In case you meet someone or you think to yourself that you can play volleyball in running shoes or basketball shoes, you are mistaken – these activities need different support levels. Volleyball shoes are the athletic shoes that have the softest inner material due to the constant jumping, and that is why you need the best pair you can get.
However, with many varieties in the market, we have done the work of breaking it down in terms of the best ten as well as what to look for in a volleyball shoe.
The Top Ten Best Volleyball Shoes of 2018
|Shoe brand||Target market||Breathability||Padding|
|ASICS GEL-Rocket 7||Men||Very good||Rubber|
|Nike volley zoom hyperspike||Women||Good||Synthetic|
|Mizuno Wave lightning Z2||Men||Very good||Synthetic|
|Adidas Volley team 3 W||Women||Good||Rubber|
|ASICS GEL-Netburner||Men||Very good||Rubber|
|Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3||Women||Very good||Rubber|
|Adidas Volley Team 3||Women||Good||Rubber|
|Mizuno Wave Bolt 5||Women||Good||Rubber|
|Mizuno Wave Lightning Z3||Women||Not very optimal||Rubber|
|Adidas Ligra 4||Men||Good||Rubber|
1. ASICS GEL-Rocket 7 shoe for men - Best for Indoor Court Play
The GEL-Rocket 7 shoe gives both amateur and professional players high performance in all seasons. Giving an increased level of gum rubber on the sole as well as a lighter upper, the updated design continues to make this shoe a worthwhile investment for all players.
The front of the shoe has excellent cushioning and the grip is very good for indoor volleyball players. The drawback is in the cushioning of the rest of the shoe, especially the arch. The shock absorber abilities are also in question because the shoe is not good at absorbing contact with court floors, especially as it ages.
The midsole has moulded EVA as its major component, while the ASICS Trussic system acts as a supportive shank - this extends from the forefoot to the arch. In good news, the shoe has the GEL Cushioning service at its front, which is good for court plays.
You need to be careful about the shoe size when ordering; the shoe tends to have a smaller fit so ensure you order a half-size or full-size larger. The distance between the arch and shaft is about two inches.
2. Nike Volley zoom HyperSpike shoes for women - Best in Comfort During Play
Many know Nike well around the globe for its high-quality sports equipment, and this shoe is no different. This is among the ultimate volleyball shoes for women - it gives high responsiveness and lockdown while retaining its lightweight nature for your games.
The upper features a breathable flywire construction that enhances the downwards locking of your foot, and adjusts itself to your foot shape, resulting in minimal unnecessary movement within the shoe as you move.
Since lighter shoes are important in jumping, the midsole features a lightweight phylon midsole, which gives your feet greater protection from impacts and enhancing comfort. This is also due to the reinforcing of the 3D midfoot shank, giving rigidity to the shoe while improving comfort levels. In an overall sense, this means the shoe allows you to jump while eliminating the delay that heavy shoes cause.
The grip that the shoe has is very good - this is due to the Volley Zoom Hyperspike and the lightweight cushion rubber that has a herringbone traction pattern. It gives you the guarantee that all the touches between your feet and the floor have strong grips on the court.
3. Mizuno Wave Lightning Z2 for Men - Best Grass Volleyball Shoes
Mizuno is among the best shoe manufacturers in the world, and looking at this shoe it is not difficult to see why. It offers you the best of both stability and comfort even during long periods of play. In addition, the shoe is not only comfortable for men, but also for women - though women need to order a size and a half down.
The shoe has good cushioning levels, making landings be soft and stable, though the drawback here seems to be the lack of variety in color options (this is not a deal breaker though).
A synthetic material makes up the shoe, while a synthetic sole provides the shoe with both traction and lack of markings that spoil a court surface. The air mesh on the upper enhances the breathability of the shoe.
An aspect that is common in Mizuno shoes is ‘the wave’. This allows the midsole cushioning to spread out the impact forces evenly, so the foot does not sink into the middle of the shoe - this provides extra support on the foot arch. This particular shoe has a Parallel wave, which works for those with neutral foot types that do not need added support.
The shoe flexibility is high, thanks to the Dynamotion fit, while the heel stays secure and comfortable because of the Flex Eyelets and stretch mesh. For additional protection to your toes, the shoe has Dura shield toe guards, but without the extra weight.
4. Adidas Performance Volley Team 3 W shoe for women - Best For Libero
Many people around the world know Adidas as a premium sports brand, and it makes a name for itself continually by making among the best sports equipment. This shoe lives up to the expectation, promising a comfortable outsole and stability.
Breathability is an important aspect with this shoe. It keeps the feet cool during games, eliminating the frustration of having sweaty feet in the midst of playing. The open mesh upper allows maximum levels of ventilation so that you can focus on your playing.
Since volleyball playing involves many quick jumps and hard turns, you need a shoe that withstands all this and stays durable. Thanks to the Adidas Tear Resistant Technology, you get to play without worrying if the shoe will wear out.
The insole consists of EVA-insole and adiprene shock to enhance comfort even during hard falls, and the shoe enhances your stability thanks to the non-marking rubber compound outsole.
5. ASICS Gel-Netburner ballistic MT shoe for men - Best for Hitters
The ASICS Gel-Netburner promises to give high comfort levels when it comes to playing volleyball. It combines volleyball-specific innovation with advanced running DNA to give the most gel cushion among volleyball shoes.
Featuring a redesign of the upper, this section contains a combination of air mesh, polyurethane and synthetic leather, resulting in high breathability levels, as well as unmatched fit among volleyball shoes and durability.
The shoes have forefoot and rear foot gel cushioning, which allows for maximum comfort levels as you move on the floor, in addition to absorbing shock - this is among the best shoes in terms of shock absorption - and assisting in transitions between on-foot and off-foot.
This shoe also has the benefit of being lightweight, thanks to its Trustic system. This reduces the weight of the sole while maintaining the structural integrity for successful play.
6. Mizuno Wave Lightning RX3 shoe for women - Best for a Budget
Another shoe within the Mizuno brand, this is among the latest editions of women’s volleyball shoes that features style and improving fits. The shoe is very light, weighing just 8.4 ounces, while it features Mizuno Wave technology that spreads out shock evenly through the sole and enhances stability.
The shoe also has Dynamotion Fit, which reduces the stress that the foot naturally puts on footwear and removes the possibility of distortions for good fitting. The flexibility and agility as you play is due to the Dynamotion Groove technology, and this reduces instability in the heel.
The midsole gas a ventilation system that reduces humidity and heat build-up to give you superior performance and comfort. The Mizuno RX3 also has a suspension system that connects the Wave plate to the ground - this increases traction and stability, while the outsole rubber enhances the traction.
The only drawback to the shoe is how wide it runs, though it remains among the best in terms of quality. You also do not need to worry so much about the sizing because the shoes are close to street size.
7. Adidas Performance Volley team 3 shoe for women - Good for Players With Sensitive Skin
Similar to other high-quality Adidas shoes, the product is lightweight, and textile and synthetic fabrics comprise it. The shoe design is stylish, while the material that makes up the shoe is durable and non-irritant to ensure high comfort levels, even for individuals with sensitive skin.
The shoe also has a mesh upper that enhances ventilation to keep your feet dry regardless of the weather, while the Adiprene padding assists in shock absorption during jumps and runs to reduce injuries. In addition, it comes with a flexible rubber sole that enhances your comfort during high-speed play and helps you breeze the most challenging sessions.
8. Mizuno Wave bolt 5 for women - Best for Players With Wide Feet
If you are an active volleyball player and have large feet, you know the difficulty of getting a shoe that accommodates your feet while helping you perform at your best. Because it features a wide round design that is suitable for most foot shapes and sizes, it ensures that your quality of play remains high - in fact, many professional players prefer this shoe over many others.
It has a flexible rubber sole that gives extra comfort, while synthetic material comprises the mesh upper that ensures ventilation even in hot weather and a high padded interior that absorbs shock very well. In addition, the material of the shoe is non-irritant, so will not irritate individuals with sensitive skin.
The outsole of the shoe has a non-marking design with very good traction, so this reduces the risks of injury associated with instability of the shoe or slips. The shoe also comes with Dynamotion technology (similar to other Mizuno Wave shoes) and this reduces the problem of foot distortion.
9. Mizuno Wave Lightning Z3 shoe for women - Best for Setters
Offering a similar low-cut style to other Mizuno shoes, this particular model has the parallel Wave plate that provides stability laterally. This makes it ideal for quick and stable movements in the course of play.
It offers toe-to-heel support - the parallel wave ensures that your foot does not receive high impact shock, while the placing of the insole enhances your comfort as you play. The shoe also features Dynamation flex, which enhances quick movement and flexibility.
There is also the 8.8-oz. Air mesh lining that gives breathability and prevents trapping of heat, therefore eliminating distractions that you may get because of heat in your feet.
10. Adidas Ligra 4 Performance shoe for men - Best Volleyball Shoes for Ankle Support
The Ligra 4 Adidas shoe gives you both style and professional-level play, having a black and yellow design. The design is also strong and the interior has a thick padding that absorbs shock very well. Its versatility lends itself well to other circumstances, not just in volleyball play.
Synthetic materials comprise the shoe, making it comfortable and light. The sole is flexible enough to allow free movements without risking stability even in high-speed play. The mesh upper and lined interior also keeps your feet cool regardless of the weather.
The Adiwear outsole ensures that the shoe performs well in competitions and training situations, making it withstand abuse very well. In addition, it contains synthetic overlay, which increases stability and supports your feet well.
Best Volleyball Shoes in 2018 - Buyer's Guide
The differences between volleyball shoes and other athletic shoes
Volleyball players have many shoe options, and the choice depends ultimately on the desires and needs of the individual. However, there is an assumption that all athletic shoes are the same – which they are not. Here are some differences that may not be visible easily:
- Volleyball shoes (mostly) will have gum rubber comprising their sole materials. Gum rubber actually has an advantage over synthetic material, because it gives the user better traction levels on smooth surfaces like court floors, and this prevents accidents like slipping. It also reduces the chances of getting injuries particularly affecting the ankle.
- The sole is of the non-marking type. This means that it does not mark the floor, and this helps in protecting the floor.
- The upper section of the shoe contains mesh material, permitting it to be lightweight and enhancing breathability.
- Runners and basketball players tend to use cross-trainer shoes that help in forward movements, but volleyball shoes need more structure and stability during lateral movements. Because of this, they will end up with a different structure and cushioning to help in the player’s comfort.
- The midsole of the shoe must support the ball of the foot, because volleyball players spend much more time on the balls of their feet to permit lateral movements and retain stability. Some shoes use gel for this purpose, while others use air or foam.
- Mesh usually comprises the upper to enhance breathability
- The sole is softer than other athletic shoes, and for this reason, you should not wear the shoes outside of the volleyball court – you might wear them out faster. The way to tell that the shoe is wearing out is in the ankle support, when it is no longer tight or giving full support.
Factors to consider when choosing volleyball shoes:
You need some elements for making the best decision on a volleyball shoe. For instance, stability, weight, traction, the fit and cushioning are the most important to consider, while durability and breathability are not crucial though they are also important.
- Is the shoe durable?
Even though volleyball (and sports) shoes have come a long way in terms of durability, you still need to replace shoes at least at the end of every season, depending on your schedule during the season.
You need shoes that guarantee you durability, since this will also determine the stability, grip and cushioning to enable you make flexible movements - this will also reduce the wear and tear of the shoes themselves.
- Grip the shoe offers
All good shoes must have gum rubber soles to give you traction. For an athlete proper grip is essential because it will allow you to stay stable during games. Shoes that have proper gum soles make sure that you are not sliding after every few seconds on the floor. This also helps you avoid injuries and preventing your shoes from marking the court.
- Does the shoe allow for quick movements?
Volleyball is a physically intensive sport, and it requires sharp, quick movements in all directions. Because of this, it is good to purchase a shoe that provides your feet with great stability levels to allow for optimal performance as a player.
- Cushioning and Comfort
This is among the most important aspects of any shoe - after all, you do not want to play in a restrictive thing, especially in intensive sports such as volleyball. However, cushioning is more important than comfort in this regard.
This is especially true for the heel area. Because the volleyball player is jumping at every point, the feet should land as gently as possible on the ground to avoid injury and fatigue.
Many volleyball shoes have mesh uppers. This aspect allows the feet to breathe so that they do not trap heat and sweat as you play.
This is a very important factor to consider – as a volleyball player, your ankles are subject to high amounts of tension due to jumps and side movements. For this reason, the shoe you play in must have high lateral and ankle support, and this will in turn aid in prevention of ankle sprains.
The midsole plays a major role in stability of the ball of the foot, in addition to traction ability. The midsole must be very strong and able to handle shock, while permitting flexibility to some degree so that the feet are not in one position and make you uncomfortable.
In particular, defenders need to choose shoes that are stable in all direction and help them maintain their hold on the ground as they block shots.
Volleyball requires many instances of jumping and moving around, you need a light shoe that allows for quick movements and reduce fatigue on your feet.
- The upper, sole and midsole
During online shopping for shoes, it is very common to see aspects under the sole, upper and midsole.
In the upper, ensure that it has mesh material (a usual feature in many shoes). This will enable your feet to receive plenty of air circulation. It should also be lightweight in its design to prevent fatigue.
The midsole should feature gel cushioning - some shoes will feature greater emphasis on the rear area, others at the fore foot, and others have equal cushioning. In the case of volleyball shoes, it is best to choose a rear cushion because of the jumping you are doing (particularly if you play in certain positions). Flexibility is another aspect, and the best shoes should allow you to change direction quickly.
The sole section should inform you the type of material it has as well as the traction. For volleyball, gum rubber must comprise the soles because it gives superior grip than other materials. The sole should also have a non-marking design especially when you are playing in indoor wooden courts.
Basics of choosing volleyball shoes for positions:
Regardless of your position in the game or your experience, there are features you must look for in a well-rounded volleyball shoe. They are:
- Grip – indoor courts can be slippery, and your old shoe that has lost its treads is not going to cut it unless you want to risk injuries.
- Lateral stability – another factor that prevents chances of injury. The shoe must handle sudden directional changes (a common theme in volleyball) without you losing balance.
- High cushioning levels – this is to protect your feet against the shocks of landing on hard court floors.
What about the specific positions?
The most important thing for defense players is keeping a firm, stable footing. This also includes deep-digging liberos and smart setters. In summary:
- Stability levels must be high
- High-grip outsole that handles changes quickly
- High shock absorption capacity
- Low profile that helps in comfort and speed
It is vital for these players to maintain their jumping power and powering in shots, so here are some things to look for.
- High cushioning that handles the demands of jumps on the surface
- Lightweight material
- High traction that allows for quick movements
- Excellent fit to help in stability
Summary of tips on choosing volleyball shoes:
- Shoes should be snug, but ensure they are not too tight – general rule is there should be no more than one finger width of space between the shoe end and your toes.
- Understand the components of a volleyball shoe and their functions.
- They should have high stability in all directions, regardless of the direction you move
- Cushioning is vital for proper jumps and landings, so make sure that the forefoot, midsole, heel and insole have proper amounts
- Mesh, moisture wicking, air vents or synthetic materials can all help in breathability to help your feet stay comfortable in play
- The rubber sole should give you freedom in movement and staying soft
- The shoe must have adequate ankle support that prevents our feet from moving around in the shoe
- Low profile shoes are very good for ease of movement while staying comfortable
- Outsoles give you more traction on harder court surfaces – look for high tread levels
- Shoes with laces allow for the highest adjustments in foot tension, and most volleyball shoes will use laces alone
- You need lightweight shoes to stay agile and flexible, so the ideal shoe should have this quality without skimping on other qualities
- Mizuno and ASICS have the most reach in the market due to their high-quality shoes.
Considering the factors to look for in volleyball shoes, our top pick is the Mizuno Lightning Z2 for men because it gives both stability and comfort even during long periods of play, while it is for women as well. The good cushioning levels absorb shock and the Dynamotion feature prevents uncomfortable distortion of toes. It is among the best for ankle support for this reason.