How to Properly Choose Volleyball Shoes? (Simple Guide)

How to Properly Choose Volleyball Shoes

Volleyball shoes are one of the most important equipment that even amateur players should have. This doesn’t mean that any volleyball shoe will do the job, indeed you need to carefully choose the shoe before you buy it …

In this article, I help you pinpoint the most important features you should check, so you can easily choose the right volleyball shoes that will actually help you perform at the best of your abilities.

4 Important Volleyball shoes features to look for…

Here are 4 important features you should pay attention to!

1. Cushioning

50% of volleyball is about footwork and the other 50% is about jumping. I can’t help but say that this is extremely tiring for your feet, and this will be the case especially if you’ve got shoes with weak cushioning.

You will also feel this when you land on the ground after so many jumps, without proper cushioning, you will feel the shock. Not to mention how bad this is for your ankles and even ligament that would deteriorate over time.

Cushion can come from the insole, midsole, and outsole of the shoe!

Quick Tip: Before buying them, you should test the shoes first by jumping as high as you possibly can and check how strong is the shock of landing. The lower it is the better cushioning is!

2. Stability

Volleyball shoes ankle support is what makes or breaks your stability while playing. The stronger ankle support is, the better your confidence will be particularly while playing at higher pace.

Depending on the shoe brand, the ankle support could be localized at the low-top or high-top. It doesn’t really matter which one you pick, just choose what feels comfortable for you.

Volleyball players who should probably focus on the stability are defenders, because they are the ones who have to change directions all the time to be able to defend and save the team from conceding points.

3. Breathability

Many amateurs tend to forget or just ignore this factor which is a big mistake (at least in my humble opinion).

Shoes with good breathability will keep them cool and dry. And by the way, this is not a luxury; this is instead a necessity as your feet will be immune of being tired especially during a high paced game.

Quick Tip: To make sure the shoe you are about to buy is breathable enough, try to check whether it contains a mesh made out of high-tech polyester. For example, this quality volleyball shoe has very good breathability that you can really rely on.

Keep in mind that breathability is extremely important if you want your volleyball shoes to smell better!

4. Lightweight

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

Heavy shoes could slow you down and not get the right height when jumping. Indeed, lightweight volleyball shoes can help you jump higher!

How should they fit?

You want to find shoes that fit your feet well, breathable, and provide the right amount of support.

The right volleyball shoe for you will depend on your foot type, size, and the style of volleyball you play.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to buy a shoe that’s designed to help you learn the game. These types of shoes usually have a low heel to help you develop a low center of gravity, This will make it easier for you to learn how to control the ball on the court without turning over too many times.

You should also look for a shoe that has a well-cushioned midsole to help you develop good footwork and agile movement on the court.

You can learn more on how volleyball shoes should actually fit!

How to know whether the shoes are durable?

The most durable volleyball shoes are going to:

  • Provide the right amount of support for your feet
  • Keep your feet cool during volleyball games.
  • Prevent your feet from sweating too much.
  • Prevent your feet from getting sore.

If you are a heavy practitioner (4 to 5 times a week), your shoes should last at least for a complete season. Otherwise, if you practice less than that, then your shoe can easily last more than that.

Should you choose your shoes based on your volleyball position?

Your volleyball position is an important factor in choosing the right shoes.

1. Middle blocker/hitters

Middle blockers act as the first line of defense from an opponent’s attacks but also do a fair bit of attacking themselves.

For this position, chose them by size and height. If you are a bit bigger, you should go for shoes that will keep you stable and well supported while playing, reducing any risk getting your joints harmed.

2. Setter

The setter, like a quarterback on a football team and a point guard on a basketball team, is in charge of the offensive and points strategy for the team.

Because setters must be at the net all of the time, jumping regularly and moving fast, I recommend light shoes that allow for quick movement.

3. Outside hitter

Outside hitters will dart around in diagonals, running and jumping throughout the game as they attack and defend, so they’ll require shoes with lightweight construction and responsive Boost cushioning.

4. Opposite/Right side hitters

On the right side of the court, an opposite hitter is the most versatile of all as he acts both as a setter and an outside hitter.

They need shoes that provide ignition for big jumps and cushioning for better landing. They need to be lightweight and foot hugging.

5. Libero

 The libero hits and blocks on the left side of the court. Libero will dart around in diagonals, running and jumping throughout the game as they attack and defend, so they’ll require shoes with a lightweight construction and responsive Boost cushioning.

Should you choose volleyball shoes based on the brand?

When it comes to picking the perfect volleyball shoes, some people immediately think about the brand …

While this could be somewhat true, the best volleyball shoes are the ones that can fit your needs and style the best, regardless of who makes them.

Good volleyball shoes are those that provide the right amount of traction, support, and cushion to keep you injury-free.

However, I still recommend opting for well-known and reputable brands, as this adds some insurance!

Below some of the most reputable brands in the market.

Keep in mind that some players don’t like using specific brands, and prefer to customize their volleyball shoes!

Best volleyball shoes brands

1. Nike

Nike used to make volleyball shoes for a long time before discontinuing production in 2010.

The intriguing thing about Nike alternatives is that they’re all basketball-oriented, as Nike no longer makes volleyball-specific shoes.

Volleyball players benefit from the emphasis on lateral movement and ankle support, which allows them to make dynamic movements without fear of injury, and they often contain good cushioning to prevent fatigue while playing.

Nike sneakers are frequently expected to be long-lasting and comfortable, with high-quality materials that can handle the rigors of competition. While that’s a good thing, this is still one of the main reasons these volleyball shoes are quite expensive.

2. Adidas

Adidas volleyball shoes are designed for maximum comfort and performance so you can always put your best foot forward.

Lightweight materials and a supportive fit will provide you with the rock-solid solidity you’ll need to charge through any obstacle on the court.

The Adidas volleyball shoes are now the official shoe for all the USA Volleyball national teams.

3. Asics

Whether they’re blocking, hitting, or serving, these pair of ASICS youth volleyball shoes will keep them steady and confident.

They include a gripping rubber outsole that provides good traction on slick gym surfaces, allowing you to leap, twist, and move with comfort. Competitive volleyball players will benefit from ASICS’ GEL technology, which provides stable and long-lasting comfort.

ASICS FlyteFoam technology provides flexible and lightweight cushioning in volleyball shoes.

4. Mizuno

Mizuno was a volleyball brand that’s been created with male volleyball players in mind. Since its release in 1992, it has been a favorite among volleyball players.

Many volleyball players, as well as fans, have praised Mizuno’s product. For more than two decades, Mizuno has been regarded as the most popular volleyball brand.

When playing volleyball, Mizuno Wave technology reduces the force and stress inflicted on the feet. To reduce the danger of injury, volleyball shoes must have the right balance of cushioning and stability.

The Mizuno wave plate in the shoes provides exceptional cushioning by distributing impact force across a huge surface area.

Final Thoughts …

Some amateurs don’t pay too much attention to how important is choosing the right volleyball shoes. All they care about is whether the size fits well or not …

Many of them get foot and ankle injuries down the road because they don’t use the right shoes; and the sad part is that they don’t even realize that shoes they were using contributed to their injury big time … So, they just keep doing the same mistake over and over again!

Hopefully you won’t fall into this category.

Finally, I highly invite you to check this helpful article on what kind of shoes do pro volleyball players use!

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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