Grass volleyball is my favorite outdoors alternative to indoor volleyball.
It’s a far more social and relaxed game while being no where near as brutal as beach volleyball.
While you don’t have to wear shoes to play grass volleyball, plenty of players prefer having that extra traction and having played both barefoot and with shoes, I’ve found it far more enjoyable with the right pair of shoes.
I’ve just spent the entire morning researching the best footwear options for grass volleyball and have come up with a really comprehensive list of grass volleyball shoes for a variety of preferences.
For more information on how I’ve selected the following products, skip to the end of the article where I provide more information on what to consider when shopping for grass volleyball shoes.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right into it!
Best Overall Shoe
Salomon Speedcross 5 Trail Running Shoes
The Salomon Speedcross trail running shoes are one of the most popular options amongst regular grass volleyball players. They’re definitely a more high-end option for athletes that take the game seriously.
Best Overall Grass Volleyball Shoes
The Salomon Speedcross trail running shoes are easily one of the most popular grass volleyball shoes for those who take the game really seriously.
They’re definitely on the more expensive side, but they offer about as good traction as you can get on grass without wearing cleats.
Designed originally with trail running in mind, the Salomon outsoles have fairly sharp (but not dangerous) lugs that were specifically designed for soft surfaces like dirt and grass, making these really effective for grass volleyball.
The outsole is also designed with multidirectional traction in mind which makes these perfect for all movements performed on a grass volleyball court.
The cushioning on these is fantastic with high energy-return, making them suitable for jumping.
Known for their durability, these shoes will probably hold up for longer than almost anything else for the serious grass volleyball player.
Be warned that these are an extremely narrow shoe and are not a good option for wide feet! I’ve linked to the ‘wide foot’ version but many people have claimed they’re still not wide enough.
- Serious grass volleyball players. Anyone playing most of their volleyball on the grass or participating in fairly high level tournaments will benefit most from these.
Not Ideal For
- Wide feet. Don’t go anywhere near these if wide feet describes you!
- Those looking for a cheaper option. The Salomons are one of the more expensive options on this list.
Boombah Raptor Select Turf Shoes
The Boombah turf shoes are significantly more affordable than the Salomon shoes while providing the traction you need. Turf shoes are also a far more low key option compared to the trail runners.
Best Value Grass Volleyball Shoes
Moving from the world of trail running into turf/baseball shoes, the next best option (and arguably the best overall option) are the Boombah turf shoes.
There is a huge variety of different models when it comes to Boombah but I’ve selected the Raptor Select turf shoes because they’re the most lightweight of all the Boombah shoes at just 10.3oz.
During my research, I found that grass volleyballers really value that minimalist feel.
These are also super simple and easy to wear with a tongueless design which just slip onto your feet like a sock, making them a really easy, casual shoe to wear for grass volleyball.
Personally, I think the Salomons are a little too much of an eyesore for grass volleyball which for me has been a pretty relaxed, social game…
The Boombah shoes are way more low key for around half the price.
With the high traction outsole and high rebound midsole, these are, in my opinion, the perfect shoes for the vast majority of grass volleyball players.
- Casual players looking for an affordable option. These will cost you about half as much as the Salomons, making them really affordable for beginners and casuals.
Not Ideal For
- High level players who play a lot. Durability is always going to be questionable in shoes this affordable. If you’d describe yourself as a hardcore grass volleyball player, I’d probably not get these.
Best Budget Shoe
Boombah Arctos Trail Shoes
If you want a pair of shoes for grass volleyball that won’t break the bank, the Boombah Arctos are an excellent option. They look great, bite well on the grass, and have decent enough cushioning for jumping.
Best Budget Grass Volleyball Shoes
The Arctos trail shoes are a little heavier than the Raptor Select turf shoes but also have larger lugs on the outsoles, making them more effective in worse conditions and dodgier grass.
With bidirectional lugs as well as a midfoot TPU shank, the Arctos trail shoes will offer more support on uneven ground or slightly muddy pitches.
So unless you’re playing on really well maintained grass, trail shoes might prove more effective than turf shoes for volleyball.
These are the most affordable shoes on this list making them absolutely perfect for recreational/occasional grass volleyball players who want something that’ll get the job done without breaking the bank.
- Anyone balling on a budget. These are some of the most affordable grass volleyball shoes on the market!
Not Ideal For
- Those who require less traction. If you’re playing on fairly even, well maintained grass, the larger bidirectional lugs may be overkill in terms of traction.
Best Women’s Shoe
New Balance Velo V2 Turf Shoes
These New Balance turf shoes provide excellent traction and cushioning while coming in a huge variety of women’s colorways. They’re also available in half sizes as well as wide foot options so you can find the perfect fit.
Best Women’s Grass Volleyball Shoes
While plenty of the earlier shoes I’ve discussed do come in women’s sizes, ladies should definitely check the Velo V2 turf shoes out if you haven’t already found a style you like in your size.
These come in 9 different colorways and are available in half-size increments, which means you’ll 100% be able to find a pair you love.
The outsole has pretty solid bite on the grass without being too gnarly that it’ll be unsafe around your teammates.
Comfort, support, and durability with a nice low to the ground feel make these ideal for grass volleyball.
Be warned that these do tend to run a bit small, so I’d advise ordering half a size larger than usual!
- Women who value style and fit. With heaps of colorways and every size under the sun, finding a shoe you’ll love is really simple.
- Those who value comfort. Reading the reviews online, the one thing that seems to stand out for these is comfort.
Not Ideal For
- Those looking for a really cheap shoe. While these aren’t crazy expensive, they’re not super cheap either.
Most Stylish Shoe
New Balance 3000 V4 Turf Shoes
If you’re going for style points, look no further than the New Balance 3000 V4 turf shoes. They’re, in my opinion, the coolest looking kicks with the traction necessary for grass volleyball!
Best Looking Grass Volleyball Shoes
If you’re spending a good amount of time on the grass and looking for a higher end shoe that, in my opinion, looks absolutely fantastic, this is your best bet!
This is one of the most popular baseball shoes that can not only be worn on turf or grass, but in the gym as well as virtually anywhere else (except for maybe an indoor volleyball court)!
If the Salomons felt a bit over the top to you, the NB turf shoes are still a professional-grade, super high quality sports shoe so durability and performance is a given.
The outsole tread pattern is a lot less thick than the trail runner lugs, but still plenty sharp to provide excellent bite on grass volleyball courts.
If you’re playing plenty of grass volleyball or could see yourself wearing them for other activities as well, then the NB 3000 V4 turf shoes are a really solid investment.
- All levels of grass volleyball players. In terms of quality and performance, this shoe is excellent for even the most elite grass volleyballers.
- Anyone who thought trail runners were fashion suicide. If you’re like me and not a huge fan of the gnarly looking trail running shoes, these are far more visually appealing!
Not Ideal For
- Anyone looking for a cheaper option. While these are cheaper than many indoor volleyball shoes, they’re still a fair chunk of change.
Best Minimal Shoe
Whitin Minimalist Trail Runners
Do you want that barefoot feeling on the grass but wish you had more traction? Then these minimalist trail shoes are one of the best options – and they’re extremely affordable!
Best Minimal Grass Volleyball Shoes
One thing you’ll notice as soon as you play grass volleyball is that even on the most well maintained courts, grass is not flat.
Uneven turf is unavoidable which means you really want something that makes you feel connected to the ground.
Anything with a really thick midsole that feels ‘high off the ground’ leads to significantly more lateral instability on the more uneven grass courts.
For this reason, grass volleyballers ideally want thin midsoles and toe shoes are absolutely perfect for this purpose.
The Whitin minimalist trail runners are about as close as you can get to that bare foot feel, while providing you that extra bite on the grass you’re looking for.
These are super comfortable and feel great to jump in – the thin midsole means very little cushioning, but that’s not a huge problem since grass is already soft!
Oh and these will often be cheaper than every other shoe on this list, even the budget shoes!
- Those who want to play barefoot but don’t feel safe. Grass can be annoyingly slippery to play on sometimes. These are great for those of you who’d otherwise be playing barefoot!
Not Ideal For
- Anyone who doesn’t have the time to break them in. These shoes are different to your typical running shoe and take several sessions to break them in. If you need something to perform out of the box, these aren’t your shoe!
Best Indoor Shoe
Asics Gel Rocket 9/10
A lot of volleyball players wonder if they can wear their indoor shoes on the grass. Not all indoor volleyball shoes are appropriate for grass volleyball, but the Gel Rockets definitely fit the bill.
Best Indoor Shoes For Grass Volleyball
While I don’t recommend playing grass volleyball in indoor volleyball shoes, plenty of people do it all the time without much problem.
If you are going to wear regular volleyball shoes, the Asics Gel Rockets are your best option for a couple reasons.
First, they sit quite low to the ground which will give you that confident, connected-to-the-floor feeling compared to something that stands higher off the ground.
The traction pattern also naturally has pretty decent bite.
I should also mention that the Gel Rockets were voted my number 1 outdoor volleyball shoe. This makes them one of the best options for concrete and other hybrid courts also.
They’re a very affordable shoe and extremely durable, which means they can take a beating on any surface and don’t give in too lightly!
- Indoor players who don’t want to buy new shoes. If your main game is indoor volleyball and you’re only playing grass volleyball occasionally, these shoes are fine to wear.
Not Ideal For
- Serious grass players. If you’re playing on the grass often or at a high level, you’d be better off with any of the above shoes which will offer better traction.
As an occasional barefoot grass volleyball player, based on the research I’ve done and reviews I’ve read, if I were to invest in a pair of shoes for grass volleyball, I’d go for the Boombah Raptor Select turf shoes because they’re ultra lightweight, convenient, and really affordable.
For the high level players who know more about the game than I do, you can’t go past the Salomons or a pair of New Balance 3000 V4 baseball shoes, especially if you want something a little more low key and versatile.
For the ladies, look no further than the New Balance Velo V2 turf shoes. That one’s a layup.
For those of you who like the idea of playing barefoot but want some extra traction, give the Whitin minimalist trail runners a crack.
If you play more indoor and are due for a new pair of shoes, but occasionally play grass volleyball, consider getting some Gel Rockets which will perform well on any surface!
Do You Even Need Shoes For Grass Volleyball?
The answer to this question really comes down to how serious you’re looking to get with the sport.
If you’re just mucking around with some friends in a very relaxed social environment, you’ll be fine not wearing shoes.
Even if you’re planning on playing quite competitively, some people simply prefer to play barefoot.
If you’re playing frequently and taking it seriously or participating in tournaments, then you’ll certainly get some performance benefit from wearing shoes while playing.
If you’re new to grass volleyball, ask your friends whether they’re wearing shoes or not – you don’t want to rock up to a game of doubles in your brand new Salomons if everyone’s going it barefoot!
Are Indoor Volleyball Shoes Okay To Wear For Grass Volleyball?
While they’re not ideal, indoor volleyball shoes are usually fine to wear for grass volleyball.
It depends quite a lot on the grass as well as the state of your shoes. If it’s kind of slippery grass and you have an old pair of shoes with no tread, it could actually be quite dangerous to wear them and you should probably just go barefoot.
You also want to avoid wearing indoor shoes with a thick midsole – the ones which make you feel instantly taller when you put them on…
The higher up you are, the worse stability you’ll get on the slightly uneven grass surface.
If you’re going to wear indoor shoes on the grass, make sure they’re relatively low to the ground and have decent tread on them still – I recommend Asics Gel Rockets for grass volleyball.
And for heavens sake, don’t go out and buy a brand new pair of $250 indoor shoes and then wear them on the grass!
Benefits Of Wearing Shoes For Grass Volleyball
Grass can sometimes be pretty slippery to play on – it depends a lot on what type of grass you’re playing on, how much moisture is in the air/grass, and how well maintained the grass court is.
The most obvious benefit to wearing shoes for grass volleyball is to get some extra bite on the ground which will prevent slippages.
The last thing you want is to be jumping for a spike and ending up on your ass!
Once you’ve played on the grass for a while barefoot, your feet will become dirty and grass stained which will make your grip a lot worse. You’re pretty likely to slip at some stage unless conditions are perfect.
Increased Lateral Support On Uneven Surfaces
Quick lateral movements are an important part of volleyball, mainly when passing and digging.
Even well-maintained grass volleyball courts aren’t completely flat and so you’re always at risk of stepping awkwardly on some uneven ground and doing an ankle.
Having shoes like trail runners with some extra bite and a midfoot TPU shank will give you better stability on uneven ground and will help protect you from all sorts of foot and ankle injuries.
Increased Joint Protection
While grass is naturally softer than an indoor volleyball court, oftentimes the ground can still be quite hard.
When you’re spending all day jumping in bare feet, you may notice your joints (knees, back, everywhere) start to ache.
This is because of a lack of impact protection/shock absorption when landing from spiking.
Wearing a pair of shoes with some decent cushioning in the midsole will help prevent your knees from turning to dust during a long grass volleyball tournament.
What To Consider When Buying Shoes For Grass Volleyball
Now that you’ve decided wearing shoes is a good idea, how do you know you’re getting a decent shoe for grass volleyball?
What Types Of Shoes Are Appropriate For Grass Volleyball?
Firstly, understand that there is no such thing as a ‘grass volleyball shoe’ – there simply isn’t a market for it.
As such, we have to get a little creative and find products which provide what grass volleyballers need: traction, support, and cushioning.
Trail runners and turf shoes (softball and baseball) seem to be the most common options when it comes to grass volleyball.
Both trail and turf shoes have plenty of grip on the outsole which solves the major issue of barefoot grass volleyball which is slippage.
So long as you can find a pair with decent cushioning to protect your joints, you’ll be fine!
How Often Are You Playing & At What Level?
Understand that not everyone believes in wearing shoes for grass volleyball.
In some very casual games, it may even raise some eyebrows.
The last thing you want is to be the only guy rocking up to a game with a brand new pair of Salomon’s when everyone else is going barefoot – you’ll look a little out of place.
If you’re buying grass volleyball shoes for someone as a gift, first ask them if they even like the idea of wearing shoes on the pitch, as it’s definitely not for everyone.
If you’re talking about competitive grass volleyball leagues and tournaments, wearing shoes is a given and at that point it makes a lot more sense to invest in a decent pair of turf shoes/trail runners.
How Much Are You Willing To Invest?
The good news is that grass volleyball shoes aren’t particularly expensive and there’s some really decent budget options for entry level players.
Below is a comparison of the usual prices for the 7 shoes I’ve discussed today, ranked from least expensive to most.
|Shoe||Name||Rough Retail Price|
|Whitin Minimalist Trail Runners||$43|
|Boombah Arctos Trail Shoes||$60-$70|
|Boombah Raptor Select Turf Shoes||$75|
|New Balance Fresh Foam Velo V2 Turf Shoe||$65-$114|
|Asics Gel Rocket 10||$65-$172|
|New Balance 3000 V4 Turf Shoe||$150|
|Salomon Speedcross 5 Trail Running Shoes||$125-$180|
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of range in the pricing for a number of these shoes and that just depends on the size, colorway, and availability.
Whether you want to spend $50 or $150, you can’t go wrong with any of these shoes!