Firstly I should mention that when I say outdoor volleyball, I’m referring to volleyball played on outdoor courts like concrete or other harsh hybrid materials.
I am not discussing grass volleyball shoes today!
Check out this article to see my grass volleyball shoe recommendations!
Instead this article is for those of you who play the majority of their volleyball on outdoor courts which, as you can imagine, is quite a bit different from playing on a hardwood indoor court.
As you’re probably aware, certain indoor shoes simply do not last on outdoor courts.
They end up falling apart and quickly becoming useless for both indoor and outdoor volleyball…
To put together this list, I’ve spent the last few hours researching exactly which volleyball shoes perform really well outside and won’t have any issues with traction or durability.
Best Overall Shoe
Asics Gel Rocket 9/10 Volleyball Shoes
One of the longest standing volleyball shoes, the Asics Gel Rocket also happens to be one of the most durable and affordable options, perfect for concrete courts.
Best Overall Outdoor Volleyball Shoes
The Asics Gel Rocket (either 9 or 10) court shoes are quite possibly the best option for outdoor volleyball.
Originally designed for badminton, squash, and pickleball, people have been wearing the Gel Rocket shoes for volleyball for well over a decade and it’s become one of the most popular volleyball shoes out.
They’re extremely durable, meaning the material one the outsole doesn’t easily fray when on concrete outdoor courts.
You can normally grab a pair of these shoes for $70 which makes them extremely affordable.
It also means you’ll feel a lot better about thrashing them on brutal outdoor courts than you would a $250 pair of high end indoor shoes!
One thing to be aware of with these is pretty average arch support, so if this is something you’re overly concerned with, I’d avoid these shoes.
The Asics Gel Rocket 9s or 10s are suitable for both men’s and women’s volleyball and work fine for wide feet.
- Anyone on a budget. These shoes are super affordable making them a great sacrifice to the outdoor court gods!
Not Ideal For
- Arch support. I’ve seen some people complain about the very ‘flat’ feel and lack of arch support in these shoes.
Mizuno Wave Momentum 2 Volleyball Shoes
The Mizuno Wave Momentum 2s are extraordinarily lightweight yet retain brilliant durability, making them one of the best shoes to play with outdoors.
Highest Quality Outdoor Volleyball Shoes
The Wave Momentum 2s are one of my top outdoor volleyball shoe picks because of their surprisingly durable outsole.
This ultra lightweight shoe is known for having a ton more bounce/springiness than the earlier model, but also has a less effective cushioning system in it…
For that reason, I recommend these those for setters as well as outside hitters because of the requirement for responsiveness but less need for impact protection.
One potential drawback of this shoe is that it’s quite high off the ground which might make it suboptimal for liberos who like to feel more connected to the court.
Regardless of your position, these are one of the best, super lightweight, highly durable volleyball shoes which make them perfect for outdoor use.
They also came in at second place on my list of best overall volleyball shoes for 2023!
- Setters. This is one of my favorite shoes for setters because of how bouncy they feel while being super light and responsive still.
Not Ideal For
- Anyone who likes to feel low to the ground. These stand quite high off the ground, which might not be ideal for liberos.
Best Basketball Shoe
Adidas Dame 7
Basketball shoes tend to perform exceptionally well for volleyball on outdoor courts and there’s no better option than the Adidas Dame 7.
Best Basketball Shoes For Outdoor Volleyball
I’m a big proponent of using basketball shoes for volleyball, even on indoor courts.
But basketball shoes are usually a lot better when it comes to outdoor court use, because a lot more basketball is played on concrete courts and manufacturers take this into consideration when designing the shoes.
I’ve got the Dame 7s ranked as the best basketball shoe for volleyball generally speaking, and it just happens to turn out that these kicks perform exceptionally well outdoors.
I regularly thrash these on concrete courts and they’re holding up remarkably well after years of use.
The outsoles simply don’t fray much and traction has never been an issue on any surface for me.
These shoes also stand quite high but have one of the best cushioning systems I’ve ever experienced, making them great for middle blockers and opposites.
The Dame 7s are also one of the best budget shoes you can wear for volleyball and you can usually grab them for under $100.
They’re a unisex shoe which come in a variety of colorways and are perfect for wide feet!
- Anyone on a budget. Dame 7s are extremely affordable.
- Middles and opposites. These are one of the best big man shoes with exceptional shock absorption – great for anyone jumping a lot.
Not Ideal For
- Liberos. These will probably be too high off the ground for most liberos.
#4, Also Great
Nike React Hyperset Volleyball Shoes
The Nike React Hypersets are a premium grade shoe that I honestly wouldn’t recommend using outdoors because they’re so expensive. But they simply function far too well on concrete for me not to mention them!
Also Great Outdoor Volleyball Shoes
The reason I’ve got the Hypersets in 4th place is because they’re a really expensive shoe…
In fact, they’re the most expensive volleyball shoe on the market.
For that reason, I recommend only using them on indoor courts as they’ll last longer and you probably want to take good care of such a big investment!
Having said that, this shoe simply works ridiculously well on outdoor courts.
The outsoles do not fray! Like at all!
It’s honestly pretty shocking.
The Hypersets have a great rep for being highly durable indoors, but those who have tried them on outdoor courts have said they played absolutely brilliantly and the traction was as good as it was indoors!
- All volleyball players. This is one shoe that is suitable for all positions.
Not Ideal For
- Anyone who likes money. These are super expensive. Generally speaking, it makes more sense to wear cheaper shoes outside.
#5, Also Great
Adidas Harden Stepback 2
One of the highest value for money shoes on the market, the Harden Stepback 2s have incredible lateral support as well as great traction and durability for outdoor play.
Best Budget Outdoor Volleyball Shoes
The Adidas Harden Stepback 2s are another super affordable shoe that works really well on those rough concrete courts.
They feature a surprisingly solid amount of lateral support making them great for anyone concerned about ankle support.
So far as durability and traction on outdoor courts go, this shoe has absolutely no problems with a really solid bite.
The cushioning system is neither here nor there, so probably not amazing for middles and opposites, but I think this is one of the best options for setters and liberos as it feels nice and low to the ground.
They also look fantastic and you can occasionally get these for under $70 in some really colorful unisex colorways!
- Liberos, setters, outside hitters. These shoes are great for anyone playing in the back court. Outside hitters should however beware that the impact protection in these is not incredible.
- Anyone balling on a budget. These are one of the cheapest shoes you can get that don’t completely suck!
Not Ideal For
- Anyone jumping a lot. The shock absorption and impact protection in these shoes could use some work.
- Anyone who likes a super secure/locked down feel. Some users experienced slight heel slippage, but it wasn’t a deal breaker.
With so many excellent budget options here, I’d recommend the back court specialists go for the Adidas Harden Stepback 2s and the front court players opt for the Dame 7s.
If you’ve got the cash and are willing to use them outside, the Nike React Hypersets are unquestionably going to be one of your best performing volleyball shoes.
If you’re still unsure, you can never go wrong with the tried and tested Asics Gel Rockets, either 9s or 10s are really excellent shoes for outdoor volleyball.