Volleyball is a quickly evolving sport that’s getting more complex and physical as time progresses. The sport involves jumps quick movements and can be pretty stressful for your feet. So, it’s essential that players are wearing high quality volleyball shoes during their matches!
- 1 Best volleyball shoes for hitters
- 2 Best volleyball shoes for liberos
- 3 What to Look For in Volleyball Shoes
- 4 How Are Volleyball Shoes Different From Other Shoes?
- 5 How Long Should A Pair Of Volleyball Shoes Last?
- 6 Do Volleyball Shoes Differ By Volleyball Position?
- 7 How Should A Volleyball Shoe Fit?
- 8 Should I Wear My Volleyball Shoes Outside?
- 9 What is the difference between volleyball shoes and regular shoes?
- 10 Are running shoes good for volleyball?
The best volleyball shoes let you move around the court and jump at full speed, and protect your feet and joints at the same time. Traction, lockdown, cushioning, stability, heel-toe transition, and support are all key features in a performance volleyball sneaker. No shoe is perfect, but the ones in this list are close.
Wearing a good pair of volleyball shoes is one of the best ways you can prevent injuries and play your best on the court. Lightweight with rubber soles and supportive cushioning, volleyball shoes allow for quick cuts and constant jumping.
Best Men’s Volleyball Shoes of 2023: Our Top Picks
|Best All Round Shoe||ASICS Men’s Volleyball Shoes|
|Best For Those On A Budget||ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 10|
|Best For Liberos & Comfort||Mizuno Women’s Lightning Z5|
|Best Overall for Men||Mizuno Men’s Wave Momentum|
|Best Budget for Men||Nike Lebron Witness Iii PRM Mens|
|Best for Indoor||ASICS Men’s Sky Elite FlyteFoam 2|
|other||Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z6|
While some volleyball shoes may work for all-around play, others have features that make them ideal for certain volleyball positions, such as setters or opposites. So choose a shoe that’s tailored for your needs, style, and preferences. Look for shoes that have stability features for quick direction changes and lateral movements, and good traction. We reviewed volleyball shoes for our list based on durability, affordability, the grip of the sole, overall weight, cushioning, stability, and breathability.
Top1.ASICS Men’s Volleyball Shoes
The ASICS Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF Volleyball Shoes are fantastic for both the all rounder or a defensive player. The shoes is made to be flexible and offers great durability. It has ridges of polyurethane rubber over the toes for added protection while improving flexibility in the forefoot. This shoe offers great support. Its supportive internal heel counter helps deliver a locked-in feel to inspire confidence when making abrupt cuts on the court.
Its mid-sole delivers a bouncy cushioned underfoot feel that is designed for stability, speed and agility.
The Netburner Ballistic FF also has a deeper flex grooves in the outsole to increase traction and flexibility on the court.
Top2.ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket 10
One of the best volleyball shoe options is the ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket Indoor Court Shoes. They are very popular and recommended by most players and websites, often winning the category.
This shoe has fantastic on court traction and is super shock absorbent, the reason for this is its cushioned and folded EVA mid-sole.
As with all Asics shoes they are renowned for their rear cushioning which helps with landings and take offs. The ASICS Men’s Gel-Rocket is one of Asics more light weight shoes which helps with foot fatigue. This shoe also has an outsole specifically designed for rapid direction changes and grip.
Top3.Mizuno Women’s Lightning Z5
The Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z5 volleyball shoe is the follow on from the Z3. This is another great all rounder and defensive shoe, it is so popular because of its extremely comfortable cushioning. Mizuno’s tech called Parallel Wave is designed to disperse shock throughout the sole of the shoe instead of being focused in one area.
The shoe also allows for great movement through its 360° DynamotionFit upper. This lets you change direction quickly enhancing your game. Nylon Mizuno Wave technology in the midsole offers high speeds and dynamic cushioning for smooth transitions between offensive and defensive positions.
This shoe fits most players feet excellently which helps reducing the stress put on the feet. Like its Asics counter part this shoe is also very light weight which is great for volleyball.
Top4.Mizuno Men’s Wave Momentum
- Goog support
- Great Grip and Ankle Support
- Good Price
- Limited color choices.
The Wave Momentum is infused with MIZUNO ENERZY technology to provide volleyball players with more comfort. It also has great rear foot shock absorption and foot stability. This shoe’s newly integrated eyestay structure sees to it that there are no pressure points when flexing. These features make it great for defensive positions in the back row and liberos. This shoe is also great for people with flatter feet.
The Wave Momentum’s lightweight body has a great fit around the foot which helps with movement, reduced injury and comfort. This shoe features a bootie-constructed upper made from its non-sew material.
Top5.Nike Lebron Witness Iii PRM Mens
All lot of mens indoor court shoes are labeled for basketball, but work great for volleyball as well due to similar court surfaces and movements. The Nike Men’s Lebron Witness III PRM Basketball shoe is one of these shoes that works great for both volleyball and basket ball. This shoe is a little on the heavier side but offers great traction and flexibility. Dues to its slightly heaver weight it is good for defensive positions and liberos who don’t have to jump as much.
Top6.ASICS Men’s Sky Elite FlyteFoam 2
The ASICS Men’s Sky Elite FF 2 Volleyball Shoes are an excellent pair of volleyball shoes for offensive players looking for an aggressive and innovative volleyball shoe. This shoe is designed to help you experience more powerful jumps taking your game to new heights, literally. It is specifically created with the attacker in mind.
The ASICS Men’s Sky Elite FF 2 Volleyball Shoes help reduce energy loss when setting up a spike. The curved heel design allows you to smoothly cut towards the net by creating an easier forward transition.
The shoes mid-sole is designed to increase jumping force by working with a wider lateral forefoot. This shoe also helps with stability while decreasing jump force loss. This shoe also has a thicker mid-sole for more cushioning.
Top7.Mizuno Men’s Wave Lightning Z6
Dominate every play with the Wave Lightning Z6. A completely re-engineered sole gives you explosive power and unbeatable acceleration. Breathable mesh upper with half bootie construction supports flexible, effortless movement. Stay one move ahead of your opponents with super-fast reactions in any direction. Stay perfectly balanced with an extra-stable outrigger sole.
Best volleyball shoes for hitters
Top8.Mizuno Women’s Wave Momentum Volleyball Shoe
- Hitters who prefer impact protection over bounce. – I like jumping high as much as the next guy, but protecting your joints is by far more important. Opt for the Momentum 2s if you really want that extra pop!
Not Ideal For
- Hitters who want to feel insanely springy. These shoes feel great to jump in, but don’t have much of an extra bounce to them.
I should mention that the Mizuno Wave Momentum 2s are out and they’re also a great volleyball shoe which I recommend.
The Momentum 2s will have a lot more bounce, but the shock absorption is a lot worse.I prefer the original Wave Momentums because they have superior impact protection. The Momentum 2s can definitely be tough on your joints!
So far as hitters are concerned, the best thing about these shoes is how incredibly lightweight and responsive they are.They weight in at around 11oz which is significantly lighter than most of the shoes on my list today!
These mid tops have excellent ankle support, great traction, and are super responsive.They come in both men’s and women’s and are excellent for wide feet.
Top8.LI-NING All City Wade Men Cushioning
- A variety of positions… These shoes are actually great for both outsides and setters and would be fine for opposite hitters as well!
Not Ideal For
- Athletes with wide feet. If you can get them in a 1/2 size larger, they should fit fine.
I like to think of the outside hitter position as somewhere between libero and opposite. The outside hitter is, by definition, a passer hitter.
As such, an outside hitter’s shoe needs to have a relatively thin sole to promote agility and responsiveness when passing and defending, but also bouncy enough to jump well.The Li-Ning All City 9s and 10s are both excellent shoes designed, completely unintentionally, specifically for outside hitters!
They’re feel fairly low to the ground and highly responsive, meaning they’re great for quick, micro adjustments when passing.
Traction is incredible.
They’re on the heavier side but still feel extremely lightweight and very minimalist on the foot.And they also have solid lateral support and stability, which makes this shoe safe for jumping and landing around the net.This is technically a men’s shoe, but there’s a number of more feminine colorways which look great for women as well. If you have wide feet, consider going up half a size.
Best volleyball shoes for liberos
Top9.Nike Womens React Hyperset
- Women’s liberos – Currently unavailable in men’s sizes, unless you can find a women’s size which fits.
Not Ideal For
- Wide feet. As mentioned, these fit very snug around the sides and may feel too tight if you have wide feet.
- Anyone balling on a budget. This is the most expensive volleyball shoe on the market!
I’ve selected the Hypersets as one of my top libero shoes for a few key reasons…
The sole is quite thin, relative to other volleyball shoes. This gives the Hypersets a nice, low to the ground feel which is highly sought after by liberos.The traction pattern on these kicks is incredible and they’re widely viewed as having the best grip on the market.
This is important for liberos who often have to make several micro adjustments when digging and passing volleyballs.This is one of the most popular volleyball shoes in professional volleyball for a good reason!Unfortunately they fit on the tighter side and aren’t great for wide feet.If you have a wider foot and still want to grab some Hypersets, consider going up 1/2 a size.
What to Look For in Volleyball Shoes
Good volleyball shoes should have rubber soles that can grip the court surface, allowing you to quickly cut and pivot. Shoes with excellent traction will prevent you from slipping and sliding, which is essential to avoiding injury.
“Jumping is the most repeated skill by volleyball players—whether jumping to attack, jumping to block an opponent’s attack, jumping to set an attacker, or jumping to allow more space on a serve—so players want a shoe that is light in weight,” says Kathy DeBoer, executive director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Not only will a lightweight shoe help you jump more easily, but it will also prevent your feet from feeling fatigued.
All-round comfort is crucial for any shoe, especially one that’s worn during intense activity such as volleyball. “Jumping requires landing, which is stressful on the body, so players also want a shoe with good cushioning,” says DeBoer. Not only will a well-cushioned shoe help you avoid foot and leg fatigue, but it can also help prevent injuries.
Since volleyball requires lots of quick accelerations and direction changes, look for a shoe that gives your feet plenty of stability and support. A lot of what factors into stability also comes from a shoe that fits properly. For the right fit, choose a shoe that fits snugly without being too tight. You should have room in the toe box to wiggle your toes. If you have a wide foot, look for shoes that come in various widths.
Many volleyball shoes have mesh uppers that are breathable so your feet don’t get hot and sweaty as you’re playing. Breathability is also helpful for overall comfort and avoiding painful blisters.
How Are Volleyball Shoes Different From Other Shoes?
Volleyball players are constantly moving both laterally and vertically. In order to create the best shoe for this manufacturers need to consider how this affects the three sections of a shoe – the rubber sole, the mid sole and the upper wrapping section. A good volleyball shoe needs excellent grip, protective cushioning and lateral stability.
The Rubber Sole: Volleyball players want to have great traction on the court and a solid footing from which to jump and change direction. Volleyball soles also need to be non marking, so it doesnt mark the indoor courts – This is similar for tennis and squash.
Mid-sole: A shoes mid-sole supports the ball of the foot. A good mid-sole is important for quick movements and jumps that volleyball players specialise in. This is usually made up of a number of materials including gel, foam and air cushions. A good mid-sole needs top be flexible but strong for the best support.
Upper wrapping: Here you want the material to be lightweight and breathable to reduce moisture and keep the foot cool.
How Long Should A Pair Of Volleyball Shoes Last?
This depends on how often you play volleyball and how seriously. One pair of shoes should typically last a full season if you are playing in them 4 – 5 times a week. Sings that your shoe needs to be replaced can be, loss of traction on the sole or loosing of the ankle support.
For younger players they may grow out of their shoes before the shoes age from overuse.
Do Volleyball Shoes Differ By Volleyball Position?
Each volleyball position brings something different to the court, so it is important to have a volleyball shoe that fits your style of play and position. You may be a defensive player needing to get low, but also be able to jump high and block, you may be a fast jumping, speedy and powerful attacker or a flexible, and agile libero.
Shoes designed for defensive players require a firm footing for defence, setting and deep-digging liberos. If you play in the back row, quick reactions and know how need to be backed up by a show that allows for quick direction changes, and stability even at full stretch.
These shoes need:
A high-grip outsole for fast changes
A low profile for speed and comforrt
Shock absorption for landings and take offs
Attacking Position Shoes:
When in the front row your shoes need:
Great cushioning for jumping and landing
Lightweight material to help you jump higher
Excellent fit for stability
Great traction for agility and quick movement without slipping.
How Should A Volleyball Shoe Fit?
A volleyball shoe needs to fit snuggly and be able to move with the players foot. A good measure is to allow a fingers width or less between the tip of the toe and the shoe, as with most activity based shoes.
Should I Wear My Volleyball Shoes Outside?
Its best to only wear your volleyball shoes on the court/gym floor. You shouldn’t wear them for everyday use as this will increase the wear and tear on your sales meaning they won’t last as long. Especially when walking on harder surfaces like tar or concrete.
What is the difference between volleyball shoes and regular shoes?
With the many skills needed to succeed in volleyball, shoes for players need to incorporate features from all types of shoes. “The sport requires explosive lateral movement, so the shoe must function like a tennis shoe in terms of stability and traction,” says DeBoer. “The repetitive jumping requires heel strike reinforcement like you would find in a running shoe, and the landing requires protection from ankle rolls and impact softening like you would find in a basketball shoe.”
Are running shoes good for volleyball?
Running shoes may be suitable for a casual volleyball player. However, if you’re playing on a regular basis, you should invest in a pair of shoes constructed specifically for volleyball. If you select a shoe like the ones on this list, you’ll get the traction, stability, and cushioning that volleyball players need for peak performance and injury protection.