Best Squash Shoes

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best squash shoes are, then we recommend the Salming Kobra 2 . On a personal note this is also the pair that I own right now. And I have had the original Kobra for the past 3 years.

Training in the squash court

When you’re pushing yourself hard on the squash court, you, and your equipment, take a substantial amount of punishment.

However, it’s not your racket, the ball, or your opponent that takes the toughest beating.

It’s your feet.

Luckily, choosing the best squash shoes reduces the chances of injury and improves gameplay.

Here are the best squash shoes of 2020:

Why You Need the Best Squash Shoes

The benefits of playing squash are vast—it gets the heart pumping, promotes weight loss, and elevates mental health.

Yet, unless you look after your feet, your game and your wellbeing will suffer.

Squash, in some respects, is quite unique.

Perhaps more than any other sport, it involves rapid explosions of pace, followed by stopping, twisting, turning, and then bursting into action again. What’s more, this is all completed in a seriously confined area—no larger than 32 feet by 21 feet.

You’re like a blue-spot squash ball—bouncing around at speed—and often, off the walls, too.

And, whether you’re a seasoned player or a newbie—this extreme physicality makes it hard on your feet. With the wrong footwear, you won’t be able to stop or turn safely.

Hence, you need the best squash shoes.

Why Are Squash Shoes Different?

Don’t make my mistake and wear your regular sneakers!

The first time I hit the squash court—despite advice to the contrary from others—I thought I knew best. My tried and tested running shoes were comfortable, had excellent breathability, and still had a substantial grip on the soles.

Let’s face it—I wasn’t Jahangir Khan—my standard sports shoes would be adequate.

Twenty minutes later, lying in a crumpled heap on the floor after suffering numerous wall crashes, awkward ankle twists and groin-splitting slips, I admitted I was wrong.

Research demonstrates that using incorrect footwear in sport increases the risk of strains and sprains, increases fatigue, and promotes painful movement. Furthermore, 44.5 percent of squash players will suffer an injury—the most common being ankle and lower leg issues.

The best squash shoes can dramatically reduce this risk.

Manufacturers design squash footwear with the particular demands of the sport in mind. Typically, they have the following characteristics:

  • Anti-slip soles.
  • Lateral reinforcement.
  • Shock absorption.

Anti-Slip Soles

The best squash shoes incorporate a high-traction outsole to prevent unwanted slips—specific for the court surface. Often, this will be a hexagonal tread that performs well on the wood and acrylic floors found on most courts.

Additionally, they’re non-marking. Trust me; you don’t want to experience the ire of a court manager after you’ve tarnished his previously pristine playing area.

Lateral Reinforcement

This is perhaps the most crucial element of the best squash shoes. While your footwear needs to allow for a little movement within the shoe, too much, and you’ll suffer an ankle sprain or twisted knee.

Squash shoes typically feature reinforced uppers, which prevent excessive sideways motion, reducing the chance of injury.

Shock Absorption

In the highest-quality squash shoes, this is something of a balancing act.

The heels need to have adequate cushioning to reduce the impact on your joints. However, they also can’t be excessively thick, as this raises your center of gravity, making you inherently unstable.

Many manufacturers include proprietary technology to lower impact forces while retaining a thinner heel than running shoes to keep you anchored to the floor.

A squash dive

What to Look for in the Best Squash Shoes

While the best squash shoes will possess all the above game-enhancing and injury-reducing characteristics, different brands and models feature traits that you may find more or less important for your needs.

Here’s what you should consider:

Best squash shoes - features to conisder

Breathability

Squash is an intense game—and that means perspiration.

Sweating isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also lead to a rather unpleasant foot odor and induce athlete’s foottinea pedis.

The best squash shoes should include a breathable upper, which aids the dispersion of fluids, preventing unwanted foot conditions. 

However, a full-mesh upper—as seen in most running shoes—are rare in squash footwear, as their thin material reduces strength and stability.

Flexibility

While the squash shoe needs to provide support, it should equally offer sufficient flexibility to cope with the intense twists and turns the sport demands.

Furthermore, it depends on the shape and type of your foot.

If you have wide or flat feet—pes planus—or suffer from overpronation, you’ll need a shoe with a greater level of firmness. High-arches and narrow feet necessitate footwear with a more substantial amount of ‘give.’

Cushioned Sole and Heel

The best squash shoes will include a cushioning material that evenly disperses impact across the soles of your feet—reducing the forces on the ankle and knee joints.

Furthermore, many manufacturers may include materials that increase your ‘bounce,’ allowing for higher jumps and elevating foot lift while running.

The amount of both the cushioning and spring you require depends on your particular playing style. Newcomers to the game may initially benefit from a higher level of shock-absorption, as their muscles have not yet adapted to the requirements of the sport.

Size

Ok, I understand you’re highly unlikely to purchase a wrong-sized shoe, but consider what happens to your feet during a game.

The intensity of playing squash means some seriously warm feet—and they will swell—causing discomfort. Hence, choosing a half-size larger than your regular shoe size allows for this expansion.

The Five Best Squash Shoes

You might easily spend hours examining the multitude of squash footwear online. Alternatively, you could use this valuable time to be practicing your mizuki on the court.

Assuming you’d rather do the latter, I’ve done all the hard work for you. Here are what I consider to be the five best squash shoes currently on the market.

1. Salming Men’s Kobra 2 Squash Shoes

Coming from the respected Swedish sports powerhouse, Salming, this footwear, for me, is the Mo El Shorbagy of the squash shoe world—it’s number one.

The rubber outsole includes the manufacturer’s bespoke HexaGrip tread, to give a reliable anchor to the playing surface. Importantly, this traction-enhancing underside features a lightweight rubber compound, keeping your cross-court sprints effortless.

An integrated exoskeleton provides stability, especially around the midfoot area—which I’d suggest will deliver support when making those fast turns. 

And, when you’re leaping for those high smashes, you’ll welcome the cushioning soft foam in the heel, reducing the impact on your all-important joints.

Furthermore, this shoe includes an Ergo heel cup—slightly longer than those you see on standard sneakers. This elevates the support around your heel, which should lower the chance of over-twisting your ankles.

This footwear is available in sizes 7.5 to 14.

Pros

  • Tops the pile of the best squash shoes.
  • Features rollbar technology to improve toe push-off.
  • A proprietary Recoil compound in the midsole lowers impact forces during lunging.
  • Includes a breathable mesh side upper to lower perspiration.
  • Integrated exoskeleton lacing provides consistent support across the shoe.
  • Non-marking sole.

Cons

  • Be careful when selecting your size, as these squash shoes run large.

2. Salming Men’s Viper 5 Squash Shoes

Salming continues its reputation for impressive squash shoes—making number two on my run down.

I’d suggest that the Viper 5’s are particularly suited to overpronators and those who require some solid support in their court shoes. The manufacturer has included a bespoke LMS (lateral movement stabilizer)—a dual torsion feature that adds reassuring stability to the feet when you make rapid sideways motions.

Perhaps its most notable feature is the Viperskin. This three-layer upper incorporates a mesh lower portion for breathability, microfibers for added strength, and a TPU— thermoplastic polyurethane—film for flexibility.

The innovation continues with the proprietary RunLite2 foam in the midsole. I feel this will appeal to those hot-ball aficionados who require a lightweight shoe while also demand an energetic bounce in every push-off.

An XR110 outsole provides added ‘stickiness’ in every step—something which could be a bonus to players requiring swift cornering and wanting to avoid wall collisions.

These squash shoes are suitable for feet sizes from 7.5 to 14.

Pros

  • Available in a choice of three colors.
  • Packed with proprietary game-enhancing technology.
  • Incorporates an Ergo heel cup to stabilize and protect the rear foot.
  • Combines both circular and hexagonal tread for increased traction.
  • Includes a Torsion Glide System, which flexes in conjunction with the foot’s natural movements.

Cons

  • The deep heel may promote a high center of gravity.

3. ASICS Men’s Sky Elite

While primarily a volleyball shoe, the quick changes of direction, explosive bursts, and rapid stopping required in this sport mirror those of squash. The result? Making this footwear equally suited to racket players.

If you’re on the court at every available opportunity, you need a long-lasting shoe. The rubber outsole with its herring-bone tread should not only provide impressive grip, but by being abrasion-resistant, may also ensure longevity.

Asics’ bespoke Trusstic System prevents over-twisting of the midsole, to prevent over-rotation of the foot, which can cause injury. Furthermore, gel in the rear of the shoe enhances shock absorption, allowing you to land effortlessly without punishing your knees.

If you experience excessive foot perspiration, you may welcome the removable Ortholite sock liner, which adds extra cushioning, but most importantly, wicks away moisture.

Finally, this shoe caters to a wide range of foot dimensions—available in sizes 6 through to 16.

Pros

  • Available in black or red.
  • FluidRide technology enables the shoe to return to its original shape after every step.
  • The shoe brand of choice for world number one, Mohammed El Shorgaby.
  • A removable liner enables you to use your orthotic inners.
  • Ideal for those who suffer from foot perspiration.
  • Mesh insole for added breathability and cushioning.
  • Abrasion-resistant sole adds longevity to the footwear.

Cons

  • As chiefly volleyball footwear, the heel height is larger than many bespoke squash shoes.

4. Head Men’s Sprint Pro Indoor Shoe

These could be the best squash shoes for players who enjoy more than just the small-ball game since this footwear will suit many indoor sports such as volleyball, handball, and badminton.

Perhaps the feature that makes it so adept for these pursuits is the remarkably low midsole construction. Not only does this allow you to ‘feel’ the court beneath your feet, but it also lowers your center of gravity—enhancing stability.

Furthermore, bespoke Micro-Fit technology delivers a snug and supportive shoe, while still allowing for the flexibility that an intense squash game requires.

A natural gum-rubber sole with waved-tread should provide sufficient grip for swift turns. And, to keep the court owners happy, it’s non-marking. What’s more, this sticky sole extends up the toe, providing additional protection against wall collisions and enhancing toe push-offs.

With a breathable mesh extending over the tongue, lateral upper and toe box, I’d propose that excessive moisture won’t be an issue.

You can purchase this shoe in sizes 7.5 to 14.

Pros

  • Available in three colors.
  • Bold styling for the more avant-garde player.
  • Includes an EVA Core layer to ‘lock’ your foot into place.
  • A TPU heel adds cushioning and stability.
  • Natural gum-rubber sole.
  • Versatile—suitable for a wide range of indoor sports.

Cons

  • The expansive mesh may reduce perspiration—but at the cost of lateral stability.
  • Shoe runs narrow—I’d suggest choosing a size 0.5 larger than usual.

5. Harrow Vortex Indoor Court Shoe

If you’re one of the many people who find ‘standard’ shoes are too narrow, I’d suggest these could be the best squash shoes for your feet. As, while in the length, the footwear fits true to size, they run wide.

The upper combines both synthetic leather and double Russel Mesh—the latter should provide additional comfort by allowing the feet to breathe within the shoe.

If you’re looking for bounce and shock absorption, you may appreciate the Power Cushion insole. This reduces the impact on every step and landing while giving you an explosive burst to reach those tough drop shots.

But, these rapid surges of pace require stability—an aspect that the low-profile midsole should address by reducing lateral movement and lowering your center of gravity.

Pros

  • The arch support may appeal to those with flat feet.
  • Non-marking sole.
  • Extensive hexagonal tread for traction and grip.
  • Suitable for squash players with wider feet.
  • Ideal for volleyball, badminton, racquetball, and pickleball.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Only available in one color.
  • Low heel cup reduces ankle support.
Professional squash match

The Final Shot

Squash is a demanding sport, so using the best squash shoes can provide that extra edge, while keeping you injury-free.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in footwear, for me, the Salming Men’s Kobra 2 is the match-winner.

The HexaGrip tread allows you to move with confidence around the court, reducing the likelihood of slipping. Also, the sole is lightweight, meaning faster explosions of pace, increasing your chances of returning your opponent’s cheekiest of shots.

Furthermore, with an integrated exoskeleton and oversized heel cup, your feet will remain stable, reducing the chances of unwanted twists and sprains.

Don’t get me wrong—the other squash shoes in this review are still impressive. From the overpronating-friendly Viper 5, through to the durable Asics Sky Elite and the versatility of the Head Sprint Pro, these are all high-quality shoes.

But, as a shoe that smashes all the others around the court, it has to be the Salming Men’s Kobra 2.

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