5 Best Volleyball Shoes For Liberos In 2022

As back court specialists, liberos perform a very different set of actions to the other volleyball positions.

As such, their shoes should reflect this and will often by quite different to the shoes worn by hitters.

My Top Picks:

Liberos need responsive, low to the ground shoes which assist them in passing and digging the ball.

Like setters, liberos have less need for ankle support and impact protection as they’re not doing much jumping.

At the end of this article I’ll go into more detail as to exactly what criteria I used to determine the current best shoes for liberos.

But for now, let’s dive straight into the list!

Best Overall

Mizuno Wave Momentum 2

Mizuno Wave Momentum 2

The Wave Momentum 2 is an extremely lightweight shoe with excellent responsiveness and traction. This shoe is a bouncier version of the original Momentums and is ideal for any back court specialist.

Best Overall Volleyball Shoes For Setters

The Wave Momentum 2s are known for being as light as a feather, which makes them great for back court specialists who don’t want to feel like they’re wearing a clunky boot!

The traction is excellent and the shoe has a great amount of forefoot flex which allows players to make highly agile movements.

The main difference between the Momentum 2 and the original Momentum is that they reduced the impact protection/cushioning and increased the springiness.

This is problematic if you’re a front court player doing a ton of jumping, but it’s actually perfect for liberos who have far less stress on their joints.

Recommended Use

Fantastic overall option for liberos who like a super lightweight and responsive shoe.

The Good

Improved midsole technology makes the Momentum 2 more responsive and bouncy compared to the original model.

Traction/grip is some of the best of any volleyball shoe.

The Bad

On the more expensive side.

Runner Up

Asics Sky Elite FF Volleyball Shoes

Asics Sky Elite FF

I believe the Asics Sky Elite FF is the single best all-round volleyball shoe and is exceptionally comfortable and responsive on court.

Best Volleyball Shoes For Setters – Runner Up

The Asics Sky Elite FF was rated my number 1 volleyball shoe of 2022 for a good reason… It’s virtually flawless.

I absolutely love playing in these shoes for so many reasons.

They’re ultra responsive with super sticky grip, they have incredible support and impact protection, and they look awesome.

But there is one negative which only really affects liberos, and that’s that they have quite a thick sole, making them quite high up off the ground.

That doesn’t necessarily make them less functional for liberos, but is more of a personal preference thing than anything.

Typically liberos prefer a more low to the ground shoe which gives them a more connected court feel, but I definitely don’t think that’s a deal breaker for these shoes!

Recommended Use

Fantastic option for liberos who don’t mind being a little higher off the ground. These are also ideal for part time liberos who also play other positions on court.

The Good

No volleyball shoe comes close in terms of grip and traction on the court!

Great heel lockdown offers excellent ankle support. Super comfortable and secure fit.

Super responsive cushioning setup and they feel crazy springy to jump in.

The Bad

Definitely on the more expensive side.

Best Budget Shoe

Giannis Immortality For Volleyball

Nike Giannis Immortality

The Giannis Immortality basketball shoe is extremely lightweight and responsive which makes it one of the better shoes to wear for the libero position.

Best Budget Volleyball Shoe For Liberos

Yes, this is technically a basketball shoe

But it’s a basketball shoe that’s absolutely perfect for liberos to wear!

It’s actually quite a bit lighter than even the Mizuno Momentum 2!

The court traction is one best of any shoe on the current market and it barely picks up any dust.

They also function exceptionally well for anyone playing on outdoor courts.

The Immortalities are super flexible through the forefoot which helps with comfort and responsiveness when defending.

They’re also nice and low to the ground which all liberos love.

Lateral stability and containment are quite decent in this shoe also, although possibly not ideal for very heavy athletes.

But we’re talking about liberos here so not usually a big concern.

The Immortalities are a unisex shoe and come in a variety of neutral colorways and are fine for wide feet.

Recommended Use

For any liberos looking to save some cash, it’s really difficult to go past the Immortalities!

The Good

Super affordable and you can usually get a pair for around $100 or less.

Extremely light weight, super responsive, and low to the ground feel make the GIs ideal for any libero.

The Bad

Cushioning is fairly weak, but that’s okay considering liberos aren’t doing much jumping.

Note: These shoes retail primarily via Amazon, as they’re no longer selling through the official Nike USA website. You should be able to find other local retailers near you with a simple Google search.

Also Great

Nike Hyperset Volleyball Shoes

Nike React Hyperset

Nike’s most popular volleyball shoe is well regarded as having excellent court feel for liberos who prefer standing lower to the ground.

This highly responsive shoe is well known for having great traction even on slightly dusty courts.

Also Great Volleyball Shoes For Liberos

I’ve selected the Hypersets as one of my top libero shoes for a few key reasons…

The sole is quite thin, relative to other volleyball shoes. This gives the Hypersets a nice, low to the ground feel which is highly sought after by liberos.

The traction pattern on these kicks is incredible and they’re widely viewed as having the best grip on the market.

This is important for liberos who often have to make several micro adjustments when digging and passing volleyballs.

This is one of the most popular volleyball shoes in professional volleyball for a good reason!

Unfortunately they fit on the tighter side and aren’t great for wide feet.

If you have a wider foot and still want to grab some Hypersets, consider going up 1/2 a size.

Recommended Use

One of the best options for anyone with narrower feet who prefers a lower to the ground feel.

The Good

Tied with the Sky Elites for having the best traction/grip on a volleyball shoe!

Great, low to the ground feel and super responsive cushion.

The Bad

Extremely expensive and difficult to buy these days since Nike has discontinued them.

Also Great

Adidas Stabil Next Gen Volleyball Shoes

Adidas Stabil Next Gen

Adidas designed this shoe originally for European handball which just happens to work really nicely for liberos. It’s one of the more responsive shoes and fits like a sock!

Other Decent Volleyball Shoes For Liberos…

Originally designed for other court sports like handball and badminton, the Stabils are an absolutely magical shoe to wear on any hardwood court.

I don’t typically recommend them for volleyball as the cushioning is not so great, making them not a great choice for jumping in. But since liberos aren’t doing any jumping, this is a perfect shoe!

One of the coolest things about this shoe is that the tongue and the upper are one in the same, which makes it feel like you’re wearing a sock.

It conforms to the shape of your foot extremely nicely and is one of the most responsive feeling shoes on court.

The sole is quite thin with minimal but adequate cushioning, making you feel connected to the court, a libero’s dream!

Coming in both men’s and women’s sizes, this shoe has a few cool colorways and is one of the best looking court shoes I’ve ever seen!

Recommended Use

Another fantastic (albeit not cheap) option for any back court player not doing a ton of jumping.

The Good

Super responsive and excellent traction.

Sock like feel gives you an amazing connection to the court.

Ridiculously good looking shoe!

The Bad

Cushioning isn’t great, making them a poor option for spikers.

Quite expensive.

Final Verdict?

For those not wanting to spend a ton of money, the Giannis Immortality is by far the best budget shoe on this list.

The performance you get for under a hundred bucks is exceptional.

For the liberos willing to invest a little more cash, the Mizuno Wave Momentum 2s will be one of the best overall choices or if you can get your hands on them, the Asics Sky Elite FFs are always a fantastic option.

What Do Liberos Need In A Volleyball Shoe?

Liberos are the most unique position on the volleyball court.

They don’t hit the ball which means they don’t jump, which also means they have entirely different requirements when it comes to things like ankle support and impact protection.

There are three key things liberos should look for in a shoe.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness entails everything from how the shoe sticks to the court (traction), how it restricts movement (forefoot flex), and weight.

The last thing you want as a libero is to be wearing a shoe that feels slow and clunky, like you’re wearing a boot.

You want something that conforms to the shape of your foot and allows you to make precise, agile movements.

Sole Thickness

Most liberos also want to feel nice and low to the ground.

Some volleyball shoes have a very thick midsole which gives them great cushioning, but a very high off the ground feel.

What Liberos Don’t Need

Because liberos do no jumping, they don’t need exceptional cushioning or impact protection in their shoes in the same way hitters do.

They also don’t need as much ankle support since they’re not at risk of landing awkwardly from spiking/blocking.

Instead, liberos can trade out these features for lighter, more responsive shoes that also have decent lateral support and containment for sideways shuffling movements.

About the author

As a former international level volleyball player, I now spend my days working out and writing for Volleyball Vault. I look for ways to bring my wealth of experience and knowledge to create unique and insightful perspectives in my content.