It is paramount that you wear the best shoes possible for playing volleyball due to the advantages they give you in terms of grip, cushioning, movement, comfort, and in general all-round performance.
- 1 Volleyball Shoes Reviews
- 2 Volleyball Shoes Buyers Guide
This is why we have written a buyers guide to help you know what you should be on the lookout for, and have also recommended the six top shoes for volleyball. Even though volleyball is more common for girls to play than boys – at least at high school level – we have made sure to include shoes that are suitable for both.
You may notice that the only shoes we recommend are from Asics and Mizuno. There is a good reason for this. These two brands really do make the best volleyball shoes on the market and are worn by the majority of professional and serious non-pro players.
Volleyball Shoes Reviews
Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2
One of the real strengths of this shoe from Mizuno and the reason why it is popular with volleyball players is down to its cushioning system. Technology called Parallel Wave is engineered to disperse shock throughout the sole instead of being focused in just one area, which makes a real difference in just how little shock is felt.
Another technological feature that goes a long way is the Dynamotion Fit. This is designed to allow for very quick movements in all directions and is achieved in two ways.
One is that the grooves on the non-marking outsole are designed in such a way to increase both agility and flexibility while maintaining a high level of stability, particularly in the forefoot area. The other is how minimal stress is applied on your feet due to the excellent fit that is provided via a midsole that naturally conforms to your feet.
It is also worth noting that the shoe is very light, which plays a large role in limiting foot fatigue as much as possible.
ASICS GEL-Rocket 7
The GEL-Rocket 7 from Asics features a mesh upper for breathability purposes to keep your feet cool while you play. It is more lightweight than many of the company’s other shoes, which goes a long way in reducing foot fatigue as much as possible. The upper also features a padded tongue and heel collar for enhanced comfort.
The midsole features Asics’ Trusstic System which is another reason why the shoe is so lightweight, as it consists of a molded component in its design instead of any separation. Cushioning is impressive, particularly at the forefoot area of the shoe.
Grip is also very good with this shoe thanks to its specially designed NC Rubber Outsole that consists of far more natural rubber than is found on many other shoes designed for volleyball.
Mizuno Wave Bolt 5
The Wave Bolt 5 is similar to the Wave Lightning Z2 in many aspects. The shoes feature the same excellent Parallel Wave cushioning system that works to disperse shock throughout the whole shoe. Dynamotion Fit is also present that allows explosive movements more easily thanks to the uniquely designed grooves in the sole of the shoe and the midsole’s natural arch design.
The major difference, however, is do with the material the upper is made from. The upper is made from both synthetic and mesh materials. Therefore, if you’re looking for a shoe that is designed for maximum air circulation and to give your feet as much room to breathe and stay cool as possible, then the Wave Bolt 5 is a shoe from Mizuno that is right for you.
View Price & Customer Reviews: Men | Women
ASICS Gel Upcourt
The Aisics Gel Upcourt is a great shoe if you’re on a budget and perhaps want to see if volleyball is the right sport for you without having to spend lots of money on a pair of shoes. For this reason the shoes suffer slightly from durability issues, so they are unlikely to last as long as the other shoes on this list.
It’s good to see an inexpensive volleyball shoe coming with an upper that is made from mesh due to the air circulation your feet are provided with. The heel collar and tongue are also padded for additional comfort, which is always a plus.
The midsole features a Rearfoot Gel Cushioning system that works effectively to limit the amount of shock felt on your feet, particularly in the all-important heel area for volleyball players.
The outsole is made from gum rubber material, which is something that all top rated volleyball shoes should be made of due to the traction it provides. The fact that the traction patterns are varied also goes some way in further enhancing your grip.
ASICS Gel Tactic
The ASICS Gel Tactic ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a good pair of volleyball shoes and even features something else that is often overlooked, but makes a real difference for players. What we’re talking about here is a toe guard that makes a real difference in providing excellent protection for your toes when you are diving to the floor, and jumping and running around all over the court.
Besides the toe guard the upper also features a padded tongue and heel collar for better comfort, a lightweight design, and Air Mesh for better breathability.
The midsole features the same Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System that is found on many of the other company’s shoes that effectively works to disperse shock.
The outsole is made from NC rubber that again is found on many Asics shoes and features more natural rubber than many others for better traction. The Trusttic System on the sole is also designed to reduce the weight of the sole to reduce foot fatigue.
ASICS Gel Dominion
The last shoe on this list also comes from Asics. One of the best aspects of this shoe and main differences compared to some other shoes on the market is its Gel Cushioning System. In this case, cushioning is found in both the Rearfoot and Forefoot to not only disperse shock, but also allow for movement in multiple planes – key for volleyball players.
The upper is made out of synthetic leather and mesh material for the better breathability and comfort it provides. There is a padded tongue and heel collar, and the upper is also designed to be as lightweight as possible while also maintaining a high level of durability and flexibility.
The Gel Dominion is also a very durable shoe, which is largely down to the SpEVA material that is cleverly designed to decrease midsole breakdown.
The outsole is also a little different to others. This is down to its drainage port that provides a place for moisture to escape. Traction is what you would from an Asics volleyball shoe too – excellent.
Volleyball Shoes Buyers Guide
Why Buy Volleyball Shoes?
You may be wondering why you should even buy specific shoes for volleyball instead of just using your regular pair of sneakers. The reason is that the shoes are specifically designed for what the sport of volleyball requires of you.
If you’re playing volleyball then your shoes need to have plenty of grip and cushioning, allow for quick movements, and be designed to handle the intensity that the sport puts your feet and shoes under.
It can be tempting to wear your volleyball shoes everywhere, particularly as they look quite stylish. However, you should remember to wear the shoes only for volleyball purposes. If you don’t then you will find that they wear out more quickly, particularly the all-important sole area that provides traction.
Factors to Consider
Before you go out and buy the first decent looking pair of shoes you see, you should consider the following aspects. Every good volleyball shoe should tick many if not all of these boxes if you want to be able to play to the best of your ability.
Even though there have been some huge strides in the past decade in improving the durability of shoes, it is still common to have to replace shoes used for volleyball every season. This is taking into account wearing them 4 or 5 days a week for practice and match purposes. Of course, if your schedule isn’t quite as intensive as this the shoes can last longer.
It’s usually pretty easy to tell if you should purchase a new pair of shoes. Apart from not getting the same performance from them, particularly in terms of cushioning, grip, and stability that allow for quick movements, wear and tear of the shoes themselves becomes obvious.
All good volleyball shoes should have gum rubber soles for traction purposes. There’s no doubt that you need plenty of grip out there when you’re playing, as it can get quite slippery. Shoes with gum rubber soles ensure that you won’t be sliding and slipping all over the place. This helps to avoid injury and also ensures that your shoes won’t mark the court.
Comfort & Cushioning
All round comfort is of course very important of any shoe, particularly one that is worn when engaging in such intense activity. It is perhaps cushioning, however, that can be considered to be the most important aspect – particularly cushioning in the heel area.
Volleyball requires players to be constantly jumping on every point, so you want to ensure that your feet land as softly as possible on the hard wooden surface every single time. Not only to avoid fatigue, but also injury.
It’s common for volleyball shoes to feature mesh uppers. This is to ensure that your feet are given plenty of room to breathe, so they don’t get all hot and sweaty when you are playing.
Volleyball requires lots of quick movements in all directions. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look for a shoe that gives your feet plenty of stability so you are able to take off as quickly as possible towards the ball.
Considering that volleyball requires lots of running and jumping around it is important to look for a shoe that is designed to be as lightweight as possible. This will ensure that your feet don’t fatigue as easily.
Upper, Midsole & Sole
When shopping online for shoes it’s becoming quite common to see the aspects of them described under three headings – upper, midsole, and sole. Under these headings you should look for the following features to be sure that they are right for volleyball.
The upper usually features mesh material which is necessary to ensure that your feet are given plenty of air circulation. Lightweight is another word that is commonly used, which is important because you don’t want your feet to fatigue easily.
Under the midsole section you will typically see a mention of the Gel Cushioning System used. Some shoes are designed to have more of an emphasis for cushioning on either the forefoot or rearfoot area, whereas others have equal cushioning all over. For volleyball, it’s arguably more important to have better cushioning at the rear due to all the jumping you will be doing.
The flexibility of the shoe is another commonly stated aspect. It’s important to wear shoes that feature a good amount of flexibility in the midsole. This is because you need to be able to quickly take off at all times in all directions due to the nature of volleyball.
The sole section should state what material the sole is made of and just how good the traction is. Volleyball shoes should be made of gum rubber due to the superior grip it offers compared to other materials. You will also typically see whether the sole has a non-marking design or not, which is of course important when playing on indoor wooden courts.