What makes the best shoe for volleyball?

Shoes are one of the most important pieces of a volleyball player’s gear. Shoes designed specifically for volleyball can help reduce injuries and increase performance. There was a time when players would use any rubber sole shoes to play. However, today’s volleyball shoes are not any ordinary sneakers. They are designed specifically with the needs of a volleyball player in mind. There are hundreds of models and tens of brands on the market. Picking a shoe that is right for you can be quite overwhelming. In this article, I will try to help you choose the best shoes for volleyball. No matter what brand or style you pick, there are certain features that your volleyball shoe must have. Let’s look at some of the features that you must keep in mind while choosing the best volleyball shoe.

1. Stability

Stability is crucial for any volleyball player, and a shoe that adds to your stability on the court will help your game. A volleyball player has little time to react to the ball, and a stable footing makes the movement easy and quick. As a player needs stability in all the directions, volleyball shoes need to be different from other shoes. For example, running shoes provide excellent stability in the forward direction, but when it comes to lateral stability, there is nothing to support you in running shoes. If you play with those shoes, there are greater chances of injuring your ankle. Although volleyball shoes won’t eliminate ankle injuries, they will sure help minimize them. When picking a volleyball shoe, pay close attention to the ankle protection and stability.

2. Ample Cushioning

Cushioning is also crucial for a volleyball shoe if you are playing on a regular basis, and the best shoe for volleyball will give you enough cushioning. If the shoe has insufficient cushioning, you may end up putting undue pressure on your foot, and your feet will thank you for a well-cushioned shoe.

3. Light Weight

Another thing that is crucial for a volleyball shoe is the weight. Heavy shoes can drag you down and make you slow and sluggish. Most of the volleyball shoe brands do a fantastic job of keeping the weight down while still maintaining the durability. Technological advancement in material science has helped the footwear industry a lot. Modern volleyball shoes use materials that are light, durable, and comfortable. As we see in the following sections, some manufacturers have perfected the weight to durability ratio.

4. Breathability

The best shoes for volleyball will keep your feet nice and dry. I don’t have to tell you how uncomfortable it is playing in sweaty, soggy shoes, do I? Pay close attention to the breathability of the shoes before you select them. Many shoes on the market do a fantastic job of keeping your feet dry. Technologies like wicking polymer and breathable fabric make volleyball shoes more breathable and comfortable.

These are the four essential features that you should look at while buying a volleyball shoe. However, you should keep in mind that most of the branded volleyball shoes have all these features. The difference lies in the fact that they are present to varying degrees. Some shoes can be great at providing stability and cushioning but may be terrible in breathability. You must make an informed choice and pick shoes with features that matter you the most. For example, I prefer stability over breathability. Your preference can vary from mine, and that’s okay. Just make sure what your preference is before you look for a volleyball shoe. If you stick to the top brands, there is no ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ shoe generally.

When it comes to volleyball shoes, there is no shortage of brands out there. Some of the best-known brands that offer great volleyball shoes include Nike, Asics, Mizuno and Adidas. These manufacturers offer some great features. Let’s look at these brands in a bit more detail.

  1. Asics Volleyball shoes

Asics is a popular brand when it comes to volleyball shoes. They have several models for both men and women players and offer some great features. One of the key features that Asics brings to the table is cushioning and comfort.

Some of the Asics bestsellers use the ‘Gel’ technology in their soles. Asics have some variations of the technology in their volleyball shoes. The Gel-Cyber Sensei, Gel-Netburner Ballistic, Gel-Domination and Gel-Tactic all offer the same great cushioning.

The synthetic leather and mesh composite material that Asics uses in its volleyball shoes keeps them light and breathable. The shoes offer some great support as well. The outer sole is made from rubber that provides excellent traction and grip.

I like the overall performance of the Asics volleyball shoes. However, the cushioning and breathability are the best features.

Asics Gel Tactic Volleyball Shoe Review

  1. Adidas Volleyball Shoes

Adidas is a known name in sportswear. They have been in business for a long time and are frontrunners in footwear technology. As far as volleyball shoes are concerned, Adidas offers three separate models.

The Boost Volley Response 2.0 series use the ‘energy returning boost’ technology. These shoes have a great support and cushioning. Adidas claims that they help you in jumping and moving around the court. The shoes also feature non-scratching rubber grip that offers excellent traction.

The Volley Assault 2.0 series of volleyball shoes from Adidas are one of the lightest shoes on the market. The open mesh technology allows the shoes to be feather light and breathable. The triple layer foil cage ensures great support and additional heel and toe support make these very stable.

The third series from Adidas is the Volley Team 4.0. These shoes use the ADITUF® technology which reduces foot drag significantly. These shoes offer the best support amongst all other models. The series also features the ADIPRENE® technology in the sole. This technology helps reduce the stress on the foot and allow the player’s more comfortable play.

Although the Adidas volleyball shoes can be a bit on the expensive side, they are well worth the money. I would highly recommend these to beginners or players who need additional support.

Adidas Response Boost Review

  1. Nike Volleyball shoes

Nike has also made a name for themselves in the volleyball shoe business. They offer some great technologies that make their volleyball shoes comfortable and durable. They offer many models that are designed specifically for volleyball players.

If you are looking for a lightweight shoe, Nike Zoom Volley Hyperspike series are one of the best. Nike uses the patented Flywire 3.0® technology to keep the weight down without compromising the support. The series also sports low profile cushioning. These shoes are perfect for attacking players who jump a lot during the game. Nike shoes have some great support and are light weight.

Nike Hyperspike Volleyball Shoe Review

  1. Mizuno Volleyball Shoes

Mizuno is a well-known name amongst professional volleyball players. They manufacture some of the best volleyball shoes, and you might see some of the Olympians rocking these shoes. Mizuno has pushed many innovations in their volleyball line. The Lightning Z3 and the Wave Tornado are the most popular flagship volleyball shoes from Mizuno.

The Lightning Z3 is ideal for players who need extra foot support for moving side to side. The shoe is light and breathable thanks to the fabric mesh design. The shoe also features the Infinity Wave Plate® technology in the heel. This technology offers additional cushioning to the players who jump and smash the ball.

The Tornado X series is suited best for attacking players. The shoe also features the Infinity Wave Plate® technology and offers excellent ankle support. If you are a player who is prone to ankle injuries, these shoes can help you a great deal.

Mizuno shoes are some of the best volleyball shoes out there. They offer excellent support and stability.

Mizuno Tornado X Review

Final Thoughts

While there are a ton of options out there, the best shoes for volleyball must be selected with care. If you keep all the four features that we discussed in mind, you should be able to pick a good shoe. All the four brands that we reviewed offer some great options. You can’t go wrong in choosing any one of the brands. However, keep your individual needs in mind while making a choice.

We hope that this article will help you choose your next volleyball shoes. See you on the court!  

For more reviews and information on the best shoes for volleyball read here.