Badminton and squash have a couple of things in common — they’re racket sports and they’re fast! One of their differences is on one piece of equipment required to excel in either — shoes.
Badminton shoes and squash shoes are not the same. While they look structurally similar on the outside, they differ in cushioning and weight. In other areas, they share certain qualities like roomy toe boxes, support for lateral movement, and the presence of non-marking soles. The differences exist owing to the demands unique to badminton and squash.
Badminton shoes are different from squash shoes, despite how similar they look on the surface. Let’s step into the world of badminton shoes again and explore what distinguishes the sport’s footwear from that of squash!
What are the Differences Between Badminton and Squash Shoes?
Badminton and squash may be some of the fastest racket sports on the planet, with the former being faster. Nonetheless, the keys to performance and victory can’t be any more different for these two sports. Due to the differences in the necessary movement patterns of these sports, shoes will differ in certain aspects.
The main differences between badminton and squash shoes lay in their weight and cushioning. Badminton shoes are generally lighter compared to squash shoes. This is because there’s a lot more “hang time” and jumping required for badminton. To accommodate jumps and landings, there’s also more cushioning with badminton shoes compared to squash shoes since there’s no jumping in squash.
Here are the key differences in greater detail:
As mentioned earlier, badminton shoes are lighter compared to squash shoes. The lightness of badminton shoes allows players to stay springy as they chase after steep smashes and high-arc returns or serves. In addition, the low weight of badminton shoes allows players to jump as they execute smashes — a skill necessary for scoring at critical points in the game.
When it comes to squash shoes, they’ll be a little heavier. Why? First of all, there’s no jumping in squash (except maybe jumping in excitement following a win). Also, more sprinting goes on in squash, meaning that the shoe needs to be flatter on the ground. This allows squash shoes to have thinner soles made with denser material than badminton shoes.
For comparison, take the Yonex Aerus Z badminton shoe and the Head 2.0 squash shoe. The latter weighs in at about 1.94 lbs. On the other hand, the Aerus Z weighs just 0.5 lbs — nearly a fourth of the weight of the Head 2.0!
A shoe that’s flat on the ground will not dampen the sprint speed of a player as it minimizes bouncing — otherwise known as “give.” Between badminton and squash, sprinting is a movement you’ll see more in squash. For this reason, squash shoes typically have less cushioning despite being heavier.
You won’t exactly be stepping on pillows when you wear a pair of badminton shoes. Compared to a squash shoe, badminton shoes will keep your ankles and knees happier on a badminton court. Despite being lighter, badminton shoes have cushioning to absorb shock during landing and sudden deceleration.
What are the Similarities Between Badminton and Squash Shoes?
Despite their differences, badminton and squash shoes have a few things in common. Here they are:
Both badminton and squash shoes have non-marking soles. Furthermore, both shoes can offer stability and support for the necessary movements that squash and badminton require. Both shoes also need to be flexible enough to support rapid decelerations, stops, lateral movements, and sprints.
Let’s take a look at the shared qualities of these shoes:
Both sports are played on courts with specialized flooring materials. Often, the materials used for both badminton and squash courts are wood board, acrylic, and other synthetic materials like polyvinyl carbon and polyurethane.
Usually, the owners of badminton and squash courts would like to save on maintenance. To prevent unsightly marks and damage to the floors, owners will require the use of shoes with non-marking soles.
Stability and Support
Badminton and squash require players to move in many directions. Shoes that are unstable from excessive cushioning will risk injuries to the ankles. Sound familiar? This is also why you shouldn’t wear tennis shoes to a badminton game.
Badminton and squash shoes consist of firm and sturdy materials that hold the feet and ankles in place during a game. In addition, the soles of both shoes have also been engineered to prevent excessive “roll” whenever a player suddenly stops.
Both badminton and squash shoes provide stability but never at the expense of movement. For this reason, badminton and squash shoes consist of breathable and flexible material that enables free movement on the court.
Can You Wear Squash Shoes for Badminton?
As you might’ve seen, badminton and squash shoes are similar in more ways than one. Now comes the question — can you wear squash shoes to a badminton game?
Competitively, badminton shoes should not be worn in squash games the same way squash shoes should not be worn in badminton games. You’d be better off wearing the right shoes for the right sport. If you’re playing badminton and the stakes are high, wearing squash shoes will be a mistake. Similarly, if you’re heading to the local squash court for a game, you should wear squash shoes.
Despite the similarity with a squash shoe, the lightness and cushioning of a badminton shoe will give you the extra edge you’ll need when you’re hitting the shuttlecock across the net. Besides that, these qualities of a badminton shoe will help you prevent injuries while you play.
What Are the Best Brands of Badminton Shoes?
Now that we’ve established the differences between badminton and squash shoes, let’s talk about the brands you can choose from in regards to badminton shoes.
You can’t go wrong with a brand like Yonex. In fact, I wrote about which shoes top my Yonex badminton shoes charts. Beyond Yonex, companies like Li-Ning and Victor make some of the best badminton shoes in the market.
Yonex has been at the forefront of the badminton scene in regards to equipment. Making a name with their rackets, their shoes are some of the lightest you’ll find. Some examples of their lightweight offerings can be found in my Yonex shoe post.
Li-Ning is a Chinese company that has sponsored many Badminton World Federation (BWF) events. Like Yonex, Li-Ning also manufactures some of the finest badminton equipment on the market — including shoes.
Victor doesn’t lag behind the two companies mentioned. In fact, the company’s badminton shoes promises to deliver lightweight footwear and incredible wearing experience. These are seen in S99ELITE, the lightest footwear VICTOR has ever made.
The Right Shoe for the Right Sport
Badminton and squash shoes aren’t the same. While there’s nothing wrong with using either for recreational play, the right shoes for the right sport give you a definitive edge.
In short, wear badminton shoes for a badminton game. Regarding other kinds of shoes, it’s best to leave them off the badminton court.
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