So you'll need a shoe that fits the sport and helps you perform at your best. When choosing your volleyball shoe for the season, use these key features to select the shoe that's right for you.
The quality of the outsole of your volleyball shoe is a top priority. It needs to have excellent grip since you'll be playing on hard-surface courts that can become slippery. Shoes that can grip the court result in better digs, quick-cuts, passes, starts, and stops. Look for a volleyball shoe with an outsole that's made of high-performance rubber, has a pivot point under the ball of the foot, and has sharp and shallow lugs or intricate tread patterns. Each of these characteristics makes for great traction. For instance, ASICS volleyball shoes made with N.C. Rubber™ outsoles combine the high grip of natural rubber with the excellent abrasion resistance of synthetic rubber for outstanding traction.
Volleyball involves a lot of jumping — whether it's to block a shot, spike the ball, or move around the court — so it's important to have a shoe with protective cushioning to absorb impact. Your volleyball shoe should feel comfortable on your feet and have plenty of cushioning to reduce pain as well as fatigue during and after your matches. ASICS volleyball shoes with GEL™ technology provide stable and durable cushioning for competitive players. Volleyball shoes with ASICS FlyteFoam™ technology offer you flexible and lightweight cushioning.
To be able to move around the court quickly for several games in a row, you'll also want volleyball shoes that are lightweight. Lightweight shoes help you get the right height when you jump as well. For men, look for volleyball shoes that weigh between 300 and 400 grams (10.5 to 14 ounces). Women's volleyball shoes ideally weigh between 200 and 300 grams (7 to 10.5 ounces).
Don't sacrifice weight for durability, however. When made with the right materials, your volleyball shoes can hold up for the entire season without the support around your ankles weakening or the soles losing traction. A no-sew mesh upper is generally more supportive and durable.
As you change direction on the court, it's important for your volleyball shoe to provide lateral stability so you maintain your balance and reduce the risk of ankle injuries. Look for a shoe that provides good ankle support. For you, this could mean either low-top, mid-top, or high-top support, whichever is most comfortable.
A high-top shoe provides the most ankle support but will also be slightly heavier. If quick, sudden movements are important to the position you play on the court, low-top shoes are a better choice. Movements from side-to-side are better supported by mid- and high-top volleyball shoes. If you're unsure or are a beginner player, you may want to start with low-tops.
When playing volleyball, your shoe needs to fit snugly so that it moves with your foot as you move around the court. Your foot shouldn't have wiggle room inside, which can result in turned ankles or loss of balance. And when you try on a shoe, choose one that has a finger width or less between your toes and the tip of the shoe. You should also be able to bend naturally on the ball of your foot without restriction.
Mesh is an excellent material to have in the uppers of your volleyball shoes as it provides breathability that keeps your feet cooler and drier during play. The mesh material or vents allow air to flow through your shoe so heat and moisture can escape.