Disclaimer: I will never say anything negative about Skechers shoes. I own many a pair that I use for hiking, walking and everyday activities. However, I am going to compare the specifications of Skechers pickleball shoes to the specifications of Acacia pickleball shoes. I’m not necessarily knocking the Skechers shoes, but I think the comparison with Acacia shows the detail that has gone into the design and construction of Acacia shows.
I do have an older pair of Nike tennis shoes that I have used for pickleball, but I am not going to include them in this article. Perhaps in the future. Unfortunately, I don’t think the shoes I have are made anymore.
Here are the specs from Acacia about their Dinkshot shoe:
- Upper: Polymer microfiber with reinforced ankle support and metal grommets.
- Insole: Honeycomb-memory foam for shock absorption and air flow.
- Midsole: Water resistant ARK-Technology EVA foam provides elevation and structure.
- Outsole: High-abrasion contoured outsoles with added Kevlar drag guards.
- Fit: Gender neutral, wider fitting
Here are the specs from Skechers about their shoes:
- Patented Skechers Arch Fit® insole system with podiatrist-certified arch support
- Podiatrist-designed shape developed with 20 years of data and 120,000 unweighted foot scans
- Removable insole helps mold to your foot to reduce shock and increase weight dispersion
- Ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA FLIGHT® cushioning
- Goodyear® Gold compound outsole delivers enhanced traction, stability and durability
- Relaxed Fit® for a roomy comfort fit at toe and forefoot
So, let’s look at some of the terminology.
I have blogged about EVA foam in the past when it related to paddles. So, what is it? I put this together from a couple of technical websites: EVA foam is the acronym for the closed cell ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer foam used as an effective substitute for a variety of materials used in production. It is a suitable substitute for natural rubber, vinyl, neoprene, polyurethane and PVC foams, wood composites, felts, fiberglass, and mineral wool. EVA is expanded or foam rubber, which is used for sports equipment padding. Snow and water ski boots, bicycle saddles, hockey pads, boxing gloves and helmets, and fishing rods and reels are constructed with EVA foam. EVA is used in sports shoes to absorb impact shock. It is a popular material for slippers and sandals because it forms to fit the foot, it is light weight, and it does not hold odors.
I know about EVA foam from whitewater kayaking. The hip pads and knee pads in a whitewater kayak are made out of EVA foam. It is a strong material, yet a material that will flex a bit. This is very important because you use your hips and knees a lot, especially when you are rolling a kayak up when you flip.
So, what does this mean regarding PB shoes? To me it means that the midsole is solid, yet flexible, and that it will not wear out.
GOODYEAR® GOLD COMPOUND/KEVLAR
Goodyear Gold Compound is rubber. It is as simple as that. It is used a lot in racing tires. KEVLAR is a synthetic fiber known for its high strength and durability. It is a type of aramid fiber, which means that it is made from a class of synthetic polymers known as aromatic polyamides. KEVLAR was developed by DuPont in the 1970s and has since become a widely used material in many applications.
Is Kevlar better for an outsole than rubber? Well, it is as strong as rubber and lighter than rubber, so probably yes for shoes.
MEMORY FOAM/ULTRA FLIGHT
Skechers uses memory foam in a lot of their shoes, and I’m not sure if memory foam and Ultra Flight are the same. I cannot get a good definition despite all the research I have done. For the time being, I will assume that Ultra Flight is a version of memory foam. If that is the case, that’s good news.
Memory foam is what is known as “viscoelastic” polyurethane foam, or low-resistance polyurethane foam (LRPu). It is created by adding various compounds and additives to polyurethane, which change depending on the type of foam being created. The spongey foam gives a sensory feedback of relief and bliss from walking in a hard soled shoe or on hard pavements.
So, memory foam inside a shoe is a good thing, and both shoes use it.
Microfibers are extra-fine fibers with incredible fineness which changes the properties of the regular-sized fibers and gives them a wonderful hand and drape. In spinning, the multiple microscopic-sized filaments or fibers have more motion and allow the fibers to shift lightly in the spun yarns for more drape and a very soft feel to prevent loss of their yarn structure. The resulting knits do not sag or droop. They also absorb and wick moisture better and seem to breathe. Fabrics made of microfibers are generally lightweight, resist wrinkling, have a luxurious drape on the body, retain shape, and resist pilling. They are also relatively strong and durable in relation to other fabrics of similar weight, and they are more breathable and more comfortable to wear. Fabrics made of microfibers show lower heat conductance and therefore higher thermal insulation properties.
A moisture-wicking fabric has two jobs: one is quickly moving (or wicking) sweat to the fabric’s outer surface, and the other is drying rapidly so that your sweat doesn’t saturate the fabric. Moisture wicking relies on “capillary action,” which is the movement of a liquid (sweat, in this case) through tiny spaces within a fabric due to the molecular forces between the liquid and the fabric’s internal surfaces. Brands refine this process by carefully engineering the structure of the yarns within their fabrics and by applying a variety of treatments to surfaces within that structure. The result is that you’re more comfortable because your body can regulate its temperature efficiently and the fabric touching your skin has a dry, non sticky feel.
Based on the specs above, and based on the limited research I was able to do, I would say that the Acacia PB shoes are made from sturdier material that will last longer and, importantly, promote wicking.
When looking at any type of athletic shoe, I think it’s important to check out the specs in detail.
If, after reading this, you are interested in purchasing any shoe off the Acacia website, use this code for 10% off—Boomer490.
Here is the website address: https://acaciasports.com/