Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes Outside?

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Some people think that volleyball shoes are just like any other shoes, but they’re not! Volleyball shoes are specifically designed for volleyball. They have different features because they need to provide extra support for jumping and running around on different surfaces. Does that mean you can use them anywhere? Can you wear volleyball shoes outside?

Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes Outside?

You should not wear volleyball shoes outside. Most volleyball shoes are designed to give you an advantage on indoor surfaces. When you wear volleyball shoes outside, some of these advantages, like their grip, are lost.

Person wearing their volleyball shoes outside

Some parts of your volleyball shoes get damaged if you wear them outside. For instance, the gum rubber material is really soft and gets easily damaged. 

If you want your volleyball shoes to last longer then you should only use them for playing volleyball. If you’re okay with reducing the lifespan of your volleyball shoes, then you can wear them outside. 

Why Shouldn’t You Use Volleyball Shoes on Concrete?

Concrete damages the soft gum rubber on the outsole and would decrease its grip, an important feature of volleyball shoes. Gum rubber is a delicate material that works best on hardwood courts. The grip provides works great in hardwood courts yet not so much on rough surfaces like concrete. 

There are often grooves in rubber soles to provide more grip. These grooves are another way to add roughness to the surface. Making sure your playing surface and your volleyball shoes have good grip is crucial to your success.

What Parts of the Volleyball Shoes Are not Good for Outside?

Good for Outside WearBad for Outside Wear
Synthetic outsolesGum rubber
Hard materialsHeel counters
Regular insolesTraction patterns

The parts of volleyball shoes that involve grip do not do well for outside wear. These are:

Player trying to spike a ball
  • Gum rubber sole: provides traction to your volleyball shoes but can easily get damaged on rough surfaces
  • Upper material: if you constantly wear your volleyball shoes outside, it can accumulate dirt, and the upper material will get damaged from it. 
  • Toe cap: This support keeps your toe protected. If you constantly wear your volleyball shoes outside, the constant wear and tear will soften the toe cap and reduce its capacity to protect your toe. 
  • Heel cushioning: Similarly, volleyball shoes that are worn outside constantly will lose their heel cushioning, and their capacity to protect your heel.
  • Heel counter: This part provides structural support for your heels. They often consist of plastic and can wear off in no time if you constantly wear your volleyball shoes outside. 
  • Tread: The tread is the traction pattern found on your outsoles. Wearing your volleyball shoes outside can dissolve the traction pattern and make your shoes slippery.
  • Flex grooves: The flex grooves in the outsole help with the flexibility of your volleyball shoes. If your outsole rubs on a rough surface it may also damage the flex grooves.

These parts of your volleyball shoes help a lot in your performance on the court. If you are taking volleyball seriously then taking care of your volleyball shoes should be important for you.

Are Volleyball Shoes Indoor Shoes?

Most volleyball players use volleyball shoes for indoor volleyball games. However, in some countries, they are also designed for outdoor play. For example, countries in South East Asia use outdoor multi-purpose courts for basketball, volleyball, badminton, and other sports. That’s why shoe companies make shoes that are suitable for outdoor use in these markets. 

Volleyball game played outdoors

In the U.S, most people use indoor volleyball courts so there are more indoor volleyball shoes. The gum rubber outsole and non-marking surfaces indicate that the volleyball shoes are for indoor use. Make sure to look for these specifications if you plan to buy volleyball shoes.

Is It Okay to Wear Volleyball Shoes Outside?

It depends on your situation. Are you planning to not use them for volleyball anymore? Then you can wear them outside. If not, it’s not advisable to wear them outside. If you have two pairs or more, then maybe you can afford to wear one for outside.  

However, the moment the gum rubber outsole loses its grip, the volleyball shoes won’t perform as effectively on the volleyball court as they could anymore. That is something you should keep in mind if you want to keep playing volleyball. 

Wearing your volleyball shoes outside would also get them dirty. Unlike indoor courts where there is not much dust, outdoor courts have a lot of dirt. White volleyball shoes in particular can easily collect dust and look dirty on the outside. Cleaning them would take up more of your time since you shouldn’t machine wash them. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about wearing volleyball shoes.

Can You Go Running in Volleyball Shoes?

Ideally, no. Volleyball shoes are not designed to run for long periods of time, therefore, they could get damaged. Also, they might not offer you the protection your feet need when you run.

Can I Wear Volleyball Shoes for Basketball?

Yes, you can wear volleyball shoes for basketball. Since these two sports share similar movements (jumping and sprinting), their shows are very similar too. Therefore, you can use volleyball shoes for both sports.

How Long Do Volleyball Shoes Last?

It depends on how much use you give them. For instance, if you use them on a daily basis, they could last no longer than a year and a half. Though, if you alternate your shoes throughout the week, you can make them last over two years.


I don’t recommend wearing your volleyball shoes outside. The gum rubber outsoles are really soft and aren’t suitable for rough surfaces like concrete. If you want to play volleyball to the best of your abilities, you should take care of your volleyball shoes so they don’t lose their grip and this does not affect your performance.

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.