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Why Is Everyone Wearing Tennis Clothes To Play Pickleball?

Why Is Everyone Wearing Tennis Clothes To Play Pickleball?

Have you ever noticed that a majority of pickleball players are wearing tennis clothes on the court? Pickleball has grown to be a very popular racquet sport, but most players aren’t wearing pickleball attire to play. While there are many reasons why tennis clothes are more commonly worn while playing pickleball, the most significant one is simply a lack of stylish pickleball apparel on the market.

Availability of Pickleball Outfits

The main reason why many people are wearing tennis clothes to play pickleball is that the pickleball apparel market is extremely underdeveloped. Unlike other sports like tennis or golf, which have a well-established market for apparel and accessories, pickleball has yet to develop a significant apparel market. This means that players often have to look to other sports for clothing that is suitable for playing pickleball.

Tennis clothes are a popular choice for pickleball players for several reasons:

  • Many pickleball players come from tennis so they may already own tennis apparel and find that it works well enough for pickleball.

  • Tennis clothing is designed for a similar type of movement and offers a similar level of comfort and support. It is often made from breathable performance fabrics that work well for the physical needs of pickleball. These fabrics are often specially designed to enhance athletic performance by providing comfort, flexibility, and ventilation. They are typically made of synthetic materials such as polyester, spandex, or nylon, and they are designed to wick sweat away from the body, keeping the wearer dry and cool to prevent overheating.

  • Tennis clothes are designed for flexibility and range of motion. This is particularly important for sports like pickleball, which require quick movements and changes in direction. The stretchy nature of these fabrics allows the player to move freely without feeling restricted or constrained.

  • Tennis fabrics also provide good durability. They can withstand the wear and tear of physical activity, and may also be treated with a special UPF coating to limit exposure to UV rays. Notably, even tennis clothes that are not treated may provide up to 50 UPF just from the nature of the material.

Why tennis clothes may not be ideal for pickleball

Tennis and pickleball are both racket sports that have similar clothing needs, at least on the surface. But while tennis clothes may be suitable for some aspects of pickleball, there are several reasons why they are not ideal:

  1. Pickleball Size
    The ball pockets in tennis shorts and skorts are designed to hold tennis balls, not pickleballs. In tennis shorts, the pocket bags sit in front, which impedes the pickleball paddle swing movement. Skorts are generally designed to hold balls under the spandex shorts (if they're designed to hold balls at all). Pickleballs are too large and too hard to store in a spandex short -- they would scrape your leg.
  2. Comfort
    Tennis clothes are generally designed for twenty-something slender models, with little consideration for the varying body types and sizes of the general population. Pickleball, on the other hand, is a sport that is popular among people of all ages and body types. Therefore, pickleball clothing should be designed with a more inclusive fit in mind.
  3. Brand Fit
    Pickleball has exploded in the U.S. over the past few years and the apparel market has simply not been able to catch up. If you are playing the sport regularly and want to look and feel great when you do, why not look for apparel designed for pickleball rather than tennis?Tennis clothes are marketed by tennis brands and they’re perfect for tennis. Would you wear soccer clothes to play golf?


Whether you are a seasoned pickleball player or just starting out, look for pickleball apparel that can help to enhance your performance and keep you comfortable and stylish on the court.

Related Articles:
Mastering the Backhand in Pickleball
What Is the Kitchen in Pickleball?
How To Choose A Pickleball?

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