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Asics volleyball shoes are great, but unlike Mizuno – which provides useful guides for how to choose shoes – it can be difficult to choose between the latest and greatest on the Asics roster. But never fear – today we’re changing that forever.
So, what are the best Asics volleyball shoes? The best Asics volleyball shoes are the Gel-Rocket 9s if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck. Although depending on your use case, you may also want to consider the Volley Elite FFs for spikers, the Sky Elite FF MT 2s for setters, or the Gel-Tactic 2s for traction.
While each provides unique features and benefits for use in their optimal role, any of these choices can be used effectively for other use cases as well, which I’ll discuss below.
Not understanding what Asics shoes are best for volleyball can lead you down a confusing rabbit hole on the internet as you try to find the answer. With years of experience wearing (and wanting!) these shoes – or playing alongside them – I’ve created the definitive guide for choosing.
Today, I’ll be discussing everything Asics volleyball shoes, including:
- What makes asics volleyball shoes unique?
- A breakdown of the best Asics volleyball volleyballs heos
- Specifics features of their best shoes
What Makes Asics Shoes Unique?
Asics Volleyball Shoes Have EXCELLENT Options At Every Price Point
Asics makes great shoes at a price range for everyone – whether you’re willing to drop a couple hundred on a pair of limited edition Sky Elite Tokyo FF volleyball shoes or looking for a deal. Whatever you’re looking for, Asics has you covered, and one which can support you as a volleyball player at almost every level.
Asics Volleyball Shoes Are Lightweight
Asics shoes are unique for their low profile, lightweight design – even showing up Mizuno in some ways for their efficiency and minimalism. This design style comes from Asics’ history making running shoes, and proves good experience for transitioning into volleyball.
Asics Volleyball Shoes Are Known For Their “Gripability”
The main features that makes Asics shoes unique are their high-quality gum rubber, which – in my opinion – gives one of the best grips out there. Additionally, Asics gum rubber is known for collecting less dust than competitors, lasting longer on court before you need to clean them.
Asics Volleyball Shoes Disperse Impact Forces Effectively
Thanks to their running shoe history, Asics is also known for their good impact dispersion. They do this primarily through their “Gel-” lines, which incorporate special gel into the forefoot (and sometimes rearfoot) to disperse impact forces.
Slightly lighter than the Mizuno Wave Plate design, it acts in a different way to achieve the same goal.
Asics Volleyball Shoes Are Great Bang For Your Buck
Lastly, Asics shoes are known for their great value. Often on sale or significantly marked down following their initial season of release, Asics is one of the few volleyball shoe companies where you can get a great pair of shoes for under $100 USD.
Best Asics Shoes For Volleyball
The 4 best Asics shoes for volleyball are:
- Gel-Rocket 9 – Best Value & Overall Asics Volleyball Shoe
- Volley Elite FF – Best Asics Shoes For Hitters
- Sky Elite FF MT 2 – Best Asics Shoes For Setters
- Gel-Tactic 2 – Best Asics Shoe For Traction
Gel-Rocket 9s (or 10s) – Best Value & Overall Asics Volleyball Shoe
Offers good shock-absorption in the forefoot to help recover from landings faster and more efficiently.New: $57.98
Best suited to a player who plays a versatile role on the court and is looking for a transitional shoe.
The Gel-Rocket line has been going on for a long time, and is one of the most successful volleyball products in Asics’ history. This is for good reason, and has time and again demonstrated viable use for beginner, collegiate, and pro level (though they are mostly used for training at the top!).
This is the line that my family chose to go with for this year’s season for our siblings of different levels (I have a 12 year old sister playing setter and 17 year old sister playing libero).
First up, in terms of features, is the Gel-cushioning system, which gives the line its name.
This offers good shock-absorption in the forefoot to help recover from landings faster and more efficiently, with extra cushioning added by the EVA in-sole that layers the shoe to fit the material as accurately as possible. This, combined with its efficient shape ensures that the shoe feels as natural when worn as possible.
The TRUSSTIC system is one of the amazing benefits of using this Asicsshoe, and if you’re familiar with Mizuno shoes, is very similar to the Mizuno D-flex groove technology.
The TRUSSTIC system is built into the midsection of the shoe and allows weight transfer. This is important when changing directions as it turns your outward energy into leverage, catapulting you where you want to go without compromising the integrity of the shoe (or you).
While the Gel-Rocket 9s are easily found on Amazon, the 10s are a little more difficult and should be purchased from Asics directly.
The 10s are a little heavier with more focus on stability, so if that’s your cup of tea then I suggest those instead. If you’re concerned with the weight of the shoe though and its potential negative impact on jumping, then just go with the 9s.
Overall: At a great price for great value, I would highly recommend the Gel-Rocket line to any player who plays an adaptable role on court who is looking for a transitory shoe before committing to something more specific (and expensive!).
- Molded EVA insole
- TRUSSTIC system
- Gel-cushioning system
- Good traction
- No specific role (i.e. it’s a generalist shoe)
Volley Elite FF – Best Asics Shoes For Hitters
Incorporate both forefoot and rearfoot gel-cushioning, which is amazing as it distributes the shock of impact no matter how you land or step.New: $214.99
Dual gel-cushioning, TRUSSTIC system, Ortholite sockliner, and great traction.
While I have previously heralded these shoes as a jack-of-all-trades, they are in fact more suited to address hitters’ needs on many fronts – far more than the more affordable Gel-Rocket line. This is due in several parts, so let’s break it down:
First, the Volley Elite FFs incorporate both forefoot and rearfoot gel-cushioning, which is amazing as it distributes the shock of impact no matter how you land or step. This is important for those heavy landings where you catch yourself off balance and drop to your heels for stability – especially after a contested block. The inclusion of another gel pocket makes this easier on your legs to handle.
Second, Volley Elite FFs utilize FlyteFoam technology – this is what the “FF” stands for. FlyteFoam is an update on the Gel Solution Speed 3, which Asics previously used as cushioning material to pad the insoles. FlyteFoam is more durable, lasting longer, and much more comfortable for moving and landing, making these shoes ideal for spikers.
Last, we have the TRUSSTIC system again, which is one of Asics’ big achievements from a volleyball sports-science perspective. As previously stated, the TRUSSTIC system allows weight transfer and directional change to be explosive and natural, limiting the risk to your body (like your ankles) and maintaining momentum during your spiking approach or transitioning off the block.
All in all, a pretty important feature to have.
As always, the Asics gum rubber soles are fantastic and are my traction of choice, as it picks up less dust compared to other shoes and keeps great traction always. This and its many other benefits, including an Ortholite sockliner for additional comfort, makes this a solid choice from Asics and a great choice.
Overall: I would recommend the Volley Elite FFs to any player looking to spend a bit more money than the Gel-Rocket line and who knows they will be spending a lot of time in the air – whether that be spiking, blocking, or even setting. The features of this shoe will benefit you best there, and help you dominate your opposition.
- Dual gel-cushioning
- TRUSSTIC system
- Ortholite sockliner
- Great traction
- FlyteFoam cushioning material
- Heel-lock eyelets
- Runs a little wider than other Asics lines
- Can be uncomfortable for flat foot shapes, but can be alleviated with an athletic in-sole!
- Kind of expensive
Sky Elite FF MT 2 – Best Asics Shoes For Setters
Great cushioning, excellent fit, good ankle support, and Dynawrap support.Check Amazon for Pricing
They come in a variety of designs with Twistruss technology and a curved heel for efficient movement and great traction.
The Sky Elite line is – personally – my favorite line of shoes from Asics. And yes, I know I said I currently use the Gel-Rockets, but if I could choose any Asics shoes to have,these would be them.
These shoes are amazing. Not only do they use some of the coolest sports-science out there, but they fit awesome and have so many features to support you while playing.
The Asics great gum rubber makes its triumphant return, of course, but with a new traction pattern on the bottom to best take advantage of the court. In addition, Asics introduced a new curved heel shape that allows players to cut in better when approaching without scuffing their shoes or tripping while transitioning. This makes movement more efficient on a subconscious level, which is amazing.
The MT in “Sky Elite FF MT” stands for “Mid Top” and represents the high collar on these shoes that provides extra ankle support and comfort while moving. While not the best compatible with ankle braces, the MT elements mean that you have less to worry about on that front, although adding a little more weight, admittedly. A normal (non-MT) version is available if you want a lighter option.
I prefer MT fits when playing setter because I feel like I have tighter control over my movements when wearing them, and can play with more precision. If you haven’t ever tried a high top or MT version of volleyball shoes, I highly recommend trying them out.
Last but not least, we come to the features thatdefine these shoes and make them great: the Dynawrap and Twistruss technologies. While each does different things, they are both central to the shoe’s integrity and its effectiveness in play.
The Dynawrap technology is – as its name implies – wrapped around the foot, built into the shoe. This is controlled and tightened by the lacing system, and improves stability during lateral (side to side) movements. If you know anything about setting, you know there’s a lot of that.
Twistruss, on the other hand, is similar to the TRUSSTIC system, and helps convert horizontal power to vertical energy. It does this by allowing the shoe to bend in certain ways while not in others. I’ll admit -the specifics of this are beyond me, but the results speak for themselves. This not only helps with changing direction, but with acceleration and stopping as well, two other things setters need.
Overall: I highly recommend this shoe for setters of all types, but especially those at the collegiate level and above. The features and control that this shoe provides are incredible and is one of the single most impressive products Asics has made in recent years.
For any Asics engineers out there reading this – well done.
- Great cushioning
- Excellent fit
- Good ankle support
- Dynawrap support
- Twistruss technology
- Curved heel for efficient movement
- Great traction
- Comes in a variety of designs
- Runs out of stock quickly; best to pre-order for the upcoming season
Gel-Tactic 2 – Best Asics Shoe For Traction
The TRUSSTIC system that is implemented here helps a lot with lessening wasted energy from quick movements and explosive transitions.Check Amazon for Pricing
Versatile across other sports, with superior traction, TRUSSTIC support, and durability.
I’ve written about this shoe before in my Best Volleyball Shoes For Jumping article, and it deserves another mention. Not only backed by me as a good shoe and a potent choice for high-level competitions, this shoe has been used by professional athletes in pickleball, squash, and badminton – other sports where quick movements and lightning reflexes are necessary to win.
The TRUSSTIC system is implemented here as in other Asics shoes, and helps a lot with lessening wasted energy from quick movements and explosive transitions.
While other Asics shoes also have great traction, no other shoes make it their entire goal like these do. The traction pattern on the Gel-Tactics is simply superior for lateral footwork and control, sacrificing some benefits of cushioning to do so.
I would recommend these shoes to liberos, setters, or anyone who just wants a good shoe with an amazing grip.
- Superior traction
- TRUSSTIC support
- Versatile across other sports
- Good stability
- Somewhat heavy
Where Do Asics Shoes Fit Within The Volleyball Shoe Market? A “Friendly” Rivalry
Asics has been competing with Mizuno in the volleyball shoe market for decades, but some may remember that Nike used to manufacture volleyball shoes too. This rivalry between Nike and Asics preceded their foray into volleyball shoes, and all stemmed from a single business trip to Tokyo.
Nike was founded by Phil Knight (1963) in order to sell Asics (then called Onitsuka Tiger Co.) running shoes in the US. He began his business by driving around Oregon, selling them out of his truck at track meets. Mizuno also had a similar idea to Knight, and drove a leatherworking truck around baseball Spring Training camps during this time.
A friendly competition sprang up between the companies, but after the relationship between Nike and Asics broke down, both companies ended up suing each other.
In the years following, a true rivalry began in the world of running shoes, and this bled into the production of volleyball shoes. This only ended around 2010 when Nike players were forced to cover the logo on their shoes at the FIVB finals, resulting in Nike tapering off their volleyball shoe lines into nothing.
While Nike has now almost entirely backed out of the volleyball shoe world, their court shoes continue to be used by volleyball players around the globe, showing that – in some ways – the friendly rivalry is still alive and well.
Other Volleyball Shoe Resources
- Why Buy Volleyball Shoes?
- Best Volleyball Shoes – Liberos, Hitters, Setters, Budget
- How Should You Clean Volleyball Shoes?
- Are Running Shoes Good For Volleyball? (No, Here’s Why)
- Can You Wear Basketball Shoes For Volleyball
- What Shoes Do You Wear For Volleyball?
- Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes Outside? We Asked A Coach
- How To Fix Slippery Volleyball Shoes (8 Tips)
- Best Mizuno Volleyball Shoes
- Do Mizuno, Asics, Nike, or Adidas Make Better Volleyball Shoes?
So, what are the best Asics volleyball shoes?
The best Asics volleyball shoes are the Gel-Rocket 9s if you’re looking for a good, entry-level shoe that isn’t super expensive. Once you’re looking for something more specialized, tehn I’d suggest: the Volley Elite FFs for spikers, the Sky Elite FF MT 2s for setters, and the Gel-Tactic 2s for traction.
Among these, my favorite choice is definitely the Sky Elite FF MT 2s, for their amazing features and game design. Especially for a setter, this is a great choice and a phenomenal shoe if buying from Asics.
About The Author
Ailan Samuel is a writer and athlete who has played volleyball at the university, club, and national level since 2012. He has competed successfully in both beach and indoor competitions, resulting in four silver and two gold medals, and was awarded the Half-Blue while playing in Scotland. He received his MA in English and Medieval History from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and is currently studying for his MA in Publishing and Creative Writing at Bournemouth University.