No doubt you have seen them. Sometimes online ads, luring you to the self-proclaimed best badminton shoes. You’ve clicked on them, have been redirected to sites like Amazon, and have even visualized how those shoes will improve your game. But then, just when you were going to add those shoes to your cart, you saw one shortcoming in their reviews which forced you to look elsewhere.
Put simply, then, you’ve wasted your time. What’s worse, your game has deteriorated. The old shoes which you continue to use have made you slower in the court. And you’re losing more games than ever.
It means you still need the best badminton shoes, right?
So, the question, as it was back then, remains the same:
Which badminton shoes will improve your game?
And wouldn’t it be remarkable if someone could whisper you what exactly those shoes are?
And where could you find them?
We’re going to do just that.
|Asics GEL-Rocket 7||$|
|Mizuno Wave Lightning RX2||$$|
|ASICS Men's GEL-Upcourt||$|
|Yonex Aerus 2||$$|
Combining exceptional performance and brilliant value for your money, the Asics Gel-Rocket 7 offers brilliant warmth, enhanced traction, and added grip. And once you break them in, they’d prove to be a great fit.
Ask people who have worn leather shoes on courts, and the candid of them might tell how painful the whole experience was. In addition to restricting their foot movement, leather shoes resulted in back aches and posture troubles.
Luckily, since the Gel-Rocket 7 has a rubber sole, you’d experience no such problems with this footwear. What’s more, to give your ankle the necessary support which it requires on landing, there is a cushioned footbed just underneath your foot.
And if that wasn’t enough for you, both sides of your ankle will be supplemented with a Gel Cushioning System in the Gel-Rocket 7. In this way, even when you turn your ankle badly, the cushioned support will make sure that the damage is minimal.
Also, if you plan on practicing for hours, you know you could ill afford to have sweaty feet. Thankfully, Asics know that, too, as suggested by the lightweight upper mesh with which it has provided these shoes.
Apart from allowing natural foot movement – since it makes the shoe lightweight, the upper mesh is porous enough to allow easy movement of air in and outside the boots. Consequently, your feet will never get sweaty.
Finally, to give the shoe overall stability and provide it with support, Asics has integrated into the rubber outsole a stiff plastic shank. Better known as the Trusstic System in footwear jargon, the stiff plastic shank has also made the shoe lightweight.
Drawing in on its customer reviews, most of them complained about the size running too small. Therefore, if you plan to get a size which fits, order 1 to 1.5sizes larger than your normal size.
Despite demanding a fortune for the services it will provide, the Asics Gel-Rocket 7 has got all the attributes to be in the elite-class of badminton shoes.
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For those of you who liked the features of the Gel-Rocket 7 – but are unwilling to gamble on its size problem – here is another option for you to consider. Though slightly expensive, it has got all the traits to justify its price tag.
Most shoe manufacturers, in a bid to dissipate the effects of shock, use cushioning just around the sole. While such a technique no doubt removes shock effects, it fails to disperse them, with the heel of your foot feeling the burden.
To prevent this from happening, Mizuno have provided the RX2 with its Wave Technology. Instead of accumulating the shock effects in one location, this technology disperses them throughout the sole, hence reducing their impact. As a result, you get increased stability with these boots.
Another setback which other, cheap badminton shoes are plagued with – and which Mizuno has taken head-on in the RX2, is slippage. Instead of providing it with a coarse sole, Miznuo has gone for the suspension system which connects the built-in plate of this shoe with the ground at all times. Consequently, the chances of slipping with this footwear are minimum.
One area where Mizuno has innovated in the RX2 is its midsole. In normal shoes, ventilation normally occurs through the upper sole, not so in the RX2 where the midsole has been given the task to ventilate the whole shoe. It means that the air will enter and exit from the middle of your shoe, resulting in less heat buildup.
Concluding my review of the RX2, I was genuinely impressed with the durability of its cushioning. Unlike cheap models, the cushioning used in this shoe is made to last, no matter how much abuse you force to take it.
The only problem most users reported to have with these shoes is their price. For, when compared with similar models, it is anything but cheap.
If you can afford to pay over the odds – and want to get a quality product in return, the Mizuno RX2 may just suit you.
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Scour the badminton scene, and you’d see very few – if any – players wearing Adidas shoes. To change this gloomy picture, the world’s most famous sporting brand churned out the Adidas Performance Men’s Barricade.
Will it meet the grueling demands of Badminton? Let’s find out.
First thing first, since it weighs 13.4ounce per shoe, the Adidas Performance is one of the bulkiest shoes you might ever see on a badminton court. However, while most badminton players want lightweight shoes for ease of maneuverability, the added weight is not without its advantages.
For one, the addition in weight comes from the increased support this shoe will provide to your ankle, hence preventing injuries in the long run. Your ankle will be cushioned in such a manner as no serious injury can befall it.
Turning our attention to its looks, and I’ve to say that I was impressed with the color range of these shoes. Although I normally prefer the decent looking black and white option, there are funkier models available too, such as the one which combines neon orange with white or the other with purple top layer and yellow sole.
One of the better components of this shoe is its upper sole. Composed of lightweight TPU foil and a meshed upper, it has the overlays to add security as well as protection to the midfoot, while the padded collar surrounding your ankle will give the extra comfort.
Finally, to give you a superior fit, Adidas has used a technology known as sock line in this footwear. What it does is to make sure that the cushioning – instead of surrounding your ankle – runs the entire length of the shoe. The result of this innovation is a better fit and more comfort.
Some of the users who bought this shoe complained that they were having trouble in lateral movements. However, they were in minority, with a large majority (around 70%) giving this shoe 5* rating.
Though Adidas isn’t a famous name when it comes to badminton shoes, the Men’s Barricade has got all the traits to challenge its counterparts from Yonex and Asics.
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Of all the shoes we have reviewed thus far, the Gel Upcourt are undoubtedly the most inexpensive. It means if you don’t want to spend over the odds on a quality badminton shoe, this footwear from Asics might merit your attention.
Thanks to its inexpensive price tag, most people think that Gel Upcourt is only a basic level shoe. If you have similar concerns about the quality of this shoe, settle your nerves by looking at its outsole.
Apart from giving full length construction, the outsole provides remarkable grip on indoor surfaces, meaning you’d be more stable and less likely to succumb to injuries.
To provide shock absorption and extreme comfort, Asics opted for rearfoot cushioning in this model. Coming in the form of a cushioned footbed, the rearfoot cushioning makes the shoe both supportive to your lateral movements and shock absorbing.
Still, it would be wrong if I suggest that no cost cutting measures were employed in this model. For, the upper sole is a combination of leather and mesh, with rubber nowhere to be seen.
Yet, for such an economical price tag, the fact that mesh has been used for breathability should reduce your concerns about this footwear.
Look closely at the side of this shoe, and you’d notice that it is only painted. If used in extreme conditions, it can easily chip. Therefore, I’d recommend keeping this shoe limited to your basic training.
If you were looking for a basic level shoe – or don’t want to spend over the odds – the ASICS Men’s GEL-Upcourt might just fit the bill for you.
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Like lightweight shoes? Want to wear the lightest shoe that has ever come out of the Yonex warehouse? You’re in dreamland with the ultra-lightweight Yonex Aerus 2.
Since it weighs a paltry 270g, Yonex Aerus 2 deserves the ultra-lightweight tag. However, if you feel that less weight is all that this footwear has got to offer, you’re in for a shock. But first, let us discuss as to how Yonex managed to churn out such a lightweight shoe.
Two features of the Yonex Aerus 2 combined to make it probably the lightest badminton shoe the world has ever seen. They include: a double Reussel mesh and the Hyper MS Lite midsole. That said, both of them do much more than just to make this shoe lightweight.
For example, talking about the double Reussel Mesh, it allows eight times more exchange than any other ordinary mesh fabric. It means if you live in extremely humid conditions – or play in them – but don’t want your feet to get sweaty, these are the shoes you need.
As for the midsole, it has such a design, which at one end it reduces weight off this shoe, adds comfort and durability to it, on the other. The result is extremely swift footwork during the game and pain-free feet afterwards.
Finally, in addition to being lightweight, there is one more feature which Yonex has provided the Aerus 2 with to add more power and speed to your foot movement: the Power Cushion.
The cushion will help you by minimizing your lateral movement so that it doesn’t interfere with your foot movement. Consequently, with little to no lateral movements disturbing you during play, you’ll be able to add more power and speed to your every movement.
Apart from the fact that they are ultra-expensive – more expensive, in fact, than any other shoe mentioned in this review, users haven’t voiced any concerns about the Aerus 2.
Sometimes you have to spend over the odds to get your hands on a quality product. If you can afford, I’d recommend spending your hard earned money on this model.
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Though it may not be as fast as car racing (pun intended), badminton requires more lateral movements and quick direction changes. To make sure your shoes complement both, look for the following qualities in them.
While you may be standing at the base of the court at one instant, a drop shot from the opponent will force you to the net, the next.
Such excessive movement takes excessive toll from your ankles, which become weak as a result. Therefore, to make sure they don’t succumb to injuries, make sure your shoes have a low center of gravity.
A lower center of gravity means your shoe has a thinner sole, meaning the arch of your feet is level to the ground, with minimal to no support from the shoe’s sole. In other words, your badminton shoes should be flat with no arch support.
It matters little of which material your shoes are made of, for it is the playing surface which will determine how much traction they may provide. For instance, a PU or the wooden court will respond differently to say, gum rubber soles than a cement court. Hence, when choosing the grip and traction of your shoes, always keep in mind the surface on which you’ll be playing.
Talking about professional badminton players, most of them practice on a wooden or PU court. Consequently, they prefer the traction provided by gum rubber soles for three reasons.
First, gum rubber soles do not leave marks on a court surface, hence allowing it to be clean.
Second, as you play for hours, gum rubber starts to heat up. That is not to say that your feet will feel the heat, far from it. Rather, the heat will be used by the sole to provide additional grip.
And finally, if you have owned a rubber sole shoe in the past, you’d know how easy it was to break in, in contrast to other shoes which require weeks for the wearer to do the same.
It won’t be easy for you to carry your weight on the court for hours, so why should you carry the weight of your shoes? Yes, it may happen, provided your shoes do not provide a snug fit. In fact, getting a snug fit is the main reason why almost all badminton players wear shoes that have been designed especially for their feet.
However, as you might guess, common folks like us couldn’t avoid that luxury. What we can do, instead, is to make sure the shoes we are selecting provide a snug fit. In this way, all of our power will be put down on the court, and we can slalom around as if we were bare footed.
Ask amateur badminton players, and most of them would confuse pivot point for the sole of the shoe. They think that the greater the sole height, the larger will be the pivot point, and the easier it will be for them to undertake aggressive and more efficient turns.
This notion of equating sole with pivot point is wrong!
For, despite the fact that it lies on the sole, pivot point is nothing more than, err, a point on it. The larger the pivot point, the easier it will be for you to undertake aggressive turns. Therefore, the next time you go shopping for a badminton shoe, look for a large pivot point and NOT a large sole.
In contrast to other factors which we want you to consider, have a cushioned badminton shoe wouldn’t directly elevate your game above your peers. What it would do, rather, is to make sure you stay on the court for longer periods.
How would it do that, I hear you ask?
Well, if you love smashing the shuttlecock at your opponent, you may testify that take-offs and landings – just before and after smashes, respectively – form an important part of your game. If you don’t have a cushioned shoe, however, both these parts, in addition to being important, can also be painful.
Hence, to make sure your ankle has enough support both to take-off and land safely, you need to protect it with cushioning. In this way, you’d be mitigating the chances Wof any long term ankle injury, thereby increasing your chances to be on the court for longer periods.
In layman’s terms, we can define breathability of your shoe as the rate at which it vaporizes the moisture, or Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVPR). Now that you have read the definition, what do you think: do breathable shoes improve your game?
Yup, they do.
While playing badminton, your feet will be doing most of the grind, even more so than your arms. They are bound to get sweaty, and if you don’t want the sweat to interfere with your game, you’d have to give it a way to get out.
That is where breathable shoes come into play. By making sure that the sweat in your feet doesn’t get accumulated, they let you concentrate on the game at hand. So, if you don’t want the thought of sweaty feet in your mind while playing badminton, invest in a breathable shoe.
The lighter, the better. Ask any badminton player worth his salt, and he’d tell you to believe in the veracity of this adage. Lightweight shoes not only enable you to move briskly, but they also give incredible responsiveness for agility as well as speed.
That said if you’d have to decide between footwear which is extremely lightweight and one which weighs a little more but offers added support to your ankle, opt for the latter. For, footwear that is extremely lightweight and offers no ankle support is a recipe for disaster, especially for your ankle.
Hence, even when deciding on the weight, make sure you keep the support the shoe will provide to your ankle in consideration.
Inevitably, no matter how many paeans we sing of the characteristics of individual shoes, the brand name is what will lure the majority of customers towards any footwear. Keeping this fact in mind, we decided to present you some of the leading badminton shoe manufacturers.
The first, and most famous, brand among professional players is YONEX. Be it Saina Nehwal from India – or Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia, Yonex shoes are preferred by a majority of professional badminton players. In addition to providing better support and stability with the Delta Support System, Yonex footwear provides better shock absorption and prevents injuries caused by lateral foot movements while landing.
Second, if you want your shoes to aid your feet in natural movement, go for ASICS. Asics employs Impact Guidance System to make sure your feet enjoy as much natural movement as possible. Also, thanks to their silicone GEL system, Asics footwear provides a high degree of shock absorption.
Finally, if you want to get extra traction from your badminton footwear, go for BABOLAT. Combining their forces with tire manufacturer Michelin, Babolat have produced shoes with extra traction. When your heel hits the ground, these shoes – via their “Kompressor” system, absorb the energy before dispersing it along an inbuilt set of tubes, which, after the completion of the cycle, come back to their original shape.
Your search for the best badminton shoes end here. Yes, none of these shoes are without any shortcomings, but so is every other shoe available in the market. What differentiates these five from the riffraff is the trust they have earned from their users. Hence, provided you want to improve your game at one end, and not want to succumb to injuries, on the other, these shoes are a perfect match for you.