The single piece of equipment you can purchase to up your game – whether you are a beginner or advanced player – is NOT a racket! It’s your shoes.
Did you know badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world? Shuttles can travel up to 200 mph; meaning you have to move lickedy-split to reach them! This is not the backyard badminton I played when I was a kid, for sure. With the speed you need to get around the court, it’s really dangerous to wear street shoes. The shoes that are popular these days, like Converse or Vans, are smooth on the bottom and not made for traction, support or shock absorption. Even an athletic shoe that is made to grip when you’re outside, will quickly be worm by any asphalt you walk on. Plus, any shoe that you wear all day, will track all the dirt from outside into the gym, and pretty soon the entire gym floor is covered in a layer of dust. You should really have the proper shoes, but it’s just as important that you are wearing a shoe that is used exclusively in the gym and not worn outside at all, so it keeps its grip, and you don’t ruin the floor for everyone else.
Badminton shoes have gummy rubber soles that provide excellent traction and give you the ability to rebound quickly on wooden high school gym floors. If your shoes don’t grip the floor, you’re setting yourself up for all kinds of injuries when you slip. Badminton is a game of stopping and starting. Shoes that allow you to slide on the floor means you’re not getting back to the center of the court and ready for the next shot fast enough. There goes that point!
Badminton shoes are built with lateral stability, so when you move sideways on the court you are less likely to sprain an ankle. The stiff heel counters cradle your feet in the shoe and prevent them from slipping around. They are also built with a lower center of gravity than other athletic shoes. I had a student sprain his ankle 5 times in his Vans last year! New shoes are much cheaper than a doctor’s appointment, potential x-ray or MRI, ankle braces, and time off work because you can’t stand on your feet! Plus, if you get injured, you will have to sit out games until you heal. L
Badminton shoes are also made with excellent shock absorption, which will reduce your fatigue, dampen the stress on your joints and help you be able to play with more energy for longer.
Did you know most Badminton clubs in the area won’t let you play unless you have badminton shoes?!
Yes, the top of the line, lightest weight badminton shoes will cost you $130 (or $109 with your discount), but you can find indoor court shoes for less than half that. You can look at the badminton stores in the area to find less expensive ones, or if you know your size, Amazon has plenty in the $40 – $50 range.
I want every one of you to be able to play your best, with shoes that will set you up with the best possible footwork, and that keep you from being injured so you can play the whole season!