10 Best Volleyball Shoes Reviewed for Performance
Some of the greatest companies in the world have been created with a goal in mind and a strong foundation to hold it all together. In any sport, the same is true. A strong mind leads to winning results and you should never be preoccupied with doubtful thoughts about your equipment that can lead to detrimental results during game play. With that in mind, a volleyball player should always be focused on their next move with the peace of mind that they will be able to accomplish it swiftly.
Focusing on the next move means complete mental clarity from pain, discomfort, or worry about your feet and shoes. Despite the widespread belief that volleyball shoes and basketball shoes are the same, they each hold numerous qualities that make them quite different. For volleyball shoes, the key instrument to maximum comfort lies in the soles and the cushioning.
- Asics Gel-Rocket 8
- Forefoot Gel
- Mizuno Wave Lightning Z
- lighter & improved fit
- Asics Gel Upcourt
- Gum Rubber Outsole
Volleyball shoes aren’t just “shoes”, they are specifically designed to withstand the shock of hard landings and give the player the added traction to make sharp and quick moves. The demands of the human body during volleyball can result in painful joints, heels, and feet. However, volleyball shoes serve the player in a way that allows maximum mobility during game play accompanied by maximum support and comfort.
10 Best Volleyball Shoes
1. Asics Gel-Rocket 8
During constant running, jumping, and moving, your feet can get overwhelmingly hot. With the new lightweight-mesh upper, featuring synthetic overlays, your feet can receive the oxygen they need so you are not distracted during your next big moment.
Cushion Every Blow
Proper cushioning is the biggest factor separating you from potential pain during or after game play. With forefoot GEL cushioning, your foot is constantly prepared for every turn, hit, and pressure filled moment.
Cost and Value
With value guaranteed, ASICS built a name for itself when it comes to quality sports shoes and the price does not do it justice. Many believe these are lower in price on this list and well worth it.
- Lightweight and very comfortable.
- Durable during high pressure.
- Long lasting comfort.
- Excellent for wide feet.
- Cushioned foot bed.
- Can stretch out too much.
- May run small at first.
2. Mizuno Wave Lightning Z
With Mizuno’s parallel wave construction, you can be ensured that every contact between your foot and the ground will not be met with shock. Through proper placing, the shoe receives even shock distribution and your foot receives no feedback except comfort.
Move Fast & Stay Stable
With Dynamation flex grooves your quick movements are cushioned and heightened with the best technology to enhance your every step. Do not fear the discomfort of stiff shoes, Mizuno has created what may be the most-agile shoe.
Cost and Value
Like many products on this list, Mizuno has experience providing comfortable volleyball shoes with the newest technology to support your every need during game play. In comparison to other shoes on the list, these may be pricey.
- Great court shoe.
- For professionals.
- Great support for feet, knees, and heels.
- Can stretch to narrow feet.
- Great pricing for quality.
- Can run small on rare occasion.
- Not “too” breathable.
3. Asics Gel Upcourt
Whereas many other volleyball shoe manufacturers may lack in breathable technology, ASICS has your maximum comfort at the forefront of their every shoe. Breathable upper mesh allows for your foot to receive air during gameplay so your feet can “breathe.”
Do Not Suffer Heal Pain
With rearfoot gel cushioning for added comfort, this feature allows for you to play your best during any try-out or full game match. No longer suffer heel pain with ASICS specially formulated gel formula designed for volleyball enthusiast.
Cost and Value
Another phenomenal product from ASICS. However, many people believe it is not for pro sports players. With only five colors, the price is lower than the Gel-Rocket 7 for women, which also means slightly lower quality.
- Great bottom cushioning.
- Comfortable shoe for less money.
- Nice grip.
- Asics quality build.
- Gel support adds extra comfort.
- For amateurs, not pros.
- Less quality feel than the Gel-Rocket 7
4. Nike Volley Zoom Hyperspike
A lightweight shoe is essential when playing volleyball and Nike has mastered the skill of the weight by supplying synthetic-upper with flywire 3.0 technology. In simple terms, the Volley Zoom Hyperspike allows for you to jump and spike with no delay due to a heavy shoe.
When on the court, great grip contact between the outsole and the floor is essential for proper gameplay. With the Volley Zoom Hyperspike, you can guarantee that every touch between sole and floor has a durable grip, thanks to the lightweight cushioning rubber.
Cost and Value
Nike, being a prestigious and overly season brand in the field of sports, created a product with great quality and comfort. This veteran brand also has to pay for the seasonings, which to many may be a bit pricey. However, for quality, this is a clear choice.
- Great support for long matches.
- Have a great grip on court.
- Lightweight and supportive.
- For competitive gameplay.
- Lasts numerous seasons.
- A little large.
- Break-in takes time.
5. Asics Gel Netburner Ballistic
With more natural rubber content, the impact between rubber and floor means better traction for those swift movements. The NC rubber outsole is different than solid rubber by allowing for complete traction regardless of where you land after your jump.
Walk On A Cloud
When it comes to shock absorption, it has been said that ASICS GEL is one of the best technologies out there. This is why you can find it with the Gel Netburner Ballistic, the volleyball shoe that responds to your heel pressure.
Cost and Value
With durable mesh, lightweight features and a stylish look, the price to many seems fair for the quality of a shoe you are receiving. Especially with added support for your back, legs, and feet, they are worth it according to many.
- Light and great fit.
- Hold up for seasons.
- Fits like a suade glove.
- Great for knees, back, and ankles.
- Appealing looks.
- Not breathable.
- Can run small.
6. Mizuno Wave Tornado 8
Due to the highly-praised Pebax Mizuno Wave Technology, each jump is secured with the knowing that when you land you will feel like you are on cloud 9. With superior stability and expert cushioning you are gifting your foot a present upon impact.
Less Foot Stress
With Mizuno’s low-stress technology, they have designed a volleyball shoe designed for men’s perfect fit that eliminates distortion and discomfort during game play. This leads to less foot-stress over time.
Cost and Value
If long-term quality is of primary importance, these Mizuno Men’s volleyball shoes will deliver. In pricing scale to other men’s shoes, they may be considered slightly higher. Yet, quality is worth it if it means scoring the winning point.
- Durable volleyball shoe.
- Great for long gameplay.
- Good support for tall players.
- High quality.
- Looks great.
- Heavier than other shoes.
- Upper on the pricing scale.
7. Asics Gel-Netburner MT
With Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel Cushioning, ASICS allows for maximum comfort while moving throughout the floor, assisting during transitions between on-foot and off-foot, and aiding shock during impact on hard landings.
Lightweight and Comfortable
Do not let the weight of your shoes be the reason you are late to underpass the ball. With Trustic System, ASICS has reduced the weight of the shoes’ sole while retaining the structural integrity needed to perform successfully.
Cost and Value
With quality guaranteed, these shoes are expertly designed, even though to some it may carry a weight in the wallet. Many agree that on this list, this is slightly above average price.
- Lightweight and extremely comfortable.
- Allows for quick maneuvers.
- Great ventilation.
- Sizes fit accurately.
- Phenomenal cushioning.
- Price is higher in this segment.
- May need to replace after 4-6 months.
8. Mizuno Wave Z BK
Proper grip during gameplay is crucial and these volleyball shoes allow for high traction due to its extra grade rubber material. Mizuno’s excellent build quality allows for you to move through the field with a steady foot on each step.
Leave the Right Mark
With non-marking outsoles, the only mark you leave is eyebrows lifted during your award-winning spike. These outsoles do not leave any floor marks.
Cost and Value
Mizuno has excelled when perfectly pricing a quality shoe with an excellent build. This is higher on the pricing scale compared to its contenders. However, the quality is superb and gives the player a bonus of confidence when aiming for the ball.
- Arch support.
- Fist perfectly.
- Does not mark the floor.
- Long lasting.
- For non-stop use.
- Too hard at first.
- Higher in price.
9. Adidas Volley Team 3
Keeping your foot cool during active gameplay can be frustrating, especially if your shoes are not “breathable.” With open mesh uppers, you receive maximum ventilation and comfort so you can focus more on the game.
Get Tough Without Worries
Moving swiftly and quickly through volleyball gameplay can consist of hard turns, quick jumps, and overall getting tough with your shoes. With adituff (Adidas Tear Resistant Technology?) tear resistant technology, you can get tough without worries.
Cost and Value
With three colors to choose from, this price is about the medium range on this list. With that said, the benefits are immeasurable from the moment you use these to their full potential.
- Textile/Synthetic breathable technology.
- Non-slip rubber soles.
- Outstanding quality for the price.
- Comfortable for hours.
- Adiprene cushioning for multi-directional moves.
- Heavier than other volleyball shoes.
- Sizes run small.
10. Asics Gel-Rocket 7
If you are worried that its lightweight nature may result in sacrificing certain benefits, then don’t be. The Trusstic build introduces a way for the shoe to be more lightweight without sacrificing what makes a volleyball shoe structurally well-built.
With NC rubber outsole compound, your worries for slipping on the court or field are greatly lowered. This outsole is only enhanced with more natural rubber content and enhanced traction. Never worry about slipping again.
Cost and Value
A partner to the men’s version of the Gel-Rocket 7, the quality of these shoes is quite apparent with the plethora of benefits. With this in mind, the price may vary but many believe it is a bargain worth investing in.
- Great fit for any sports occasion.
- Lasts a long time.
- Better heel support.
- Stop and start easily.
- Non-skid soles.
- Not for long term standing or walking.
- Shoes can run small.
During gameplay your mind should be completely focused on the task at hand, your body movements, and how to make the winning goal, not just for you but for your team. With that said, you should not be stressing over your shoes and proper knowledge of what to look for in great volleyball shoes is key in supporting your sporting abilities. Look for lightweight and breathable for better agility and mobility. To add to that, great outsole grip is important to ensure no slipping during gameplay.
Lastly, cushioning needs to be of the greatest quality for proper foot movement and minimize any pain that may happen after playing for hours. If you are jumping and landing hard, or moving quickly and putting a lot of weight on certain areas of your foot, cushioning will aid the transition between you in mid-air and you touching the floor. Whether you are leaning towards ASICS or Nike, each company on this list offers the needs that proper volleyball shoe demand for the players wearing them. If you are an amateur or a professional, you begin by building a base of confidence that can only be enhanced by your volleyball shoes. Your feet will thank you, and so will your team once you score that winning point.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Volleyball Shoes
When you think of volleyball shoes, what do you think of? Well, this more than likely depends on whether you are a volleyball player or not. Those who do not play, likely know nothing of what a volleyball shoe is and those that do may just tell you that you cannot play without. That goes to say, they are not as universal as a basketball shoe, but are just as important to the player. Here’s how to choose and sort out the non-effective to the highest performing volleyball shoes out there. You will be looking for the following aspects.
Durability and Longevity
One of the first questions a player is likely to have for any sports shoe no matter what game they play is “how will they hold up?”. Sports shoes take a beating, and that’s certainly true for volleyball shoes as well. All of the up and down, hard landings and constant pressure put on the material make-up of the shoe will lead to their untimely destruction, especially if put together poorly by the manufacturer, or utilize poor material. Nothing is worse than your footwear giving out on you mid game. This could have many consequences, including but not limited to injury of the players foot.
Used on an every-day basis, a good pair should last at least a full season, and a great pair longer. The first part of the shoe that will usually give out first will the outsoles which lose traction due to constant rubbing. Some shoes will even stretch, soles ill become warped, and the fit will be affected in a bad way. This is one of the worst cases, which is typically seen in cheap, low-quality shoes. Other things that will ensure your shoes give in before their due date is waking on cement with them or using them as every-day shoes. We hgihly suggest keeping them to th court, and investing in a second casual pair for walking around in. This will save you money in the long run. You won’t have to replace your shoes again for a long while if you use them properly. Above, we have included shoes from only reputable brands that are known for their high-quality manufacturing and industry standard material, so you don’t have to worry about the quality you will be receiving.
Outsole profile, Grip and Traction
Of course, the ability to grip the surface of the floor in which volleyball players compete on will come into play and be a huge factor in an effectively performing shoe. Affective grip can be the result of many factors, of which we will cover here.
The oustole is the outer most part of the sole, on the outside of the shoe, that comes into contact with the ground. This is the area or component of the shoe responsible for surface traction. The outsole profile refers to the design of the outsole and its grooves. Of course, the outsole of a volleyball shoe is meant to grip flat surfaces so you won’t be picking a shoe with studs or anything reminiscent of a cleet. Instead, what you want to look for is more flat surface area at the bottom of the shoe which will generate more friction which then allows for a much better grip of the sole to the floor’s surface.
The outsole also needs to incorporate grooves that are open. It is critical that no groove on the underside of the shoe is closed in. An outsole with closed in grooves or one that is completely flat (such as a worn out, old shoes outsole) will trap liquids in between it and the floors hard, flat surface. What happens in such a case is the same as when a car tire hydroplanes. The shoe will not grab traction due to the water cutting off contact with it and the floor, causing the player to slip and fall over. Closed grooves will trap water in causing this, but if there are grooves that are open, any moisture from sweat that is trampled on will easily be pushed (channeled) out from the bottom of the shoe, preventing it from being trapped between the bottom of the shoe and the floor, which in turns lessens the chance of lost traction.
The material used in the outsole will also play a big part. Soft gummy rubber works well in conforming with the floor’s surface. Eva material is great as well, and you will find it in most performance shoes due to its strong, yet light and flexible nature. This material will also aid in shock absorption.
Stability & Support
Similar to basketball shoes, volleyball shoes are made to support sudden side-to-side movements. This is typically done from the balls of the feet, and the midsole of the shoe needs to allow this. This is hy special designs are made, seperating them functionally from other shoes even if they outside looks are similar. The difference in performance of volleyball shoes to basketball shoes is that b-ball shoes are designed for forward maneuvers while v-ball shoes are designed for lateral maneuvers. The midsole will take most of the force generated in volleyball so it will need to be able to stand up to the punishment but at the same time give the flexibility needed for movement. This is where Eva material comes in to play, again. You may also see gel materials being utilized, as well as air pocket technologies across the board, which acts as cushioning as well.
Temperature Regulation and Air-Flow
The need for breathability is the same across all sports shoes. You work yourself enough and you will sweat enough to make a closed-in shoe a bad day. Nobody wants blistering, modly feet and the right amount of airflow and ventilation can ensure that no moisture gets trapped within your shoe. It’s also important to wear a proper pair of socks.
The upper of the shoe, which consists of everything above the sole, should be made of mesh, and have limited overlays, but with enough vents to allow this airflow. Along with this lending a hand in preventing moisture build-up, it also prevents the build-up of heat in your shoe. Stay away from anything made of leather and go with synthetic material or some kind of mesh. Leather is water resistant and has properties which will work against tempurate regulation and moisture management on the internals of your shoe. Just look at our top list to see the upper’s that will have the right amount of ventilation to perform to standards in this regard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are volleyball shoes important, and why should I choose a v-ball shoe over other non-specific shoe types?
A: The answer is simple. Not only do v-ball specific shoes contains the most important aspects as listed above which will help players keep a tight game, but they also do not contain the faults that other shoes would present if worn in a volleyball game. Take a standard fashion shoe for example; You may love your pair of Adidas classics enough to wear them all day, but if you are stubborn enough to wear them on the court come game time you will find that your feet will sustain much more force from constant impact and pressure, causing them to ache during and after the game.
A: The answer lies in the midsole, which is constructed very differently in a volleyball shoe, than from in a basketball shoe. As stated above, volleyball shoes require movement that stems from the ball of the foot, which the midsole needs to incorporate for to prevent any unnecessary or excessive twisting and/or awkward moivement that would injure the player. V-ball and basketball shoes can look very similar, but make no mistake, they are much different then each other.
Q: What is the best brand for volleyball shoes, or who makes the best and highest quality?
A: We like to think Asics is the best, as you can see from our list that they landed a significant amount of top models, including the number 1 sport. But, that’s not to say there aren’t any other top-quality brands that could just as well show up a few shoe models worthy of the top spot, including Nike and Mizuno and even Adidas which all have shoes on our list.
Q: What is a gum-rubber sole?
A: This is a term coined to categorize the specific soles used in volleyball shoes (and similar shoes) for the purpose of providing more grip on the court. No, they are not made from actual gum, but rather a treated rubber known as polybutadiene, which is derived from oil, believe it or not.
Q: Can I wear volleyball shoes as casual wear, and how long will they last, typically?
A: If you are a volleyball player, your v-ball shoes will be an investment toward your performance on the court. Don’t wear them improperly, as you will not get the most of the investment if you do. A great pair is pricey, and you will only stunt the life of them by using them when not needed. Instead, leave them to the court and invest in an every-day walking shoe. Sure, you will be paying for a second pair of shoes, but in the long-run, you will save money, if you go with quality pairs. If you are a casual player and don’t play every day, your volleyball shoes will last well over a year. This, of course, depends on if you abuse them or not. There are work boots for work, sports shoes for sports, and casual shoes for your day.
Check out our guide if you need to clean your volleyball shoes.