- Top Table Tennis Shoes To Buy
- How to Choose the Best Table Tennis Shoe??
- Top 9 Professional Ping Pong Shoes Review (2020)
- 1. Best overall - JOOLA 126
- 2. Runner up - Butterfly Lezoline Gigu
- 3. Best for long competitions and Training sessions - Andro Cross-Step
- 4. Best Professional Shoe - Butterfly Lezoline Rifones
- 5. Best Bounce - JOOLA Court
- 6. Best Design - Butterfly Lezoline Groovy
- 7. Best Breathable Shoe - JOOLA Vivid Shoe
- 8. Best Value - Butterfly Lezoline Trynex
- 9. Best Budget - Butterfly Lezoline Mach
- Final Verdict
Our Top Choice
A common misconception is that as an indoor game, table tennis does not require special kitting clothing like its more popular cousin, real tennis. And to be fair, you don’t need any fancy clothes or shoes if you only play occasionally as a hobby. However, if you are involved in competitive endeavors, you need to go all out to ensure your movements are smooth and fast.
Apart from keeping fit and stretching before every game, another way to keep fit is to don appropriate shoes that give you both comfort and freedom of movement. Of course, your regular running shoes can work, but why not invest in a pair designed specifically for table tennis players? Yup, there are lots of those in the market today – thanks to the increasing popularity of table tennis as a viable alternative to the more sophisticated court tennis.
So, throughout this article, we will not only let you in on the best table tennis shoes in the market, but also outline their best features and what to look for in a table tennis shoe. Our top pick is the JOOLA 126, closely followed by Butterfly Lezoline Gigu
Top Table Tennis Shoes To Buy
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How to Choose the Best Table Tennis Shoe??
Choosing an appropriate ping pong practice or game shoe can be troubling even to the most experienced players. Apart from the model to choose, you need to also know whether to go for a thin or thick sole, the ideal weight per shoe and so forth.
With so many brands, and online shops selling what they consider as the best shoes in the history of footwear, disappointment is never far away. If you are a novice in this area, here is a lowdown of the most important factors to consider when shopping for table tennis shoes.
As mentioned earlier, ping pong involves lots of movements in all directions and at varying speeds. To protect players against blisters and toe injuries, legit table tennis shoes often have extra padding on the toe and ankle sections. Apart from injury protection, padding provides the required comfort and grip to support all sorts of movement.
A commonly held rule in the ping pong community, in regards to gaming shoes, is that they should be flat to enable them to stick to the surface. While this is true for the most part, some shoes may have a slightly raised midsole – which is still okay.
The material used to make the sole of any shoe also has a bearing on its longevity, grip and flexibility. As a rule, only buy shoes who’s soles are made of rubber and polyurethane. Avoid plastic, leather and sheet soles as they’re not only very perishable, but also very rigid.
Size is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to buying sports shoes. You want shoes that fit your feet perfectly without being uncomfortable. If the shoe is too big, it won’t be comfortable to move in, and will certainly not protect you from injury.
Ideally, you should buy shoes that are at least half a point bigger than your normal work shoes to account for all the extra padding and other features.
Ping pong may not be as physically intense as soccer or basketball, but it still leads to sweating most of the time. It’s even worse when your feet sweat and your inner sole gets all sloppy and musty. For this reason, most tennis shoes have air mesh on the sides to allow for good airflow.
So, if your feet normally sweat, or you’re conscious about your shoes smelling after a tough game, stick to shoes with air mesh.
Top 9 Professional Ping Pong Shoes Review (2020)
1. Best overall - JOOLA 126
As far as table tennis goes, JOOLA is a juggernaut. The company has been key in the development of professional table tennis in the USA – they are the Official Table Sponsors of all USATT tournaments – and produces a large number of balls, tables and paddles used in the game.
Accordingly, we had to start off this list with one of JOOLA’s best selling shoes, the 126. The shoe is particularly designed to enhance movement and performance by cushioning the ankles, while also being pliant enough to support players who are always on their feet.
This is courtesy of a beefy, breathable mesh coating on each of the sides and the outer soles. The mesh helps to evaporate moisture, thereby keeping your feet warm and dry.
The shoe is sold in either of two color schemes; white and deep blue, all of which come with black and grey details. The sizing is notably varied, ranging from 4.5 to 11.5
- Size: 4.5 – 11.5
- Colors: White and Blue
2. Runner up - Butterfly Lezoline Gigu
The Lezoline Gigu are part of the Lezoline collection, which also includes classic names such as Rifones, Mach and Groovy. They have a great, modern design and come in white, black/red or silver shades with a black lining. They’re essentially a high-end model, in terms of both price and features, and are thus mostly worn by pro players.
The Gigus have quite a thick sole, which provides maximum shock absorption and support for the entire sole. What more, there’s a B-Absorber lodged between the outer and middle soles for added cushioning. The spring therein increases the movement time during reflex actions while also preventing injury from twists.
The outer side is fully covered with synthetic leather that greatly enhances the anesthetic. There’s also an embedded STB torsion protector that helps maintain the shape and form of the shoe during all the turning and twisting that happens during a typical game of whiff-whaff. Additional movement support and assistance is provided by the Wingrip technology on the outer sole that tightly grips any surface you walk on.
- Colors: White/Silver and Black/red
- Sizes: 4.5 – 12
3. Best for long competitions and Training sessions - Andro Cross-Step
Another lower-range model that may interest you is this ultra black and green baby known as Cross Step from Andros. To start with, this shoe has an amazing design and wouldn’t look out of place when worn to the mall for a lazy Sunday lunch with the fam. We would, however, advise to only wear it to the ping pong park, where it’s specifically designed to rule.
Anyways, the Cross Step has an amazing array of features, the most notable being the Air Ventilation Window (AVW) found near the front outer part. The AVW will greatly improve your experience (especially if you tend to play for long hours) by keeping your feet cool, and most importantly, dry at all times.
The best part is that the interior is made of super comfortable material, and also includes some mesh inserts as ventilation aids. Moreover, the insoles are anatomically shaped and easily removable for washing.
To complete it’s sleek, modern style, the Cross Step comes adorned with dynamic TPU+ material specifically geared to support the midfoot area and significantly reduce the discomfort that may come with standing and moving around for long hours. And talking of movements, the tiny, rough structures on the insides are made to grip the feet and consequently prevent missteps and potential injuries. The padded, high-rise back also provides maximum cover to the ankles, which also helps reduce the risk of sprains and muscle pulls.
- Colors: Black
- Sizes: 7.5 – 10.5
4. Best Professional Shoe - Butterfly Lezoline Rifones
If you are involved in high-level table tennis competitions, you may want to cop some Rifones, which are also part of the Lezoline line by Butterfly. These shoes are widely regarded as the best table tennis shoes in the market, not just by amateurs or semi-pros, but also by the big league players.
The Rifones are also one of only a handful of table tennis shoes that can be said to be visually appealing, thanks to their modern design and a sleek color scheme incorporating blue, lime and magenta colors. Despite the design, they weigh close to nothing, and you’ll hardly notice you have them on during a game.
Have we mentioned just how comfortable this shoe is?
For real, you have to wear it to believe. For a start, the front upper layer is mostly made of Anti-Skid KPU material that not only increases its durability, but also serves as a shock absorber to protect the soles and ankles during high impact lateral movements. The rest of the exterior is basically made of synthetic leather and air mesh for air conditioning.
The midsole, which is slightly raised, is also fitted with sufficient cushioning and grip to enable uninhibited mobility. The inner midsoles are fitted with B-Absorber padding that helps prevent injuries while the outer ones are made of reinforced Wingrip material that provides more than enough traction and stability during quick reflex actions.
- Sizes: 4.5 – 12
- Colors: Black and Blue
5. Best Bounce - JOOLA Court
It’s only right to squeeze in a budget kick after the invaluable babies above. The JOOLA Courts are another classic from the undisputed kings of the modest kicks, JOOLA. They come in a vintage white color, simple design and are super light – basically, they’re as modern and functional as they come.
To start with, the inner sole has a generous padding that provides maximum comfort at all times. The cushioning also serves as a protective barrier against trauma resulting from trips, sudden lunges, and missteps.
The thick outer sole provides a satisfactory level of support and grip, even in the absence of STB or Anti-Skid features. They also have a good bounce on them and are a bit beefy on the heel and toe sections to take the sting off those reflex jumps.
For air circulation, the outer skin is generously coated with air mesh, interspersed with synthetic leather. This mesh coating also serves as an anti-distortion feature, as it hides any folds and creases that occur. It also enhances the old school scheme of the shoe and gives it the look of a classic trainer.
The JOOLA Court also comes in a variety of sizes (from 3.5 to 11.5), which makes them suitable for all sorts of feet. To be on the safe side, JOOLA recommends buying a shoe that’s a size bigger than your feet. That way, you will be assured that it fits, and secondly, you will have adequate space to facilitate all sorts of movement.
- Colors: White
- Sizes: 3.5 – 11.5
6. Best Design - Butterfly Lezoline Groovy
The Lezoline Groovy is a glossy pair that is sold in a variety of colors, starting with blue, pink, white and black/gold. A slight glance may lead you to underrate its capacity as a table tennis warrior, as it looks nothing like it. However, once you examine it closely, you’ll be pleasantly dumbfounded at all the features it packs, starting with the logically partitioned outer sole structure.
The front outer sole is well padded, with the usual air mesh replaced with reinforced synthetics to keep the toe warm and protected from hard objects. The midsole, which is almost off the ground, is relatively thin, and inadvertently gives the feel of walking barefoot. Apart from making your movements faster, the thin midsole also brings down the overall weight of the shoe, which is a good thing. The heel section, on the other hand, is thicker than the other sections, with the extra padding providing additional comfort and support during jumps.
The outer sole is also reinforced with Wingrip, which adds to the stability and sturdiness of the shoe, especially when moving in an indoor environment. The inner sole is made of EVA footbed, which essentially doubles the cushioning properties of the shoe and absorbs the extra shocks generated by every movement.
Notably, the Lezoline Groovys lack the air mesh present in most ping pong footwear, but the EVA insole does a great job at heat suppression. Furthermore, the solid outer skin adds to the overall durability with its sturdy make.
- Color: Black, Blue, Navy/Pink, White
- Sizes: 5 – 12
7. Best Breathable Shoe - JOOLA Vivid Shoe
We’ve already looked at two JOOLA bargain kicks, but that’s not all the company has to offer. After completely dominating the low-end segment, JOOLA has in recent years started targeting the mid-range market. To that end, their best offering is the JOOLA Vivid, which has sold hundreds of thousands of units since it was released in early 2018.
This shoe is more colorful than any JOOLA shoe, incorporating different variations of white, blue, grey, black and pink colors. Its outer sole is quite thick but surprisingly light, and offers enough flexibility for all sorts of intermediate lunges and lateral movements. It is also fitted with a tough, non-slip grip that guarantees stability even on the most slippery floors.
The inner sole, although not as fancy as in the higher end shoes, is still more comfy and ergonomic than you’ll find in most shoes. It’s designed to befittingly grip the foot and prevent turd toes and other injuries arising from sudden movements. Moreover, the insole is well padded, just like the entire interior, to provide maximum comfort and prevent traumatic injuries.
As with most JOOLA shoes, the Vivid shoe is sufficiently ventilated courtesy of an enveloping air mesh that covers most of the front and sides. Apart from air conditioning, the air mesh also serves as a heat conditioning feature geared to keep your foot warm and dry. That essentially means that the shoe can be worn for more than 5 hours a day without worrying about bad smells or stuffiness.
- Color: blue/green
- Sizes: 4.5 – 11.5
8. Best Value - Butterfly Lezoline Trynex
Earlier on, I may have given the impression that all Butterfly shoes are sophisticated and pricey. And while it may not be entirely false, it is not fully true either. Lots of Butterfly shoes, outside the Lezoline line, actually have moderate price tags and the Butterfly Trynex model is one of them.
The first notable thing about this shoe is that it looks way more cool than most of the other shoes listed here. The design, while still simple, manages to bring out the shoe’s personality while still maintaining the usual Butterfly allure. Moreover, it is available in both blue and red persuasions, and sizes 4.5 – 12 . This large variation in sizes makes the Trynex even more appealing among athletes.
Unlike most Lezolines, the Trynex has breathable air mesh on the top and sides. Admittedly, the mesh lessens the shoe’s overall aesthetic but then again, it’s a shoe build for long term use in a taxing game. And as far as that goes, it’s performance over pleasantries.
Trynex is a bit heavier than most shoes in this range, which can be attributed to the ultra-thick gum rubber sole. On the bright side, the extra cushioning on the outer sole provides a little bit more support for the heels and toes. It also means that it will take more time for the shoe to degrade, especially when used on indoor surfaces.
The inner sole is made from EVA material, which is the industry standard. Apart from providing comfort, the inner sole is stretchable, which increases the range of movement.
- Color: Blue, red
- Sizes: 4.5 – 12
9. Best Budget - Butterfly Lezoline Mach
The Lezoline Mach is the cheapest of the Lezoline sneakers, but still matches up to the rest of them in terms of quality. It has a sleek, polished look and almost looks too good to be a sports shoe. It is also lightweight and highly flexible, allowing for a whole range of tennis-specific movements, including high-speed shuffles, runs and instinctive backsteps.
Other features include an air mesh covering the top and a bit of the sides and STB reinforcement, which maintains the shoe’s shape even when exposed to stressful conditions. The sturdiness provided by the STB also enhances foot stability during turns and runs.
The outer sole is not as thick, but is still as firm and padded as in the rest of the Lezoline shoes. In particular, it contains a B-Absorber lodged between the outer and middle soles that increases the cushioning, foot support and flexibility. It’s also made with Wingrip technology, which ensures stable traction and prevents slips. The middle sole (the bridge between the front and back soles) is a B-Ridge that, apart from giving a barefoot feeling, also allows for sliding motions.
- Colors: Black, blue, pink
- Sizes: 4.5 – 12
Table tennis is not as specialized as court tennis, and you can play with all sorts of shoes, or even sandals! However, custom shoes are recommended as they have a higher injury prevention rate, provide more stability, and consequently improve your performance.
To get the best results, you should consider our top pick – JOOLA 126. The shoe is affordable, lightweight and has a beefy, breathable mesh coating that keeps your feet comfortable during competitions.
So what are you waiting for? Buy one today!