The 11 Best Volleyball Shoes of 2021

Serve up the top kicks on the court

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Wearing a good pair of volleyball shoes is one of the best ways you can prevent injuries and play your best on the court. Lightweight with rubber soles and supportive cushioning, volleyball shoes allow for quick cuts and constant jumping. 

While some volleyball shoes may work for all-around play, others have features that make them ideal for certain volleyball positions, such as setters or opposites. So you can choose a shoe that’s tailored for your needs, style, and preferences.

Here are the best volleyball shoes on the market.

Our Top Picks
Best Overall for Women:
Mizuno Women's Wave Momentum at Zappos
The wave-shaped midsole plate provides both cushioning and support, while allowing for a lightweight and soft underfoot feel.
Best Overall for Men:
ASICS Men’s GEL-Rocket 9 at Zappos
The breathable, lightweight mesh upper allows for good ventilation to keep your feet dry and fresh.
The non-marking rubber soles offer excellent traction for quick movements on the court.
Lightweight and durable, the shoe features the cushioning, breathability, and performance you’d expect from more expensive shoes.
A comfy, cushioned midsole softens every landing and offers good responsiveness to keep you on your toes.
The Gel Cushioning System in the rearfoot and forefoot provides shock absorption and comfort when jumping and making quick moves.
Designed with the perfect blend of comfort and lightweight stability, they’re a great choice for intense play on indoor courts.
The grippy rubber outsole is ideal for setters who need to execute quick accelerations and cuts.
Engineered to disperse shock throughout the entire sole, they're great for hitters that need to jump repeatedly.
Designed for play on hard volleyball courts, the shoes have pressured air units in the midsole for good responsiveness and bounce.

Best Overall for Women: Mizuno Women's Wave Momentum

Mizuno Wave Momentum
Pros
  • Great traction

  • Lightweight but supportive

  • Good stability

  • Durable

Cons
  • Not for wide feet

  • Expensive

These versatile volleyball shoes feature Mizuno’s trademark Wave technology that disperses energy from impact, giving players cushioned comfort and injury protection. With a lightweight, wave-shaped midsole plate, the shoe has ample cushioning and support, and breathability is provided by the shoe's engineered mesh upper. The Intercool ventilation system also helps to reduce heat build-up inside the shoe, enhancing overall comfort and performance.

Built with extra-grade rubber, the outsole is crafted to improve flexibility and agility on the court. Available in women’s sizes 6 to 13 and several different color combinations, these durable shoes are a great option for all-around volleyball play.

Materials: Mesh upper, rubber sole | Closure: Lace-up

Best Overall for Men: ASICS Men’s GEL-Rocket 9

ASICS Men’s GEL-Rocket® 9
Pros
  • Excellent traction

  • Good shock absorption

  • Breathable

  • Great value

Cons
  • No wide sizes

  • Runs small

The versatile Asics Gel-Rocket volleyball shoe has stellar traction and shock absorption, in addition to a cushioned, molded-EVA midsole. Made with Asics’ well-known gel cushioning in the rear, it's designed to soften landings and take-offs. Additionally, the breathable, lightweight mesh upper allows for good ventilation, to keep your feet dry and fresh.

The Trusstic System Technology stabilizes the shoe so you can safely pass and dig, while the grippy rubber outsole helps you stay steady as you pivot and move. Available in men’s sizes 6 to 15 and a few different color options, the Rocket is a great all-around pick.

Materials: Synthetic and mesh upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Lace-up

Best Budget for Women: Mizuno Women's Cyclone Speed Volleyball Shoes

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Great traction

  • Comfortable, EVA midsole

Cons
  • May run small

  • Better for narrow feet

At a budget-friendly price, these versatile shoes from Mizuno are an excellent pick for all-around volleyball players. The responsive EVA midsole provides good cushioning to protect your feet and joints as you’re jumping and running. Like all high-performance volleyball shoes, they also have non-marking rubber soles to offer excellent traction for quick movements on the court.

The synthetic mesh upper moves with your foot, so you get a good range of motion in addition to a very secure fit. They come in women’s sizes 6 to 11, and some suggest going up a size as they seem to run small.

Materials: Synthetic and mesh upper, rubber sole | Closure: Lace-up

Best Budget for Men: Asics Men's Upcourt 4 Volleyball Shoes

Asics Men's Upcourt 4 Volleyball Shoes
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Breathable

  • Good traction

  • Lightweight support

Cons
  • Better for narrow feet

  • Break-in period required

Whether you’re brand-new to volleyball or an experienced player who wants to add an affordable pair of shoes to your collection, the Asics Upcourt 4 shoe is a solid choice. Lightweight and durable, it features the cushioning, breathability, and performance that you’d expect from more expensive shoes. The rubber gumsole grips the court surface to keep you from slipping, and the mesh paneling keeps your feet from overheating. It's also constructed from synthetic leather for additional support.

Available in men’s sizes 6 to 13, they come in a few different color combinations, so you can choose one that coordinates best with your uniform or favorite volleyball attire.

Materials: Synthetic leather, rubber sole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Opposites: Adidas Women's Crazyflight Bounce 3 Volleyball Shoes

Adidas Women's Crazyflight Bounce 3 Volleyball Shoes
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Breathable

  • Good cushioning

  • Grippy rubber outsole

Cons
  • Better for narrow feet

  • White shoes are hard to clean

The opposite position in volleyball is a great all-around player who hits and blocks, while occasionally passing and setting. Designed with a lightweight, breathable construction, the Adidas Crazyflight Bounce 3 volleyball shoe allows for a great range of movement and jumping, making them perfect for the position.

A comfy, cushioned midsole softens every landing and offers good responsiveness to keep you on your toes. Plus, the lightweight, mesh upper allows for breathability, while providing good stability on the court. Available in women’s sizes 6 to 12, this sleek, versatile shoe is a fantastic pick for opposites or any volleyball player looking for a comfortable, stable shoe.

Materials: Mesh upper, rubber sole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Indoor: Asics Men's Netburner Ballistic FF MT 2 Volleyball Shoes

ASICS Netburner Ballistic FF MT 2
Pros
  • Excellent traction

  • Lightweight

  • Durable

  • Good cushioning

Cons
  • Narrow in the toebox

  • Expensive

The lightweight, supportive design and grippy rubber outsole of the Asics Netburner Ballistic FF MT 2 volleyball shoe make it ideal for players who need to be agile on the indoor court. Like Asics’ popular running shoes, they feature the Gel Cushioning System in the rearfoot and forefoot for excellent shock absorption and comfort when jumping and making quick moves. Lightweight FlyteFoam midsole cushioning adds to the overall responsiveness.

With a mid-top profile and a mesh and leather upper, you’ll get good stability on the court. The shoe’s rubber outsole features Asics’s Flextion grooves for additional traction, and they come in men’s sizes 6 to 15.

Materials: Polyurethane, mesh, leather upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Ankle Support: Adidas Women's Crazyflight Mid Volleyball Shoes

Adidas Women's Crazyflight Mid Volleyball Shoes
Pros
  • Excellent ankle support

  • Variety of sizes and colors

  • Good cushioning

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May run small

If you prefer to have extra ankle support when you’re jumping, hitting, and blocking on the court, you’ll like the mid-cut profile of the Adidas Women's Crazyflight Mid volleyball shoes. Designed with the perfect blend of comfort and lightweight stability, they’re a great choice for intense play on indoor courts. The molded heel counter helps keep your foot in place, and the Adidas Boost cushioning system will ensure soft landings.

These versatile and durable shoes come in a wide range of colors and women’s sizes 5 to 14. They’re a bit more expensive than some other options but well worth the investment.

Materials: Mesh upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Setters: Asics Women's Gel-Tactic Volleyball Shoes

Best for Setters Shoes
Pros
  • Excellent traction

  • Durable

  • Stylish

  • Good cushioning

Cons
  • Not available in wide sizes

  • Break-in period required

Since setters can play in the front or back row, they need to be able to turn on a dime as they're setting. For a shoe with the exceptional traction that setters require, it’s tough to beat the Asics Gel-Tactic volleyball shoes. The grippy rubber outsole is ideal for executing quick acceleration and cuts, and the lightweight cushioning helps with shock absorption.

The Gel-Tactic also features an Ortholite sock liner that molds to your feet over time, enhancing your overall comfort. Durable and versatile, these shoes are available in women’s sizes 5 to 14 and several color combinations.

Materials: Mesh upper, rubber sole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Hitters: Mizuno Women's Wave Lightning Z6 Volleyball Shoes

Mizuno Wave Lightning Z6
Pros
  • Excellent cushioning

  • Lightweight

  • Great traction

  • Flexible

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not available in wide sizes

Volleyball hitters engage in a lot of jumping, so anyone playing the position needs a shoe with stellar cushioning and traction. The Mizuno Wave Lightning Z6 volleyball shoe features Parallel Wave technology, which is engineered to disperse shock throughout the entire sole, rather than just one area. This means that hitters can jump repeatedly, but keep the shock and stress on their feet to a minimum.

The shoe’s lightweight feel also reduces foot fatigue and keeps hitters on their toes, while the design and placement of the grooves on the outsole improve flexibility, grip, and agility. A solid option for hitters, the shoes come in women’s sizes 6 to 13.

Materials: Mesh and synthetic upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Liberos: Nike Women's Zoom HyperAce 2 Volleyball Shoes

Nike Zoom HyperAce 2
Pros
  • Good arch support

  • Flexible material

  • Ample shock absorption

Cons
  • May be too narrow

  • Expensive

A team’s libero plays defense in the back row and needs shoes with good stability, shock absorption, and traction so they can pass, dig, and change direction quickly and confidently. With lightweight support, true-to-size fit, and superior grip, the Nike Zoom HyperAce 2 volleyball shoe is ideal for the intense play of liberos.

Designed for play on hard volleyball courts, the shoes have pressured air units in the midsole for good responsiveness and bounce. The Nike Zoom technology offers light cushioning that’s supportive and comfortable, while also letting you be quick on your feet. Available in women’s sizes 5 to 11 and in a few different color options, the HyperAce is a superb choice for liberos.

Materials: Textile upper, mesh lining, rubber outsole | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Kids: ASICS Kid's Upcourt 3 GS Volleyball Shoes

Best for Kids
Pros
  • Designed specifically for kids

  • Comfortable, secure fit

  • Good traction

  • Breathable

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Indoor use only

If your child discovers a love for volleyball, it’s important that they’re wearing the right shoe to reduce their risk of injury and boost their performance. This durable, comfy pair of youth volleyball shoes from Asics will keep them steady and confident, whether they’re blocking, hitting, or serving. With a grippy rubber outsole, they provide good traction on slippery gym floors, allowing kids to easily jump, pivot, and move.

This high-performance without the distraction of ill-fitting or unsupportive shoes. They also feature a breathable construction and padding to prevent calluses and blisters. Available in big kids’ sizes 1 to 7, kids can also choose multiple color options.

Materials: Synthetic and mesh upper, rubber outsole | Closure: Lace-up

Final Verdict

With all the features you want in a high-performance volleyball shoe, the Asics GEL-Rocket (view at Zappos) earns its spot as the top men’s shoe and is an excellent pick for those looking for high-quality, versatile volleyball gear.

For women, the Mizuno Wave Momentum (view at Zappos) has the right cushioning, traction, and support that volleyball players need to take their play to the next level.

What to Look For in Volleyball Shoes

Grip

Good volleyball shoes should have rubber soles that can grip the court surface, allowing you to quickly cut and pivot. Shoes with excellent traction will prevent you from slipping and sliding, which is essential to avoiding injury.

Weight

“Jumping is the most repeated skill by volleyball players—whether jumping to attack, jumping to block an opponent’s attack, jumping to set an attacker, or jumping to allow more space on a serve—so players want a shoe that is light in weight,” says Kathy DeBoer, executive director, American Volleyball Coaches Association. Not only will a lightweight shoe help you jump more easily, but it will also prevent your feet from feeling fatigued.

Cushioning

All-round comfort is crucial for any shoe, especially one that’s worn during intense activity such as volleyball. “Jumping requires landing, which is stressful on the body, so players also want a shoe with good cushioning,” says DeBoer. Not only will a well-cushioned shoe help you avoid foot and leg fatigue, but it can also help prevent injuries.

Stability

Since volleyball requires lots of quick accelerations and direction changes, look for a shoe that gives your feet plenty of stability and support. A lot of what factors into stability also comes from a shoe that fits properly. For the right fit, choose a shoe that fits snugly without being too tight. You should have room in the toe box to wiggle your toes. If you have a wide foot, look for shoes that come in various widths.

Breathability

Many volleyball shoes have mesh uppers that are breathable, so your feet don’t get hot and sweaty as you’re playing. Breathability is also helpful for overall comfort and avoiding painful blisters.

FAQs

What is the difference between volleyball shoes and regular shoes?

With the many skills needed to succeed in volleyball, shoes for players need to incorporate features from all different types of shoes. “The sport requires explosive lateral movement, so the shoe must function like a tennis shoe in terms of stability and traction,” says DeBoer. “The repetitive jumping requires heel strike reinforcement like you would find in a running shoe, and the landing requires protection from ankle rolls and impact softening like you would find in a basketball shoe.” 

Are running shoes good for volleyball?

Although running shoes may be suitable for a casual volleyball player, those who are playing on a regular basis should invest in a pair of shoes that are constructed specifically for volleyball. If you select a shoe like the ones on this list, you’ll get the traction, stability, and cushioning that volleyball players need for peak performance and injury protection.

Can volleyball shoes be used for basketball?

While some volleyball shoes could work for basketball, others may not have the right features that a basketball player requires in a reliable, high-performance shoe. For instance, many volleyball shoes are low-profile and may not have the ankle support and stability that basketball players need.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

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