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Data says this is the no. 1 PB shoe

by The Dink Media Team on

Ben Johns, defeated. Drops & drives are actually quite similar.

just paddles title

When I was a kid, my classmates wore K-Swiss or Adidas sneakers. I didn't, and I was made fun of.

But these days, I'm rocking the most popular shoe in who's laughing now, 8th graders?!

...Ok, fine, my shoes probably had nothing to do with it.


What's on tap this Friday:

  • Drops & drives have more in common than you think
  • Pros wear these pickleball shoes
  • ALW x Paddletek news
  • A cold day in Mesa for this top pro

Let's go!

Drops and Drives: Not so Different After All

Most pickleball players and coaches tend to think of third shot drops and third shot drives as very different techniques — almost opposites — from one another.

But at Third Shot Sports, we like to flip things on their head and insist in the value of picturing these two shots being remarkably similar.

The goal of a good drive is to challenge your opponents by taking away their time to react — you want to hit this ball hard. And because you’re hitting it hard, you better also keep it low, or it will fly out of bounds.

We like to imagine a window above the net (about 1.5 paddles high) and aim our drive through here. And because we are hitting the ball hard, the ball should stay in this window as it gets to the opponent.

What if we take the same target for our drop but don’t hit the ball so fast? Instead, we play a slow drive through the same window.

The ball starts low, and since it is hit slowly, gravity can do its thing. This will cause the ball to drop below the top of the net, forcing your opponent to hit upward. Ta Da — you’ve hit a successful drop!

The beautiful thing about this approach is that you are effectively hitting the same shot — just at two different speeds.

This means you only have one technique to master and you increase the chance that you can disguise your shot. Give it a try and tell us what you think!


We like Mark. And we like Third Shot Sports. And you should too, because we've teamed up with them to give away a Selkirk paddle to a lucky reader. All you have to do is subscribe to their free newsletter here.

In this flooded market, buying a paddle might not be easy. But JustPaddles is here to make the process much simpler.

With paddle coaches, resource and buying guides, JustPaddles will provide you everything you need to make an informed decision. Check them out here.


Maybe only 90s kids will get this, but remember the stupid “Shoes” song? You don’t have to be shoe-obsessed like the person in that video to be curious about how certain models might benefit your pickle-game.

It just so happens that a very dedicated picklefan has crunched the numbers on shoe brands worn by the pros (because if they’re good enough for people playing literally every day, they’re good enough for the rest of us).

It turns out that there really is something to dropping the money on shoes designed for the sport.

Over 42% of pros wear Babolat, a brand focusing on pickleball, tennis, and padel shoe designs. The next most popular brand on the pie chart is K-Swiss with over 12% of pros and a surprisingly large selection of dedicated pickle shoes.

Every other brand, from Asics to Fila to New Balance and Nike, is worn by only 2.5 to 7.5% of pro picklers.

(You can find many pickleball shoe models at Fromuth Pickleball save 10% on most items with code 10DINK).

Speaking of shoes...

Skechers Kicks-Off Deal with USA Pickleball

Skechers is making moves to increase their slice of the pro pie and provide shoes to amateur players. A new five-year deal made them the "Exclusive Footwear Partner and Exclusive Shoe of USA Pickleball."

Skechers has also partnered with Major League Pickleball, the APP Tour, and the PPA Tour, meaning if you're streaming or attending any pro event this year you'll also see the Skechers 'S' in play.

ALW Re-Signs with Paddletek

Paddletek have re-signed the world number one professional pickleball player (and, *ahem,* Women's Player of the Year winner), Anna Leigh Waters.

Paddletek CEO Curtis Smith says the company is honored to continue their relationship with such a respected player.

“Our entire team is very proud to have witnessed Anna Leigh’s progression to the highest level of professionalism, as well as her #1 ranking,” Smith says.

International Sunday

It'll be a cold day in Mesa before anyone beats Ben Johns. Johns has seemed unbeatable at the start of 2023. He cruised to two triple crowns to start the year. Johns' opponent in each singles final? Federico Staksrud.

Fed struggled against Johns at the Masters and again in Phoenix. But yesterday was a cold day in Mesa, and Staksrud derailed the Johns Championship train. He won in a thriller 12-10, 4-11, 12-10. Fed will play the two-seed Jay Devilliers on Sunday in a World Cup rematch 🇦🇷 vs 🇫🇷.

  • Johns withdrew following the semifinal match, leaving James Ignatowich with the uncontested bronze medal.

Much like her paddle, the winning ways of Anna Leigh Waters went unchanged yesterday. She is through to another final where she will have another run-in with Lea Jansen.

Mary Brascia had the second biggest upset of the day. She knocked off Catherine Parenteau in the quarterfinals. With the new format, CP was out of podium contention and elected to withdraw.

Mixed doubles action goes live this afternoon on PPA TV.

Athletic Wear Designed for Pickleball Players

AVI is elevating Pickleball by creating exceptional athletic wear. They believe everyone — from professional athletes to casual enthusiasts — deserves well-constructed, expertly designed clothing made just for their sport.

With pockets created specifically to hold pickleballs, comfortable fabrics, and ultra-lightweight feel, AVI is elevated performance wear for both on AND off the court!

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