4 Best Volleyball Shoes For Jumping (2022)

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There’s nothing better than jumping in volleyball, and there’s no worse feeling when you’re held back by your shoes. Poor traction or terrible cushioning makes it feel like we’re playing barefoot, and bad construction or a disintegrating collar can lead to a broken ankle faster than Team USA’s Kyle Russell serves.

On the other hand, good shoes make jumping a delight, and help keep us safe so that we are able to keep coming back for more. Shoes are an investment, and making the right one becomes all the more important at high levels of play.

So, what are the best volleyball shoes for jumping? The best volleyball shoe for jumping is the Mizuno Wave Momentum (Men’sWomen’s) for its impact dispersion, XG high-traction rubber, and layered upper that provides an incredible and secure fit. Mizuno has been ahead of the competition for a long time when it comes to jumping shoes, and the Wave makes landing almost effortless.

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Check Women’s Version Price on Amazon

Not using proper shoes for jumping can lead to fatigue and reduced performance. While it’s not strictly required to know or own volleyball shoes for jumping, I highly recommend understanding their qualities and how they stimulate your growth as a player.

In this article, I’ll be discussing:

  • My top choices for jumping shoes
  • How traction enters the equation
  • Why dedicated “jumping” shoes matter

Factors to Consider When Buying Jumping Shoes

factors to consider when buying jumping shoes

1. Position on Court

The first thing to consider is your position on court. Chances are you already know whether you need dedicated jumping shoes or not, but just in case you don’t let’s cover them now:

  • Middle Blocker: these players jump constantly to block and hit the ball, and need to be light on their feet and rebound from landing quickly.
  • Outside Hitter: the “ace” or power hitters of the court, these players jump and hit as hard and as often as they can in order to score.
  • Opposite Hitter: similar to the outside, these players rotate around the court and hit on the opposite side from the “ace”, filling gaps and working as a versatile role.
  • Setter: this player is the strategic mind of the court, and will always set their hitters. Jumping is a big part of their role, both for jump setting and for blocking front court.
  • Libero: unique of all the players on court, the libero is the one player who never jumps (to attack). They are defensive specialists who stay backcourt, necessitating a different approach to their footwear than this article provides (go check out my other volleyball shoes article where I have a section on shoes for liberos).

Key Takeaway: While all positions can benefit from the features of shoes talked about in this article, the Middle Blocker and Outside Hitter will benefit the most as they do the most jumping and suffer jumping fatigue the most often.

2. Price Range

Volleyball shoes can be expensive enough as it is, so it’s important to note that specializing even further will cost even more money.

The best shoes in volleyball are the most specific, and often the newest or featuring the most recent game-changing technology. Mizuno is a good example of this, and are always designing new systems to help protects players or heighten their abilities on court. This is amazing, and definitely something to be excited about when browsing for new shoes.

That said – they can be expensive. The average price range for specialized shoes (like jumping volleyball shoes) sits around $150 – more if you request an alteration for foot shape or linings. Basketball shoes aren’t any better, averaging similarly on the cost chart.

Be careful when buying new shoes to set your expectation on price properly before looking. For many of these options, the price is worth it for players competing at a high level. It is an investment into your health and wellbeing, and at the end of the day it will never shortchange you.

Related Article: How To Jump Higher in Volleyball (Science-Backed)

4 Best Volleyball Shoes For Jumping

The four best volleyball shoes for jumping are:

  • Mizuno Wave Momentum – Best Overall
  • Asics Gel-Tactic 2 – Best Traction
  • Mizuno Wave Lighting Z6 Mid – Best High Top
  • Under Armor Embiid 1 – Best Option For Wide Feet

Mizuno Wave Momentum – Best Overall

The best volleyball shoe overall for jumping is the Mizuno Wave Momentum (Men’sWomen’s).

Best Overall

Amazing impact dispersion, lightweight, and fantastic traction.

New: $139.95
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A top-quality shoe that is designed to fit spikers’ needs. Proven success at the professional level.

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Mizuno has been the way to go for volleyball shoes for years, because they continuously push the boundaries of what volleyball players need from their shoes. Mizuno’s Wave Plate technology that they developed and put into the Wave series of shoes is especially good for jumpers due to helping disperse the impact from landing enormously, allowing you to jump higher and last longer before getting tired.

While Asics is my favorite gum rubber sole in general, the Mizuno XG gum rubber is absolutely incredible. It more than meets the level of the Asics sole and outperforms it in many areas, giving players high-traction grip to the floor when playing.

The Wave Momentum shoes also have a “Dura Plate” built into the toe, protecting your toes from friction damage against the floor, keeping the player’s health in mind. This is further shown by the great ankle support and comfort provided by the triple-layered upper, giving the shoe an incredible fit and feel.

While the Wave Momentum 2 is out as well, the main differences between the two are foot width – the Wave Momentum 2 being wider by half a size – and a slightly different construction of the forefoot. Either is a good option, but I prefer the first iteration which has found worldwide success in the pro leagues.

I would highly recommend this shoe to anyone wanting a top-quality shoe that is designed to fit spikers’ needs. That said, the real quality of this shoe is best seen by experienced players, so may not be my first choice for any inexperienced player.

I would highly recommend this shoe to anyone wanting a top-quality shoe that is designed to fit spikers’ needs. That said, the real quality of this shoe is best seen by experienced players, so may not be my first choice for any inexperienced player.

Pros:

  • Amazing impact dispersion
  • Lightweight
  • Fantastic traction
  • Good toe protection
  • Good ankle support
  • Proven success at the professional level

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • XG rubber can get slippery if not well-treated

Check Today’s Price: MENS | WOMENS

 Asics Gel-Tactic 2 – Best Traction

Best Traction

It lasts longer without getting as worn down or dusty while playing, and stays comfortable and excellent throughout the season.

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Superior traction, durable outsole, GEL-system impact dispersion, and good forefoot stability.

New: $100.00
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The best traction of volleyball shoes for jumping is the Asics Gel-Tactic 2 (Men’s / Women’s).

It’s no secret that I love the Asics soles – there’s something about them that speaks to me as a player. While they don’t have as amazing traction as the Mizuno XG styles right out of the box, I find that the Asics rubber lasts longer without getting as worn down or dusty while playing, and stays comfortable and excellent throughout the season. Therefore, it’s my choice for a shoe with great traction.

This model of shoe is used professionally for sports besides volleyball, such as pickleball, squash, and badminton and is famously used by PSA World Tour player Andrew Schnell. As a versatile shoe, the Gel-Tactic 2 is a thoroughly proven and extremely solid choice for anyone looking for a shoe with grip.

The rearfoot GEL system – used in several different lines of Asics shoes – reduces impact force by dispersion, and is extremely helpful for spikers and blockers alike. Ideally, I would recommend this shoe to Middle Blocker positions, who can benefit the most from good traction when making quick decisions to follow the ball.

Lastly, the TRUSSTIC system secures the foot and keeps it safe, increasing forefoot stability and preventing rolled ankles. For jumpers who are always landing on their toes, this feature is not only desirable but essential.

Pros:

  • Superior traction
  • Durable outsole
  • GEL-system impact dispersion
  • Good forefoot stability
  • Proven success at the professional level
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Heavier than other options on this list
  • Not as comfortable as competitors

Check Today’s Price: MENSWOMENS

Learn more about Asics shoes in my article Best Asics Volleyball Shoes.

Mizuno Wave Lighting Z6 Mid – Best High Top

Best High Top

With their ideal construction and game-changing technology, they’re the ideal choice for spikers everywhere.

New: $140.00
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Excellent impact dispersion, lightweight, breathable, and with D-flex groove.

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The best high top option of volleyball shoes for jumping is the Mizuno Wave Lighting Z6 Mid (Men’s / Women’s).

It should be no surprise that another Mizuno shoe made this list: with their lightweight construction and game-changing technology, they’re the ideal choice for spikers everywhere.

The Wave Lightning Z6 comes in several options, but I believe that the “mid” style is the best high top option of the brand. This is mainly due to the D-flex groove that’s set into the shoe’s midfoot, allowing the player to turn at maximum speed while still supporting the foot, transferring natural body movement into a shift in direction at maximum speed. This is great especially for middle blockers.

Mizuno’s Wave Plate technology is used here as well, helping limit the amount of stress the foot takes from impact force. An excellent feature to have in any shoe, and particularly great for high level performance matches.

Very lightweight, the Wave Lightning Z6 has a wrap-around mesh covering that is extremely breathable and lessens the weight, helping sustain jumping during the match. The heightened collar makes it a little heavier than the non-mid options, but also protects the ankle while playing and is always worthwhile.

I would recommend this shoe to middle blockers or setters: players who have to make a lot of sharp turns and jump often and continuously. The features of this shoe are best designed to support you here, and will be enough to keep you going throughout the season.

Pros:

  • Great impact dispersion
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • D-flex groove

Cons:

  • Expensive

Check Today’s Price: MENS | WOMENS

Under Armour Embiid 1 – Best Option For Wide Feet

Best Option For Wide Feet

Wide design, unique traction pattern, good ankle support, and breathable mesh design.

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The best volleyball shoes for jumping for people with wide feet are the Under Armour Embiid 1s.

I only discovered these shoes recently, but I’ve become a big believer in their power – both as a volleyball shoe for spikers and as an option for players with wide feet.

As a basketball shoe for volleyball, they have a naturally tall collar, but are designed with an open-mesh material to make them breathable, and the inner structure of the shoe allows for fantastic lateral movement, using players’ wider feet to their utmost advantage.

The Embiid 1s are very comfortable thanks to their EVA sockliner, making them easy to slip in and out of after practice, molding well to your feet. While they are not as durable as some other options may be, the Embiid 1s have the advantage of being slightly cheaper than similar options, meaning that they can be replaced without too much difficulty.

I would highly recommend the Embiid 1s to any player who has struggled with shoe sizing and comfort around the balls of their feet and doesn’t want to drop a fortune on custom sized basketball shoes. A good shoe, and a great choice for volleyball.

Looking for more wide options?  Then check out my article on the Best Volleyball Shoes For Wide Feet

Pros:

  • Wide design
  • Unique traction pattern
  • Good ankle support
  • Breathable mesh design
  • Affordable
  • EVA sockliner

Cons:

  • Not as durable as competitors
  • Inferior outsole rubber material

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Advantages of Volleyball Shoes For Jumping

Some readers might look at this list and be wondering why the differentiation is even worth it. Are there really different shoes within volleyball for different positions? The answer is simple: yes.

No two positions in volleyball are the same, and their jobs are equally different. Setters and liberos must be mobile and light on their feet, but where the setter requires cushioning from their constant jump-setting, the libero requires stability and a broad base from which to pass. The roles share elements in common, but are very different overall. This is true for the rest of the positions also.

This article is designed primarily for players in the middle blocker and outside position in mind, but opposite hitters and setters will greatly benefit from these options also – though they may be less specific than you are looking for.

The advantages of a shoe specifically tailored within the sport to a certain role, is excellence. When everything about you, even your shoes, allow and incite you to greatness, the results swiftly follow. A shoe designed to support your role and movements will do this.

This is even more noticeable in how shoes may hold a player back, though. Consistently fatigued or with shin splints? It may be because your shoes don’t disperse your impact force. Always feel like you’re in danger of rolling an ankle? Strengthen those joints first, but it may be because your shoes are breaking down or completely lack ankle support.

The biggest thing is the weight, though.

Heavy shoes make it hard to jump, and all the options here are lightweight, breathable shoes that are ideal for jumping, spiking, and blocking for long periods of time. This, beyond all other benefits, is the hallmark of a good jumping shoe.

Final Thoughts

While specialized jumping shoes for volleyball can be expensive, if you are looking for a way to invest in your abilities, safety, and experience on court then there is no better way to do so.

The best volleyball shoe overall for jumping is the Mizuno Wave Momentum for its impact dispersion, XG high-traction rubber, and layered upper that provides an incredible and secure fit. While other great shoes are on the market and tackle different needs for jumpers, I believe that the features and excellence shown by the Wave Momentum is the best product by far.

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About The Author

Ailan Samuel

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.