5 Steps to Choose Volleyball Shoes: Beyond the Basics

Stepping onto the volleyball court is like entering a world of dynamic athleticism, explosive jumps, and lightning-fast manoeuvres. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, one crucial aspect that can significantly impact your game is the pair of shoes you choose to wear.

The right pair not only enhances your speed and agility but also offers the much-needed support to prevent injuries. But with a plethora of brands, models, and features, it’s very difficult to choose volleyball shoes that fulfil your needs.

In this guide, we’re going break down this process into 3 steps that you should consider when shopping for your perfect volleyball shoes.

Steps to Choose Volleyball Shoes:

Selecting the perfect volleyball shoes involves more than just picking a pair that looks good. It’s a strategic decision, which, when done right, can significantly elevate your game. So, here are 5 essential steps to make this decision…

  1. Determine the Playing Environment
  2. Consider Your Playing Position
  3. Analyze Your Body Needs
  4. Essential Shoe Features
  5. What Brand do you like?

1. Determine the Playing Environment:

When choosing volleyball shoes, the first thing to consider is your playing environment. Indoor and outdoor volleyball have different requirements and surfaces, which greatly affect the type of footwear you need.

indoor vs outdoor volleyball

Indoor volleyball often involves fast-paced movements on polished wooden or synthetic floors. Therefore, shoes designed for indoor play typically feature a gum rubber sole for superior grip and traction, preventing slips and falls during sudden movements.

On the other hand, if you’re playing outdoor volleyball, like beach volleyball. Then, you should use sand socks or those shoes that offer protection from the beach elements. These shoes often have rugged soles with a denser pattern to prevent sand from getting stuck.

2. Consider Your Playing Position:

Your position on the court significantly influences the type of shoe that best suits your needs.

volleyball hitter

For instance, if you’re a setter, you’ll want a lightweight shoe that offers agility for quick movements. A good fit and excellent cushioning are also essential to absorb the impact of frequent jumps.

However, if you’re a libero, who is constantly on the move, look for shoes with excellent traction and stability to make swift, sudden directional changes Front-row hitters could benefit from shoes with enhanced ankle support and cushioning to handle high jumps and hard landings.

Understanding your role in the game can guide you towards the most suitable footwear.

3. Analyze Your Body Needs:

Each player is unique, and your body’s specific needs should guide your shoe choice.

girl hitting volleyball

If you have flat feet, look for shoes with good arch support to prevent discomfort and potential injuries. Those with wider feet should ensure the shoes have a wide toe box for better comfort and fit.

Additionally, if you have a history of ankle or knee injuries, opt for shoes with superior cushioning and stability to reduce impact stress.

4. Essential Shoe Features:

When shopping for volleyball shoes, pay attention to certain key features.

volley shoes on court

First, cushioning is crucial to absorb the impact from continuous jumping and landing, reducing the strain on your feet and knees. Second, lightweight shoes can enhance your agility and speed without compromising support and comfort.

Breathability is another essential feature to consider. Shoes with mesh panels or perforations allow air circulation, keeping your feet dry and comfortable throughout the game.

Non-marking soles are a standard requirement for indoor games to avoid leaving streaks on the floor. Lastly, ensure that the shoes provide good stability and support, especially around the ankles, to prevent injuries.

5. What Brand do you like?:

Finally, when choosing volleyball shoes, the brand matters. Different brands offer unique technologies and features in their footwear. Companies like Mizuno, ASICS, and Adidas are popular for their high-quality volleyball shoes, each with its strengths and specialities.

However, it’s crucial not to get too caught up with brand names. Instead, focus on the shoe’s quality, features, comfort, and whether it meets your specific needs and preferences.

What is the best place to buy volleyball shoes?

When it comes to purchasing volleyball shoes, you have a number of options, both online and offline.

Amazon is always my top recommendation. With its vast array of options, brands, pricing, and customer reviews, Amazon is a great platform to find the perfect pair. From popular brands like ASICS, Mizuno, and Adidas, to lesser-known brands that could offer great value, Amazon has it all.

Other online marketplaces like Zappos and eBay also have a broad selection of volleyball shoes. Zappos is particularly popular for its customer service and easy return policy, while eBay is known for catering specifically to athletes, often offering specialized sporting equipment and apparel.

Lastly, don’t overlook brand-specific stores. If you’re interested in a particular brand, visit their official website or physical store. They often provide the latest models and exclusive collections that might not be available elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Volleyball Shoes Cost?

Volleyball shoes come in a wide range of prices starting from $43 to $235, depending on the brand, model, and specific features. To get a better understanding of the cost, check out my detailed analysis here.

Do You Need Special Shoes For Volleyball?

The choice of footwear can significantly impact your volleyball performance and injury risk. But do you really need special shoes for volleyball? Find out more in my in-depth discussion here.

How often should I replace my volleyball shoes?

The lifespan of volleyball shoes depends on the frequency and intensity of use. Typically, for regular players, it’s good to replace them every season or every 6 to 12 months. Look for signs of wear and tear, like decreased cushioning and grip.

Do all volleyball shoes offer good ankle support?

While many volleyball shoes offer some level of ankle support, not all provide the same degree. High-top designs usually offer more support than low-top ones. Players with a history of ankle injuries should look for shoes with enhanced ankle support.

Are there any unisex volleyball shoes?

Yes, there are unisex volleyball shoes available. However, it’s crucial to remember that men’s and women’s shoes may differ in width and size. Always check the brand’s sizing chart and customer reviews for accurate sizing.


Choosing the perfect pair of volleyball shoes may seem like a challenge, but considering the above factors can help you choose the best pair for yourself. Remember, the best shoes are not just about looks or brand, but those that meet your specific needs and help you excel on the court.

Kyle Parker

About Author:

I'm Kyle Parker, a former professional volleyball player turned coach. Here, I shares in-depth guides and practical tips to elevate your volleyball game. Learn more...

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