I've been playing at the recreation center more often and see some of the more intense players buying table tennis shoes. Are there any advantages of utilizing table tennis shoes over regular tennis shoes?

What are characteristics one would look for in shoes specifically for table tennis ?

  • 1
    Welcome to Sports Stack Exchange! Please don't ask shopping questions on this site. These question don't have any definite answers and are of little value to others. Apr 13 '12 at 12:53

It appears from this page that the common characteristics among good table tennis shoes are

  1. Grippy on the floor surface (good traction is important)
  2. Provide good cushioning (to help absorb the shock on your joints from starting/stopping quickly.
  3. Aren't too heavy (lightweight)
  4. Breathable (so your feet don't get too hot)

You can also look at sites that sell table tennis shoes and see which characteristics are important by the fact that they show shoes ratings on certain categories.

see http://www.gotabletennis.com/Shoes_s/16.htm


If you're not interested in purchasing a pair of shoes exclusively dedicated to your table-tennis activities, you'll probably find something effective in the minimalist running or trail shoe categories.

These types of shoes are generally quite light-weight and breathable. The cushioning varies by shoe and you'll find a lot more variety regarding support options based on your pronation. Traction on the trail shoes is usually provided by vibram outsoles with multi-directional lugs. Many of the trail shoes also come with a "Lace Garage" to help prevent your shoes from becoming untied.

I am one step above a casual table-tennis player (though don't yet attend the local club) and I've played in these* with good results.

*disclaimer - That site is owned by my employer.

  • Actually, from what I've seen/read - you want to avoid running shoes because of the spongy cushion most have as the outer sole. For table tennis you want a hard rubber that doesn't give as much as running shoes typically do.
    – jamauss
    Apr 11 '12 at 16:29
  • That's why I was thinking something in the minimalist or barefoot style. That should minimize the impact of the outsole on side-to-side movements but still provide support. The Merrell Trail Glove or the New Balance 730 might be a good example to look at it.
    – Jacob G
    Apr 11 '12 at 16:38
  • I can see why you might think that, but table tennis equipment experts actually say you want a decent thickness on the outer sole, but it should be a hard, tacky rubber that provides traction, not necessarily cushion. That's the role of the inner sole. There are shoes that are made specifically for table tennis with certain design goals in mind - like the ones I linked to.
    – jamauss
    Apr 11 '12 at 17:48
  • That's good to know. Thanks for the clarifying info. So, should I delete my answer? Or leave it for posterity?
    – Jacob G
    Apr 11 '12 at 18:08
  • Heh..that's up to you. I would leave it - you never know who it might prove to be valuable to in the future.
    – jamauss
    Apr 11 '12 at 18:10

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