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While volleyball shoes can be expensive, there is a range of affordable options to help get you started on your journey, all for under $50. From New Balance to PUMA, these shoes have their own strengths (and weaknesses) that might make it difficult to research alone, but never fear – I’ve got your back.
So, what are the best volleyball shoes under $50? The best overall volleyball shoes for under $50 are the Asics Upcourt 4 for their lightweight design, mindful ankle support, and gum rubber sole. Their role as a court shoe allows flexibility in use for gym, basketball, and other sports, while the benefits they offer volleyball players are both reliable and affordable.
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Not using proper footwear for volleyball can lead to slipping, accidents, and injury, and leg injuries are the leading type of injury for volleyball players – the most serious of these being the broken ankle. This happens more frequently than you may think, and has been the end of many players’ seasons and their career.
In this article, I’ll be discussing:
- Factors to consider when buying volleyball shoes
- My top picks of affordable shoes
- How to read between the lines and get the best deals possible
Factors to Consider When Buying Volleyball Shoes
First of all, consider the position you’ll be playing in volleyball. Are you jumping a lot? If so, you probably don’t want a heavy shoe as this will tire you out and lead to fatigue. Passing more? You probably want a shoe with more stability and comfort to move and absorb those heavy spikes and serves that you need to pick up.
While some major brands (like Mizuno) are extremely helpful in helping different players find their perfect shoe, with graphs and keywords to search, the options on this list are largely bereft of this and will need more careful scrutiny.
Be sure to read my notes on each and consider if it’s the right choice for you before buying.
Size can be an issue for all shoes, and for volleyball it’s no different. Poorly fitting shoes can cause blisters and trip you up, or even lead to more serious injuries. The best way to avoid them is with a proper fitting.
You want your volleyball shoes to be snug but not tight, with your toes gently touching the front of the shoe without the heel-lock activated. When put into use, this will seat your heel at the back of the shoe and give you more room for your toes while playing.
Level of Competition
Last, consider how long you are going to be playing volleyball. A season? A year? Maybe even five or ten? How often are you playing every week: two hours? Ten? If you’re going to be playing for a long time, it might be worth investing in a more expensive pair, and vice versa.
A cheaper shoe may cost you less in the short run, but if you need to replace it every season then it becomes increasingly expensive over time. While the shoes listed below are several affordable options of decent quality that will work, remember that there is always a better option for those willing to invest the money.
Looking for the best option, regardless of price? Then check out my other article: Best Volleyball Shoes
6 Top Volleyball Shoes Under $50
My picks for the top volleyball shoes under $50 are:
- Asics Upcourt 4 (Best Overall)
- Asics Gel Rocket 8 (Best Performance)
- WHITIN Men’s Cross-Trainer (Best Minimalist Design)
- Reebok Men’s Nanoflex Cross Trainer (Most Playful)
- New Balance Men’s 517 V2 Cross Trainer (Best Ankle Support)
- PUMA Mens Uproar Hybrid Court ASG Fade Basketball Shoes (Best Basketball-Style Option)
Lightweight design, ankle support, and gum rubber sole.Check Amazon for Pricing
Designed to give players as much flexibility in court coverage.
The best overall volleyball shoes for under $50 are the Asics Upcourt 4 for their lightweight design, ankle support, and gum rubber sole.
These shoes are designed to give players as much flexibility in court coverage and utility as possible, making them perfect for newer players. While more expensive shoes may perform better in certain situations or for certain roles, these are a great option to start out with, especially if you don’t want to invest in a more expensive brand (like Mizuno).
The Upcourt 4s are made of synthetic leather, which gives them the support and stability that they’re great for, and allow players to execute the quick movements and abrupt transitions that volleyball requires. Lightweight enough not to tire you out while jumping, but padded enough to remain comfortable during practice, these should feel natural to wear.
Rubber gum soles are incredibly important for volleyball shoes, and the fact that these utilize them is both expected and essential. Not having this material can lead to sliding, accidents, and injury that could all easily have been avoided, and is the most important thing to look for in any volleyball shoe, regardless of price. The Asics variant is especially good, and is my preferred grip for this price range.
- Gum rubber sole
- Good ankle support
- Heel-lock eyelet
- Good value
- Not a dedicated volleyball shoe
Exceptional fit, enhanced cushioning, forefoot GEL technology, and gum rubber sole.Check Amazon for Pricing
Great for beginners and experienced players alike.
The best performative volleyball shoe for under $50 is the Asics Gel Rocket 8 for its exceptional fit, enhanced cushioning, forefoot GEL technology, and gum rubber sole.
While this choice usually sits around the $70 price range, it has been commonly marked down on the Asics website and stores since the release of the Gel Rocket 9 and Gel Rocket 10 and can now be found at around $50 almost anywhere.
I love this shoe, and it was my family’s choice for club, middle school, and university-level competition when we replaced our shoes for the 2021-22 season. Asics is a great shoe for beginners, but don’t let that dissuade you if you’re more experienced – the support offered by this shoe makes it incredibly comfortable to play in and leads to great performance overall.
The Gel Rocket’s leading feature is the GEL technology forefoot cushioning which gives it greater shock absorption than other, similar shoes: this helps jump recovery and prevents you from becoming fatigued while playing. Whenever I play middle blocker, I’m thankful for this feature especially.
The other great feature is the Trusstic System the shoes incorporate – a type of stabilizing design technology – which both enhances the traction offered by leveraging the way your foot hits the ground and helping you stay balanced without rolling an ankle.
- Exceptional fit
- Great for beginners and experienced players alike
- GEL technology cushioning
- Trusstic System stabilizing
- Gum rubber sole
- More expensive than others on this list
Rubber sole and anatomical-contouring shape.New: $43.88
The best minimalist design volleyball shoe under $50 is the WHITIN Men’s Cross-Trainer, for its rubber sole and anatomical-contouring shape.
This shoe features a “zero drop sole” which means that there is zero drop from heel to toe, unlike other shoes where there is a slight incline. For some, this can provide more natural comfort and help create a more natural stride while playing, but for others this may not be for you.
The non-marking sole and rubber material make this shoe suitable for volleyball, but the lightweight and minimalist design mean that there is less support for your foot and ankle while playing, increasing the risk of injury. This can be negated by the use of an ankle brace, but for players looking for the feeling of playing in ultra-lightweight gear, this might be the shoe for you.
- Anatomical shape
- Zero drop sole
- Non-marking rubber sole
- Not gum rubber sole
- Little ankle support/stability
- Zero drop sole
Wide range of colors and designs, rubber sole, and mesh outer material to help keep feet cool.New: $63.00
The most colorful volleyball shoes under $50 are the Reebok Men’s Nanoflex Cross Trainer, for their wide range of colors and designs, rubber sole, and mesh outer material to help keep feet cool.
These shoes are great if you’re looking to be flashy on court, and let’s be honest – who doesn’t? There’s nothing like having the whole room watching you spike or dive, and if that’s the way you want to go these might be the shoes for you.
The rubber soles for these shoes are non-marking, which is essential for volleyball shoes, and the TPU heel clip keeps the foot locked in and stable while moving, supporting multidirectional movement and reducing the risk of a rolled ankle.
The interior is very soft and good for anyone looking for a spongy in-sole, and the mesh top material ensures that there is a consistent airflow to prevent you from getting too uncomfortable. Personally, I prefer a slightly firmer in-sole, but that’s down to personal choice. You can also buy a firmer in-sole if you like, as they are very affordable.
As these shoes are not volleyball specific shoes, they have a distinct lack of gum rubber layering on the sole, and some players may find them to be too slippery for effective use. They are also a little heavier than industry standard for volleyball, and players should be aware of the extra weight before purchasing as it will affect your jump, pass, and approach movements more than you realize.
- Wide range of colorful designs
- TPU heel clip
- Soft in-sole
- Not gym rubber sole
Stable vamp, ABZORB midsole technology to alleviate and control impact force, and the QUIX outsole rubber to help players with quick, cutting movements.Check Amazon for Pricing
The best volleyball shoe under $50 with ankle support is the New Balance Men’s 517 V2 Cross Trainer, for their stable vamp (the top and middle section of the shoe, where the ankle meets the material), ABZORB midsole technology to alleviate and control impact force, and the QUIX outsole rubber to help players with quick, cutting movements.
New Balance has a reputation of being a bit of a “dad shoe”, but they’re comfortable, safe, and when you get one of their cross trainers like the 517s, they’re competitive too. It’s no wonder dads love them.
In all seriousness, the 517s shoes are a solid option for volleyball shoes under $50, and while I wouldn’t necessarily choose them over the Asics shoes – a company that has made a point of catering to volleyball players over the years – the New Balance shoes are definitely safer and more comfortable than some others on this list.
With a 50% leather, 50% mesh construct typical of New Balance shoes, these are a little heavier than the industry standard for volleyball shoes and may decrease your jump height or tire you out faster. This might be beneficial though, if you plan to switch to true volleyball shoes in a year or two, where you’ll find yourself jumping higher and longer because of the time you spent training in these.
The ABZORB technology controls the impact force on your feet, and the thick, padded interior makes sure that you stay comfortable all the time while playing.
While not utilizing gum rubber soles, and therefore having a reduced level of traction on court, the 517s make up for it with their QUIX rubber outsoles, which gives a similar feeling of traction but can be used across all surfaces. This is great for anyone looking to have a shoe that does it all: inside, outdoors, and beyond . . . though I’d still recommend using your volleyball shoes only on the court.
- Great ankle support
- ABZORB impact support
- QUIX outsole rubber
- Not gum rubber soles
Tall vamps to provide maximum ankle protection, indoor court-classic rubber outsoles, and for their funky colors and mismatched options.Check Amazon for Pricing
The best basketball-style option for volleyball shoes under $50 is the PUMA Mens Uproar Hybrid Court ASG Fade Basketball Shoes, for their tall vamps to provide maximum ankle protection, indoor court-classic rubber outsoles, and for their funky colors and mismatched options.
This is a really fun shoe for under $50. Basketball shoes are good options for volleyball if you want to use them, and I know many friends who still play with them at a high level. You can check out the article I wrote breaking down their differences here.
The PUMA shoes are super colorful and, like all basketball shoes, have great ankle protection from their high top vamps, preventing your foot from sliding or becoming misplaced. Because of the detached tongue beneath the laces, however, the tongue can shift while playing to either side of the foot and become annoying for some players.
The court rubber, while not gum rubber, is made specifically for indoor courts and will do a great job on the volleyball court too. I would be cautious of the dark soles marking the court, however; some coaches and teams won’t let you on their court if you don’t have non-marking soles, so that’s something to be aware of.
One thing to note when buying these, is that a couple of the options are for mismatched shoes. This is a deliberate style choice from PUMA that has nothing to do with wrong orders, so if you want to avoid that confusion just order the whites.
- Good ankle protection
- Indoor court rubber
- Funky/Mismatched colors
- Dark soles – might mark floors
- Not super durable
- Ordering can be confusing
Features to Look For
Gum Rubber Soles
Gum rubber is an amazing material that is single handedly responsible for volleyball shoes being as awesome as they are. It gives a tremendous amount of traction on indoor courts while being lightweight and offering cushioning to boot.
Without this material, players are at risk of accidents, slipping, and injury due to the fast paced snappy movements of changing direction and diving that volleyball includes. Be careful not to wear your shoes with gum rubber outside though, as it will quickly deteriorate and be ruined.
Also called “volleyball eyelets” for slang, these eyelets are right above and behind (towards your heel) of the final eyelets on your shoes. While rarely used or understood how they work by normal people, these eyelets function by seating the heel at the back of the shoe, enabling the highest level of performance from their player.
There’s no real risk or downside to not having these, and many of the volleyball players I know have never used them. But if you’re looking to elevate your game and secure your shoes like the pros, this is how you’ll do it.
Related Article: What Shoes Do You Wear For Volleyball? (Features Explained)
Buying Guide: My Advice
Volleyball shoes are expensive, and if you take a look back at the list I made here, there’s really only one that is labeled as an official “volleyball shoe” (Asics Gel-Rocket 8s). This is because I tried to list shoes that you could find at any time of year for under $50, which I think is most useful.
What this list doesn’t tell you, though, is that you can get most pairs of volleyball shoes at or around $50, even the more expensive brands like Mizuno. It all depends when you buy them, and how.
Like many sports, the key is buying them off season, or nearing the end of the current one. This is when brands usually have sales and mark their shoes down by a LOT – usually by or 25% but sometimes as much as 75% off. When this happens – for obvious reasons – I recommend buying your choice of those shoes instead.
March and June seem to be the best months for these sales, but Black Friday is good too. This is the best time to get new shoes, and by ordering off the brand websites (or in person at the stores) you can find much higher quality shoes for the same cost as those on this list. It’s all about patience and reading between the lines.
Learn More About Volleyball Shoes
- Are Running Shoes Good For Volleyball? (No, Here’s Why)
- Do Mizuno, ASICS, Adidas or Nike Make Better Volleyball Shoes?
- What are the Differences Between Mens and Womens Volleyball Shoes?
- How You Should Clean and Take Care of Volleyball Shoes
- Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes Outside? We Asked A Coach
The best overall volleyball shoes for under $50 are the Asics Upcourt 4 for their lightweight design, ankle support, and gum rubber sole. A consistently great brand for affordable equipment and shoes for volleyball, Asics is a great brand with a volleyball-focused design plan which will serve you well as you continue your sporting career.
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.