14 mins read

What Shoes Do You Wear For Volleyball? All You Need to Know About Support and Impact

Suppose, your next game of volleyball is two days away. You are confident about your form, you practiced well, the coach is happy with you, even you are happy with yourself. But you’re a little skeptical about the equipment or accessories, more specifically, the shoes and protective gear that you are going to wear for the match.

This apparently small suspicion in your mind pre-game may cost you your entire performance in the match. This is why it is important to invest in the right shoes that give you the optimal freedom of movement.

So, what shoes do you wear for volleyball? The athletic shoes offer you things like molded soft cushioning, grippy rubber outsole, breathable mesh materials in the upper part, and have every other part made to be supportive and impact-bearing for you. This ensures that everyone from a professional athlete to a beginner is safe from the risk of injury and can focus on the big game!

Why You Truly Need Volleyball Shoes

A common question that volleyball players and the sellers of volleyball shoes get asked often is, why do you need it? Couldn’t you just wear any shoe for the game, throw on a pair on your feet, and get done with it as long as it is legal and allowed?

While you may be able to do it, you shouldn’t. This is because not every game has the same range of movements. While some require intense use of the hand, others require a rigorous use of the feet, and some even exceed bodily movements (like chess!). Volleyball is no exception.

In volleyball, you have to go through constant repetitive jumping and falling. For all this extra jumping, the shoes not only need to be impact-bearing to survive all the high-intensity movements, but they also need to be lightweight.

This will save you from feeling like you are wearing a heavy shoe and are pulling your legs up and dragging them down mid-air as you move. To ensure the right up and down lateral movement abilities, you need volleyball shoes.

The Specialty Of Volleyball Shoes

All the different parts of the volleyball shoes are made in a way that can altogether help you as a volleyball player in the game. While not every part is super special (for example, a lot of shoes can have gum rubber soles, but not all are specially made for volleyball), they add up together to make a shoe that is especially suited for volleyball. Let’s take a look at them individually:

  1. For flexibility and to help you with slip-resistant movements and excellent traction, good volleyball shoes are made of gum rubber soles in the outsole. This not only helps you but also helps the court to be safe from skid marks. You’ll often find them matching the shoe aesthetics instead of being ashened.
  2. Your midsole of the shoe is made to be both strong and support excellent shock absorption at the same time. As for the material, you either see foam or a mixture of foam gel cushioning systems. This cuts down the fatigue of movement too.
  3. As for the upper part of the shoe, it is made to protect you from smelly feet! When you are playing intensively, sweat and moisture build-up naturally. The lightweight mesh upper or nylon upper allows airflow and keeps your feet cool.
  4. The inner part of the shoe also comes with cushioning all-round comfort with compression molding or gel to save you from injuries due to sudden movements.
  5. Lastly, to save you from the weight of being held back. These shoes are made with a specific weight in mind for both genders. For men’s volleyball shoes, it is 11.2 to 15.0 ounces and for women’s volleyball shoes, it is 9.2 to 11.0 ounces.

Volleyball Shoes Vs. Regular Shoes

Regular shoes have one common thing like volleyball shoes: they are both made to move forward. But when it comes to volleyball shoes, they are made to run forward, backward, go sideways, up and down, and any arbitrary way you could come up with. When you have so many quick, sharp movements to do, you can’t ignore the importance and difference that volleyball shoes make as opposed to regular shoes.

Another thing that causes a difference between them, is their weights. Like you read already, it is important to be always ready and on the heels of your feet when you play volleyball because there are no set rules or set movements that ensure you a good throw. So all volleyball players need lightweight shoes, as all volleyball shoes are made that way. However, every regular shoe is not built with a lightweight nature in mind.

Again, the soles of regular shoes can be made of a lot of different materials, even recycled plastic. But when you are wearing volleyball shoes, plastic won’t give you the great traction you need. In that case, the gum rubber that most volleyball shoe soles boast of is your best friend.

Volleyball Shoes Vs. Basketball Shoes

Apparently, it seems as if basketball and volleyball shoes could be the same, because both of the sports shoes require jumping, landing on the ground, random movements, and whatnot. But let’s take you through the actual game flashbacks to make you understand why basketball players need different shoes.

Imagine this, you wear basketball shoes and are on the basketball court with your indoor court shoes. Your teammate Johnson dribbles down the court, fools the opponent Michael and runs a play quickly onto you. All you have to do now is jump and shoot!

Now what happened here there were fewer jumps on the court and more sprints. So a basketball shoe will be designed keeping this in mind. The players will be given more strength in the middle and have more center of gravity in the front and midsole. You also need cushioning when you are playing basketball, this cushioning is more insole-centered. So the entire purpose of making these shoes is sealed around running and moving forward.

Now, think about a game of volleyball. The jumping multiplies tenfold, and with the forward movement, you also need lateral movements. So it is made up of forward, backward, upward, downward, and if you are flexible enough, sometimes diagonal movements too.

So when someone says you can’t use basketball shoes for playing volleyball, what they really mean is that you can use them, but it will tear in a couple of months.

A landing in volleyball is the force of nine times of weight. So if you play more frequently, it may be weeks in which your basketball shoes tear down in the middle of your volleyball game for all the force and motions.

Again in terms of weight, basketball shoes tend to be heavier than volleyball shoes, with materials that are more suitable for basketball. Whereas volleyball shoes have their own specification of weight and materials that suit volleyball.

What Shoes Do You Wear For Volleyball

Depending on where you are playing your game of volleyball, your shoe can be chosen. Following are 3 types of volleyball and 3 kinds of shoes that can suit the game.

Beach volleyball

Here is where all you know about volleyball shoes can be relaxed. Because beach volleyball is mostly played barefoot, with the natural gift from God to have ourselves protected from the randomness of the movements.

However, if the sand gets too hot and you still want to play, getting yourself sand socks can let you enjoy the game and keep your feet cool and safe at the same time.

Indoor volleyball

You need quick movements to cut and pivot when you are playing indoor volleyball games. Although this is also true for outdoor volleyball games, you need to have exceptional traction and make sure that your outsole does not damage the volleyball court.

This is why getting yourself volleyball shoes that are made particularly to protect you from slipping and sliding in the middle of the game, is important.

Outdoor volleyball

Everything you learned about volleyball shoes so far, all of that comes together in this game. You have to beat the heat from outdoors with a breathable shoe made of mesh, you have to have the gel cushioning to save your feet from the HIIT practices, you need ankle support to let you practice jumping up and down, and everything in between.

Make sure that you invest in a good brand before you start on the practices. That way, you’ll have the best from the very start! Also, saving up and investing in a good volleyball shoe always pays back. It is also possible to get budget-friendly volleyball shoes without sacrificing the quality, which is more suitable for beginners just getting into the game.

When Volleyball Shoes Are not Good for Outdoors

Volleyball shoes are not meant for outdoor usage. They are meant for the game. Since good volleyball goods always come at a cost, if you waste them out with frequent wearing, no matter how good the airy and lightweight shoe feels, that won’t be wise.

Get yourself mesh shoes or a cross trainer for outdoor strolling and save up the volleyball shoe for the game!

When Volleyball Shoes Are not Good for Outdoors

Volleyball shoes are not meant for outdoor usage. They are meant for the game. Since good volleyball goods always come at a cost, if you waste them out with frequent wearing, no matter how good the airy and lightweight shoe feels, that won’t be wise.

Get yourself mesh shoes or a cross trainer for outdoor strolling and save up the volleyball shoe for the game!

Can You Use Running Shoes For Volleyball?

Not really. This is a complete put-off unless you are in serious trouble with your volleyball issue. Volleyball is a very injury-prone game for both starters and professionals.

A wrong movement in the cross trainers that you don’t naturally take may hurt you. And these wrong movements are often resulted by (if not supported by) wrong shoes.

Since running shoes are not made for all the random and intense movements, using them for playing volleyball will only increase your chances of injury.

Can You Use Volleyball Shoes For Basketball?

Basketball usually requires you to have a skid-proof shoe that can be used indoors. A lot of volleyball shoes support that. In fact, a lot of the features that volleyball shoes have make them quite good for playing basketball. Except one, the weight.

Basketball shoes tend to be a little heavier than volleyball shoes, they are also a little wider. However, if you don’t mind the little weight and width, and would have actually loved something more lightweight and snugly fit, you can certainly use volleyball shoes for basketball.


Can you jump higher using volleyball shoes?

When you get a shoe that is lightweight and comes with ankle support, with practice, you can high jump.

What brand makes the best volleyball shoes?

Although Nike shoes and Adidas shoes are the top-quality that everyone wants, brands like ASICS and Mizuno also make some of the best volleyball shoes.

Why are volleyball shoes considered important?

This is because they give you all the goodness of a sports-specific shoe and save you from the setbacks that a non-volleyball shoe could cause if you had worn those in the game. The right volleyball shoes can bear the impact and pressure and let you play comfortably in a tight game.

How long will volleyball shoes last as casual wear?

Your volleyball shoes are your investment for the game. If you use them for casual wear, you will cut down their life span by months, or maybe even years depending on the frequency of your casual outings. And since they come pricey, that won’t be wise to do! So get yourself some running shoes and in the long run, save up for a more high-end volleyball shoe.

How tight should my volleyball shoes be?

There should be no snubbing or pinching from the shoe. It should fit you snugly but not give your feet room inside the toe box to move around.

To Summarize

To summarize, your mind should be put to 5 basic things that volleyball shoes feature: the weight of the shoe should be lightweight; all 3 soles should in one way or another give you cushioning, a superior grip, and support with the materials and construction; the shoe should be able to bear the burden of loads of impact and let you land without injury; it should be of a breathable construction, and it should fit your feet snugly without room for movement.

So the next time you get asked, what shoes do you wear for volleyball? You know all the non-nonsense details that can help you and the listeners to make the perfect volleyball shoe choice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.