April 11, 2018

10 Best Volleyball Shoes For Men & Women In 2018

best volleyball shoes

Perhaps it’s never occurred to you that you that, as a volleyball player, you need specific volleyball shoes. After all, it’s just another court-based sport like basketball, right?

So it would be just fine to wear cross-trainers or casual sports shoes, right? Wrong!

On the outside they may look similar. In fact, though, the structure of the upper, the midsole and the outsole in volleyball shoes and the materials used are specifically designed for the unique movements and lightning-quick responses in this sport.

In volleyball, the way your body moves is different, so the demands on your musculoskeletal system are completely different. Therefore, the shoes that you need to perform at your best and to protect yourself as far as possible from avoidable injury must be different, too.

Volleyball shoes are lighter, so you expend less energy, and their gum rubber soles are specifically designed to cope with the jumps, quick cuts and sudden, fast movements.

Crucially, they’re constructed to support the swift lateral movements which are fundamental to volleyball and offer superior shock absorption and impact protection.

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Product Name
Colour Options
Approx. Measurement Shaft from Arch
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
ASICS Men's Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe

ASICS Men's Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe

Black/White, Indigo Blue/Silver/White, White/Black/Silver

Low-top

$$

Mizuno Men's Wave Lightning Z BK-SL Volleyball Shoe

Mizuno Men's Wave Lightning Z BK-SL Volleyball Shoe

Black/Silver

29.2”

$$$

ASICS Men's Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe

ASICS Men's Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe

Black/White

/Phantom, White/Silver

Low-top

$

ASICS Men's Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball Shoe

ASICS Men's Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball Shoe

Black/Dark Grey/White, Indigo Blue/Prime Red/Rich Gold

Mid-top

$$

ASICS Men's GEL-Cyber Sensei Volleyball Shoe

ASICS Men's GEL-Cyber Sensei Volleyball Shoe

Black/White/Green Gecko, Cherry Tomato/White

/Black

Low-top

$$

ASICS Women's Gel Tactic Volleyball Shoe

ASICS Women's Gel Tactic Volleyball Shoe

9 Options

Low-top

$

ASICS Women's Gel Rocket 7 Volley Ball Shoe

ASICS Women's Gel Rocket 7 Volley Ball Shoe

7 Options

Low-top

$

ASICS Women's Gel 1150V Volley Ball Shoe

ASICS Women's Gel 1150V Volley Ball Shoe

5 Options

2.8

$$

ASICS Women's Gel Sensei 5 Volley Ball Shoe

ASICS Women's Gel Sensei 5 Volley Ball Shoe

White/Magenta

/Silver, White/Magenta

/Lime 

Low-top

$

ASICS Women's Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe

ASICS Women's Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe

Pink Glow/Indigo Blue/Aqua Splash, Black/White/Silver, Mint/White/Fiery Coral

Low-top

$


Types of Volleyball Shoes Explained


The vast marketplace for sports shoes out there, both online and in store, is so full of options that it can be hard to decide what are the best volleyball shoes for your own specific needs.

Those needs may vary depending on which position you play, as the best volleyball shoes for libero may be subtly different from the best volleyball shoes for middle blocker. Similarly, there are different products available for men and women.

As with anything, the quality of the product and the specific design and materials are ultimately reflected in the price.

Recent technological advancements have led to huge improvements in the performance of volleyball shoes, especially in terms of superior breathability, cushioning and stability.

Inevitably, the cost of research and development must be reflected in the cost of the shoe, as must increased production time.

The overall result for the consumer, though, is a range of volleyball shoes to suit most pockets, which are specifically adapted to maximise performance on court while minimising discomfort and injury.


4 Ways the Best Volleyball Shoes Can Help Your Game


Jumping

Jumping technique is key to this sport, where elevation is everything. So, the best volleyball shoes must be designed for optimum shock absorption.

Stress on knees and ankles can be a problem so, no matter what position you play and no matter how high you jump, you need to have confidence in your shoes’ ability to give you maximum support, comfort and shock absorption.

Reaction Time

Honing anticipation skills and therefore reaction speed is a huge part of this fast-paced sport, so it makes sense to choose shoes which are designed to give you the maximum traction on the court.

The special gum rubber soles give excellent adherence at the same time as flexibility.

Well designed shoes will give you protection at the same time as giving you the confidence to make those split-second reactions. 

Speed

Whether you’re passing, setting or hitting, speed is everything. That’s down to training but there’s no doubt that having the right shoes gives you the edge when it comes to those laser-fast reaction times.

If you take the time to select the best volleyball shoes available, which are specifically designed for comfort, protection and optimum performance, you’ll reap the benefits on court. 

Fewer Injuries

Everyone knows that careful training for any sport is essential to develop strength in muscles and resilience in joints.
Perhaps not everyone realises, though, how important it is to have correctly fitting and specifically designed footwear, especially in volleyball.

Those lightning-quick changes of direction and jumps inevitably take their toll on the musculoskeletal system.

The best volleyball shoes offer shock absorption and stability, maximising protection of the feet themselves but also the joints and thereby reducing the stresses on the body and lessening the chance of injury. 


What to Look for in a Quality Pair of Volleyball Shoes


Knowledge is power! To give you a helping hand we’ve summarised the different key features of the best volleyball shoes so you’ll know what to look out for.

Stability

 

Swift and frequent changes of direction are fundamental to volleyball, so stability is crucial thing to consider when choosing footwear. Everyday ‘athletic’ shoes won’t give you the support and protection you need if you’re playing regularly.


The soles of the best volleyball shoes are designed to give maximum stability and support for these movements. For example, the midsole is specifically designed to take most of the impact in jumps and landings at the same time as giving maximum flexibility.


The soft gum rubber soles give the best possible traction for lateral movement.


Nothing can give absolute protection from a rolled ankle but high quality, purpose-made footwear will provide support and will go some way to preventing such painful and annoying injuries.

Cushioning

 

Foot pain could be listed as one of the top reasons for reduction in performance on court, so the best possible cushioning is crucial.


How can you expect to achieve optimal performance if your feet are hurting?


This is particularly relevant if you play every day or if you’re taking part in tournaments when you’ll be on court repeatedly.


Cushioning, therefore, is one of the most important factors in the design of the best volleyball shoes, especially the cushioning of the heel and the forefoot.


Many volleyball shoes use foam for cushioning but the higher end products use gel or air cushions.


If you’re constantly jumping, it’s important to shield your feet from impacting the hard surface of the court each time you land.


Such protection will not only delay the onset of fatigue but also lessen the chance of injury, ensuring that you maintain peak performance for as long as possible.


It’s important, then, to make sure that the shoes you choose give you the cushioning you need.

Weight

 

The best volleyball shoes need to be both lightweight and durable. The particular movements of volleyball, with plenty of jumping and running around, mean that any additional weight burns unnecessary energy. The lighter the shoe, the less fatigue and the more vital energy is conserved.


The mesh material which forms part of the upper helps to reduce the weight of the shoe at the same time as keeping the foot ventilated.


The soft gum rubber soles are also less dense and therefore not as heavy as the soles of cross-trainers.


Since weight is a key factor in choosing the right footwear to improve your performance on court, this is another good reason to opt for volleyball-specific shoes.

Breathability

 

The rigors of a fast-paced sport like volleyball will always result in sweat and common sense tells us that heat and moisture build-up inside shoes will inevitably lead to painful problems such as blisters. And then there are those odors, which take their toll on the nose…


Optimum temperature regulation and air flow in volleyball shoes is vital to reduce these problems to a minimum. Much of the upper is made of a mesh material which maximises ventilation at the same time as being lightweight.


Manufacturers have also incorporated materials with moisture-wicking properties to ensure comfort and minimise blistering.


An important point to bear in mind, although it’s slightly off the topic of this guide, is not to forget the importance of wearing proper sports socks to wick away moisture from the skin.


No amount of ‘breathability’ in your shoes will compensate for sweat-soaked socks!

Grip

 

Few things undermine performance and confidence more than the lack of traction on court and the possibility of slipping or sliding and therefore of injury.


The best volleyball shoes are designed to maximise grip during lateral movements, ensuring maximum surface area is in contact with the court surface to generate friction and therefore traction.


Sweat dripping onto the court is an inevitable bi-product of this fast-paced sport, which can be very hazardous, so it’s essential that the outsole incorporates open grooves to expel moisture and minimise the risk of slipping.


When shoes are old or worn, these grooves will become flattened and injuries will become more likely.


Effective performance and domination on court is down to confidence and choosing the right v-ball footwear, with specifically designed gum rubber soles is a leap in the right direction.

Durability

 

If you’re buying a dedicated sports shoe, you’ll be aiming for the maximum possible longevity and therefore value for money. Poorly designed shoes, manufactured using low grade materials, will naturally degrade faster.


Just think of the split second changes of direction, the jumps and hard landings and the stress which volleyball shoes have to stand up to becomes obvious.


So, choosing branded shoes which are specifically designed for the particular nature of volleyball and manufactured using the highest quality materials makes good sense. They’ll continue to serve you long after the cheap versions are in the trash.


Good quality shoes should last around a year for more fanatical players but will last much longer for someone who plays more casually.


Taking certain precautions, like not using your shoes off court for general daily use, will extend their life, as the soft gum rubber soles won’t stand up to walking on rough surfaces.


You’ll be able to tell when your shoes need replacing because you’ll notice a difference in the cushioning, grip and stability they provide which, in turn, may affect your performance.


Added to this, of course, the wear and tear on the shoes will become apparent in time.

Upper, Midsole & Sole Features

 

All three of these features are so important in the design of volleyball shoes.


The best volleyball shoes offer a breathable, supportive upper, a midsole with maximum impact absorption and an outsole designed for superior traction.

  • The upper is usually made of a mesh material for maximum breathability and minimum weight and the front is often padded for shock absorption.
  • To maintain the lateral movement, volleyball players spend most of their time on the balls of their feet. The midsole is designed to give the best possible support and protection to the balls of the feet by maximising stability and minimising impact. The midsole needs to be extremely strong yet needs to remain super-flexible.
  • The gum rubber soles are non-marking, which is essential to protect the floor of the gym. Some manufacturers incorporate gel cushioning into the rear and forefoot areas of the sole to give impact protection. Overall, the sole must be soft and flexible to give maximum traction. The outsole is patterned with grooves for protection against slipping on the inevitable bi-product of the sport – sweat! – which makes the court hazardous.

Best 10 Volleyball Shoes Reviewed


Best Volleyball Shoes for Men

ASICS Men's Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe

We love the fact the ASICS Gel-Rocket 8 is a top-level shoe at an entry-level price, making it a great option for new volleyball players.

The latest incarnation of this popular range features ASICS stabilising Trusstic System technology which keeps the weight down at the same time as maintaining structural integrity of the shoe.

Gum rubber on the outsole enhances traction and toes are protected by the specialised forefoot gel cushioning.

ASICS Men's Gel-Rocket 8 Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

84%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Upgraded cushioning on previous models
  • Lightweight but feel sturdy
  • Lots of traction
  • Good all-round indoor athletic shoe

Cons

  • Less arch support than Gel Rocket 7 
  • Not available in half sizes
Mizuno Men's Wave Lightning Z BK-SL Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

Mizuno Men's Wave Lightning Z BK-SL Volleyball Shoe

Mizuno take product development very seriously with the elite athlete in mind. As their marketing says: ‘Your passion is our obsession.’

With the Mizuno Wave Lightning Z they aim to combine stability with optimising speed on court.

It’s the research and development that gives them a higher price tag, of course, but you will be benefiting from all the technological advancements and your feet will thank you for that.

Many 5-star reviewers repeat the phrase: ‘The best volleyball shoes I’ve ever worn’ and particularly mention superior grip, comfort and support.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

81%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Superior grip – one reviewer says ‘grip is amazing and it feels like you could fly every time you jump.’
  • Great heel support and cushion
  • Good arch support

Cons

  • Higher price tag
  • Some reviewers mention that they fit about ½ size bigger than stated size
  • Narrow shoes - people with wide feet are recommended to buy half size larger

ASICS Men's Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe

To dominate on the volleyball court you need a range of skills: speed, agility and tactics. These qualities come with training but support, grip and stability come from your shoes.
The Upcourt 2 gives you all three and will really help you to up your game.

The specially-designed EVA midsole gives great bounce-back and also durability. The mesh and reinforced synthetic leather upper is lightweight yet keeps your foot stable when you make those lightning quick direction changes.

Better yet, you can also play other court sports like badminton and squash in these shoes. The best news of all, though, is that these shoes won’t break the bank!

ASICS Men's Upcourt 2 Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

75%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Good for wide feet
  • Non-marking sole
  • Multi-purpose shoe for all fast-paced court sports
  • Comfortable fit
  • Full length rubber outsole for superior traction
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • May not be true to size – possibly necessary to buy smaller size than normal – use size guide when ordering
  • Partial synthetic leather upper may hinder ventilation
ASICS Men's Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

ASICS Men's Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Volleyball Shoe

These are high performance volleyball shoes, intended for top club and collegiate team players, but if you’re not put off by the higher price tag they’d be an excellent choice for any player at any level.

Superior support and stability are key to comfort and confidence on court and ASICS have used technological advancements to maximise these features.
The shoes are lightweight yet exceptionally durable to cope with the demands of high-level play.

Gel cushioning for the heel and toe area means maximum comfort and stability within the shoe, protection from impacts and therefore minimum fatigue.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Cutting edge technology and design
  • Lightweight yet durable and supportive sole
  • Suitable for players at the highest level
  • Superior ankle support
  • Gel cushioning to heel and toe areas

Cons

  • Higher price tag
  • Limited choice of styles – only 2

ASICS Men's GEL-Cyber Sensei Volleyball Shoe

If stand-out style is your thing, then look no further than the ASICS Gel Cyber Sensei volleyball shoe. Available in two eye-catching styles – cherry tomato/white/black and black/white/green gecko – these shoes certainly stand out from the crowd of mostly grey, white and black shoes in the men’s volleyball marketplace.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that these shoes are all about style but lack substance. On the contrary they benefit from all the bells and whistles that a serious volleyball player looks for in terms of stability and support.

In particular, the upper has been redesigned to improve breathability and stability and volleyball-specific technology has been used to ensure that the foot is given maximum support during high-level play.

ASICS Men's GEL-Cyber Sensei Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

68%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Favoured by elite volleyball players
  • Stand-out style
  • Lightweight yet durable to withstand high-level play
  • Superior grip and stability makes them ideal for setters

Cons

  • Bright colours may not appeal to everyone
  • More expensive than many volleyball shoes

Best Volleyball Shoes for Women

ASICS Women's Gel Tactic Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

ASICS Women's Gel Tactic Volleyball Shoe

These volleyball shoes combine enhanced technology with upgraded performance, so it’s no surprise that the Gel Tactic model is the go-to choice for volleyball players at club level everywhere.

This model has gel cushioning in both forefoot and rearfoot areas, which gives both comfort and that all-important shock absorption. The soles are exceptionally lightweight but they haven’t sacrificed any traction or durability.

If style is important to you, one of the big pluses of the ASICS Women’s Gel Tactic volleyball shoe is that it comes in no less than 9 different styles, so there’s definitely something out there to suit everyone’s taste.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

81%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Plenty of styles to choose from
  • Updated version of tried and tested model
  • Popular with club level players
  • Superior traction for lateral movement due to outsole design

Cons

  • Shorter than usual laces
  • Not ideal for those wanting firm arch support

ASICS Women's Gel Rocket 7 Volley Ball Shoe

If you’re looking for exceptional value and performance, then this shoe is the one to opt for season after season. The Rocket 7 benefits from a lighter weight upper than previous models and also increased gum rubber on the outsole which gives superior traction.

In addition to the standard white and black/silver models, ASICS Women’s Gel Rocket 7 volleyball shoes come in some truly fun and funky styles, including an eye-catching combo of hot pink and turquoise.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, they’d be our top pick! Choose them and you can combine eye-popping style with high-level performance.

ASICS Women's Gel Rocket 7 Volley Ball Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

85%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Lighter weight upper
  • Increased traction from re-designed gum rubber sole
  • Some fun styles available
  • Tried and tested favourite
  • Suitable for other court sports

Cons

  • Wide fittings not available – select bigger size if you have wide feet
  • Sizing tends to run small
ASICS Women's Gel 1150V Volley Ball Shoe

Our Rating

ASICS Women's Gel 1150V Volley Ball Shoe

A member of the ever-popular 1100V family, the ASICS Women’s 1150V volleyball shoe is ideal for every player on the team as it offers an ideal combo of stability and cushioning.

The lightweight upper made of synthetic leather and mesh is super-breathable and supportive. The specially-designed EVA midsole ensures improved bounce-back while retaining the all-important flexibility.

Overall, the shoe is designed for durability. Added to these important practical features, this shoe comes in 5 styles, so you really can combine style and performance on court.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Padded collar for increased comfort
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper for breathability
  • Durable
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Not ideal for players with super-high arches
  • Firm soles not suited to everyone

ASICS Women's Gel Sensei 5 Volley Ball Shoe

The ever-popular GEL-Sensei shoe has been updated to offer improved flexibility, breathability and stability using enhanced technology. They’re also lighter weight thanks to the design of the upper, featuring synthetic leather and mesh material.

Another feature of the upper is asymmetrical lacing, so you’ll find there’s less chance for irritation and better comfort and fit. You’ll also find that durability has improved with the specially designed midsole.

As with all ASICS volleyball shoes, the special gel cushioning in the toe and heel areas reduces shock during impact and toe-off phases.

We think it’s a shame that this shoe is only available in two colours and they’re both quite similar. They might not suit everyone’s taste or might clash with team colours.

ASICS Women's Gel Sensei 5 Volley Ball Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

84%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Superior comfort
  • Ideal for other court sports in addition to volleyball
  • An updated version of an ever-popular model

Cons

  • Only two quite similar colours available
  • May need time to ‘break in’ to achieve maximum comfort
ASICS Women's Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe

Our Rating

ASICS Women's Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe

These multi-court shoes have to represent the best possible value for the amateur athlete and would definitely be our top pick if you’re on a limited budget.

Being one of the ASICS family, they feature superior gel cushioning for the heel to give protection during impacts and a gum rubber outsole for excellent traction during lateral movements in volleyball.

In these shoes you can plant your feet and count on staying put which is pretty fundamental in volleyball. Breathability and comfort are both key elements in the design of the upper, which is a combination of mesh underlays and synthetic leather overlays.

There are only 3 styles but they are all quite different in colour and design and there’s sure to be one to suit most tastes.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

84%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Entry level shoe but still benefiting from enhanced design technology
  • Great traction and ‘stickability’ on court

Cons

  • Limited choice of styles
  • Some customers find they are not true to size
question

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best brands producing volleyball shoes?


The top brands for the best volleyball shoes 2018 are Mizuno and ASICS but there are other options out there, depending on what style or features you’re looking for and that may depend on what position you play. Your choice will also depend on your budget, of course, and there are a whole range of prices out there. Across the brands, there are some outstanding options available which will give you the support, stability and traction you need to ensure you’re at the top of your game.

Where is the most reliable place to buy shoes online?


Look no further than Amazon, where you’ll be able to find plenty of options, whether you’re looking, say, for the best volleyball shoes for middle blocker or the best volleyball shoes for libero. If your needs are not so specific and you just want to buy the best volleyball shoes available, then Amazon offers a vast range of possibilities. The comprehensive verified customer reviews and product descriptions will help you to narrow down the choices. On Amazon you can do a key word search on reviews so, if you’re particularly concerned about ‘comfort’, for example, you can call up the reviews which mention that feature, giving you greater peace of mind.

How sure can I be that the shoes will fit me?


As with any sports shoe, different brands will always vary slightly in their sizing. To give you peace of mind, a useful feature of each Amazon listing for sports shoes is the ‘Fit’ percentage rating, showing the percentage of customers who found that each product fit ‘as expected’. This feature also gives a link to ‘find the right size for you’ where you can find precise sizing information and also specific ‘fit reviews’.

Do different volleyball positions require different shoes?


This is true, although they are not sold as such, so it’s up to you to identify features which will give you the best chance for optimal performance. Your particular position may require superior stability or traction. For example, a jumper will clearly be looking for shoes which offer the best possible shock absorption. So, be sure to check out the features listed for each shoe so you get exactly what you need to support you no matter which position you play.

Are Basketball Shoes Good for playing Volleyball?


The short answer is ‘yes’ but only if you don’t play volleyball often. Basketball and volleyball are two very different games. Basketball shoes, while they offer a lot of the same features as volleyball shoes, are designed for the forward movement of basketball. Volleyball, on the other hand, is all about lateral movements and so choosing sport-specific shoes will ensure that you have the best protection, support and traction on court. So, if you play volleyball regularly, then be kind to yourself and buy the correct shoes.

How long should I expect my volleyball shoes to last?


Unsurprisingly, this will depend on how often you play as it’s all about wear and tear. Avid players can expect good quality shoes to last around a year but, if you’re a casual player they will last much longer. You can extend the life of your shoes by not using them off court, as the special gum rubber soles won’t stand up very well to general use – rough surfaces are their worst enemy. You’ll know when your shoes need replacing as their cushioning, grip and stability will lessen and you’ll notice this in your performance. If the patterned soles get worn out and flattened, for example, you’ll find you won’t get the stability you need on court, so you’ll know it’s time to buy a new pair.


Conclusion


We have you covered whether you’re playing volleyball in a semi professional, professional or amateur team. These shoes above will keep you safe, secure and performing at your best. We are confident these brands are the best available for your next volleyball game.

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Michael Dougie