Aside from your own personal budget, there are five key areas to consider when purchasing new badminton trainers: grip, sole, cushioning, weight and ventilation.
It is crucial for badminton trainers to have strong grip. Grip will assist you when moving around the court, allowing you to quickly transition the positioning of your feet to return your opponent’s shots and give you the best chance of scoring points. Look for a trainer that has 360-degree grip, such as the Yonex round sole design. This will allow you to move forwards and backwards and side to side.
To keep the grip of your trainers in good condition, we encourage you clean your trainers regularly and check how much grit is on the court you are playing on. Wearing your badminton trainers anywhere other than on the court can wear them down and reduce their tackiness, so try to avoid this too.
The latest in grip technology is the hexagonal mould and leading the market in this type of grip is Yonex, with their flexigrip.
The sole is the bottom part of the trainer, differing from the grip. The grip is actually cut into the sole and becomes part of it.
If you frequently play on wooden or rubber-floored courts, a gum sole is what you need as these provide more traction. Ergonomic gum rubber soles are the best kind to buy as these provide traction on all surfaces and are more durable than basic rubber or gum rubber trainers.
The quality of the sole on your trainer will determine the stability and comfort that it provides. A firm badminton trainer sole will help prevent injury by reducing the pressure and impact on your joints.
Softer soles are better at absorbing shock but will provide less support for your foot. The best kind of badminton trainer sole will be flexible, but still provide enough support that it does not cause foot pain. Thin but hard wearing soles are the best to look for as they keep you both stable and low to the ground.
You should always look for non-marking soles. As most badminton games are played on wooden or synthetic courts, normal trainer soles will leave marks. Most badminton trainers are non-marking, but if you are not sure, you can usually find out by checking the sole itself for printed information that will tell you.
The cushion technology in a badminton trainer will further reduce the chance of injury or strain when playing. In addition to protecting your joints and muscles, the trainer cushion is engineered to reverse the impact for a smooth transfer into the next movement.
Leading the way for cushioning technology are Yonex, once again. Their Power Cushion and Power Cushion + designs are unrivalled in the world of badminton trainers. Their latest designs have been tried and tested: a raw egg can be dropped from 12m onto the Power Cushion + mat and rebound to a height of 6m.
Other respected brands for trainer cushioning are Li Ning, Babolat and Apacs.
Badminton is a fast-paced sport and nothing in your kit bag should slow you down. This is why the weight of your trainer can be integral to your game. You want to be able to move swiftly around the court and transition between movements as fast as possible.
Typically, badminton trainers weigh 250g-330g, but professionals tend to go for trainers that weight less than 300g, as anything heavier can start to slow their game down.
The Yonex Aerus Z2s are some of the lightest trainers available right now, with 5th generation design using a foam sole and weighing in at only 240g per trainer.
It can get hot out there. The best badminton trainers have great breathability to help your feet stay cool on the court. You should look for a trainer that has good ventilation without having to sacrifice too much support. The upper of the trainer should be made of a breathable fabric that has more holes or a wide knit. This will allow heat and moisture to evaporate from the badminton trainer, and result in less chance of blisters, more comfort, and less sweaty feet.
Our Top Five Badminton Trainers:
Power Cushion Aerus Z
+ Lightest trainer by Yonex
+ Suitable for faster footwork with power and cushioning
+ Synchro-Fit Insole allows a closer fit between trainer and foot
Yonex Comfort Z3
+ Radial Blade Sole - 20% lighter than standard sole
+ The best cushioning and support on the market
+ superb grip and energy transfer in every movement
Power Cushion 65Z3
+ All rounded trainer, includes cushioning, stability, and lightness
+ Wide feet version are available in 65z3 series
+ High repulsion with good stability and lightweight
+ Highly resilient and durable midsole, improved lifespan
+ 3D carbon fibre sheet provides midsole stability
+ V-Shape is designed to reduce the excess space at the front of the trainer
Li Ning Zhang Nan
+ Superb arch support and high ankle guard
+ Style points for the white and gold design