So you’re looking at buying volleyball shoes, but where to start?
In this post, I will tell you exactly which shoes are the best for volleyball and why you should pick the ones suggested below to save you time and help you get the best bang for your buck.
Later on, I discuss the differences between regular shoes and volleyball shoes, why you should buy specific volleyball shoes and even what the Reddit community thinks the best choices are.
If you want to know what the best volleyball shoes are, read on so that you can make an informed buying decision.
The Gel Rocket 9 is one of the best value-for-money pairs of volleyball shoes that you can buy. Consistently a best seller on Amazon, it’s a fan favorite that doesn’t disappoint.
Asics have long been known to provide superior support in their shoes and the Gel Rocket is no different.
In the forefoot (think front, under the toes) there’s plenty of gel cushioning to support your landing after those heavy spikes at the net.
The EVA midsole provides comfort through the middle of your foot and helps to transfer energy back to you so that you aren’t exerting yourself more than you absolutely need to.
Those who have twisted an ankle will appreciate the molded component under the midfoot that controls torsion and is designed to let you move easily laterally without fear of hurting yourself.
The ankle support in the Gel Rocket 9’s is some of the greatest in this price range which makes these some of the best volleyball shoes for hitters.
In terms of breathability, there’s a good amount of mesh above the toes to allow air in so that your feet don’t get hot and give them plenty of wiggle room.
The rubber soles have lots of traction to keep you from slipping on the court and inside the shoe is a sockliner (insole) which adds additional cushioning and spring to your step.
Those with orthotics or special insoles will be able to remove the insole and replace it with their own.
If you play at a volleyball or racquetball court that allows only non-marking shoes, you’ll be pleased to know that the Rockets are non-marking.
Most people say that the Rocket 9 is true to size, but many also find that the shoes are a little larger than expected – be sure to pick a half size down if you like a tighter fit.
For those who owned the Rocket 8’s and are wondering what’s different in the newer model, the only real difference is cosmetic with the heel now having Gel-Rocket written on it.
Asics provides a one year warranty for all of their footwear.
Mizuno’s main selling point with these shoes is the Mizuno Wave technology throughout the midsole, which provides dynamic cushioning and makes these some of the best volleyball shoes for jumping.
The dynamic cushioning and soft Nylon of the midsole gives you plenty of flex for those quick steps and turns but still provides that excellent support that you’d expect from a Mizuno shoe.
In addition to this, under the shoe is a D-flex groove which helps to transfer energy in the direction that you’re moving for extra explosiveness.
Most shoe manufacturers don’t say much about the upper part of their shoe but Mizuno makes a point of highlighting their DynamotionFit technology.
Offering a point of difference to their competitors, the DynamotionFit technology is designed so that the upper part of your shoe molds to your feet and gives you extra flex for supreme comfort.
At 284gm, the Lighting Z5’s are fairly light compared to other volleyball shoes in this price range due to Mizuno’s PoWnCe technology. They’ve managed to make the shoe 10% lighter whilst keeping the same cushioning as their previous models!
With mesh above the toes and running down the sides of the shoe, there’s plenty of breathability in the Z5’s.
The cup in-sole molds to your foot but is also easily removable if you want to put your own orthotic in-soles in.
Like most shoes, the sole of the shoe is rubber and any of the lighter colors will be non-marking on volleyball courts.
Most people say this shoe is true to size, however, a small number believe the shoe runs smaller than expected. Make sure you buy a size up if you’re concerned!
If you’ve owned the Z4’s before and are wondering whether you should upgrade, the main difference between the Z4 and Z5 is that the Z5’s are a bit lighter due to the new PoWnCe technology and slight cosmetic differences with PoWnCe written on the side and a new color range.
A combination of superior cushioning, lightweight construction and excellent midsole support makes the Mizuno Wave Lightning 25’s some of the best shoes for volleyball around.
The Nike Zoom Hyperace 2 are some of the most breathable volleyball shoes due to the fact that they’re covered almost top to bottom in mesh.
A unique design, the Hyperace 2’s are designed for hardcourt surfaces and have tread that snakes all the way around the side of the shoe for maximum traction.
To provide stability around the heel a hardened TPU cage keeps your heel locked in, yet mobile, which makes these some of the best volleyball shoes for liberos.
The Hyperace 2 takes inspiration from the rest of the Zoom range, with Zoom Air cushioning in the midsole provides a comfortable game day experience.
At the back is a pull tab that allows you to take your shoes off easily.
The consensus is that the Hyperace 2 mostly fit true to size, but some believe that the shoes are smaller than the size suggests.
Those that own the Hyperace’s and are thinking of an upgrade, the Hyperace 2 has a much more flexible material at the top of the shoe which is great if you’re someone whose toes feel cramped all the time.
Nike offers a two-year manufacturers warranty for peace of mind with your purchase.
The Upcourt 3’s are really comfortable for a budget shoe and are quite roomy in the toe box for those that like having some wiggle room.
Compared to most shoes, these don’t require much breaking in and are soft on the inside due to the synthetic leather overlays, which gives them a fair bit of flexibility.
Above the toes and near the heel area, there’s mesh for ventilation to keep your feet nice and cool.
Also at the toes is durable reinforcement to increase the sturdiness of the shoes and a padded tongue with breathable fabric lining.
The insoles of these shoes can be removed if you need to insert orthotics for some additional feet support.
Full-length rubber outsoles with plenty of traction ensure that you aren’t going to slip over whilst making a critical play.
The difference between the Upcourt 2 and 3 is mainly cosmetic, with the mesh vents being in slightly different places on the Upcourt 3.
In pursuit of finding the best indoor volleyball shoe you might straight away gravitate towards more expensive options, but there’s plenty of great budget picks – like the Asics Upcourt 3.
Similar to the adult variation, the Asic Kids Upcourt 3 GS is an excellent value-for-money choice for your little volleyball player.
These kids-specific shoes have a rearfoot gel cushioning system to provide enhanced support and protect your child’s feet as they grow.
The shoes are really lightweight, and a mix of mesh upper and synthetic overlays provide breathability and comfort.
Full-length gum rubber soles allow excellent traction on the court, great if your kids are prone to slipping and sliding around!
If you’ve been to an orthopedic surgeon and they’ve recommended a shoe that has arch support for your child, the Upcourt 3 is a great option to help mitigate any pain.
Additionally, the sockliner / insole is removable in case you need to put insoles in that have extra support.
83% of people on Amazon said that the shoes fit their child as expected, with the remaining 17% evenly split in saying that the shoes were either too small and too large.
Ultimately, you’ll have to listen to the feedback that your child gives you about the shoes, but the Upcourt 3 GS comes in full and half sizes so you can get the best fit possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there special shoes for volleyball?
There’s a number of factors that can make shoes specific for volleyball.
When you’re searching for the right shoes, you have to make sure they have good traction, plenty of cushioning and strong arch support to deal with the rigors of volleyball.
Because there’s so much lateral movement when playing volleyball, having proper midfoot support is crucial. Shoes with molded midfoot components can control torsion and provide stability through the ankles.
Due to the high impact on your forefoot and heels when spiking and serving, dynamic cushioning that returns energy helps to prevent injury and sore feet.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has been collecting data since 1984 and consistently find that the most common injury in volleyball players is ankle injuries.
Whatever you choose, make sure you get something comfortable and with good traction so you can play to the best of your ability.
Why are volleyball shoes different?
This is somewhat answered in the above question, but volleyball shoes need to provide extra comfort for all the jumping and switching directions that goes on.
Cushioning, traction and stability support are crucial when choosing the right shoes for volleyball.
Ultimately, you could always try and find the best basketball shoes for volleyball or wear whatever shoes you want, but you also add the additional risk of injury, slipping over and getting sore feet.
I would recommend choosing one of the shoes reviewed above which are proven to be excellent for volleyball.
Are Mizuno volleyball shoes true to size?
I took a sample size of 5 different Mizuno volleyball shoes on Amazon and analyzed the fit data from the reviews.
Based on my research, 70% of people say that Mizuno shoes fit true to size, with almost all of the remaining 30% indicating that they think the shoes are too small.
Keeping this in mind, you may want to order a size up so you don’t end up with tight, constricting shoes.
What are the best volleyball shoes as voted by Reddit?
Funnily enough, all of the top picks that constantly come up on Reddit have been reviewed in this buyers guide.
The Mizuno Lightning and Asics Gel Rockets are regularly voted the best men’s volleyball shoes whilst others such as the Nike Hyperdunks and Hyperattacks also come up.
Anything by Asics and Mizuno comes highly rated by the Reddit community and one of the other popular trains of thought is that you should try basketball shoes because the range is larger and they have better support in some cases.
Now that you’re aware of what the best volleyball shoes are, you’re well-positioned to make an informed buying decision.
Our top pick was the Asics Gel Rocket 9 because of its superior support, excellent cushioning and great value-for-money.
Do you have a favorite pick?
Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite volleyball shoes are and why.