the body, but bending over all the way to the ground to pick up the ball can be surprisingly tedious after a while, especially when you’re chasing balls all over the court during a practice session or warm up. The Franklin Sports Pickleball Retriever Tube will make the act of picking up a pickleball much more comfortable, plus it’s an ideal vessel for carrying all of your practice balls at once. It holds 13 balls in total, comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying, and has a fence hook to keep it at arm level.

Best Net for Travel

Selkirk SLK Prime Portable Net

Selkirk SLK Prime Portable Net


While we love the Har-Tru net mentioned above, there are times where you need a more mobile setup. Whether you’re taking over half of a tennis court for a weekend sesh or want to play some pickleball in the parking lot, the Selkirk SLK Prime Portable Net is the answer. Suited for indoor and outdoor use, the net meets USAP dimension requirements, which means you can play on a regulation court in any location. The frame is made from steel for durability and net straps guarantee perfect net tension every time you set it up. At just a shade under 20 pounds, the net is easy for anyone to carry, too. 

The Best Pickleball Accessories

Best Backpack

Holbrook Podium Pickleball Bag

Amazon Holbrook Podium Pickleball Bag


If you plan on making pickleball a regular part of your fitness routine, you’re going to accumulate a bunch of gear. Don’t get caught walking from your car to the court with arms full of paddles, balls, and shoes — you need a way to lug it around all in one place. This is where a pickleball bag comes in handy. Made specifically for pickleball players, the Holbrook Podium bag comes outfitted with a cinch laundry bag to keep sweaty clothes separate from your other gear, a dedicated shoe pocket, a mesh water bottle pocket, and plenty of room for your pickleballs and paddles.

Best Duffel Bag

Babolat Racquet Holder Padel Lite Bag

Amazon Babolat Racquet Holder Padel Lite Bag


If you prefer a gym bag-style instead of a backpack, we recommend the Babolat RH Padel Lite. It’s a compact and lightweight bag, ideal for carrying a couple of paddles, some pickleballs, and extra clothes. It has separate internal compartments for paddles and other gear, plus a zipper pocket on the outside to keep your accessories close by. The internal lining is color-free and made with 100 percent recycled polyester, and the color-free white lining makes it easier to spot your stuff within the bag.

Best Quick-dry Towel

Lululemon The (Small) Towel

Lululemon The (Small) Towel


Pretty much any physical activity is made better when you can easily wipe your sweat away. Whether you’re keeping your brow clear of sweat or trying to keep your hands dry for better paddle grip, Lululemon’s The (Small) Towel is the perfect accessory to keep close at hand throughout your pickleball game. It’s made with absorbent microfiber that soaks up way more than its weight in sweat and is ideal for all activities.

Best Sweatbands

Treadbands All-Terrain Tieback


Tread Bands

While any fitness activity is going to make you sweat, pickleball (and other racquet sports) are unique because wiping your brow with your hands will negatively affect other parts of your game, namely keeping a grip on the paddle. Kind of important, right? Using a headband will keep sweat off your brow, leaving your hands free to swing the paddle.

There’s no harm in rocking a sweatband — if Rafael Nadal, one of the best tennis players of all time wears one, you should too. The TreadBands All-terrain Tieback is unique because of its TreadGripStrip synthetic rubber strip that keeps the headband in place, no matter how intense your activities get. Made from a performance ring-spun polyester-spandex blend, the headband is crafted for intense activity but is as soft as your favorite cotton T-shirt.

Best Sunglasses

RIA Eyewear Model One Court HD+

RIA Eyewear Model One Court HD+

RIA Eyewear

If you primarily play outdoors, a pair of quality eyewear is a must-have. Not only will these frames keep the sun’s harmful rays from scorching your eyeballs, they’ll keep you protected from wayward pickleballs. Getting hit in the face is bad enough, you don’t need your eyes to be damaged, as well. The RIA Eyewear Model One is designed specifically for racquet sports, meaning the lenses are most at home under the sun on outdoor court surfaces. The frames come in seven different colors, so you can take your pick to stand out or blend in.

Best Hat

Nike Dri-fit ADV Club Snapback Cap

Dick's Sporting Goods Nike Dri-fit ADV Club Snapback Cap

Dick’s Sporting Goods

You may think hats are a dime a dozen and, in many cases, they are. However, some hats stand out from the pack, making them a must-buy for the pickleball enthusiast. The Nike Dri-fit ADV Club cap is one of those standouts. It comes in three sizes, which is unique for a fitness cap, and in three colors. Made with moisture-wicking fabric and dotted with strategically-placed, breathable perforations, this versatile cap is as high-tech as it is stylish. Don’t be surprised if you start reaching for it on more than matchdays. Just be sure to clean off those pesky sweat marks before you wear it to brunch.

The Best Pickleball Clothes

Best Tee for Women

lululemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve Shirt

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve Shirt 2.0


Vancouver-based Lululemon started a yoga pant empire but has continued to grow as a brand to turn to for all fitness activity. The best pickleball tee for women is their Swiftly Tech Short-sleeve Shirt 2.0. It comes in a wide range of sizes and six different colors, making it the ideal choice to fill up your T-shirt drawer. The shirt’s seamless construction reduces chafing while the slim fit lightly skims the body, pulling sweat away from your skin without suffocating you with compression. It’s also long enough to sit below your waistband, meaning you’re fully covered even when reaching for that drop shot.

Best Tee for Men

Rhone Reign Short Sleeve

Rhone Reign Short Sleeve


Rhone’s Reign Short Sleeve shirt is a workout staple for gym rats, court lovers, and everyone in between. Being the brand’s most popular tee, it comes in over 20 colors and five sizes, plus it goes on sale every so often, meaning you can pick up a few tees without putting too big of a dent in your wallet. It features UPF 50+ fabric, adding a layer of protection from the sun, and is infused with Rhone’s signature anti-odor technology to keep you fresh, even when things get heated on the court.

Best Shorts for Women

Wilson The Challenger Lined Short

Wilson The Challenger Lined Short


A staple in the world of racquet sports, Wilson not only makes some of the best equipment in the game, it makes some excellent apparel, too. If you’re on the hunt for some shorts to take you from the courts to the gym floor, the Challenger Lined Short is an ideal choice. The stretchy compression shorts provide support while the ultra-light, billowy outer shorts provide just enough coverage. They’re stretchy, quick drying, and breathable, plus they have pockets, which is invaluable when playing racquet sports, but also makes them great for a coffee run after your workout.

Best Shorts for Men

Alo Conquer React Performance Short

Alo Conquer React Performance Short


Alo Yoga has taken the fitness world by storm in the past few years, giving the bigger players like Lululemon a run for their money. The Conquer React Performance Shorts are a great example of why they’ve won so many fans. They’re ideal shorts for guys wanting something durable, but also stylish enough that they can be worn on and off the court.

The pockets are great for stowing an extra pickleball, while the sleek, streamlined fit won’t get in the way of your movement. The different sizes come with their own specific inseam length, too, which means your shorts will be the right length, no matter what body type you have. They also come in a handful of colors and sizes.

Best Skirt

Outdoor Voices Court Skort

Outdoor Voices Court Skort 4.5-inch

Outdoor Voices 

Skorts are a must have in the world of racquet sports and country clubs, adding a pop of style to your otherwise standard fitness wardrobe. The Outdoor Voices Court Skort is made with OV’s durable midweight compression fabric and has a hidden phone pocket. They come in eight sizes and a few different colors, making them easy to style with other OV gear or anything you already have in your closet.

Best Dress

Recess Merrit Dress

Recess Merrit Dress


If you want to take things one step further than a skort, pick up the Recess Merit Dress. Its espresso colorway is subtle yet unique and the ribbed paneling on the sides add a bit of flair to the dress. It has a deep zipper for comfort, making it easy to put on and to style in your own specific way. The restriction-free stretch fabric was made to move with your body, a must-have feature when on the pickleball court. Just keep in mind that this dress runs small, so be sure to size up if you decide to pick one up.

Best Shoes

Best Outdoor Shoes for Women

K-Swiss Women’s Express Light Pickleball Shoe

K-Swiss Women's Express Light Pickleball Shoe


Made for the tight confines of a pickleball court, the K-Swiss Express Light Pickleball shoes are a perfect addition to your match day outfit. The wide soles provide a stable base when moving from side to side and the lightweight construction keeps you on your toes for hours on end. The leather upper will get better every wear and the soft collar lining and Ortholite sock liner will keep you comfortable when matches get into their later stages.

Best Outdoor Shoes for Men

K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2

 Hypercourt Express 2


Another top pick from K-Swiss, the Hypercourt Express 2 is a versatile, affordable shoe that comes in a bunch of great colors, giving you the chance to not only stay comfy throughout your game but also express yourself. The midsole technology is tailor-made for all-day comfort, while the sizing is generous to accommodate all types of foot shapes and playing styles. The brand’s best-selling shoe, the Hypercourt Express 2 is already a go to for tons of players, so why not you too?

Best Indoor Shoes for Women

Asics Gel-tactic 12 Womens Indoor Court Shoes

Amazon Asics Gel-tactic 12 Womens Indoor Court Shoes


If you primarily play indoors, we recommend the Gel Tactic 12 from Asics. Ideal for beginners looking for a combination of stability and flexibility, the Gel Tactic will provide sure footing, letting you keep your eye on the ball and focus on technique. The upper is made for breathability, while a print reinforcement adds lateral support for uni-directional movement. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or need a shoe for everyday indoor pickleball practice, the Gel-tactic 12 is an excellent choice.

Best Indoor Shoes for Men

Skechers Viper Court Pickleball Shoe

Skechers Viper Court Pickleball Shoe

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Our top pick for indoor shoes for men, the Skechers Relaxed Fit: Viper Court – Pickleball is another shoe designed specifically for pickleball. While it’s designed for all courts, it excels on indoor hard and clay courts thanks to a hardy outsole made by Goodyear (yes, the tire company). The insole is made with a super comfortable shockproof EVA foam that will provide support on any surface, and the mesh upper keeps your feet cool in any temperature.

Best Budget Shoes for Women

Asics Women’s Upcourt 5 Indoor Sport Shoe

Amazon Asics Women’s Upcourt 5 Indoor Sport Shoe


While the Upcourt 5 from Asics is technically a volleyball shoe, the stable platform, flexibility, and durable toe and heel counters make it a great choice for pickleball players, too. The longevity is great for a shoe this affordable and it comes in a number of different colors and sizes, perfect for the player who likes a bit of personality in their shoes. They’re made with multidirectional movement in mind, a must-have on the pickleball court, and the mesh panels on the upper allows for a softer and more adaptable fit. All in all, these are a great deal.

Best Budget Shoes for Men

K-Swiss Men’s Court Express Pickleball Shoes

K-Swiss Men's Court Express Pickleball Shoes


Our budget shoe pick for men, the K-Swiss Court Express Pickleball is a stripped-down court shoe ideal for a beginner or player looking to rotate their shoes to keep them fresh. They’re made to provide support and comfort for those new to the game, but don’t think they’re not outfitted with a few nice tech features. The Ortholite sock liner is comfortable during long sessions on the court, while the leather upper will break in to provide a personalized fit over time. The outsole is wide and optimized for stability, and mesh panels on the upper let your ankles breathe.

Tips for Buying Pickleball Gear

Know about the different types of paddles

Pickleball paddles are abundant, but they’re not all the same for every player. If you play multiple times per week and really understand your form, you’ll want to consider the different sizes, weights, and materials. Graphite is a popular choice thanks to its lightweight construction that delivers exceptional power, responsiveness, and maneuverability. It’s favored among advanced players.

Composite paddles, blending materials like fiberglass and polymer, strike a balance between power and control, appealing to a broad spectrum of players. The durability of nomex-core paddles, coupled with a distinctive “pop” sound, adds another dimension for those seeking a robust, yet lively, playing experience. Finally, polymer-core paddles provide a soft feel, ensuring a forgiving touch and optimal control.

Prioritize supportive shoes and breathable clothes

Since you’ll be making quick movements and likely working up a sweat, you’ll want shoes that have cushion and padding and that let you tie them tight. Clothes that have performance materials, provide stretch, and sweat-wicking properties are best to help you be comfortable while playing.

Professional player and coach Susannah Barr recommends getting gear that fits your game style, whether that means shorter shorts for a better range of motion or shoes that allow you to make quick cuts when returning a ball.

Select bags for your specific needs

Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars on the top-of-the-line, pro-level gear, but in most cases, you simply don’t need to go that hard. Sometimes, more affordable (but still high-quality) options can make more sense, especially when it comes to bags.

When looking for a bag, we recommend finding one that’s big enough to fit everything you need, whether it’s just paddles or a full gameday outfit plus shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you choose a pickleball paddle?

    The materials used in pickleball paddles vary from brand to brand and within price ranges. If you’re a beginner, we recommend a light-to-medium weight, a large sweet spot, and a comfortable grip. Wooden paddles are a great beginner paddle.

    Once you’re a little more intermediate to skilled, you’ll want to find more advanced materials such as carbon fiber or graphite that allow you more control and are more tailored to your play style.

  • How much space do you need for a pickeball court?

    The pickleball court itself is 20 feet by 44 feet, but you’ll need extra space around the perimeter. The USA Pickleball Rule Book states that the minimum size that is recommended is 30 feet by 60 feet, but the preferred size is 34 feet by 64 feet.

  • What is the best way to learn pickleball?

    While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to learning pickleball, one of the best ways to learn is simply playing with a group of experienced friends who can teach you the rules and coach you if you make mistakes.

    If you feel ready, joining a league or going to a consistent court where games are played with strangers will help you test your skills and advance your skill.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, commerce writer Joe Niehaus searched through extensive online catalogs and customer reviews to make these selections, in addition to playing pickleball for the last five years. He also spoke with Susannah Barr, a professional pickleball player and coach, for expertise on how to pick the right pickleball gear.

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