The best Yonex badminton shoes in test (2024)

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For many of us players in Europe and North America, Yonex is the primary badminton brand with several shoe options available.

They don’t come cheap so in the pursuit of finding the best Yonex badminton shoe for myself, I’ve tested all the top-tier models from the 2024 catalog except one, and I’m now sharing my findings with you.

The only high-end shoe I haven’t tested is the laceless ‘Infinity’ model with two BOA dials, as it uses Yonex’s old outsole.

yonex infinity 2
yonex infinity 2 with boa dials

All other Yonex flagship shoes with that outsole have been updated, so I have a feeling this one will get an upgrade soon, too, if not phased out.

I’ve had each of the Yonex badminton shoes on court for at least ten hours and bought them with my own money to give you an unbiased review of my experience as an intermediate player with mediocre footwork.

You’d think that since Yonex mostly has one flagship shoe per shoe category, it would be obvious which ones are the best, but I haven’t found that to be the case.

If you’re a Yonex fanboy (or girl) and want the best of what they have to offer on your feet, this guide is for you.

The best Yonex badminton shoes in 10-hour tests

I haven’t had a great experience with the one budget Yonex badminton shoe I’ve tested, so I’ll leave this category out for now.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the following four categories of the best Yonex badminton shoes.

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1. The best all-around: Yonex 88 Dial 3

2. The best (injury) protector: Yonex Eclipsion Z3

3. The best cushioned: Yonex Eclipsion Z3

4. The best lightweight: Yonex Aerus Z2

5. The options best for narrow feet

Yonex badminton shoes – review summaries

I’ve prepared summaries for each category along with links to my in-depth reviews if you want to dive deeper.

1. The best all-around: Yonex 88 Dial 3 (2024)

88 dial 3 matrix

This is the category most of us recreational players care about.

After testing several shoes in the all around category, I’ve found the new Yonex 88 Dial 3 (just released in spring of 2024) to be my favorite.

yonex 88 dial 3 - best yonex badminton shoe in the all around category

You might be surprised considering just how popular the Yonex SHB 65z3 is, and when I looked at which shoes the pros were playing in during the 2024 Thomas Cup, it was the clear winner with 63% of the players I looked at using it. 

Not to mention the wealth of us recreational players following suit.

So how is it not the best Yonex badminton shoe in the all around category, I hear you ask?

The two pairs are similar in many ways, like the midsole cushion underneath your feet and the toe box comfort, but the fit in the Yonex 88 Dial 3 feels much nicer to me.

The taller and stiffer heel provided a more snug feeling. In fact, the fit overall was terrific in the 88 Dial 3, and the BOA dial made it quicker to adjust the fit more precisely than shoelaces between rallies.

I was skeptical about those BOA dials before trying them out, so this was a pleasant surprise that I hope they’ll add to more badminton shoes in the future.

The 65z3 felt as if it had a more old school and thicker, soft, cushion that I’m more likely to roll my ankle in. It also felt as if this type of cushion absorbs sweat more during my games rather than transporting it away.

On the other hand, I’d call the 88 Dial 3’s stiffer, but soft ‘mesh’-like cushion, the new school cushion. It isn’t as cushy, but almost as soft.

Read more in my Yonex 88 Dial 3 review.

2. The best (injury) protector: Yonex Eclipsion Z3

eclipsion z3 matrix - best yonex badminton shoes

The best injury protective shoe from Yonex is easy as there’s only one option if you’re looking to go all in on support: the Eclipsion Z3.

yonex eclipsion z3

Other Yonex badminton shoes like 88 Dial 3 do have injury preventive features, but in a balance with other priorities, whereas the Eclipsion feels like it was made with this one goal in mind.

I enjoyed testing this shoe and I find myself coming back to it every now and then when I’m returning from an injury. The booty-like feel gives me confidence that my feet aren’t going anywhere and my ankle doesn’t get any surprise rolls due to the high, stiff, heel and ankle area.

That also means that it isn’t particularly soft and comfortable as you might expect from a bulky and heavyweight shoe.

To my surprise, I found it more comfortable than the Yonex Comfort Z3 due to the crazy padded toe box. That doesn’t say much, though, as I’ve found the Yonex badminton shoes to lean more towards the stiffer side of things as opposed to comfort and cushion.

In fact, this model had so much padding in the toe box when I tried it on at the store, that I had to compare it with one half a size bigger to make sure I got the right size. After breaking it in at home, it shaped itself after my toes and things were fine.

You’ll find my in-depth review of the Eclipsion here.

If you’re looking for an alternative that has injury preventive features while being more lightweight, check out my review of the brand new Yonex 88 Dial 3 (2024).

3. The best cushioned: Yonex Eclipsion Z3

eclipsion z3 matrix

This will be a controversial one, I bet.

yonex eclipsion z3 - best yonex badminton shoe for support?

Technically the Yonex Comfort Z3 is meant to be the flagship model in the comfort category, but I didn’t have a good experience playing in this shoe. In fact, I’ve been second-guessing my experience on this one several times, only to bring it back on court and leave with the same feeling.

Based on the name, I was expecting this to be the most comfortable and soft shoe in the line-up but it felt far too stiff for my liking. Especially, the toe box felt ultra-stiff and with limited cushioning for those deep lunges and hard landings when we’re under pressure and late to the shuttle. For a ‘comfort’ shoe, my toes always feel crazy fatigued bumping against the front of this shoe.

My footwork isn’t great and I have plenty of bad habits, which is why I desperately need more cushioning than it provides. Thus, why the Eclipsion Z3 is the most comfortable badminton shoe Yonex has to offer in my opinion.

It isn’t that it’s particularly comfortable, just more so than the other options available. If you’re curious, feel free to compare my review of the Yonex Eclipsion Z3 and that of the Comfort Z3.

4. The best lightweight Yonex badminton shoe: Yonex Aerus Z2

yonex aerus z2 matrix

It’s hard to choose any other shoe than the Aerus Z2 in this category as it’s so much lighter than any other current Yonex badminton shoe.

yonex aerus z2

My size 28.5 CM (44.5 in EU) weighs just 274.1g, while still having a good heel and decent fit (at this weight, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was cardboard with an outsole glued underneath). For comparison, the closest ones in terms of weight are the 88 Dial 3 at 339.6g and the 65z3 at 346.1g (19%-21% lighter, respectively) in the same size.

Now, it wasn’t exactly comfortable and pleasant for me to test, which I suspect is due to my mediocre footwork and body size as the cushioning is limited.

Some readers have pointed out how they enjoy playing in this shoe, so I imagine it’s a better fit for badminton players with a smaller body frame than me or those preferring something ultra lightweight. I did enjoy playing in it if I limit my use to, say, an hour once in a while. After that, the fatigue starts creeping in.

My detailed review of the Aerus Z2 is here.

5. The best options for narrow feet

As someone with slightly narrow feet, most of the top Yonex badminton shoes felt as if they provided a nice narrow lock-in by the heel while having a roomier toe box. That has often led to fatigue on the side of my big toe during testing.

Surprisingly, I’ve experienced that across all their pairs, and eventually, I assumed it was normal since so many players like playing in their shoes. It seems strange as some of their shoes offer options for wide feet, but none for narrower ones.

Upon measuring them on the outside with a ruler, and while using the most unscientific measurement of my hand within the toe box, I didn’t notice any true difference.

However, the Eclipsion Z3 and the 88 Dial 3 feel as if they have slightly more padding on the side of the toe box, which is the second-best option if you choose to stick with Yonex shoes. The difference isn’t much and doesn’t make up for a narrower toe box, but can ever so slightly.

the best yonex badminton shoe options for players with narrow feet

The best option for me with slightly narrow feet has been using sports plaster on the big toes while playing in one of the two options above. Alternatively, I found the Victor A970 Ace (and possibly their newer Nitro Lite edition) better suited for narrower feet, if they’re available near you.

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