Your last pair of volleyball shoes has finally breathed its last, and it’s time to pick up a new one. As you’re about to head out, you notice your cross-training shoe sitting pretty on the shoe rack, and you’re hit with a sudden thought –
Are training shoes good for volleyball?
Believe it or not, you’re not the first to ask this. Well, the answer is YES, but it’s complicated.
Training shoes are great at doing what they are designed for. However, when it comes to the quick lateral movements and lightweight design, they fall short of volleyball shoes.
So, what makes them different? Why shouldn’t you use your training shoes for your volleyball games? These are the questions that I’ll discuss in this article.
Let’s get started.
5 Key Differences Between Training Shoes and Volleyball Shoes
Training shoes are primarily designed for use during intense training and fitness activities.
They are designed to provide support, stability, and comfort while you’re working out.
Here are some of the differences between volleyball shoes and training shoes that you need to know about:
Training shoes are designed to offer support when lifting weights or during cardio. As a result, the soles of these shoes tend to be flat and made of rubber to keep you stable during your workout.
Volleyball shoes, however, have gum rubber soles that improve traction on the court without leaving skid marks while ensuring stability for the player.
Volleyball shoes come with responsive, low-profile cushioning that doesn’t restrict movement.
The primary focus of these shoes is to provide support without compromising agility since the players need to be quick on their feet and jump comfortably while playing.
Compared to volleyball shoes, training shoes have a lot more cushioning since the main goal of these shoes is to provide protection and stability.
Lateral support is arguably the most important aspect of a volleyball shoe. Volleyball players need to be agile and make a lot of quick lateral movements.
That’s why the volleyball shoes feature cushioning and support in strategic places that allow the player to move vertically with minimum friction.
While cross-training shoes also offer decent lateral support, they’re not on par with what you get with volleyball shoes. So, your movement flexibility will take a hit.
Protection is the primary objective of training shoes, which means more cushioning. The downside to this is that it causes these shoes to become heavier.
Volleyball shoes are designed to shave off as much weight as possible to make sure the players remain quick and speedy on the court.
If you’ve read my article on whether running shoes are good for volleyball, you should remember how I said volleyball shoes are not as breathable as running shoes.
While that may be the case, volleyball shoes are a lot more breathable than training shoes.
The mesh uppers on volleyball shoes are designed to circulate air and keep the heat at bay during intense games.
With cross-training shoes, you won’t get much in terms of breathability. Some training shoes certainly have this feature. But most don’t care much about breathability since you’re meant to use these shoes indoors.
Can You Use Training Shoes for Volleyball?
As you can see, there are some significant differences between training and volleyball shoes.
However, since training shoes are decent at providing lateral support, you could use them if you don’t have any other options.
The thing is, training shoes are not as agile or lightweight as volleyball shoes. And the extra cushioning can feel a bit restricting for some.
If you’re playing casually with a couple of friends, it’s fine to use what you have. You could also use them for practice games if your coach allows it.
However, for competitive games, I would strongly recommend sticking with volleyball shoes.
Read Also: What Makes Volleyball Shoes Different?
Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes for Training?
Just like how you shouldn’t wear training shoes for competitive volleyball, you shouldn’t wear volleyball shoes for hardcore training.
If your workout routine involves general cardio activities like jumping jacks, running, etc., you’re fine using volleyball shoes.
However, if you’re working with weights like deadlifts or squats, it’s best to take them off. Going barefoot would be better than wearing volleyball shoes.
The reason here is that volleyball shoes have thicker midsoles than training shoes. As a result, you’ll be too high off the ground for these exercises.
Alternative to Training Shoes
So, if training shoes are out the window, what’s the alternative? Well, I always recommend using volleyball shoes since they are designed specifically for the sport.
However, if you’re having trouble finding a volleyball shoe, here are two alternatives that’ll serve you well.
Court shoes, i.e., shoes meant for tennis, handball, or badminton, can work great for volleyball.
These shoes offer excellent lateral support, solid traction, and better overall responsiveness compared to training shoes.
However, these shoes aren’t meant for jumping, so they might wear out sooner than you’d like.
Basketball shoes are pretty similar to volleyball shoes in design and function. And since the market is massive, you’ll have an easier time finding a new pair of basketball shoes that you like.
I’ve reviewed some amazing basketball shoes for volleyball that you might want to check out before that.
While training shoes can work in practice or casual games, it’s best not to use them in competitive games. Using the proper footwear can make all the difference here.
If you need an alternative, it’s better to wear basketball shoes for volleyball instead of training shoes. Court shoes might also work, but they don’t last nearly as long.
I hope this article can help you figure out whether you want to wear training shoes for volleyball. Good luck!