Asics has been producing some really high quality volleyball shoes for a long time now.
As a volleyballer with 15 years experience I’ve personally owned 2 of the below shoes, so I have a pretty good reference for how they compare to other brands.
In 2023 Asics is still right at the top of the volleyball shoe mountain, even with the likes of Nike and Adidas producing more volleyball specific shoes than ever.
Let’s waste no more time so I can get to explaining why some of these shoes are as good as it gets!
Best Overall Shoe
Asics Sky Elite FF Volleyball Shoes
I strongly believe, as do many other athletes, that these are the greatest volleyball shoes of all time… And it’s not even close!
Best Overall Asics Volleyball Shoes
The Asics Sky Elite FF are god tier volleyball shoes for so many reasons.
Quite often a volleyball shoe excels in one area yet lags in another, but not the Sky Elites. They’re the most well balanced, beautifully designed shoes I’ve ever worn.
The FlyteFoam cushioning is finally a midsole technology we can get excited about as volleyball players.
It not only adds a good bit of extra bounce when jumping, but has top tier impact protection so your knees won’t turn to dust from all of the spiking.
The shoe hugs your foot incredibly well and it’s one of the most secure and well locked down shoes I’ve ever felt.
On top of that, the traction is on another level. These things practically stick to the floor like glue which makes them awesome for all types of players.
It’s no wonder the Sky Elites won the #1 position of my top 8 ranked volleyball shoes of 2023!
They’re also one of the best fitting shoes for wide feet, come in a range of really nice colorways, and are available in low and mid tops.
The only possible drawback, if you could even call it that, is that these shoes stand quite high off the ground due to all the tech they’ve packed into the midsole.
Certain players, mainly liberos, prefer a lower to the ground feel, so if that’s you, you might not love these as much as I do.
If you’re that player, be sure to check out my article which goes over the best shoes for liberos.
- All volleyball positions. These are one of the few shoes I recommend to all players, regardless of their position.
Not Ideal For
- Liberos, possibly. If you’re a libero who prefers a lower to the ground feel, these might be a little too high off the ground for you.
Asics Netburner Ballistic FF Volleyball Shoes
You’ll notice this shoe looks incredibly similar to the Sky Elite FF. It has a very similar design but is a slightly more affordable option.
Also Great Asics Volleyball Shoes
The Netburner Ballistic FF are visually very similar to the Sky Elites with only a few differences, mainly being the materials and outsole design.
Both the Netburner Ballistic FF as well as the Sky Elites are known for their lateral stability with a nice wide outrigger which makes the shoe very hard to roll laterally.
This makes them great for hitters and blockers who risk landing on other players’ feet around the net and rolling ankles.
The Ballistic is considerably more narrow, however, so they’re definitely not a great choice for wider feet.
Several customers complained about rubbing up against the outside of their foot/toes due to the tight/narrow fit.
This issue has most certainly been resolved in the Sky Elites!
- All volleyballers. These shoes, like the Sky Elites, have a little something for all positions and are a great all-rounder.
Not Ideal For
- Wide feet. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone unless they know they have a narrow foot. Even for regular feet, I think it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to get the Sky Elites knowing you won’t have to worry about discomfort.
Best Budget Shoe
Asics Upcourt 4 Volleyball Shoes
The Asics Upcourt 4 is a general purpose court shoe that’s been adopted by volleyball players for its decent overall performance at an affordable price.
Best Budget Asics Volleyball Shoes
The first thing you need to understand about the Upcourt 4s is that they’re not exactly a volleyball shoe…
This is what we call a ‘court shoe’ which is actually geared more towards sports like handball, squash, and badminton.
Volleyballers have also been wearing them for years, but I think it’s not the best idea since, although played on a court, volleyballers perform very different movements to these other sports.
The main one being jumping. The cushioning on these simply isn’t very good in terms of shock absorption.
If you’re doing a ton of jumping (i.e. spiking), you may start to experience aching joints over time.
They’re also a pretty flat shoe, which means the heel toe transition is also not great, so they kind of ‘slap’ the floor when jumping.
If you’re a libero or even a setter, who naturally requires less cushioning, these are a really solid budget volleyball shoe.
- Liberos and some setters. If you’re a setter who plays mostly from the back court (i.e. doesn’t jump a ton), these are a great option. For liberos, they’re one of the best cheap shoes you can get!
Not Ideal For
- Spikers. Anyone doing a decent amount of jumping should avoid these shoes due to their poor impact protection.
Asics Gel-Rocket 10 Volleyball Shoes
One of the longest standing volleyball shoes of all time, the Gel-Rockets are a super versatile and extremely responsive shoe that are great for certain types of players.
Most Versatile Asics Volleyball Shoes
Just like the Upcourts, the Gel-Rockets are also a court shoe which volleyballers tend to love.
They’re basically a high end version of the Upcourt with improved cushioning and a much more fluid design making them better to jump in.
The cushioning system is still not incredible as the foam just isn’t on the level of the Sky Elites/Netburners.
Having said that, they’re a super responsive, really grippy shoe that are ideal for setter or liberos or even hitters who don’t do a crazy amount of jumping each week.
They’re also my favorite outdoor volleyball shoe as they’re super durable and handle concrete really well.
If you wanted something to wear for grass volleyball but didn’t want to buy a separate pair of shoes, these are also probably the best choice as the traction pattern on the outsole has a good bit of bite.
- Setters and liberos. Athletes requiring a super responsive, low to the ground shoe will absolutely love these.
- Outdoor and grass volleyball. The Gel-Rockets are the most durable of all the Asics shoes and have excellent traction on all types of outdoor courts.
- Anyone on a budget. At under $100, these are one of the more affordable volleyball shoes.
Not Ideal For
- Anyone doing a lot of jumping. With not so great cushioning, these aren’t the best shoes to jump in.
For serious volleyballers, you simply cannot beat the #1 shoe of 2023 which is the Asics Sky Elite FF. It’s hands down the best Asics volleyball shoe across the board.
If the Sky Elite was too rich for your blood, I’d recommend going for the Gel-Rocket 10 as it’s a good step down in price but still extremely solid overall and will do a good job in most positions.
If you’re brand new to volleyball, the Upcourt 4s are a super cheap option that definitely don’t suck and will do a decent job.
Are Asics Good For Volleyball?
Put simply, Asics are great for volleyball.
Historically, Asics and Mizuno were known as the go-to brands for volleyball shoes.
But in recent times, I think Asics have reclaimed the crown as top dogs when it comes to volleyball shoes.
In my opinion, they’ve created the best volleyball shoe of all time in the Sky Elite FF and have certainly reestablished themselves as one of the key players in the industry!