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No one likes carrying their shoes, but in a sport like volleyball where your outside shoes and playing shoes are different, it becomes a necessity.
Rather than using a general gym duffle, there are many volleyball bags and backpacks with dedicated shoe compartments that let you carry and store your shoes separately from whatever else you might need for volleyball. This allows you to stay organized and keep your shoes from spreading dirt.
So, what is the best volleyball backpack with shoe compartments? The best volleyball backpack with shoe compartments is the Mizuno Momentum. A good bag should have durable pockets, easy access, and the versatility of a tournament bag: it should be able to carry everything a player needs to survive an away match. The Momentum met these needs the best out of every bag I tested.
While there’s nothing wrong with carrying your shoes, a shoe bag just makes things easier. You don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind because it’s all packed together, you keep your hands free, and having separate compartments keeps your entire bag from smelling like your feet.
In this article, I’ll discuss:
- Three of the best volleyball bags with shoe compartments
- What makes a good tournament bag
- Materials to avoid when looking for a bag
3 Factors to Consider When Buying a Volleyball Bag With Ball Compartment
Always necessary when buying a sports bag, it’s important to consider the durability of your bag. As it’s being used for a sport, this will be a “working” bag, and have to put up with dirty shoes, spilled drinks, and wet towels on a regular basis, and probably be stepped on more than you realize.
You want the exterior to be weather-proof yet lightweight, so you don’t get tired of carrying it, but you also want the interior of your bag to be padded or made of thick material. This will prevent the insides from ripping, conjoining compartments, and eliminating the entire reason for having separate pockets.
As a general rule, avoid bags that use meshed netting on the exterior except for ventilation. Mesh is lightweight but tears easily and has some of the shortest lifespan in material for sportswear and sports bags. You’ll thank me later.
2. Ease of Access
Accessibility is important for two reasons: first, when you’re running into your tournament late and seconds from going on the floor, you can yank open your bag and have your shoes ready without digging through other junk.
Second, so that there’s no reason for you to avoid airing the bag and shoes every day. I know firsthand how meaningless it seems to just take your shoes out of your bag when you get home after a long day, but doing this will help both your shoes and bag last (and smell) better in the long run.
Having easy access will help make these things easy!
A bag is never just for shoes, and in volleyball, we’ll be carrying jerseys, water, match sheets, clipboards, scoring cards, snacks, and pretty much anything else you can think of (resistance bands and rollers are in mine).
You want a bag that can carry what you need when you need it. That means something different for everyone, and that’s ok – everyone has a different ideal bag. But it’s best to identify what kind of player you are, and what you have with you when you usually have your volleyball shoes.
Are you coming from school? Do you bring all the food? Do you like to shower after? How about travel, do you change first? Maybe you bring a speaker, or GoPro, or computer. Identify your needs, and address them. Hopefully the list I’ve compiled below will either give you what you’re looking for, or start you on the right path.
3 Best Volleyball Bags and Backpacks with Shoe Compartments
The three best volleyball bags and backpacks with shoe compartments are:
- Mizuno Momentum – Best Overall
- Mouteenoo 40L Gym Bag – Best Duffel
- Mizuno Crossover 22 – Best Travel Option
Mizuno Momentum – Best Overall
Lightweight and fashionable, and very easy to pack and access as needed.Check Amazon for Pricing
The best overall volleyball bag with shoe compartments is the Mizuno Momentum because it is lightweight and versatile.
The Mizuno Momentum comes with three main compartments: a front-access shoe compartment, a large middle compartment for carrying clothes, training gear, or a volleyball, and a rear padded laptop compartment. While not my choice for long or overnight trips as the compartments may be limiting, I believe this bag is best because it simply fulfills players’ needs with high-quality material.
Clips on the front of the bag are for hanging knee pads to air, and Mizuno’s special “Aerostrap” shoulder straps make wearing it comfortable for journeys.
Mizuno is known for making good products, and while this product isn’t as durable as, say, the Under Armor Undeniable, this bag is weather-proof enough to safeguard your items for a day. The bottom of the bag and shoe compartment is where Mizuno shines though, with a great amount of padding due to its friction-resistant material.
The bag is lightweight and fashionable, and very easy to pack and access as needed. This is the type of bag that you fall in love with and can’t help using all the time; whether it’s for hiking, volleyball, or touring a new city, this bag is ready for it and will happily bring your volleyball shoes along for the ride.
- Kneepad Clips
- Three compartments
- Fantastic shoe compartment and base padding
- Looks great
- Not as durable as competitors
- Limited padding for computer pouch
- Not ideal for overnight travel
Mouteenoo 40L Gym Bag – Best Duffel
With side-access shoe compartment, large central compartment, and extra waterproof pocket.Check Amazon for Pricing
The best volleyball duffel bag with shoe compartments is the Mouteenoo 40L Gym Bag, for its side-access shoe compartment, large central compartment, and extra waterproof pocket.
I’m a big fan of duffel bags for training, and while not a volleyball brand, this bag is perfect for volleyball needs. Every need is thought of and addressed, from a separate side-accessed shoe pocket to a central compartment big enough to carry a volleyball and change of clothes.
The Mouteenoo bag is simple but durable, with water-resistant nylon covering inside and out, and strong, tear-proof material used for the pockets. No matter the weather, whether going to the beach or the court, this duffel should endure.
There are a few other pockets placed around the bag for convenience, such as the opposite side-pocket from the shoe compartment and two front-facing elongated compartments opposite from the waterproof sleeve. The bigger of these can fit a computer, but doesn’t have the same safety as some other bags better designed for this purpose.
The coolest thing about this is the separation – you have the ability to keep things separate yet secure with a single bag, keeping smells, dirt, or water where it belongs, and that’s one of the most useful tricks out there.
- Large carrying capacity
- Side-access shoe compartment
- Waterproof pocket
- Can double as an overnight bag
- Unoriginal shoulder strap
Mizuno Crossover 22 – Best Travel Option
Durable and cost-effective, it has a large carrying capacity.New: $64.95
The best volleyball bag with shoe compartments for traveling is the Mizuno Crossover 22 due to its durability and carrying capacity.
While the Mizuno Momentum is great, it’s just not ideal for traveling. Thankfully, the Crossover 22 is perfect for that purpose, with simple yet large compartments and a durable box-shaped frame as well as the all-important ventilated shoe compartment.
Slightly heavier than the Momentum, the Crossover is made of thicker, integrated padding material that gives it additional structure and height. This makes it more durable and potentially longer-lasting than the Momentum, but doesn’t have as efficient design or ease of access.
The Crossover shines in its simplicity: a large, central compartment gives it the carrying capacity to accommodate overnight trips and allows the player to keep their shoes in the ventilated compartment at its base. Although smaller than the Mouteenoo duffel, I prefer a backpack when traveling as it is easier on your back and less cumbersome or out of the way.
- Large Carrying Capacity
- Not as versatile as competitors
Buying Volleyball Bags with Shoe Compartments: Final Pass
Do I Need A Bag With Ball Compartment?
No, if you’re looking to buy a volleyball bag with a shoe compartment you don’t need to get one with a ball compartment – that’s an entirely personal choice and won’t make much of a difference to your experience as a player.
The great thing about having a bag with shoe compartments is this: every player has volleyball shoes and needs to carry them. Having a bag that keeps them safe and your other possessions clean to and from practice is great.
Ball compartments, on the other hand, aren’t strictly necessary. Most teams carry balls with them in carry-bags of about six balls to a bag, enough to provide them for the team, and individual players are rarely asked to carry them in their own bags.
The big exception is that if you’re someone like me, who travels around the world a lot and plays mostly with friends, there’s no team to carry the balls: you’re going to need one yourself. In that situation, a ball compartment is almost essential but can be used for extra clothes or other things instead.
Brand Dominance: Are They Better?
Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to bags the major brands – Asics, Mizuno, and Mikasa – don’t really dominate the competition.
There are many great bags out there from small brands – like Mouteenoo which was listed in this article – which don’t come from any of those brands and are still high-quality options to purchase.
I happened to choose the Mizuno options because I believe they are best and I have experience with using them, but feel free to use the features and benefits I highlighted to search for your own if you want a cheaper option.
Do Materials Matter?
Yes, materials determine how durable a bag is and whether it’s comfortable to use, so like the other equipment used in volleyball, like shoes and balls, materials for bags can be incredibly important.
That being said, most companies use a variation of the same material – primarily polyether – that wicks moisture and is generally lightweight. Rather than troubling yourself with the chemistry of materials and different weaves, look for materials to avoid.
My main recommendation is to avoid anything with mesh exteriors – not including vents, which are always made of mesh – and interiors if you can help it. Mesh netting is the absolute worst material for anything you want to last for a while, but companies continue to use it for ball pockets, shoe pockets, and generally all over the place. Keep this in mind and avoid it and you’ll be fine.
For an excellent volleyball bag with shoe compartments, I recommend the Mizuno Momentum. Its lightweight nature and versatility give players the freedom they want to use it how they please, while maintaining an excellent level of durability and comfort for travel. With multiple, separate compartments to store shoes and other items, it’s a great choice overall.
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.