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Buying Volleyball Shoes – A Guide

Shoes, like all sporting gear, are an important part of every athlete’s apparel.

Are there volleyball shoes? With a sport like volleyball, the attire is very simple. Kneepads, shorts and a t-shirt are often required; however, a player’s shoes can make all of the difference. and yes there are shoes specifically designed for volleyball.

In case you meet someone or you think to yourself that you can play volleyball in running shoes or basketball shoes, you are mistaken – these activities need different support levels. Volleyball shoes are the athletic shoes that have the softest inner material due to the constant jumping, and that is why you need the best pair you can get.

However, with many varieties in the market, we have done the work of breaking it down in terms of the best 14 as well as what to look for in a volleyball shoe

What shoes are good for volleyball?

Most court shoes would perform adequately, however for true performance, and for protection of your ankles and feet, you should focus on shoes that were specifically created to handle the range of motions that are common in Volleyball. There are several brands that focus on volleyball shoes, and a pair from any of them would be better than an ordinary court shoe. Keep in mind that mens and womens styles differ and there is a range to cater for both.

The Top 5 Volleyball Shoes On the Market

Brand and StyleReviewBest Place to Buy
Mizuno Wave Bolt 6The wave bolts are popular amongst volleyball players especially for regular training sessions as they are really durable and will usually outlast most others.See best reviews and prices
ASICS GEL-Rocket 9The Gel Rocket 9s are a staple of the volleyball circuit and are the best choice for an affordable shoe with all the features you need to play well. See best reviews and prices
Mizuno Wave LightningThis is probably the second most popular set of shoes you will see on the courts. Its uses Parallel Wave tech and is great at dispersing shock. See best reviews and prices
ASICS Gel UpcourtFor those new to the sport or on a budget, the Asics Gel upcourt is a good all-round shoe popular on most court games not just volleyball. Ideal for growing kids as well. See best reviews and prices
Adidas Originals Crazyflight BounceIf you want to spend good money and looks are important to you that the Crazyflight Bounce by Adidas is probably the volleyball shoes you would want. See best reviews and prices

Best Volleyball Shoes For Men

If you’re new to the sport of volleyball, or at least new to purchasing volleyball shoes rather than a another type of athletic sneakers, then this post is the best starting place for you. Even if you’re a veteran who has purchased one or more pairs of volleyball shoes in the past, it may be a good idea to give this page a quick skim to ensure you’re not missing out on any features that could potentially drive your game to the next level.

Best Volleyball Shoes in 2022 – Buyer’s Guide

Volleyball players have many shoe options, and the choice depends ultimately on the desires and needs of the individual. However, there is an assumption that all athletic shoes are the same – which they are not. Here are some differences that may not be visible easily:

  • Volleyball shoes (mostly) will have gum rubber comprising their sole materials. Gum rubber actually has an advantage over synthetic material, because it gives the user better traction levels on smooth surfaces like court floors, and this prevents accidents like slipping. It also reduces the chances of getting injuries particularly affecting the ankle.
  • The sole is of the non-marking type. This means that it does not mark the floor, and this helps in protecting the floor.
  • The upper section of the shoe contains mesh material, permitting it to be lightweight and enhancing breathability.
  • Runners and basketball players tend to use cross-trainer shoes that help in forward movements, but volleyball shoes need more structure and stability during lateral movements. Because of this, they will end up with a different structure and cushioning to help in the player’s comfort.
  • The midsole of the shoe must support the ball of the foot because volleyball players spend much more time on the balls of their feet to permit lateral movements and retain stability. Some shoes use gel for this purpose, while others use air or foam.
  • Mesh usually comprises the upper to enhance breathability
  • The sole is softer than other athletic shoes, and for this reason, you should not wear the shoes outside of the volleyball court – you might wear them out faster. The way to tell that the shoe is wearing out is in the ankle support when it is no longer tight or giving full support.

Factors to consider when choosing volleyball shoes:

You need some elements for making the best decision on a volleyball shoe. For instance, stability, weight, traction, the fit and cushioning are the most important to consider, while durability and breathability are not crucial though they are also important.

Due to the sport’s escalating popularity, shoe manufacturers designed specific footwear that can go beyond the conventional sport’s shoes. If you are serious in playing volleyball, you must have the right volleyball footwear. With the right set of shoes, you will be able to perform better as well as protect your feet and ankle from any injuries. When buying volleyball shoes, consider these important qualities:

It is best not to cut corners when buying these shoes as quality will go a long way for your health and performance. Cheaper shoes may result in injuries or falls and will wear out quickly.

Is the shoe durable?

Even though volleyball (and sports) shoes have come a long way in terms of durability, you still need to replace shoes at least at the end of every season, depending on your schedule during the season.

You need shoes that guarantee you durability since this will also determine the stability, grip and cushioning to enable you to make flexible movements – this will also reduce the wear and tear of the shoes themselves.

Does The Shoe fit right?

One of the most important quality in what to look for in volleyball shoes is the size of the shoes. Before buying a pair, make sure that they fit properly to your feet. If the shoes are tight or lose, consider other shoe sizes. Try on several sizes and pairs until you get the right fit. A player should consider his or her safety and comfort. Try them on in the store and walk around for a bit in them before you buy to see if the fit is right for you.

Grip the shoe offers

All good shoes must have gum rubber soles to give you traction. For an athlete, a proper grip is essential because it will allow you to stay stable during games. Shoes that have proper gum soles make sure that you are not sliding after every few seconds on the floor. This also helps you avoid injuries and preventing your shoes from marking the court.

Since volleyball courts are mostly consisted of hard surfaces like hardwood floors, a good pair of volleyball shoes must possess superior traction for the player’s side to side movements. Good footwear must have a superior gum rubber sole for better traction. With this shoe capability, you will be react faster and quicker to any play in the volleyball court.

Does the shoe allow for quick movements?

Volleyball is a physically intensive sport, and it requires sharp, quick movements in all directions. Because of this, it is good to purchase a shoe that provides your feet with great stability levels to allow for optimal performance as a player.

Cushioning and Comfort

This is among the most important aspects of any shoe – after all, you do not want to play in a restrictive thing, especially in intensive sports such as volleyball. However, cushioning is more important than comfort in this regard.

This is especially true for the heel area. Because the volleyball player is jumping at every point, the feet should land as gently as possible on the ground to avoid injury and fatigue.

When buying an athletic shoe, make sure that they are very comfortable.

One of the most important aspects on what to look for in volleyball shoes is their comfort level and ease. If you want to perform better in the volleyball court, choose shoes that are padded with soft cushions.

Breathability

Many volleyball shoes have mesh uppers. This aspect allows the feet to breathe so that they do not trap heat and sweat as you play.

Stability

This is a very important factor to consider – as a volleyball player, your ankles are subject to high amounts of tension due to jumps and side movements. For this reason, the shoe you play in must have high lateral and ankle support, and this will in turn aid in the prevention of ankle sprains. Keep in mind that volleyball requires frequent and chronic lateral movements from its players. Top manufacturers use innovative designs with a variety of materials for lateral support. These shoes are consisted of lightweight synthetic components that provide ankle support.

The midsole plays a major role in the stability of the ball of the foot, in addition to traction ability. The midsole must be very strong and able to handle shock while permitting flexibility to some degree so that the feet are not in one position and make you uncomfortable.

In particular, defenders need to choose shoes that are stable in all directions and help them maintain their hold on the ground as they block shots.

Lightweight

Volleyball requires many instances of jumping and moving around, you need a light shoe that allows for quick movements and reduces fatigue on your feet.

The upper, sole and midsole

During online shopping for shoes, it is very common to see aspects under the sole, upper and midsole.

In the upper, ensure that it has mesh material (a usual feature in many shoes). This will enable your feet to receive plenty of air circulation. It should also be lightweight in its design to prevent fatigue.

The midsole should feature gel cushioning – some shoes will feature a greater emphasis on the rear area, others at the forefoot, and others have equal cushioning. In the case of volleyball shoes, it is best to choose a rear cushion because of the jumping you are doing (particularly if you play in certain positions). Flexibility is another aspect, and the best shoes should allow you to change direction quickly.

A soft and comfortable mid-sole is one of the vital qualities on what to look for in volleyball shoes. When playing volleyball, you will spend most of your time on the balls of your toes and feet. To reduce the risk of sustaining injuries in this area, choose shoes with mid-soles that would absorb shock. Soles with such qualities are usually made of liquid, gel, air and foam. Through these materials, your feet will have the proper cushioning

The sole section should inform you of the type of material it has as well as the traction. For volleyball, gum rubber must comprise the soles because it gives a superior grip than other materials. The sole should also have a non-marking design especially when you are playing in indoor wooden courts.

Basics of choosing volleyball shoes for positions:

Regardless of your position in the game or your experience, there are features you must look for in a well-rounded volleyball shoe. They are:

  1. Grip – indoor courts can be slippery, and your old shoe that has lost its treads is not going to cut it unless you want to risk injuries.
  2. Lateral stability – another factor that prevents chances of injury. The shoe must handle sudden directional changes (a common theme in volleyball) without you losing balance.
  3. High cushioning levels – this is to protect your feet against the shocks of landing on hard court floors.

What about the specific positions?

Defensive players

The most important thing for defense players is keeping a firm, stable footing. This also includes deep-digging liberos and smart setters. In summary:

  • Stability levels must be high
  • High-grip outsole that handles changes quickly
  • High shock absorption capacity
  • Low profile that helps in comfort and speed

Attacking players

It is vital for these players to maintain their jumping power and powering in shots, so here are some things to look for.

  • High cushioning that handles the demands of jumps on the surface
  • Lightweight material
  • High traction that allows for quick movements
  • Excellent fit to help in stability

Summary of tips on choosing volleyball shoes:

  • Shoes should be snug, but ensure they are not too tight – a general rule is there should be no more than one finger width of space between the shoe end and your toes.
  • Understand the components of a volleyball shoe and their functions.
  • They should have high stability in all directions, regardless of the direction you move
  • Cushioning is vital for proper jumps and landings, so make sure that the forefoot, midsole, heel, and insole have proper amounts
  • Mesh, moisture-wicking, air vents or synthetic materials can all help in breathability to help your feet stay comfortable in play
  • The rubber sole should give you freedom in movement and staying soft
  • The shoe must have adequate ankle support that prevents our feet from moving around in the shoe
  • Low profile shoes are very good for ease of movement while staying comfortable
  • Outsoles give you more traction on harder court surfaces – look for high tread levels
  • Shoes with laces allow for the highest adjustments in foot tension, and most volleyball shoes will use laces alone
  • You need lightweight shoes to stay agile and flexible, so the ideal shoe should have this quality without skimping on other qualities
  • Mizuno and ASICS have the most reach in the market due to their high-quality shoes.

Breaking in your volleyball shoes

It is also important to break in the sneakers before games so that you do not get blisters. This is often due to the stiff backs of sneakers.

Try to break them in at practices so that blisters do not ruin your performance during games. It should not take too long to break in your sneakers, so if you start wearing them a week before the big game, you should be OK.  

Caring for your volleyball shoes

It is also important to use your volleyball sneakers only for game time and practices, and not to run errands, so that they stay in top form. As you want to buy a higher quality sneaker that is most likely expensive, you want them to last as long as possible and only wearing them during practice and games only will help prolong their life.

6 Tips for washing Your Volleyball Shoes:

Cleaning volleyball shoes isn’t like cleaning a regular pair of sneakers. Many of them are designed with special soles and shock absorbers to help the wearer with jumping, landing and pivoting, and while that’s great on the court, it can make cleaning a bit complicated.

The good news is that you can clean your volleyball shoes in effective ways. You just need the right know-how to get the job done. Here are six tips for making your volleyball shoes game-ready!

1. Shake It Off 

The first step is to eliminate any loose dirt or debris clinging to your shoes. This is especially important if you’ve been playing volleyball in the sand. Washing or wiping your shoes right away can drive little granules further into the material, so you’ll want to shake them to dislodge anything that can come off easily. Be sure to do this when your shoes are dry, by the way. If they’re sweaty, things might stick.

2. Use a Brush 

Take a soft-bristled brush to the outsoles of your shoes. You can buy special shoe brushes if you need a particular size or shape, but there’s no harm in using a regular old toothbrush if you can’t afford the fancy stuff.

The most important thing is that you make sure to clean every nook and cranny. If you leave anything nestled in the grooves of your outsoles, it could become uncomfortable, unhygienic or even detrimental to your athletic performance.

3. Make a Mixture 

Once you’ve cleaned the bottoms, it’s time to clean the sides. You’ll need to be especially careful with this step to avoid rubbing stains further into your shoes. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

– Rub a little bit of laundry detergent on a wet sponge.

– Pat or wipe it across the material of your shoes. Don’t scrub.

– If a sponge isn’t giving you the friction that you need to take care of tough spots and skid marks, you can switch to a wet washcloth. Again, however, you’ll need to exercise caution with these kinds of textured materials. They can make stains worse when improperly used.

4. Hold Your Nose 

Have your volleyball shoes gotten smelly? There are many different ways that you can attack shoe odors. The simplest solution is leaving them outside so that they can air out, but if they’re still stinky afterward, you can sprinkle baking soda inside them to help neutralize any bacteria that might have formed from sweat and friction.

If they’re really stinky, you might want to fill a pair of old socks with baking soda and let them sit inside the shoes overnight.

5. Replace Your Insoles 

There might come a time when your insoles are just too dirty or damaged to fix. Thankfully, you can pop them out and replace with them fresh ones without affecting the rest of the shoe. Just make sure that your new insoles are compatible with your particular shoe brand; you don’t want them to fold, chafe or slide around in the middle of a game.

6. Get Picky 

Your shoes should be looking much better after following all of these steps, but don’t forget a final examination to spot anything that you might have missed. If you do see rocks or grains that have wormed their way into your shoes, use a toothpick or dull-tipped instrument to fish them back out. Don’t use any sharp objects! You’ll scratch the material.

These are just a few tips for cleaning your volleyball shoes. As you can see, it’s a bit more complicated than just throwing them into the washing machine, so you’ll need to take care of your cleaning and deodorizing efforts. Good luck on the court!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there specific shoes for volleyball?

The short answer is yes. Absolutely there are. And we spend insane amount of time going through the latest releases along with customer reviews on some of the best out there.

Are volleyball shoes and basketball shoes the same?

The truth is that both volleyball and basketball shoes are built for similar purposes – primarily as a court shoe. However the reality is, as shoe brands become smarter at understanding their customer needs, they spend a lot of time and money understanding the difference between sports and how micro differences make up all the impact in giving you the best possible performance. You could play volleyball with basketball shoes, however they run a bit higher – and are more for impact absorption. The better choice would be to buy a pair of shoes that are made specifically for volleyball.

What is the difference between volleyball shoes and tennis shoes?

Despite both being court shoes, volleyball shoes are primarily created to manage the range of motions that differ widely to tennis. For example, there is a lot let jumping on tennis, which means that traction is favoured over cushioning on tennis shoes, and vice versa. There are many other micro differences in the two sports and how your footwear is designed specifically to handle motion to not only enhance your play, but protect from injury.

What is the best place to buy volleyball shoes?

Realistically the range is so vast, and the prices so carried, and customer opinion so widely split, you should consider an online retailer that has a more or less complete range to choose from, based on your budget. See Amazons full range for example – complete with customer reviews and alternatives!.

What are the best volleyball shoes?

When buying athletic shoes, always choose shoes that are specifically designed for the sport or purpose. If you are a volleyball player, you must opt for shoes that will help you improve your performance in the volleyball court. When choosing a pair of shoes, keep in mind that there a few qualities on what to look for; you want to perform better, look good as well as protect yourself from potential injuries in the volleyball court, consider these important factors.

Are Men’s and Women’s Volleyball shoes Different?

Well apart from size, most volleyball shoes come in both men’s and women’s styles.

Where to buy volleyball shoes?

Most sporting shops should have volleyball shoes in stock – however if you want choice, selection, sizes and colours, then I would probably compare prices and styles on Amazon.

Photo by Raja Tilkian on Unsplash

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