What Is Special About Volleyball Shoes?

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Volleyball players know that wearing shoes designed for the game is important. Other volleyball players prefer wearing other types of shoes like basketball, badminton, and multicourt shoes. What stands them apart? Find out what is special about volleyball shoes and how it affects your play on the volleyball court. 

What Is Special About Volleyball Shoes? 

What makes volleyball shoes special is their design intended to make you perform better at playing volleyball. Their design uses special features such as traction, soles, and materials that ensure that you can play volleyball comfortably and reduce the risk of injury. 

For instance, the gum rubber outsole provides better traction compared to regular running or cross-training shoes. The design of volleyball shoes improves your quickness in side to side movement. 

Volleyball players lined up

The forefront padding of the shoe aids with shock absorption. It maximizes the thickness so that you get good protection from constantly jumping and landing on your feet. 

What Makes Volleyball Shoes Different From Other Shoes?

There are three notable differences in volleyball shoes from other shoes. These are:

  • The gum rubber outsole
  • The midsole
  • The upper section

Volleyball shoes differ in design and technology compared to other shoes. Some shoes also use gum rubber on their outsole which is great for any indoor hardwood floors and prevents slipping. The traction of the gum rubber outsole on volleyball shoes differs from other shoes to aid with common volleyball movements. 

The design makes the volleyball shoes great for supporting the ball of your foot. Volleyball players spend on the balls of their feet most of the time. It allows quick directional change especially in side to side movement and provides stability for lateral movements. The midsole also adds cushioning systems that help with absorbing the impact of jumping and landing.  

The upper section of volleyball shoes comprises nylon or mesh material. Some volleyball shoes don’t go full lightweight and incorporate some durable materials for better impact protection. Other shoes sacrifice protection for going full lightweight for better running speed. Volleyball shoes can afford that compromise.

What Are Volleyball Shoes Made Of?

Volleyball shoes usually use a combination of these materials:

Player taking advantage of the special support feature from her volleyball shoes before spiking the ball
  • Nylon: This material makes your volleyball shoes breathable, lightweight yet durable, and stretchable at the same time. Most companies are slowly shifting to using nylon because it’s recyclable
  • Mesh: This also makes your volleyball shoes soft and breathable. Mesh functions to wick away fluid or sweet off your feet. Shoe companies make designs that improve the moisture-wicking properties of the mesh. 
  • Synthetic leather: Some volleyball shoes use synthetic leather to make a certain part more durable. You rarely see volleyball shoes that use actual leather and synthetic leather is a cheaper alternative anyways. 
  • Gum rubber: gum rubber defines what volleyball shoes are. Most indoor court shoes use gum rubber sole that is better for the sport, compared to other materials.
  • Rubber – some volleyball shoes use regular rubber. You would want regular rubber outsoles if you play volleyball mostly outdoors on rough surfaces. Regular rubber can withstand wear and tear for a long time on rough surfaces.  
  • Plastic – some parts of the volleyball shoes use plastic like the toe guard. The main function of plastic is better durability in that area. You don’t want soft materials protecting your toes during a game. 

The design builds volleyball shoes for better lateral movement and lightweight. The materials used and technology emphasize these qualities. Lightweight volleyball shoes while having good impact protection makes for an excellent shoe on the volleyball court

How Long Will a Volleyball Shoe Last?

It depends where you use it and how frequently you use your volleyball shoes. If you wear your volleyball shoes for 7 days a week, then don’t expect they’ll last you for 1 season. 4 to 5 days a week of usage should be enough to last you for a single season. 

If you know how to properly take care of your volleyball shoes, you can prolong their lifespan for more than a season. Some volleyball shoes can last for more than a year if properly maintained. Volleyball shoes used for casual wear lasts for a couple more years. 

Players about to play an outdoor volleyball game

It doesn’t mean that you can’t use your volleyball shoes after a season. However, the traction and performance they once had are no longer there after prolong usage. You can still wear your volleyball shoes casually. Playing it on the volleyball court would only call for a potential injury. 

Why Do Volleyball Players Wipe Their Shoes?

Some volleyball players like to wipe their shoes with either sweat, water, or even their own saliva. Doing this actually helps create friction and enhances the grip on your shoes.

Think of it as cleaning the outsoles with your own hands. You wipe off the dust on your outsole and the liquid interacts with the gum rubber outsole to improve the grip on your shoes. It creates friction and the grooves on the traction pattern mixed with liquid give you a better grip even on rough surfaces.   

If you don’t want to wipe your shoes with sweat or saliva, you can choose to buy a grip lotion/gel or traction mat. They will cost you money but they do a job at maintaining traction on your shoes. 

Conclusion

Volleyball shoes make you perform better on the volleyball court. That’s what makes volleyball shoes special. You can’t get the same performance as other shoes when playing volleyball. Volleyball shoes also specialize in giving you impact protection to protect your feet from constantly jumping.  

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.