Volleyball shoes deceptively look like normal sneakers. You may look at them and think there’s nothing that differentiates them from standard sneakers or even basketball shoes or cross-trainers. There is one distinct difference between them, however. Volleyball shoes have soles made of a soft gum rubber material. These soles help prevent the wearer from sliding or slipping on the gym floors and give them better traction during use. While this may still sound very similar to basketball sneakers, the difference is that basketball shoes and cross trainers are designed for people who run forward and backward, while volleyball shoes provide greater permanence for lateral, side-to-side movements. This not only gives the wearer better, more solid footing, but the gum rubber soles won’t leave marks on the gym floor and will decrease the risk of ankle injuries. Thanks to the softness of a volleyball shoe’s sole, it’s advised not to use this type of sneakers on an abrasive surface like asphalt or concrete, as this risks the soles wearing down sooner. In addition to these features, the midsoles of volleyball shoes are designed to support the balls of the feet since volleyball players spend most of their time perched on the balls of their feet. Therefore, the midsoles of volleyball shoes will be strong yet flexible to absorb the shock of the stress placed on the balls of the feet during a match. For these reasons, a pair of volleyball shoes is a wise investment for anyone who plays volleyball regularly on a court.
What to Consider in Volleyball Shoes
Here’s what to look into when shopping:
- Fit: Volleyball shoes should fit snugly on your feet since they work best when they move with your foot. Not that you’ll want them uncomfortably tight, of course, but your foot shouldn’t move around inside them at all. A good standard of measurement is that there should be a finger’s width or less in between the tip of the shoes and your toes. Consider the size and dimensions of the shoe and your feet before you buy.
- Material: Volleyball is a sport that involves a lot of jumping, running, and diving. This means that you’ll want volleyball shoes that are made of as lightweight and breathable a material as possible. Nylon or mesh is generally the best choice for the upper section material for this reason. High-tech polyester or fabric with installed vents will work too. You’ll also want a midsole that is strong yet flexible to properly support the balls of your feet. A midsole made of some sort of foam is a good choice, as most foams will have both of these properties. A higher-end shoe may have a gel or air cushion midsole, which will also work well. And, of course, look for a gum rubber or another type of soft, anti-slip rubber for the sole.
- Support: Since volleyball players tend to move back and forth and jump around very often, you’ll want to make sure your volleyball shoes offer plenty in the way of support. The extra support around the ankles is especially ideal. There should be some sort of cushioning inside the shoes, too, since you’re unlikely to play your best if your feet feel uncomfortable in them. A soft rubber sole is important for traction, which will give you a better sense of physical and mental stability and prevent ankle injuries.
Top Choice: ASICS Women’s Gel-Rocket Volleyball Shoes
This quintessential pair of women’s volleyball sneakers covers all the bases you’ll need in this type of shoe. The entire shoe is designed for support and comfort. The upper parts of the sneakers are made of mesh with synthetic overlays for the perfect combination of comfort, lightness, breathability, and support. The collar and tongue are padded with foam for comfort, and the mesh lining and cushioned footbed add even more. The midsoles are molded EVA that’s coupled with gel cushioning at the front and rear of the shoes for optimal shock absorption, freedom of movement, and support. The soles are made of gum and natural rubber for the trademark volleyball sneaker’s light, anti-scuffing sole. The patented Trusstic System technology reduces the overall weight of the shoes without taking away from their structural integrity. They lace up the front to close like a traditional pair of sneakers for as tight or loose a fit as you might want. Available in five color combinations and in sizes 5 through 14, including half sizes.
ASICS Women's Gel-Rocket 9 Volleyball Shoes, 8, Black/White
A well-equipped pair of volleyball sneakers that have all the features you need.
Most Size Options: Adidas Women’s Crazyflight Bounce Volleyball Shoe
If you have larger or smaller than average feet, finding shoes that fit and come in the proper size can be quite a difficult task. When it comes to specialty types of shoes, this can be even trickier. Ordering shoes in custom sizes can be time-consuming and pricey. You may be wondering if you’ll be able to find a pair of volleyball sneakers for this very reason. Thankfully, this pair comes in a wide range of sizes beyond the standard ones. They come in as small a size as 5 up to a size 15. There are also half sizes available in every size, making it easier for you to find a pair that comes in just the right size. The lace closure is adjustable to give you a slight custom fit. They’re a regular, true-to-size fit, so you can order them in whatever size sneakers you normally wear without worry. The synthetic rubber sole is perfect for gym floors, while the mesh upper shoes also contain molded TPU yarns that give your volleyball sneakers a little bit of a pattern as well as a light, breathable feel. The textile lining provides additional interior softness, and the small platform gives you an extra few inches of height, which may come in handy while playing. They’re available in black and white, gray and white, or white on white.
adidas Women's Crazyflight Bounce 3 Volleyball Shoe, Footwear White/Footwear White/Gum M1, 11.5 M US
These volleyball shoes range in sizes 5 to 15, with an adjustable lacing system in order to better fit different sizes of feet.
Most Color Options: ASICS Women’s Gel-Tactic Volleyball Shoes
Unlike other types of sneakers, many volleyball shoes have rather limited color options. Most come only in shades of black, white, and gray or some combination of the three. This does not take away from the sneakers’ quality, of course, but some people may prefer a wider range of colors. Whether you want to match them to your team’s colors and jerseys or simply prefer a more colorful pair of sneakers, these volleyball shoes give you more color variety. You have the choice of nine different multicolored options that include reds and pink and blue, among others, as well as the classic standards shades of white, black, and gray. The low shaft of these volleyball sneakers ensures you won’t have to worry about the tongue of the shoes rubbing against your foot or uncomfortably wedging in or folding over on itself or otherwise getting in your way as you’re running and jumping and diving around on the court. The open mesh upper halves of the sneakers are nice and comfy and grant your feet plenty of breathing room. The Trusstic System technology makes the sneakers feel even lighter so you won’t feel weighed down and doesn’t take away from the sturdy support of the shoes. And, of course, the rubber sole is ideal for traction and won’t mark up the volleyball court or gym floor. The sneakers are made from seamless material, so you won’t have stitches or seams rubbing against and irritating your feet. Sizes range from 6 to 13, including half sizes.
ASICS Women's Gel-Tactic 2 Volleyball Shoe, Black/Silver/White, 9.5 Medium US
A pair of volleyball sneakers that offer multicolored options beyond the usual black and white.
Also Great: Nike Women’s Zoom Hyperace Volleyball Shoes
This is a great pair of volleyball sneakers that will serve all your needs admirably; they’re specifically designed to stand up to even the toughest, hardest volleyball courts. They lace up the front to give you a more customized fit. The shoes feel lightweight, so you aren’t weighed down and can therefore reach your optimal speed and height as you’re running and jumping during volleyball matches. The upper parts of the sneakers are especially breathable for better airflow to prevent your feet from overheating or becoming bogged down with sweat. The interior is reinforced with responsive cushioning to offer support, comfort, and shock absorption all in one. Sizes range from 5 to 13, including half sizes. Sizes 5, 10.5, and 13 also come in a narrow option for anyone with extra slim feet.
Nike Women's Zoom HyperAce 2 Volleyball Shoes (8, Black/White)
A classic pair of volleyball sneakers that are breathable and designed to keep you light on your feet at all times.