One of my closest friends that works at a sports shop is frequently asked this question: what are volleyball shoes? Are these any different than other sports shoes, or is it just a marketing gimmick?
You may (or may not) be surprised to know that volleyball shoes are designed to be much more than game shoes. They are impact-bearing, lightweight, cushioning, supportive and breathable pairs that give you “happy feet” and definitely active feet during the game.
One might say that there are a lot of adjectives to describe them. But you’d know just what we’re talking about once you dig deeper.
Here is our deeply researched review of the best volleyball shoes for liberos. Lets take a look!
How To Pick a Volleyball Shoe: Things You Should Look For
When you are picking volleyball shoes, you need to pay attention to some of the key things. They are as follows:
- Cushioning: Having a volleyball shoe that feels like a brick on your feet is a complete no-no. So the first thing you need to look for is the right cushioning.
- Breathability: Now that you don’t feel psychologically tired or disheartened from wearing your shoe, you need to make sure that you can wear it till your game of volleyball lasts without drenching your feet in sweat. This is why you need the right breathability.
- Lightweight: You should be able to move freely constantly throughout the game without the feeling of the shoes pulling you down as you soar high.
- Support: Having stable ankle support is important as you will frequently find yourself up and down the court. So impact-bearing landing and support are essential.
How Are Volleyball Shoes Designed
Usually, volleyball shoes are designed in a different manner than running shoes or regular shoes. When you run, you move vertically forward along the pathway. But when you play volleyball, you need both lateral and forward movement. So the balance needs to be impeccable, or you will be thrown off guard.
Another difference in design comes from the layers of construction of the shoe. The rubber sole works to decrease injuries and gives you solid footing from the unpredictable jumping; the midsole protects your heels while the upper sole keeps all your sweat away!
What Are Volleyball Shoes Designed For?
The number one reason why volleyball shoes are designed is pretty obvious: because you need them to play volleyball! Besides being sports-specific, these pairs also help you in the following ways:
- Allows lateral movement during the game.
- Lets you constantly jump and land with ease.
- Absorbs impact with right footing where needed.
- Different components such as gum rubber sole, midsole, upper sole, and ankle cushion protect you from injuries.
Volleyball shoes vs. Basketball Shoes vs. Cross Trainers
It all boils down to personal preference whether you want to go for basketball shoes in your volleyball game. The reason could be budget constraints or maybe the versatility of your shoe in gameplays. But are volleyball shoes different from basketball shoes?
To tell you the truth, both sports require you to show fast lateral movement, do arbitrary upward leaps, and land with traction on a hardwood court. But the main difference actually is in the weight of the shoes. Basketball shoes that tend to be a little heavier and pull down more than volleyball shoes. Although the ankle support from basketball shoes is tremendous, this heaviness makes wearing these pairs cumbersome in a volleyball game.
And when it comes to cross trainers, volleyball shoes can’t serve the deadlift and squats that you will need to do in your cross-training as they give you a lot of cushioning.
Multicourt Shoes vs. Volleyball Shoes
Multicourt shoes have the best and worst of volleyball and basketball shoes in them. They are good to give you cushioning; you can play a good game of squash or badminton or even handball with this, but it will never satisfy the jumping requirements of a volleyball game. So using your multicourt shoe for a game of competitive volleyball is not recommended unless it is a friendly match!
Alternative Uses of Volleyball Shoes
Volleyball shoes are pretty great for indoor recreational gaming and activities, as long as you are not doing any hardcore training with it. In that case, you might find the cushioning throwing you off balance. Also, don’t wear these pairs on abrasive surfaces, and everywhere else is good to go!
Fitting and Replacement of Volleyball Shoes
There should be the width of a finger between your toes and the tip of your volleyball shoe. I also suggest you go for a snug and not tight fits.
Typically, your volleyball shoes should last you one season if you play 4-5 times a week. For lesser frequency, you can expect them to last a year. When you see them wearing out or losing traction, it is a good time to find a new friend!
After all these, you will definitely not be asking what volleyball are shoes needed for? Because you know that the traction, lightweight, and breathable pairs guarantee you a winning performance if you practice well with them.
This success won’t come from basketball shoes which are designed for less lateral movement, or from running shoes that don’t require this feature at all! You only need to be aware of buying the right pairs using our concise and effective guide and your right sizes. Then all you’ll need to do is grab your best volleyball shoes and head out to the court!