The K-Swiss Express Light is the brand's first dedicated pickleball shoe and while the majority of players are still wearing court shoes designed for other sports - like tennis and volleyball - as this sport continues to grow larger, the demand for pickleball-specific equipment is increasing. So, the big question here is: how do these shoes perform on a pickleball court?
Arch Support 7.5/10
The arch in this shoe is moderate which will appeal to a wide range of players. Our tester Sara says “I have a high arch and usually wear a shoe with a higher arch and yet the support of the Express Light felt really good on my feet”.
Players will immediately notice the cushioning and support that the Express Light provides around the ankle and arch areas. Sara feels that “the shoe has a plush and stable feel around the underfoot and ankle collar. I wear them for hours of play and my feet don’t ache”. The wider toe box is appealing for players with a wider foot or who seek a generous fitting shoe. The Express Light will also appeal to those who choose to wear two pairs of socks while playing.
The stability of the Express Light is immediately noticeable as there is ample support around especially around the ankle area. Most importantly is the support built into the shoe for that repetitive lateral and lunging motion that comes with pickleball. This pickleball specific shoe provides confidence to players who might be concerned with ankle injuries.
Although this shoe presents as flexible and light, the sole is strong due to the higher density rubber. Reinforcement in the heel and forefoot protect any breakdown of the shoe from the consistent toe dragging synonymous with pickleball.
K-Swiss advertises the shoe as being built for multiple surfaces and our tester could not agree more with that statement. Sara made note that “they slide really well across clay and on the hardcourt and rubber floors the shoes grip to the surfaces firmly so I can focus on using the balls of my feet to push off and change directions quickly”.
True to its name, the K-Swiss Express Light is a very lightweight and flexible shoe which makes for agile feet on the pickleball court. Perfectly suitable for players with consistent performance in mind, these shoes will get you from the baseline to the non-volley zone line to dig out those low bouncing drop shots.
Overall The Express Light is colourful and sharp presenting a clean and modern looking shoe from heel-to-toe. K-Swiss has managed to integrate sleek design with shoe technology without compromising on either. For quick reaction when defending hard angle shots or leaning deep into the non-volley zone for the dribbling net cord balls, players will have to focus on pushing off the balls of their feet to take away extra time from their opponents. Finally, the mesh at the top of the shoe provides ample ventilation so players will feel the air sweep through the shoe the entire time they have them on. This shoe is definitely a must try for any pickleball player.
Tester: Sara. M