You’ve just discovered the fastest growing sport in America and now you’re probably wondering “what are the best pickleball clothes designed for playing?” “How do I choose what pickleball outfit to get that makes me stand out while also fitting into the scene?”.
Don’t worry picklers, because for this article, I’ve looked at the top pickleball professionals known to play in style and rounded up some of their favorite attires. I’ll also be diving into what factors you should consider when purchasing a pickleball outfit. Ready? Let’s go!
Is There a Dress Code for Pickleball Clothes?
Before we dive into what you should wear, let’s highlight what you should not wear. Because the last thing you want when you arrive at a tournament is to forfeit because your pickleball outfit isn’t up to the tournament’s dress code. The following information is taken from the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook.
Pickleball Apparel Rules for Tournament Play
If you’re playing in a sanctioned (or a certain non-sanctioned) tournament, it’s best to abide by the following rules.
According to rule 2.G.2, inappropriate clothing of any kind is not permissible. This includes graphics, pictures, and writing that is considered to be in poor taste. But who determines which designs are permissible, and which aren’t? That would be up to the tournament director’s discretion.
Rule 2.G.3 discusses pickleball shoes. Because pickleball is typically played on a hard court surface (think a tennis hard court, only smaller), your shoes must have soles that do not damage or leave damaging marks on the court. Any type of tennis shoes is acceptable to wear.
New Pickleball Outfit Rule for 2023
Rule 2.G.1 is a new rule that was set in 2023. This rule states that your pickleball outfit cannot be the same color as the ball.
The reason behind this rule is many players have complained that they cannot see the ball because it blends in with their opponent’s outfit. As you may imagine, not being able to see your target will put you at quite a disadvantage.
What Articles of Clothing Should You Consider Wearing on The Court?
When you’re planning out what you need to complete your pickleball outfit, whether that’s before a tournament or recreational play, consider these types of clothing.
Pickleball Clothing For Men and Women
Loose or Tight-fit Shirt or Tank Top
You can wear either a loose or tight-fit top depending on your personal style, but it’s important to consider the weather, which we will discuss further in this article.
Short, Mid, or Long-length Shorts
The length is purely a stylistic choice, but you should consider the lining inside the pickleball shorts. Some prefer the comfort of a longer lining that hits around mid-thigh, while others like traditional underwear lining.
Socks that Cover at Least Your Ankle
Avid pickleball players who often play outdoors in the sun should beware of the sock tan. I personally love a good sock tan because it looks badass, but maybe not one that goes all the way up to my calf.
You might also want to avoid wearing no-show socks because the constant friction between them and your pickleball shoes could result in blisters.
For a better and more comfortable game, wear socks that cover at least your ankle.
Pickleball Court-Approved Shoes
Like I mentioned above in the rules section, you need to wear pickleball court-approved shoes in order to play on the hard court surface. Tennis court shoes are appropriate for play because their outsoles do not damage or leave scratch-marks on the court.
Whether it’s from nerves or the heat, sweaty hands can become a negative factor during pickleball play. Why? Because you have to switch grips in a split second to counter your opponent’s hits. If your hands are sweaty and the grip changes on impact, you could pop the ball up for your opponent to hit a winning shot, or miss the stroke altogether.
Worse, you can lose your grip on your paddle and send it flying at any random direction. This risks injury to yourself, or anyone else nearby.
Pickleball gloves help you keep a firm grip on the paddle handle, while keeping your hands feeling comfortable. Franklin not only makes professional pickleball player JW Johnson’s official paddle, but they make some premium leather, moisture-wicking pickleball gloves that keep your hands comfortable and your grip firm.
Sweatbands on Wrists and Forehead
Excessive sweat in general can become a distraction and make your pickleball experience an uncomfortable one. Wearing sweatbands on your wrists and forehead can help keep sweat from dripping uncomfortably into your eyes and hands during a match.
Hat or Visor for Visibility and Sun Protection
The sun can either be your best friend or your opponent in a pickleball game. Because the lob shot (where a player hits a ball high over their opponents head) is frequently used now and especially when the sun is out, it’s more important than ever to have better visibility. Your ability to see well in a game of precision cannot be overstated.
A hat not only provides better visibility under the sun, it is also used as a safety measure. According to the Cancer Council, wearing a hat can reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays entering your eyes by 50 percent?
Eyewear for Safety
I have heard many horror stories of people getting hit directly in the eye by the pickleball ball, causing short-term damage at best.
The distance from one non-volley line to the other is exactly 14 feet, so if you and your opponent are engaged in a hand-to-hand battle at the kitchen line, your reaction time is literally milliseconds. This is not a long time to react. Accidents are bound to happen, and wearing the right safety equipment is not only smart, but necessary.
Goodr Sunglasses are an official sponsor of the Carvana Professional Pickleball Association and bring the fun in fashion.
Dress with Shorts Underneath
I have a confession—I am a sucker for a cute sports dress. Not only are dresses flattering and feminine, they’re also extremely comfortable and give me more freedom to move athletically around the court. Also, it’s one article of clothing less than what you’d normally have to spring for, making your pickleball outfit more affordable in some cases.
You’ll be running and jumping around in the game, so be sure to wear shorts underneath your dress to cover your underwear. Personally, I like wearing spandex shorts with pockets to stick pickleball balls in, so I don’t have to look for a new ball after each point.
Sports Bra for Women
Although some pickleball shirts come with sports bars attached to them, bustier women require a higher-impact sports bar. This extra security allows your breasts to stay in place when you’re making quick movements around the court.
Pickleball Skirts for Women with Shorts Attached
Just like a dress, a pickleball skirt adds a feminine touch to your pickleball outfit. Again, remember to find a skirt with pickleball shorts attached for better coverage and a handy spot to put an extra pickleball ball in.
Buyer’s Guide For Pickleball Clothes
Now that you know what articles of clothing to look for, let’s discuss the factors to consider when choosing a pickleball outfit.
Pickleball Outfit Based on the Weather Conditions
Weather plays a huge factor when determining what kind of pickleball outfit you should wear. A pickleball outfit should give you the freedom to move around easily, remove external factors like the sun and sweat from your gameplay, and keep you feeling confident.
For sunny conditions, moisture-wicking pickleball shirts (more on this later), a hat, sweatbands, gloves, and eyewear are all items that should be on your list when playing.
For colder conditions, wearing a long-sleeve shirt and leggings could keep your body warm and free of injuries. Doing quick movements with cold muscles is not advisable. This is because colder muscles in your arms and legs have less blood flowing to them, and this impairs muscle function.
Pickleball Outfit for Comfort
A pickleball attire that is restrictive or distracting during play can ruin your focus and momentum on court. Find a pickleball outfit that allows you to move freely, because the game requires lunging, jumping, and quick stop and start movements.
Tailor your pickleball attire as if you were doing a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Look for a comfortable material like polyester. This is a durable, light-weight, non-absorbent fabric.
A fabric to avoid when searching for a pickleball outfit is cotton. Cotton doesn’t absorb moisture and will make you feel uncomfortably damp while playing.
Pickleball Outfit with Moisture-Wicking Fabric
Comfort during a match means staying as dry as possible, so seek a pickleball outfit that is made with moisture-wicking fabric.
Some of top moisture-wicking fabrics to look for are polyester (a synthetic blend material), polypropylene (known for its thermal feature), and Nylon (a breathable synthetic material).
These fabrics are popular in many team uniforms because they’re specifically engineered to draw moisture from your skin and quickly evaporate from the attire, leaving you cool and dry for longer periods. This is especially useful in hotter weather.
Even better, these fabrics are quite easy to care for, as there are no special washing instructions. Just throw them in the wash and dry them out after a rigorous hitting session, and they’ll be ready to wear the next day.
Pickleball Shoes for Hard Court Surface
Because of court rules, you’ll need to wear proper pickleball shoes before stepping out on the court. If you’re unsure about which shoes to buy, go for a tennis shoe. Most hard court tennis shoes are approved for pickleball play.
Why should you wear a hard court specific shoe for pickleball? A hard court surface is demanding on the body and outsole durability. Court-approved pickleball shoes are designed to handle the demands of a hard court surface, while giving you a solid grip and comfortable cushioning.
Also, wearing the wrong type of shoe can damage a hard court surface by leaving unwanted marks or scratches. This is why there is a section in the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook that is dedicated to wearing court-approved shoes. If you enter a tournament without the correct pickleball shoes, you’ll be asked to change or forfeit the game.
On-Trend Brands to Sport Your Pickleball Outfit
What pickleball outfits should you wear to look like a professional on court? Easy. Wear what the pros wear during tournament play. I’ve rounded up some clothes from top brands that are emerging in the pickleball space, and for good reason.
Lululemon Pickleball Outfit for Men: Shirt and Shorts
Former top 10 ranked professional tennis player, Jack Sock, made his pickleball debut on the court in May 2023. And his skills weren’t the only thing he was showcasing.
Jack Sock wore a visually appealing top and bottom from luxury brand Lululemon. Lululemon has already been known to represent some athletes in the tennis space, but now it’s showing up in the pickleball scene because of its benefits on court.
- sweat-wicking fabric for a dry, comfortable feel
- includes No-Stink Zinc™, an anti-stink technology known to banish odor
- relaxed fit for easy movement around the court
- available in multiple colors for personal style
- lightweight, perforated swift fabric that’s sweat-wicking for a dry, comfortable feel
- breathable mesh waistband and 4-way stretch makes it easy to move around in
- includes a 9” liner for extra support
- available in multiple colors for personal style
Fila® Pickleball Outfit for Women: Tank Top, Skirt, Shoes, and Hat
Anna Leigh Waters and Lucy Kovalova are two of the most decorated women in pickleball history. But what else do they have in common? They both wear the trusted brand, Fila®.
Fila® has been around for over a century and is known for their performance-driven sportswear. They’re slowly entering the pickleball scene, bringing bold color patterns and timeless pieces to appeal to a younger generation. Consider these items for your next pickleball outfit.
- stretch jersey fabric for a comfortable, flattering fit
- inside bra for extra support to move around the court freely
- pickleball heat transfer logo to withstand the elements
- available in multiple colors, but white is a classic and goes with a bold shoe
- stretch jersey fabric for a comfortable, flattering fit
- 14 ½” length that hits along the mid to upper thigh to show off your athletic build
- shorts attached for extra covering and support
- available in multiple colors, including the classic white
- outsole is not only hard court-approved, but has herringbone rubber for more traction and durability
- extra cushioning thanks to the EVA midsole for comfort through long-time use during play
- a light blue shoe with pickleball prints on the side—the perfect pop for an all-white classic outfit
- 100 percent polyester fabric for easy-to-wash care and durable protection
- adjustable strapback for a one-size-fits-all benefit
- affordable price with free shipping and easy return if necessary
Skechers®: Pickleball Shoes for Men and Women
Coined the most electrifying man in sports, Tyson McGuffin is known for his flashy attitude that matches his flashy pickleball outfits. Decked out from head to toe, one of his most functional articles of clothing is his Skechers pickleball shoes. Catherine Parenteau, another big name pickleball pro, is also sponsored by the brand and shows them off with her speed and agility.
So why do they both wear Skechers? The sparknotes answer: they’re comfortable, fashionable, and made for performance.
- includes Skechers Arch Fit® for an optimal arch support and comfort on the court
- ULTRA FLIGHT® cushioning and lightweight for speed and agility—much needed in this stop and start high-intensity sport
- flashy design with mesh outerwear for a spark of fashion
Lucky in Love Pickleball Clothing: Fashion at its Finest
Ladies, if you want to look like a professional, look no further than right here. Not only does Lucky in Love have their own line of pickleball attires, but the face of their pickleball line is none other than Simone Jardim, former number one pickleball player in the world and an icon in the sport.
Lucky in Love curates their pickleball outfits for functionality and fashion. Their meticulously crafted designs are made to be worn with other pickleball attires in their collection. They can also easily be paired with pieces you already own, making this brand an affordable option if you can’t justify spending money on an entire pickleball outfit.
- shorts attached to carry balls to save time between each point
- loose-fitted waistbands for comfortable, versatile fit
- a stark purple color for a pop of personal style, with other colors available
- one of Simone Jardim’s personal pickleball picks for performance on court
- light-weight rib material that’s moisture-wicking, absorbent, and breathable to withstand long, hot days on the court
- high top design to contour the shoulder frame for an elegant look
Weather conditions, dress code, safety accessories, and whatever makes you look good are all important things to consider when looking for a pickleball outfit. But the key to finding a pickleball outfit that makes you feel and look good is going with the attire that you love and want to wear.