Table tennis is a sport that requires lots of very fast footwork movements and changes of direction. That means wearing the right footwear is really important. In this post, I will share some of the best table tennis shoes currently available.
If you are serious about playing table tennis then you need to buy some actual table tennis shoes. Sure, you could get away with playing in any pair of trainers, but table tennis shoes have been specifically designed to enhance your lateral movement and provide additional support.
Expensive vs cheap table tennis shoes
The first decision you need to make is whether to invest in a top-of-the-range pair of table tennis shoes or grab something from the bargain bin at the equipment stand of the next tournament you go to.
I have to admit that I usually just grab something cheap. The last pair of table tennis shoes I bought were the basic ones by Joola and only cost me about £30.
There’s nothing wrong with the cheap shoes – I’ve been using them my whole life and never had any problems – but they will lack some of the features and comforts of the most expensive models.
If you want to buy cheap table tennis shoes just search for something that is currently on offer. Perhaps an older model. They will still be pretty good. The design and style don’t change that quickly.
Expensive table tennis shoes made by brands such as Butterfly can cost over £100. It’s up to you to decide whether or not that is worth it to you.
The Best Table Tennis Shoes
If you’ve got the money to spend here are some of your best options…
Mizuno Wave Drive
These are my favourite table tennis shoes and are worn by almost all of the top Chinese players, including Ma Long and Zhang Jike.
Japanese brand Mizuno makes lots of different types of sports footwear but the Wave Drive model is specifically created for table tennis. It comes in blue or red.
The Mizuno Wave Drive is currently in its 7th version, although they only make small changes as they already have a winning formula. All of the previous version have been very popular as well. Sam Priestley – the guinea-pig in my Expert in a Year challenge – used a pair of Mizuno Wave Drive 6s during his year of table tennis.
The Mizuno Wave Drive 7 is very low to the ground, which is ideal for table tennis footwear. It is also extremely lightweight, which feels great when you are playing. The cushioning and support is good and the shoe is very stable to prevent twisted ankles etc.
The shoe also has plenty of mesh to allow your feet to “breathe”. Some table tennis shoes have too much leather which can cause your feet to get very hot and sweaty while playing.
The grip on the sole of these shoes is really good as well. That is really important because if you lose grip with the floor you are going to struggle to move quickly and get into position for the next shot.
Most importantly, the Mizuno Wave Drive 7 has received unanimously positive reviews from table tennis players. They may be quite expensive but you can be sure that you are buying a very high-quality table tennis shoe.
You won’t be disappointed. I honestly believe these are the best table tennis shoes available.
- You can buy a pair of Mizuno Wave Drive 7 from Tabletennis11.com for €90.00 – which is roughly £70 or $100.
Butterfly Energy Force
There are loads of Butterfly Energy Force table tennis shoes (I think they bring out a new pair almost every year) and they are very popular among top players.
Butterfly have produced and designed their Energy Force range in collaboration with ASICS. A lot of research and development has gone into them to give maximum grip and stability for table tennis. These are the best table tennis shoes from Butterfly and are therefore also the most expensive.
The current model is the Energy Force XII (12) and it is available in two colours; blue and white or pink and black.
This really is a top-class table tennis shoe. You can’t really compare it to the kind of footwear being released by the other table tennis brands like Stiga and Joola.
Instead of listing all of the amazing features of the Butterfly Energy Force XII I thought it would be easier to share this short video from Butterfly…
The durability of Butterfly Energy Force shoes is one of their biggest selling points. If you are training hard every day you will usually wear through a pair of table tennis shoes in just a few months. The build quality of these means that they should last you at least a year.
- You can buy a pair of Butterfly Energy Force XII from Megaspin for $179.99
- In the UK they are available for £83.99 from TeesSport
The Lezoline TB is the newest shoe to be released by Butterfly and features their new logo. It was made in collaboration with Timo Boll himself (Timo is using the shoe in competitions) and is cheaper than the Energy Force XII.
I actually quite like the design and colours. However, what I really love is the double ventilation in the sole of the shoe. This is a brilliant idea and should really help to stop your feet from becoming too hot and sweaty as you are playing. Nice work Butterfly!
Here’s what Timo had to say about the Lezoline TB…
The shoe has to become the extension of my body. With LEZOLINE TB, I do not register the shoe separately when moving – a good sign for a perfect shoe. I am using my first pair of LEZOLINE TB for 10 months now, which is a crazy long time for a professional player! Top players usually use a pair of shoes for 2, maximum 3 months with normal training regiment. We should remember that the orange playing floor acts just like sandpaper, so the shoes tend to lose their grip much quicker.
You can see the shoe in action here…
The Butterfly Lezoline TB is a great choice for players looking for the best table tennis shoes but not wanting to spend an absolute fortune.
- You can buy a pair of Butterfly Lezoline TB from Megaspin for $114.99
- In the UK they are available for £79.99 from TeesSport
What are your favourite table tennis shoes?
We all own at least one pair of table tennis shoes. For now, I’m perfectly happy with my cheap Joola Touch shoes but when they need replacing I will probably go for some Mizuno Wave Drives – the best table tennis shoes. Maybe the 8s will be out by then?
Which shoes are you currently playing in? Are they any good?
Whether you’ve had a good or bad experience please leave a comment and share your thoughts. It will help other players to make better choices regarding their table tennis footwear and hopefully select the best table tennis shoes for them.
And, to check out all of my favourite products and equipment articles please visit my table tennis equipment page.