Are Volleyball Shoes Good for Walking Outside? (Explained)

volleyball shoes vs walking shoes

Let me guess! You want to buy brand new volleyball shoes and you are wondering whether you can use them for walking outside as well. Am I right?

Anyway, if this is close from what you are looking for, then this article will help you figure this out. Indeed …

Using volleyball shoes for walking is something you should avoid. Otherwise, they will tend to deteriorate much quicker as the gum rubber sole is not adapted for hard ground. Not to mention that volleyball shoes don’t offer enough comfort for long walks situations.

Bellow, I provide an interesting comparison between normal and volleyball shoes that will help you understand the major differences between both of them.

I also, include some cases where you can consider using shoes for both walking and a sports activity like volleyball.

Difference between volleyball and walking shoes

Feature Walking Shoes Volleyball Shoes
Achilles Tendon Protector & Heel Collar Very comfortable and helpful to reduce stress & ankle protection Good for ankle protection but not as comfortable
Toe Box Provide slightly more room than necessary Provides exact room needed for toes
Insole & Midsole (foam) Support the Arch for moderate ground strikes Support Arch for strong ground strikes
Outsole Adapted for outside ground like concrete Adapted for Indoor court like wooden ground
Flexibility 3/5 on average 4/5 on average
Stability 3/5 on average 4.5/5 on average
Comfort 4/5 on average 3/5 on average
Durability 3/5 on average 3/5 on average

1. Comfort

If you are looking to have quite long walks, then your shoes should keep your feet comfortable as long as you are walking. Right?

Volleyball shoes usually don’t offer sustainable comfort for long walks!

Indeed, volleyball shoes are quite arched to help keep you on your toes while playing or practicing.

However, walking shoes tend to be quite flat which will distribute the pressure on the whole foot and keep them comfortable.

2. Stability

Walking shoes are usually not that tight on feet so you won’t feel the pressure that you are wearing something while walking. That’s why many modern shoes are made out of soft tissue in the Upper.

That’s not the case for volleyball where the shoes need to be quite tight, not only for protection but also to leverage the stability sensation while practicing, especially when sudden direction changes.

Also, the gum rubber sole as well as rounded toe box and heel edges reinforce the grip and make you feel that even more stable while practicing!

3. Durability

This one is quite tricky, because this just depends on where and how you are using each one!

In fact, if you use normal shoes for walking outside even on hard surfaces, then this should  not affect their durability by any means (of course depending on the shoes quality you’ve chosen).

However, if you use them for sport activities like volleyball, then you will notice deterioration, especially in the Upper side due to sudden direction changes and sprints you will perform in the court.

On the other hand, if you use volleyball shoes for walking in hard surfaces like concrete then the sole will wear out in few months. Thus, you won’t be able to use then, neither for walking anymore, nor even for actual volleyball practice.

Recommendation: If you’ve got volleyball shoes (Like These), it is better to not use them outside even just walking from your car to the court. Otherwise, they might pick up dirt and small stones that won’t play on your advantage while practicing as the shoes will lose their stability characteristics.

Can you use walking shoes for volleyball?

Yes it is possible to use walking shoes for volleyball, especially if you are a recreational player practicing for fun and not at a competitive level.

Indeed, you will be able to execute all volleyball moves (serving, spiking, digging, blocking …) using normal shoes.

Just keep in mind that volleyball shoes will help leveraging those move, though!

Try to make sure that the walking shoes features (Check last article section) are as close as possible to the volleyball ones. If most of those features are verified, than you are good to go.

Helpful Tip: try to pick a good walking shoes brand that will ensure a minimum quality. This Pair of walking shoes is a good pick if you want to use them for volleyball as well.

What can volleyball shoes be used for?

You can use volleyball shoes indoors, whether it is for a simple walk in the mall or to practice any kind of indoor sport (Basketball, Badminton, Ping Pong …) preferably on a wooden floor.

But keep in mind that you shouldn’t use volleyball shoes for outdoor sports like tennis.

… The right thing to do; is to use specific shoes for each sport. Yet volley shoes are a decent alternative for any of these sports in case a specific sport shoe is not available.

In the next paragraph, I provide a little bit more details on what is quite unique about volleyshoes!

But … What is special about volleyball shoes?

There are 2 things that make volleyball shoes quite unique:

  • Cushioning
  • Soles

1. Cushioning

Cushioning should be made in a way it can absorb shocks easily. This aspect is extremely important especially if you are the kind of players that jump a lot.

Otherwise, your shoes won’t be able to absorb the jumping shocks once your feet land back on the ground.

Such cushioning will also give an edge to jump higher while defending or attacking.

2. Soles

In most cases, shoes overall quality is judged by the quality of its soles. In our case, the sole are (in most cases) made out of gum rubber!

Indeed, this will give you the necessary stability and grip you need to be as agile as possible while executing those sudden volleyball moves on a smooth wooden floor.

Regular rubber could work just fine, but gum rubber is much better and is the industry standard for such a use.

Bottom line

If you taking volleyball seriously as a main activity of even as a recreational hobby, then I highly recommend using dedicated volley shoes. This will give you more protection and reinforce most of the moves you will perform …

… And if you do, don’t use them outside to keep them in good condition as long as possible!

However, if you are practicing occasionally then using normal walking shoes (preferably with rubber sole) would be just fine.

Finally, keep in mind that volleyball shoes shoudn’t also be used for running outside!

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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