The sport of table tennis has evolved into one of the most world-renowned past times in recent years. It is not only an excellent way to spend time with friends or family because of its simplicity but it is also one of the most competitive sports in the world, even being featured as an Olympic event.
Table tennis now has a plethora of different accessories that can give competitive players the edge, including special shoes made just for the sport. We’ve reviewed and compiled the best shoes for table tennis that can easily be found on Amazon so that aspiring competitors can choose the best ones.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 23 hours of research:
The 5 Best Table Tennis Shoes Reviewed in 2021 – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks.
1. Butterfly Lezoline Gigu Shoes
- PROFESSIONAL - Developed by Butterfly table tennis to support the footwork of top players
Starting off this list strong we have the best seller, Lezoline Gigu shoes made by the Japanese brand, Butterfly. This is our personal pick for the best table tennis shoes that money can buy and you shall soon see why. The first thing you will undoubtedly notice about this shoe is its striking appearance. It comes in either a white and silver coloration or red and black. Both of these variations come with pleasing patterns painted onto them so that you will not only perform better in competition but also wow everyone with your style.
Beyond looks, the Gigu shoes from the Lezoline line are the best high-quality shoes an aspiring table tennis player could invest in. This particular shoe was developed to support the footwork of professional players and has features to back it up. Namely, this shoe has the thickest soles in the Lezoline lineup and has a special shock-absorbing sponge built into it. You’ll feel like you’re walking on air as you dash around the table.
These shoes are also extremely comfortable and offer enhanced stability compared to other shoes. The outer sole is made using a special technology called Wingrip, which offers a lot of grip to assist your deft movements. The sole is also abrasion-resistant and made from rubber, ensuring that your feet will have good support, even during the toughest of matches.
- Stylish, good-looking shoes
- Wingrip technology in the outer sole for excellent grip
- Thick soles with a shock-absorbing sponge
- Abrasion-resistant, rubber soles to keep feet comfortable
The Lezoline Groovy shoes by Butterfly live up to their namesake with flying colors, literally. Out of all of the shoes made by the brand, these are certainly the nicest to look at. These shoes come in five different vibrant colors that are sure to add a lot of extra style to your table tennis playing getup. Any player that wears these shoes is sure to be identified as someone of both substance and skill.
While the different colors of these shoes are certainly a sight to behold, you’ll find that the features of this shoe are also something equally stunning. Firstly, these are extremely lightweight shoes. One of their most prominent features is that they have an extremely thin midsole. The purpose of this feature is to provide a “barefoot” sensation as if you’re wearing nothing at all. The result is a surprisingly comfortable feeling that allows for deft movements and quick footwork.
The other two prominent features of this shoe are its durable rubber outsole and lack of mesh covering on the toe. The rubber sole is scuff-resistant and provides good grip on virtually any surface, excellent for people who use multiple playstyles. The mesh on the toes has been replaced with a tougher toe covering, allowing this shoe to withstand the intense footwork and lateral movements during competitions.
- Thin midsole makes it feel like you’re wearing nothing for extra comfort
- Reinforced toe covering for added durability
- Scuff-resistant rubber sole provides extra grip
- Lacks newer features on more expensive models
- BUTTERFLY TABLE TENNIS SHOE - Butterfly table tennis shoes are the preferred choice of top table tennis players
The Rifones are the most expensive out of the Lezoline line of shoes made by the Butterfly brand. These are top-of-the-line shoes of the highest quality that you’ll see professionals use due to their amazing features and amazing eye-catching styles. This ping pong shoe comes in four different colors and they are all beautiful.
The colorations and patterns are very vibrant and bright. Even the black and red variations of this shoe will surely cause eyes to pop as you walk out with them on. If you’re looking for a shoe that’s the pinnacle of table tennis style, then you’ve come to the end of your search. Looks aren’t’ everything when it comes to expensive products, and the Butterfly surely understands this as the Rifones are chock full of excellent features to give you an edge on the competition.
For starters, the upper portion of the shoe is made with what is known as “B-armor.” It essentially covers the upper part with a KPU material, a thermoplastic material that adds flexibility to the shoe that also cushions the forefoot. This way the shoe keeps your foot comfortable and protected during fast movements.
This shoe is also designed with support and giving you a perfect fit. It sports a bridge-shaped middle sole that allows for a sliding motion during play. The outer sole also uses a non-slip wingtip, which is specially made for superior grip and assisting with footwork. Finally, this shoe uses a special shock-absorbing sponge within the middle sole and forefoot known as a B-Absorber. The purpose of this is to add extra cushion and flexibility.
- B-absorber between the middle sole and forefoot for extra flexibility and cushioning
- B-armor technology adds extra protection to your feet
- Designed to be the perfect fit, perfect for fast footwork
- The most expensive shoe on our list
- SHOCK ABSORBING -The Mach contains a special shock absorbing sponge placed between the outer and middle sole of the forefoot which provides great cushioning and flexibility
Next on our list of elite table tennis shoes is the Lezoline Machs by Butterfly. Like all of the pairs of shoes before them, these are some of the best quality ones that are on the market and have high functionality compared to other brands and types of shoes.
The most notable feature about this shoe that makes it stick out from its predecessors is the specially designed B-Ridge technology that Butterfly has implemented. The technology makes the middle sole bridge-shaped and supports sliding motions during footwork.
Additionally, it has other features that were previously featured in other shoes such as B-Absorber technology, Wingrip, and STB. All four of these features together create a very excellent shoe that provides plenty of comfort and flexibility during gameplay and can support all sorts of different movements, perfect for running deftly around a table. Also, like some of the other shoes on this list, the sole is made from rubber and is supported by a layer of EVA foam.
- Unique B-Ridge technology supports sliding motions during footwork
- B-Absorber, Wingrip, and STB are also part of this shoe
- Rubber sole, reinforced with a layer of EVA foam
- Some may consider this shoes styles to be underwhelming compared to the other ones
5. Butterfly Trynex Table Tennis Shoe
- HIGH VALUE – Trynex is a Butterfly table tennis shoe with high value due to its high performance features and reasonable price.
Rounding out our list is the Trynex, the Butterfly brand’s most reasonably priced table tennis shoe. Though, the very appealing price tag is not born from a lack of quality or features. You’re still getting an amazing product, despite it being the cheapest shoe made by the brand. In terms of features, these shoes feature a lot of things that are common in the more expensive models by Butterfly such as a cushioned rubber sole and lightweight design.
In fact, this shoe sports an EVA foam reinforced sole for added comfort. Unique to this shoe is its all-mesh design. This makes the shoe very flexible, breathable, and comfortable compared to other shoes that are more rigid. On top of all of these features, this shoe is, of course, very durable and intended for athletic purposes. You’ll find that this shoe will be able to support almost any kind of playing style.
- Affordable price
- Lightweight and flexible mesh design
- Rubber sole, reinforced with EVA foam
- Lacks features of more expensive models
The clear winner among these 5 amazing shoes is the Lezoline Gigu. While these shoes lack a feature or two that are present in other models, the Gigus were specifically designed to be worn by top professional players. Because of this, their construction differs from the other models drastically and overall delivers a better, more comfortable experience during gameplay.
Specifically, this shoe is made with the thickest soles available in the Lezoline line of shoes. This enhances the already impressive shock-absorption abilities that are present within all of the Lezoline models. In addition, this shoe sports a full-covered upper to enhance the “holdability” of the shoe. In essence, the shoe will fit better on your feet.
Also, like all shoes designed by the Butterfly brand, these ones are also quite stylish. While they don’t have nearly as large of a color or pattern selection when compared to the rest of the lineup, what you get is still something that is unique and nice to look at. “Boring” is not a word that anyone would dare use on this shoe.
Table Tennis Shoe FAQ
1. Why buy table tennis shoes?
Now that we’ve gone over the best table tennis shoes that are available on Amazon, you might be wondering to yourself: “Why should I buy table tennis-specific shoes compared to something like a simple running shoe?” The answer to this question really boils down to your skill in the sport of ping pong.
An amateur player really doesn’t need a pair of shoes specifically for the sport just yet as they likely haven’t developed the necessary footwork skill and instead are just focused on learning the basics and how to strike the ball properly with their table tennis racket. In this case, most sports shoes or running shoes will do just fine as the player won’t yet be doing any intense maneuvers.
A final reason why an amateur shouldn’t buy table tennis shoes is that they’re usually quite expensive. Shoes specific to the sport really are more like an investment in yourself rather than an accessory. You should only purchase a pair of these types of shoes if you plan on playing competitively or in tournament settings.
Therefore, players who consider themselves intermediate or expert level should be the ones considering table tennis-specific shoes. Again, this is due to the intense footwork that is present within higher levels of play in the sport. Footwork in ping pong features a lot of quick movements that simply aren’t present in any other sport, hence the reason for the creation of shoes specific to it.
2. What makes a table tennis shoe so unique compared to other sports shoes?
A table tennis shoe is unique from other types of sports shoes because of how lightweight, durable, breathable, supportive, and flexible they are. Along with their most famous quality, thin soles. Thin soles are probably one of, if not the most important features of shoes that are made specifically for table tennis. In simple terms, the thin sole allows you to be as close to the ground as you can, greatly decreasing the chances of injuries such as twisted ankles that might occur due to the rapid movements involved in the footwork of table tennis.
After reading this, you might be wondering to yourself why you can’t just buy a similar shoe. Maybe you’ve found a running shoe that happens to have thin soles or a similar sports shoe and thought to yourself: “Well this is pretty much the same thing, might as well buy this instead!” While this might seem like a fine idea, it’s really not for a few reasons:
- Running shoes do not offer enough lateral support and are usually heavier than table tennis shoes
- Badminton shoes are the exception, not the rule. They’re heavier than table tennis shoes but offer a good amount of grip and can still be used up to an intermediate level. Beyond that they shouldn’t be used
- Volleyball shoes are way too heavy to be used properly in table tennis
- Squash shoes are another exception that can be used up to an intermediate level. However, they still do not offer the needed cushioning and support
- Funnily enough, normal tennis shoes should be avoided. Like volleyball shoes, they are far too heavy.
As we can see from the previous points made, it is imperative that the shoes you wear be lightweight and provide enough support. If your shoes are too heavy and don’t offer the necessary cushioning and support you won’t be able to move as quickly and you’ll certainly be risking an injury.
Something that one should also know about these shoes is that, due to the thin soles and thus the enhanced grip, they should not be worn in a setting where you’re playing outdoors, on concrete, or hardwood floors. This could damage the soles and that’s not something you want to do, especially when these shoes are so expensive.
3. Are table tennis shoes made by other companies besides Butterfly?
Yes, in fact, there are plenty of other reputable brands that make their own shoes for the sport such as Mizuno, Asics, STIGA, and JOOLA. The reason our list of reviews only contains Butterfly table tennis shoes is that these are readily and conveniently available on Amazon, making them easier to find and compile.
The History of the Table Tennis Shoe
Shoes designed expressly for the sport of table tennis were first invented in the 60s. As the sport gained more traction worldwide, the need for specific accessories that tailored to the needs of its players came in higher demand. The first ever shoe to have been created for ping pong was made by the Japanese brand known as Koyo Bear. These shoes were also designed with the help of Japanese table tennis athlete, Ichiro Ogimura.
Together, they designed a shoe that was known as the Sharpman. The shoe has features that are found in modern table tennis shoes and was specifically tailored to be lightweight, have increased grip, and also be breathable to ensure maximum comfort for the player. A fun fact you may enjoy about the Sharpman shoes is that, in Britain, the now world-famous brand, Joola, actually helped to market them in cooperation with Koyo Bear. These shoes sported both a Joola and Koyo bear logo.
After the invention of the Sharpman shoes, other brands began to develop their own shoes specifically made for table tennis and the rest is history. Now, companies and brands from all around the world are constantly designing new and innovative table tennis shoes. Who knows what these brands will come up with next?