Are Volleyball Shoes Worth It?

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You probably just started playing volleyball and can’t decide what type of shoes to pick one. Sure volleyball shoes are a no-brainer for volleyball yet other athletes do use other types of shoes like basketball and badminton shoes. Which makes one wonder, are volleyball shoes worth it?

Are Volleyball Shoes Worth It? 

If I’m talking about volleyball games, then volleyball shoes are definitely worth it. Volleyball shoes offer a lot more features useful for volleyball compared to other types of shoes. Even for casual wear, they offer more comfort than regular shoes. 

Volleyball shoes and pads worn by players

For example, You get better padding for jumping from volleyball shoes compared to running shoes because it doesn’t involve running at all. The traction on volleyball shoes is also designed specifically for volleyball courts. 

If people use other types of shoes for volleyball, then they probably want a feature specific to that type of shoes. If you are planning to buy one only for volleyball, then going for volleyball shoes would be the best option.

Do Volleyball Shoes Make a Difference?

Compared to other types of shoes like basketball and running shoes, the sole and cushioning of volleyball shoes make them different from other types of shoes. They definitely make a lot of difference when playing on the volleyball court.

What Is So Special About Volleyball Shoes?

Volleyball ShoesOther Shoes
A better outsole that increases tractionToo heavy
Made from lightweight materialsMight leave black marks on the floor of the court
Great cushioning with shock absorptionBad shock absorption
Protective mid-soleOutsoles made of synthetic materials

Granted, you can use other types of shoes yet some can actually cause injuries or a decrease in performance in volleyball. There are things specific in volleyball shoes that cater to:

  • Increase in performance
  • Safety from injury
  • Improved traction for mobility in volleyball
  • Build quality suitable for volleyball


Soles make up most of what defines volleyball shoes. Most volleyball shoes use gum rubber for the soles. Gum rubber soles perform excellently in hardwood and indoor courts. They provide the traction you need for quick cuts, stops, and preparing for a jump. 

Other shoes use rubber designed for outdoor use. Gum rubber works best on wooden floors and they get easily damaged if exposed to rough surfaces. If you want your volleyball shoes to last longer, don’t use them on rough surfaces like concrete and use them only for volleyball games. 

Some badminton shoes also use gum rubber soles. However, they have different traction patterns to what volleyball shoes have. You should expect different court feel on other types of shoes. 

It has gum rubber soles, offers a gel cushioning system, and is lightweight and comfortable to wear are the things that make a volleyball so special


Most of the cushioning systems in volleyball shoes offer protection from impact in jumping. Some of the cushioning systems include:

  • Gel cushioning system
  • Wave technology
  • Trusstic system
  • Shock-absorbing system

Volleyball can put a lot of strain on your foot especially if you jump around a lot. Volleyball shoes help with absorbing the stress and shock your body receives from hard landings, quick cuts, and sudden directional stops and changes. 

Aside from basketball shoes, badminton and running shoes don’t have this type of technology in their shoes because it doesn’t involve jumping. This is what makes a great difference in volleyball shoes compared to most other types of shoes. 

Gum Rubber

Gum rubber is a great material for hardwood court use. Which is why most volleyball shoes use them. Volleyball shoes shine and perform well with gum rubber soles. The soft and pliable quality of gum rubber gives it flexibility for better mobility on the court


The midsole primarily protects and supports the feet. It houses cushioning systems and impact protection on your feet. Most volleyball shoes offer shock absorption while still providing flexibility for players for volleyball play.  


The upper controls the level of comfort your volleyball shoes provide. Volleyball shoes should permit airflow to keep your feet fresh and dry. Sweaty feet may cause slipping in your shoes and result in a sprain or an accident. 

Players in their game positions

Most upper use nylon or mesh material. These materials provide the needed airflow while being soft and cool at the same time. 


Cushioning technology makes volleyball shoes special. They have designed volleyball shoes to give you a boost in jumping ability while protecting you from the shock from landing. 

If you play volleyball frequently, you definitely need some volleyball shoes. The stress you get from jumping frequently can build up and lead to injury on your foot. 


Most shoe companies design lightweight shoes that actually put less stress on your feet. 

Lightweight shoes also make volleyball players quicker on the court. Heavier volleyball only adds weight to your feet making you expend more energy than you need to be. 

Shoe companies managed to balance out protection and lightweight shoes to provide you with the qualities of both in one volleyball shoe. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about volleyball shoes.

Why Are There Shoes for Volleyball?

Because volleyball shoes are designed to be comfortable for those players who play intensively. Therefore, they have improved cushioning, more traction than normal shoes, and lighter materials.

All of this grants players better mobility and shock absorption, which also prevents injuries.

What Is the Best Shoe to Play Volleyball In?

Although it can be debatable, many players consider that Mizuno shoes are the best to play volleyball. This is due to their great design that offers a lot of shock absorption and comfiness.

Also, they specialize in volleyball gear, therefore, they are a safe option to choose.

Do You Need Volleyball Shoes for Tryouts?

Not necessarily. However, it could be really helpful if you wear them that day. Although you don’t need them, you might get an advantage over your opponents while wearing them. This could, ultimately, highlight your abilities.


If you are contemplating whether to buy volleyball shoes, then the things I mentioned above should convince you that they are worth it for your volleyball use. Volleyball shoes specialize in volleyball movements so you won’t get uncomfortable whenever you play on the court. 

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.