Squash, which was formerly known as Squash Rackets, acquired its current name from a direct reference to the squashy nature of the ball used. And, like that unique squashy ball, good squash footwear has very particular characteristics.
If you’re new to the game and think your cross-trainers will do – think again. You move fast in squash, just like the ball which can peak at 125 mph in a good amateur game and was even recorded at a whopping 175mph after a whack from pro player Cameron Pilley (Aus) in October 2011.
Further, lots of movements are sideways too and if your feet aren’t suitably attired you could be bowing out of your first game with a lower leg strain or back pain before you’ve mastered your first boast*
Here’s the low down on what to look for from squash footwear...
• Non-marking sole- pretty much every court insists on them
• Lightweight to keep you nimble when running for the ball or making way for your partner or opponent(s)
• Robust inside and out – many die-hard players have threadbare insoles while the outside still look box fresh
• Strong lateral support for all those sideways shifts
• Flexible support for ankles and soles to support every twist and turn
• Good cushioning to add a spring to your step
• Roomy – many players prescribe wearing two pairs of socks to prevent blisters
• Balanced toes and heels to keep you upright when you swiftly swap direction
• Great impact absorption – your feet take a pounding and you want to protect your knees and back from the impact
• Breathability – you’re gonna get hot!
* a boast (AKA angle) when you bounce the ball off the side or back wall at an angle before hitting the front wall of the court.