How Should Volleyball Shoes Fit? (Explained with Examples)

How Should Volleyball Shoes Fit

After experiencing many sports before, I’ve come to the conclusion that volleyball shoes are one of the hardest to choose, among most of the other sports out there. Simply because the feel when you first put them on is a little weird to the point where you don’t know how they should normally fit your beloved feet …

That’s why I’ve thought it would be a good idea to put together this short article to help give you some useful indications in that regard.

Let’s dive in!

How should volleyball shoes fit and feel when you first try them?

Obviously if your shoes don’t fit as well as they should then this should have a negative impact on your performance to a certain capacity …

First thing I would suggest to you is to make sure your shoes are breathable enough. You might be wondering now what this has to do with your shoes fitting your feet, right?!

Indeed, try to use volleyball shoes with poor breathability for an intense game or practice session! The heavy sweating and lack of air circulation in and out the shoes will give you this terrible feeling that your shoes don’t fit you well, even if they’ve got supposedly the right size …

This would be very impactful for your overall performance!

Quick Tip: A good indication that volleyball shoes are breathable enough is the used material which is usually Mesh fabric. Always try to check that beforehand. For example, these quality volleyball shoes have got an exceptional breathability.

One more thing is the amount of support. Make sure that the support provided by the shoes are fitting your beloved feet type and shape (flat, arched …). For example, some volleyball shoes are marketed as being designed for flat footed people and so on.

Also, make sure shoes are fitting your level of practice. If you are a newbie, then I would recommend you to check a pair with a low heel. This will lower your body’s gravity center thus make it overall easier for you to handle basic volleyball movements until you learn and even master them …

However, for more seasoned practitioners, they would opt for shoes with higher heel, because this would give them a little edge when jumping, blocking, serving, spiking ….

Finally, due to the nature of the game, even if the shoes have your feet size, they still won’t feel to fit well if they are not well-cushioned especially on the midsole. 

How to choose the right volleyball shoe size?

Volleyball shoes sizing is pretty much similar to regular shoes sizing system. You can typically wear the same size that you would for your regular shoes.

There is a general claim (that I am leaning towards) which says that player’s toes should touch the front of the shoe and that a pen should fit beneath the player’s heel.

This guarantees that their feet have some room to move inside the shoe.

It is Okey if shoes are a little tight, yet be sure that they are not excessively tight, because they will be detrimental for your feet and your overall performance.

Keep in mind that volley shoes (in general) have laces. This allows you to tighten the shoes to stay in place when you jump or dive to get a ball.

Finally, I highly invite you to check this guide on choosing the right volleyball shoes! You will find it useful.

Volleyball shoe brands that fit the best


This brand is one of the first to be on this business (I think it has started in the 70s). It was first specialized in running and jogging shoes & equipment (By the way, you shoudn’t use volleyball shoes for running!)

This has gave them a great experience for other sports including volleyball as most sports are at some extent based on running.

They are known for their GEL tech giving their shoes serious comfort while playing or practicing in an intense way. This makes them easily fit your feet.

These Asics volleyball shoes are one of their best products!


This one has started about 20 years later (exactly in the 90s) and was mainly focused in its first days on man sporting equipment.

This brand has gained a lot of popularity simply because they are constantly developing ways to reduce stress on the feet in a way to reduce chances of getting injured. They are also known for making shoes that are easy to fit your feet.

Other important criteria to consider before choosing volleyball shoes

1. Cushioning

Without enough cushioning you will terribly tire your beloved feet. This is mainly caused by the nature of sport that involves a ton of jumping …

Indeed, when you land after a high jump you will feel a shock which will cause ankle issues overtime.

2. Stability

Most volleyball injuries are located in the ankle. That’s why many players once they’ve had such an injury their performance tends to deteriorate even after they recover. Simply because they’ve lost the confidence that comes with stability on the feet.

That’s why it is extremely important to pick shoes that offer such a stability especially in high intense situations

3. Breathability

If your feet aren’t cool and dry during games and practice sessions you will feel uncomfortable.

According to many volleyball players this is by far one of the most important reasons that affect their performance during games.

4. Lightweight

To be able to move around the court quickly for several games in a row, you’ll also want lightweight volleyball shoes …

If shoes are heavy they will certainly make you move slower especially in jumping and diving situations which are the most important when it comes to saving points.

How long does it take to break in volleyball shoes

Overall, volleyball shoes should be pretty tight. They have laces because of this. You can use them to tighten the shoes…

This also will prevent your shoes from flying off when you dive or jump to catch a ball.

Even if you have to wear them for more than an hour, they should still feel comfortable. Finding the ideal balance can be challenging, and you may need to tie them several times to achieve it.

It takes some time for your feet to get used to a new pair of volleyball shoes. They could be extremely painful at first. They ought to feel much more at ease after few training sessions.

Final Thoughts …

I totally understand that many amateurs are worried that their new (not cheap) volleyball shoes don’t fit well which would literally be a waste of money …

While that’s a legitimate concern, be sure that the nature of the shoes gives you this false feeling at the beginning that they don’t fit well. However, after few usages they will start fitting really well into your beloved feet. So don’t be too much concerned about that!

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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