Best Shoes for Volleyball for Men & Women Reviewed

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Finding the best shoes for volleyball can be a little tricky when you begin shopping. There are a few things that you keep in mind when you start looking for the perfect pair to play in.

This guide will help you figure out what types of shoes are currently available and what you should look for when it comes to buying a pair of volleyball shoes.

Our Top Volleyball Shoe Reviews for 2019

When it comes to stepping onto the volleyball court, you want to make sure that you are equipped with the right kind of shoes instead of any old pair of sneakers that you have lying around.

While it might be barely acceptable for lower levels of volleyball to do this, when you reach higher playing levels in high school, college and beyond then you really need to invest in a shoe that is made for playing volleyball.

If you want our final vote (without all the reading), the Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z3 wins for Overall Best Volleyball Shoes.

Brand
Top Pick
Mizuno Men's Wave Lightning Z3
Best for the Money
Asics Men's GEL-Rocket 8
Best Cheap Pick
Mizuno Women's Wave Bolt 6
Product
Mizuno Wave Lightning Z3 Mens Volleyball Shoes...
ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe,...
Mizuno Wave Bolt 6 Womens Volleyball Shoes...
Material
Synthetic
Synthetic
Synthetic
Sole
Gum-rubber
Gum-rubber
Synthetic
Rating
Top Pick
Brand
Mizuno Men's Wave Lightning Z3
Product
Mizuno Wave Lightning Z3 Mens Volleyball Shoes...
Material
Synthetic
Sole
Gum-rubber
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Asics Men's GEL-Rocket 8
Product
ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe,...
Material
Synthetic
Sole
Gum-rubber
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Mizuno Women's Wave Bolt 6
Product
Mizuno Wave Bolt 6 Womens Volleyball Shoes...
Material
Synthetic
Sole
Synthetic
Rating

Best Volleyball Shoes Overall: Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z3 Volleyball Shoes

The Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z3 Volleyball Shoes earn the title of the best overall due to their durability, well rounded stability on the court and overall comfort while you wear them.

Mizuno Wave Lightning Z3 Mens Volleyball Shoes...

These low top shoes are made from 100% synthetic materials, adding to their durability, so they can take all that you’ve got while you are on the court. There is also room in the shaft area for an ankle brace if you need the added support.

The top of the shoe is designed with air mesh, strategically placed mesh covered openings in the top and sides of the shoe to help with ventilation.

An Intercool technology uses your foot to be the motor that pushes out stale air and continuously pulls in fresh air. This design and technology pairing helps keep your feet dry and cool while you are busy playing volleyball.

The inside sole works to conform to your foot as you continue to wear it, giving you a snug fit to lock down your foot so that you are not sliding around. The insole can take a little time to break in and finally conform around your foot, so if you are not pleased with it, the insole can be easily removed and replaced with a different cushion of your choice.

On the bottom of the shoe is where all the championship winning magic happens. The rubber sole provides great traction so that you won’t slip or lose your footing while you are sprinting, jumping and landing.

The Mizuno Parallel Wave Plate Technology flows through the shoe to absorb shock and keep you stable throughout each play. The wave plates also work to provide better overall stability in the shoes, so that you don’t lose balance as you are on the balls of your feet, waiting for the ball to come over the net.

On the front toe area of the shoe is a Dura Shield that works to cut down and eliminate any friction that can build up when your feet drag on the court. This shield also works to keep the toe area of your shoe protected from any damage thanks to the higher ribber lip that comes up towards the toe area.

These shoes also feature the bounce back PoWnCe technology on the bottom. This specialized blend of rubber on the bottom of these shoes gives you a rebound with each step. Keeping you in motion and making your steps build so that you can stay in a continuous flow until you decide to stop.

There is also a built in Dynamotion groove in the sole of these great shoes. This technology makes the shoes more flexible so that your feet don’t feel cramped and stiff in the shoes. Instead these shoes move with you and create a comfortable feeling so that you can sprint, shuffle and jump without being held back.

These shoes have been known to run a little small, so make sure that you can try them on or read the reviews to see if you need to order a half size up for the best overall fit.

Product Specs
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Outsole: Gum-rubber
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 11 oz

Best Volleyball Shoes for the Money: Asics Men’s GEL-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe

Also one of the best overall shoes on the market, the ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 8 are packed with features to rival the other major volleyball shoe brands  and are offered at a low cost to have anyone jumping for more information.

ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe,...

These simple yet stable shoes come in a low top design that offers a comfortable padded tongue and collar around the opening of the shoes.

This foam based cushion helps add another level of comfort to the fit so that you don’t encounter any irritation on the top of your feet or around your ankles while you are wearing them.

Lightweight and created with synthetic materials, this shoe won’t weigh you down. The mesh on the top of the shoe gives your foot the proper ventilation it needs to keep your feet from getting too hot and sweaty while you are playing in them for long periods of time.

The synthetic structure and design overlays give this shoe a great structure and support around your foot. This shoe was built to be durable and it excels at holding up while you log long hours of practice and games on them.

Inside of this shoe there is an EVA molded midsole that provides excellent cushioning for your feet. There is also gel cushioning that works to add extra cushion, absorb shock and create a custom fit around your feet as you wear them. This fit helps to give you the perfect fit while also locking down your feet so that they are not moving around inside of the shoe as you play.

ASICS Mens Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe,...
  • Forefoot GEL Cushioning System (COURT): Attenuates shock during impact phase.
  • Trusstic System Technology: Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural...

On the bottom of the shoe, there is a rubber and gum rubber sold. This type of rubber blended sole contains more natural rubber than most of the competitors on the market. With a more natural rubber sole, your feet will get more of a rebound feeling with each step, shuffle and leap that you take on the court.

This rubber blend will also provide you with an outstanding grip on the court. It will reduce any slipping or sliding that you might incur on a slick floor. This grip will also help you start a sprint faster and allow you to stop on a dime to get set in place to bump or set the volleyball.

There is also a built in Trussic System that works to reduce the weight that you feel on your feet and to provide stability throughout the shoe. The well balanced stability will help you stay sure footed during each step or jump and keep your shoe’s weight feeling even throughout the various plays.

This shoe comes in a variety of colors and styles to fit your personality. They also have the traditional lacing closure to give you the best fit, whether you want them very tight or just a little tight on your foot.

Now that you know a little more about what types of shoes are available, let’s look closer into what makes up the best shoes for volleyball, so that you can measure up any pair that you come across.

Product Specs
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Outsole: Gum-rubber
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 11.2 oz

Best Cheap Volleyball Shoes: Mizuno Women’s Wave Bolt 6

Carrying the high quality Mizuno name without the high price tag of some of the other styles the Mizuno Wave Bolt 6 Womens Volleyball Shoes is a very affordable shoe that doesn’t compromise on this brands winning features. Mizuno shoes are known as one of the top brands for volleyball players.

Mizuno Wave Bolt 6 Womens Volleyball Shoes...

These shoes are super lightweight coming in at 8.3 oz. This ensures that your feet won’t feel weighed down as you need to sprint, shuffle or take to the air for a spike. The lightweight design of this shoe will also work to keep your momentum up instead of slowing you down.

An Intercool ventilation built into the top of the shoe helps reduce the humidity that can build up inside of the shoe while you are on the court.

This allows your foot to stay cool and dry no matter how long practice runs or if you go to five games. Keeping your foot dry will help reduce odor causing bacteria and will also reduce any inner slipping you can experience from sweat inside of the shoe.

The trademark wave plate on the bottom of the Mizuno shoes give you an added stability while you are playing. This is due to the special technology that works to disperse the shock evenly throughout the sole.

When this happens, it gives you a higher level of stability while you are running or jumping. It also keeps your shoes feeling lightweight since the shock absorption will be distributed evenly so no one spot takes the weight as you land.

This shoe also comes in a wide variety of colors, so that you can choose the pair that match your personality and style.

Mizuno Wave Bolt 6 Womens Volleyball Shoes...
  • Parallel wave plate
  • Non-marking outsole
  • Dynamotion fit

The insole is easy to remove if you would rather put in a more advanced cushion to help with giving your feet the comfort you need while you are playing.

The bottom of the shoe is made with a synthetic sole. The synthetic sole is created to give you a more durable bottom so that you can run, sprint and play as hard as you need to.

A non-marking outsole keeps gym floors clean from any scuff or black shoe marks. You could wear these outside for playing volleyball, but you won’t experience the made for a gym floor traction that makes these shoes so valuable.

Dynamotion fit creates a stress free fit on your foot due to it’s groove design technology. This eliminates the idea of the perfect fit and allows your foot to create the perfect fit for yourself.

The Dura-Shield Toe Guard works to by protecting the tip of your shoe and your toes from friction damage. This created technology works by creating a rubber shield that comes up higher on the front of the shoe so that you can sprint and stop without worrying about damaging the front of the shoe.

Product Specs
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Outsole: Synthetic
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 12 oz

Best Nike Volleyball Shoes: Nike Women’s Air Zoom HyperAce Volleyball Shoes

Making sure you are at your best on the court, the NIKE Women’s Air Zoom Hyperace Volleyball Shoes have been designed to give you a lightweight comfort and well designed stability.

Nike Women's Air Zoom Hyperace Volleyball Shoes...

This shoe is an improvement on one of Nike’s popular styles called the HyperSpike. It was modeled with all of the great features of stability and comfort while adding in it’s own additional features like an improved sole and creating a more secure base to protect your ankles.

These shoes are made from 100% synthetic materials to make them durable yet lightweight on your feet.

A zoom air unit technology provides excellent cushioning on your feet while keeping a lightweight and even weight distribution as you are running and jumping.

The built in TPU cage technology allows the shoe to conform to your foot, creating a perfect for you fit as you wear the shoes. This fit type will also lock down your heel as you are running, sprinting and jumping on the volleyball court.

When your heel is locked down like this, it reduces the chance of you rolling an ankle or landing awkwardly, since your foot will not wiggle or move inside of the shoe.

These shoes are a great option for players who have experienced ankle trouble before, this is thanks to the TPU cage technology. It will help lessen the stress that can happen to your ankle by creating stability on your foot.

This shoe has a long durability life thanks to a smart design that keeps it held together even under hard playing conditions. The upper part of the shoe has a mesh overlay that is built into the bottom part of the shoe. This way of creating the entire shoe eliminates the need for a sewn in design.

Nike Women's Air Zoom Hyperace Volleyball Shoes...
  • TPU cage enhances support and stability.
  • Zoom Air unit provides lightweight cushioning.
  • Rubber outsole designed for traction on hardcourt surfaces.

On the bottom of this shoe is a durable rubber outsole that provides great traction while you are on the court. Well woven grooves on the bottom of the shoe help ensure that you won’t be slipping and sliding on the court, no matter how hard you play.

The bottom of the shoe is also designed to have a wider ball and wider heel. This design improvement makes it much easier for volleyball players to keep traction while they are moving laterally side to side on the court.

The wider heel also makes landing easier since it gives you a larger area to come down on for stability. Even though this shoe offers a wider overall bottom sole, it is evenly distributed so that you don’t feel like you are walking on a too wide bottom or off centered.

A pull tab on the heel makes these shoes super easy to pull on and off. This simplistic design also helps keep the back of the shoe from folding in or getting misformed due to the shoe not being put on and worn the correct way.

There are multiple colors available so that you can find a pair that fits your personality and style. This also allows you to choose a more uniform color that matches your on court apparel or find a pair that stands out just like you do while playing.

Product Specs
  • Material: Mesh
  • Outsole: Gum-rubber
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 10 oz

Best Volleyball Shoes for Hitters: Asics Men’s Gel Netburner Ballistic

Comfort and security combine to create the ASICS Men’s Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball Shoe. This volleyball shoe is excellent for hitter and blockers who spend a lot of time in the air and have to come down successfully when they are landing.

ASICS Men's Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball...

These volleyball shoes offer a mid-rise design so that your ankles gets the extra support it needs as you are jumping and hitting at the net. The shaft measures approximately 3 inches from the arch of these lace up volleyball shoes. This higher rise will help better secure and hold your ankles straight.

A higher rise ankle design is not something that is offered on most volleyball shoes but it is a feature to consider if you will be doing a lot of jumping and running on the court.

Super lightweight at only 15 ounces, these shoes will not hold you down or take away from the height you can jump up when you go for a good hit.

The FluidRide Technology in this shoe gives you the ultimate combination of comfort and support. Inside of the shoe in the mid and forefront areas, this new construction gives you comfortable cushioning while allowing the shoe to help with your bounce back motion. These shoes were really made for players who jump on a regular basis.

The insole is made from a GEL Cushioning system that reduces the force of shock as you are in motion. This cushioning also adds to the high comfort levels of this shoe.

In the front of the shoe, this FluidRide Technology allows the shock and impact to be absorbed through the sole of the shoe so that it doesn’t just radiate at the ball area. This also allows your foot to fully extend and move properly as you are sprinting, jumping and landing, so that your foot is able to correctly move through each play.

ASICS Men's Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball...
  • Lace-up volleyball shoe featuring mesh upper with supportive overlays and logo embroidery on tongue
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Rearfoot and forefoot GEL Cushioning Systems

On the bottom of this great shoe is a NC rubber outsole. This compounded sole has a more natural rubber component built into it. Giving you a more enhanced traction on the court which is important to help you you stick the landing after you jump in the air for a spike. This better overall traction will help you stop after a fast sprint and will keep you from slipping and sliding on the court while you are in action.

A Mid-foot Trusstic system stability provides a torsionally stable shoe that will not allow your foot to twist as you move. This in shoe technology works to keep your foot stable and secure inside of the shoe. Limiting any wiggling around or possible twisting to the side as you are playing.

The outside of the shoe is made of 100% fabric synthetic materials, making it very durable to wear and tear. It has a mesh upper openings that allow air to flow through the shoe so that your feet can breathe during long periods of use.

It also features a padded tongue and collar to give you additional comfort after you tighten the laces.

Product Specs
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Outsole: Gum-rubber
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 15 oz

Best Volleyball Shoes for Jumpers: Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning RX3

The Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning RX3 is the perfect shoe for players who do a lot of jumping. This is because of many great features that won’t weigh you down and will help disperse the shock as you come down from the air.

Mizuno Women's Wave Lightning RX3-W, Black/Pink,...

This shoe also has a great fit technology that will hold onto your foot while you are wearing it so that you are steady and solid while on the court.

Firstly, they are very lightweight on your feet, weighing only 8.4 ounces, so that you won’t be weighed down as you get into position and jump up for a block. These shoes are also great for attacking on the spike, thanks to the rubber plate for traction.

This rubber plate helps you grip the floor while you are sprinting, shuffling or landing after a powerful jump. With great traction you can worry more about the ball and less about how you will land, because you won’t slip or slide in these great shoes.

These shoes have the signature parallel Mizuno wave technology built into the sole of the shoes. This key part of the shoes will absorb and control the shock your body gives off while you are jumping and sprinting across the court.

Inside of this great jumping shoe is an AP midsole-rebound cushion. This cushion not only helps comfort your feet while you are on them, it also gives you a healthy bounce as you are coming down from a jump. The rebound cushion will help naturally propel you forward into your next move instead of just coming down and and letting you stand still.

Mizuno Women's Wave Lightning RX3-W, Black/Pink,...
  • New and improved seamless upper provides lighter and improved fit

This new and improved insole for this particular model also works while you are on the court to reduce the overall heat inside of the shoe. It will also battle humidity so that your foot is not staying in the same stale air while you are playing. With the reduction in heat and humidity, your shoes won’t be as offensive smelling to your teammates or family when it’s time to take them off.

The dynamotion fit tech is beyond compare in how well it holds your foot and allows for you to be at the top of your game thanks to an increased flexibility and a minimized instability. The flexibility lets you keep moving, by allowing you to run without your feet feeling stiff or held too tight.

The minimized instability feature means that your foot will be gripped tightly by these shoes. With the correct size, you will not feel your foot slip or slide inside of the shoe as you are running and jumping. This will also help minimize any injuries that you can face with shoes that allow your foot to move too much inside of the shoe.

The Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning RX3 Volleyball Shoe offers a classic seamless design on the front. This gives you a fully enclosed shoe that does not have a high risk of being broken or damaged after a lot of hard plays.

Product Specs
  • Material: Textile, synthetic
  • Outsole: Gum-rubber
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 8.4 oz

Best Men’s Volleyball Shoes: Mizuno Men’s Wave Bolt 7 Volleyball Shoes

The Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 Volleyball Shoes is a great classic shoe that offers a simple design while housing many great features to make it one of the best shoe’s available for men that enjoy playing volleyball.

Mizuno Wave Bolt 7 Mens White-Black 8.5...

The shoe’s design is a standard low top that gives your foot support, helps reduce slipping, grips the floor well and provides excellent ventilation.

This shoe has been created with 100% synthetic materials, making it very durable and able to stand up against hours and hours of accumulated time on the court playing.

An AIRmesh upper body design on this sneaker gives your foot the ventilation it needs to breathe through the shoe while you are wearing it for long periods of time.

Also built inside of the shoe is an Intercool ventilation. This technology creates multiple ventilation points so that air can flow through the shoe while you are in motion to push stale and humid air out while it circulates new air in.

The insole of the shoe has an SR Touch which is a shock absorbing feature that will give your feet the extra support of a great cushion while working double time to absorb shock. This level of shock absorption while you are on the court will keep you moving quick while keeping your transitions even and smooth.

These shoes are also super lightweight coming in at 10.6 ounces. This way your feet won’t feel weighed down while you are making quick plays or jumping in the air for the perfect block.

On the bottom of these shoes is a lateral wave plate that will ensure you are able to perform lateral movements such as shuffling from side to side without losing your traction or having your shoes perform awkwardly. These wave plates create a better stability platform which aids in helping you move forwards, backwards and sideways.

Along with the lateral wave plate, these shoes also have a non marking sole. This way you don’t have to worry about leaving a scuff mark trail on the court if your feet drag during a play.

In the front of the shoe is a DuraShield toe that will protect your toes from friction damage. This shield also comes up higher on the front of the toe to protect the front top of your shoe from showing signs of wear or damage after long games.

Your feet don’t need to be perfect to find the perfect fit with these shoes. The Dynamotion groove design gives your foot the perfect fit in these shoes by eliminating the off balance stress that feet can put into footwear. This keeps your stride and balance at an even level, making your shoes fit perfectly without you having to struggle to find a good tight fit.

These shoes, while great for all around positions are especially geared towards back row and defensive players that need to move fast, stay low and make those last minute moving plays to keep the ball alive.

These shoes hug your feet and reduce the chance of your foot sliding around inside of the shoe while you are moving.

Product Specs
  • Material: Textile, Synthetic
  • Outsole: Synthetic
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight: 10.6 oz

Best Women’s Volleyball Shoes: Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z3 Volleyball Shoe

The Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z3 Volleyball Shoe is the best shoe for women thanks to its many qualities and features. It is a sturdy low top shoe that provides excellent on the court grip, is available in many styles and incorporates many of Mizuno’s winning technologies into it’s design.

Mizuno Women's Wave Lightning Z3 Volleyball...

This low top shoe offers a sturdy design to allow your foot to freely move while holding onto it tightly so that your foot is not slipping and sliding inside of the shoe. There is also room inside of the low cut body of this shoe to fit an ankle brace if you wear one.

It is made from 100% synthetic materials to create a uniformly created shoe that is able to stand up to wear and tear while on the court. These shoes only weigh 8.8 ounces, so that you don’t feel like you are being weighed down while you are in pursuit of the ball.

The famous Mizuno parallel wave plate is incorporated into the bottom of the shoe. This patented technology creates a more stabilized surface for your feet allowing you to move side to side as well as back and forth without stumbling or losing your footing.

A non-marking outsole will keep the gym floor clean and won’t burn out the rubber sole of your shoe when your feet drag across the court. The sole of this shoe is made from XG (Extra Grade) rubber to give you a better overall grip while you are on the court.

A Dynamotion Groove gives you better flexibility while a D-Flex Groove located in the mid-foot area of the sole which aids in your ability to turn while you are sprinting or moving at quick paces.

Mizuno Women's Wave Lightning Z3 Volleyball...
  • Parallel wave plate
  • Non-marking outsole
  • Mizuno intercool

There is also a PoWnCe Power built into the rubber sole. This helps you rebound after every step and jump to keep your motivation on the court. It also provides extra cushioning on your feet, to help keep you light and aids in the bounce back landings you make.

The Mizuno intercool technology works to keep your shoes well ventilated while you are on the court working up a sweat. Due to the grooves of the shoe and the placement of the meshing, with each step that you take, this design is working to push out stale hot air and bring in fresh air.

This allows your foot to stay dry and cool for longer periods of time, cutting down on the chance of odor causing bacteria to form inside of your shoes.

The insole cushion of this volleyball shoe is designed with Anatomical Cup-in-Sole. This technology allows the shoe to anatomically cup and fit all of the curves that make up the bottom of your foot. This creates a custom fit inside of the shoe for your foot to give you the security of knowing that you foot is locked down and not prone to slipping inside of the shoe.

Product Specs
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Outsole:Gum-rubber
  • Sizing: Normal
  • Arch Support: Yes
  • Weight:11 oz

Features Used to Evaluate the Best Volleyball Shoes

When it comes to actively shopping for the best pair of volleyball shoes, there are a few different features that you will want to look for. These features, smart designs and built in technology are what separates volleyball shoes from regular sneakers.

Durability

A standard pair of volleyball shoes should last you a full season. If you are a recreational player then they can last anywhere from one to four years depending on how hard you are on them.

With regular use your shoes will have to hold up through consistent pressure, repeated hard landings and wear down of the soles due to fast sprints and hard stops. The specialized rubber traction on the bottom of your soles will take most of the wear and tear. Rendering them no longer able to keep a good traction and it can effect the overall fit of your shoe.

In order to add to the life of your volleyball shoes, you will want to only wear them on the court. Don’t wear them off of the court or take them outside in the harsh elements. This will keep them free from any excess dirt, mud and water which can damage your shoes.

Cushioning

Since you will be on your feet for extended periods of time. You will want to find a shoe that offers cushioning to keep your feet comfortable while you are playing. There are a few different ways as to how your shoe can be comfortable

Insole cushion

The first and most obvious way that your shoe can offer comfort is the inner cushion. Some shoes will have cushion pads placed in the insole on your power points such as the ball of your feet, the arch area and in the heel area.

Some shoes offer gel cushioned shoes, that offer a deeper cushion feel due to the gel material that is used. Gel will comfort your feet by providing a cushioned surface while it better forms to and around your feet to give you the best fit.

Overall Fit

The fit of the shoe will also add to the cushioning and comfort level. Similar to the gel insole cushion technology, some shoes offer insoles and bodies that form around your foot and lock it in with a better overall fit.

When you have a better fit, your shoe is able to provide more comfort due to the fact that your foot will be held tight and won’t be experiencing movement or weird placement inside of your shoes.

Top view of a volleyball shoe

Ventilation

When you are looking at your shoes, you will notice that they have mesh or gridded areas on the top and sides. These areas are strategically placed in order to allow air to flow through your shoe as you move around on the court.

The foot works as the main component for moving air in and out of the shoe. As you take steps, your foot is creating small shifts in your shoe, compressing the air and pushing it out while drawing more air in.

A well ventilated shoe is an important feature to have since it works to cut down on odor, keeps your foot from sweating too much and also helps flush out stale are bacteria that can form while you are on the court for long periods of time.

Weight

The weight like a big factor, but it plays more of a role than you think. Generally speaking, lighter is better.

Lightweight

You don’t want anything to weigh you down while you are chasing the ball, so it is a no brainer that you will want a lightweight shoe. Most of the volleyball shoes on the market fall under the lightweight category.

This was not always the case, as originally volleyball shoes were available in leather styles. While this was a popular choice due to the durability of the shoes, it became obsolete because the shoe as a whole was much heavier.

Leather also did not breath well, so the shoes would feel hot to the person wearing them and their feet would sweat while they played. Nowadays, volleyball shoes are created from synthetic blends.

This fabric and material blend allows the shoes to reclaim their important lightweight body design while also offering proper ventilation so that your feet stay cool while you are on the court for long periods of time.

Fit

The fit for the shoe is how it molds around your foot. Some shoes offer a gel cushion inside of the shoe that allows the shoe to fit and form around your foot as it is in use and creates a locked down fit around your foot.

When you have a shoe that really fits you properly, then your foot will not move or slide inside of the shoe as you are running, jumping or landing. If your foot is moving a lot inside of the shoe this this could potentially open you up to more injuries or make it a little more awkward as you are performing on the court.

Some shoes will take a little time to create the conformed fit around your foot, so make sure that you know what your shoe can do, whether it has gel conforming technology built in so that you don’t completely dismiss the shoe after only wearing it for a few minutes.

It will take some time to break in the fit of your shoe, so you will need to do your research and use your best judgement on how the shoe feels in store versus how it will feel after you have worn it a few different times.

Outer Mesh

The mesh on a volleyball shoe refers to a thick and durable gridded design on the top and sides of the shoe. This design is usually found in the front of the shoe and sometimes down the sides towards the middle.

The pin-holed mesh area works to create a vented opening in your shoes. This opening allows stale air to be pushed out while fresh air is pulled into the shoe.

This ventilation technology keeps your foot from getting overly hot and sweaty while you are wearing the shoes for long periods of time.

When your foot is able to stay cooler and dry, it lessens the ability for odor causing bacteria to root into your shoes and grow. This also keeps your foot from getting too hot and sweaty which can cause irritation, potential slipping inside of the shoe and other foot borne irritations.

Bottom Sole

On the bottom of the shoe, is what makes a volleyball shoe stand out from the rest of the sports and sneakers out there. Volleyball shoes are made with a gum rubber sole, this specific type of rubber blend that goes on the bottom of the shoe was selected due to it’s compatibility with indoor wooden gym floors.

Gum rubber is very high in traction qualities and does very well on the wooden indoor volleyball court surface compared to other standard rubber or non rubber shoes.

Mizuno volleyball shoe and sole

This type of sole is not found in normal sneakers or standard running shoes that are usually chosen for volleyball shoes. This is because these types of common shoes are designed for all types of elements and ground that they will be treading on.

Volleyball shoes shouldn’t be worn outside due to this specialized gum rubber sole. Walking on pavement, unstable surfaces and in the elements like rain can damage your shoes and reduce their specialized traction qualities. It is always best to keep your shoes in a gym bag and change into them one you are inside and stepping on the court.

The traction is very important because it keeps you from slipping or sliding on the court. While you are playing volleyball there will be moments when you are required to go from standing to sprinting and then stop and get your feet set before the ball comes down.

When you have good traction, then you are able to make these precise moves and stop on a dime when it is required, as it usually is in volleyball.

This traction also helps keep you stable as you are jumping and landing on the court. Keeping your feet firmly planted as you land so that you don’t slip and fall. The gum rubber simply grips the floor and keeps you steady.

Stability

While you are on the court, you won’t be standing still of making small movements. As a more advanced player on the court you will be moving fast, starting and stoping at quick intervals and jumping on multiple occasions on and off the net.

For this reason you will need a shoe that offers stability in multiple ways so that you can stay on your feet and be able to keep the momentum going.

Volleyball is played with a lot of starting and stopping moves, since you need to be able to plant your feet when you make contact with the ball on a bump or set. When a shoe has a good overall traction and stability design such as a wider outsole or a wave plate, then it helps keep your feet sure of each step.

Pricing

The average price for volleyball shoes falls between $70-100. This gives you a comfortable purchasing area to help you find a great pair of shoes without over-paying or thinking that you are getting a false deal.

Depending on the brand and the variety options, you could be paying more for what you shoes look like instead of how they will fit and protect your feet while you are in the game.

Some shoe brands will be a little higher in price, while other brands may offer similar design features for a lower price. When it comes to finding the best price for your volleyball shoes, you need to know the price range and then figure out what shoe design, features and overall style fits what you are looking for.

Finding the Top Volleyball Shoe Features for Your On-Court Position

There are multiple positions on a volleyball court. While you will rotate around to each position, as a more elite or advanced player you may be assigned a main position such as Setter or Libero. Some players will only be front row players and will be substituted out when they rotate to the back row.

For each of these positions there are a few key shoe features that you may not want to skip over to ensure that you are playing up to your peak each time you step onto the volleyball court.

Hitters and Blockers

As a front row player, you will be constantly jumping. Not only when you are spiking the ball, but also when you are at the net and are performing a block. All of this jumping can cause stress on your feet, so you will want to find a pair of shoes that offers shock protection.

As a jumper, you will also want to keep in mind that your ankles would do well with a little extra support and protection. While it is not as necessary as it is in basketball, if you are a main front row player then you should consider purchasing a pair of shoes that are mid to high tops.

The higher than normal shaft will offer more stability to your ankles, keeping them stable while you are jumping and landing. This type of higher top shoe will also protect your ankles from being sprained or rolled while you are landing or making quick sprints and shuffles.

If you do purchase low top shoes, make sure that they have enough room to support an ankle brace. Even if you don’t need one, it is good to know that your shoes will be able to fit with one on if you ever need or want it.

An ankle brace is a velcro cuff that fits under your heel and comes around your ankle, offering it a structured support that keeps your ankle protected incase you land wrong. Instead of accidentally rolling or spraining your ankle, the brace will work to keep your ankle secure and unable to bend much.

You will also want to find a lightweight shoe that won’t weigh you down as you are taking the high jumps. There won’t be a very large difference between shoes and how much they weight, instead you will want to try on a few different styles to see how lightweight they feel on your feet.

Back Row Defensive

Back row players and the Libero position are primarily used for defensive dives for the ball and are the first ones to chase the ball when it gets knocked out of bounds during the play. For these players that tend to spend more time on the ground than others, you will want to look for a few key features to help enhance your plays.

Due to the quick sprints you will be doing on the back court, with all the starting and stopping you will want to invest in a pair of shoes that offer a high level of traction and grip on the court. This will help you stop as soon as you mean to. It will also keep you from slipping and sliding across the court while you are busy chasing the ball.

Back row players will also want shoes that offer lateral stability on the bottoms of the shoes. These play enhanced designs are made to increase your stability as you are moving across the court. It helps you keep on your toes and helps your feet keep sharp on each movement.

Another key feature is to make sure that the shoe flexes with you and is not too stiff. This will help you move quicker to the ball and create less of a need to dive every time to reach it. Just keep in mind that some shoes may start off stiff, so check the reviews if you find a pair that you like to see if others reported that they needed to be broken in a little to achieve the perfect flexing feeling.

Volleyball player getting ready to spike the ball

Setter

A setter does the hardest work on the court during some plays. They are the glue that adheres the bump to a spike so as a setter you will need a good pair of volleyball shoes that will keep you moving steady while also adding good support and cushioning.

The insole of the shoe should be able to hold you foot firmly in place, since as a setter you will be moving around the court to secure the second hit and send it to your various hitter.

Gel cushioning is a good feature to look for since it will offer you high levels of comfort while also working to keep your foot firmly secured inside of the shoe.

Even though setters are supposed to have a central location, they end up doing as much sprinting as the back row players. For this you will also want to find a pair of shoes that offer good traction and stability to keep you from accidentally slipping and falling on the floor.

The gum rubber shoe outsole is perfect for setters that need to keep their traction so that they can sprint and stop at high speeds. A setter needs to be able to move and get their feet planted correctly so that they can send the ball to the net for a hitter to make the final play on the ball.

Now that you know more about the best shoes for volleyball, you can shop confidently knowing what you need to look for and what features you should consider when you want the best performance on the court.

There is a pair of shoes out there for you that will let you sprint, jump and land without slowing you down or holding you back. Depending on the preference of what you want, it could be a basic shoe or something that is packed full of performance enhancing technology.

At the end of the day, the best volleyball shoe is the one that fits your foot well and offers you the best comfort when you step out onto the court.

Volleyball Shoe FAQs

Can I use my volleyball shoes for different sports?

It is understandable that you may want to cross sports with the same pair of shoes, since these shoes are not cheap and it can get a little pricey when you are buying a pair of shoes for multiple sports each year.

However, volleyball shoes are specifically built for playing volleyball versus other sports that you play on an indoor court such as basketball. Volleyball shoes are more low tops instead of more traditional high tops that you would use in basketball.

When you play volleyball, you are alternating standing and then quickly moving on the balls of your feet. For this reason volleyball shoes have been created with that in mind, offering a flexible outsole and a better insole cushioning to fit your foot and lock it down.

These volleyball specific shoes also have a specially blended rubber sole that helps you stop and start moving by giving you high traction. This is because in volleyball you need to be able to sprint after the ball and then stop in order to hit it.

What is the best volleyball shoe brand?

The leading brands when it comes to the best shoes for volleyball are Mizuno and Asics. These are not the only brands that make specific volleyball shoes, but these are the two that offer multiple styles for volleyball shoes.

Mizuno

Mizuno offers a wide variety of sport shoes such as basketball, soft ball, golf and volleyball. They have volleyball shoes available for men, women and youth.

Their shoes are a little higher in price, but they have many years of excellent reviews, upgraded designs and trusted technology that makes them a top brand.

The Mizuno shoes have a patent wave plate technology. This design in the sole of the shoe gives you better overall stability and flexibility while you are moving laterally from side to side as well as stepping forwards and backwards.

This helps you to be able to move freely after the ball without having stiff shoes that can trip you up or create less natural movements.

Mizuno is also popular because of their enhance shock absorbing design that keeps you from feeling weighed down with you are playing. They also have a ventilation design that encourages the foot to be the motor when it comes to pushing hot air out and pulling cool air in.

This is all thanks to strategically placed mesh openings on the sides and top, so that when you are running, the foot is compressing hot air out and pulling the cool air into the shoe to keep your feet feeling cool and comfortable.

Asics

The Asics brand has come onto the volleyball scene as a just as good competitor with lower overall prices on volleyball shoes.

These shoes offer great stability, traction and give your foot the flexibility it needs to perform at your peak.

A blue volleyball shoe on tiptoe

Asics has designed a Trussic System which is a weight reducing technology. This design feature reduces the overall pressure of the weight in your shoe by evenly distributing the shock.

This way you don’t land on the ball of your feet and go down too long, instead when you land on the ball of your feet, the landing hit will be absorbed through the whole shoe. The shock absorption helps you bounce back quicker and stay in motion versus landing and stopping to get your balance back.

Asics is also the leader in comfort thanks to a GEL insole and pockets that give you added comfort, support and increase you stability. This is because as you continue to wear the GEL insole shoes, they will begin to conform to your feet. Which in turn offers you a better locked in fit.

Should I order my shoes online or shop in-store?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer for this question. It really comes down to how comfortable you feel about ordering online. There are lots of great deal through online shopping and you get the comfort of not having to leave the house and put on those free little socks to try on shoes.

Just click, select your size and pay. In 3-6 business day, roughly, you have a new pair of volleyball shoes that are ready for the court.

To get the best of both worlds, order online and make sure that the specific merchant offers free returns. That way, if you don’t like the fit or feel of the shoe once it arrives, you can return it with any concerns.

You can also show off some of your volleyball side to side shuffle moves or try out a not as enthusiastic spike jump to make sure that the shoes feel good on your feet while you are moving.