As a former international level indoor volleyball player, I have personally tested an ungodly amount of volleyball shoes over the years.
In addition to my first hand experience with a number of these shoes, I’ve just spent two entire days researching the ins and outs of the current volleyball shoe market.
I must have looked at 15-20 shoes total and I’ve narrowed it down to the top 8, so you don’t have to waste time reading about the “28 best volleyball shoes” only to be no closer to the answer!
Myself as well as head product tester Caity Meale are also currently in the process of conducting detailed testing and performance reviews of each product listed in this article.
I suggest skimming through the descriptions of each shoe and picking the one which best suits your individual needs as a volleyballer.
If you’re having a tough time deciding, at the end of the article I’ve included a list of the most important things to look for.
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Asics Sky Elite FF
This is quite simply the best volleyball shoe we’ve seen hit the market in recent years. They stick to the floor like glue, have a super fluid heel-toe transition, strong support, and excellent shock absorption.
Best Overall Volleyball Shoes
With most volleyball shoes there’s usually something that could be improved or tweaked to make them better.
But there are literally no flaws with this shoe.
This shoe is often described as a hybrid between a volleyball shoe and a basketball shoe.
If you know me, you’ll know I think the best volleyball shoes are basketball shoes, so you know I liked the sound of that!
As far as traction goes, there is no better volleyball shoe. These are super sticky on the ground, which is great for all volleyball positions, but especially good for defensive specialists.
Having said that, the only possible drawback of this shoe is that it has quite a thick sole, meaning it’s quite high up off the floor.
For some back court players who like to feel closer to the floor, this might not be a perfect match after all…
For most attackers, however, this is only going to make you feel more dominant at the net, so I see it as a positive.
It’s the perfect shoe for jumping in because of that thick, soft sole which gives plenty of cushioning when landing.
You can jump all day in these without your knees turning to dust!
The heel-toe transition feels perfect and you definitely get a really springy bounce from these shoes when jumping.
They’re ridiculously comfortable also.
Ankle support feels very secure and it’s super locked down inside.
Historically, Asics haven’t been known for making super stylish shoes, but these red Tokyo Sky Elites are super aesthetic looking.
Everyone in the gym will know you you’re a serious baller when you whip these out of your volleyball bag!
These shoes are wide feet approved!
Can I end this article right here? Honestly, I would need a very good reason to buy any other volleyball shoe right now…
This shoe works great for virtually every position on court, although the midsole might be slightly too thick for some liberos who prefer a lower to the ground feel. If that’s you, check out my article discussing the best volleyball shoes for liberos instead.
One of the most advanced cushioning setups of any volleyball shoe midsole ever!
Ideal for volleyballers doing a lot of jumping and landing (i.e. spikers).
The mid top design offers exceptional ankle support and tends to fit better overall than the low tops.
On the slightly more expensive side.
Mizuno Wave Momentum 2
With top of the line bounce and shock absorption, the Wave Momentum 2 is one of the lightest and springiest volleyball shoes around. This is any hitter’s dream shoe but also has incredible traction and lateral support meaning it’s perfect for any position on court!
Best Overall Volleyball Shoes – Runner Up
Together with the Asics Sky Elite FF, these two shoes are so far ahead of the competition that they may as well be in a league of their own…
The first thing you notice about the Momentum 2, is that it’s lighter than a feather.
This is awesome if you subscribe to the notion that lightweight shoes help you jump higher!
This is another premium volleyball shoe with a premium price tag, but it’s well worth it for any athlete who takes the game of volleyball seriously.
My favorite thing about this volleyball shoe is the extra bounce it gives when jumping, making it perfect for anyone playing in the front court.
One of my biggest concerns with volleyball shoes is lack of shock absorption which, if you’re doing lots of jumping, can be really rough on your joints.
The Wave Momentum 2 are not as good as the original Momentums on this front. They basically traded shock absorption for extra bounciness.
They also have a fairly high mid top design meaning more ankle support when landing around the net.
They’re also perfect for wide feet!
The Wave Momentum 2s are excellent for anyone who wants an extremely lightweight, super bouncy shoe that’ll make you feel like you’re jumping out of the gym!
Ultra lightweight and super bouncy.
Fantastic traction and responsiveness.
Mid top design adds increased ankle support.
Cushioning/shock absorption isn’t as good as the original Wave Momentums.
Definitely on the more expensive side.
Nike Hyperace 2
As far as Nike volleyball shoes go, it’s a close one between the Hyperaces and Hypersets. I’ve ranked the Hyperaces higher because they’re fantastic so far as comfort and ankle support goes, and they’re way more likely to be in stock.
Best Volleyball Shoes For Ankle Support
The Hyperace 2s sport quite the minimalistic design, but trust me when I say these shoes went big on ankle support.
They have extensive padding around the ankle making them extremely comfortable but also locking the heel down for excellent support in lateral movements.
Traction is excellent and they take zero time to break in!
However the shoe is quite high off the ground because of the fairly thick sole, which makes them better for front court players as opposed to defenders.
The weight is on the heavier side and they’re not the most responsive shoe in the world, so this is another reason not to choose these shoes if you’re a libero.
However if you’re a hitter who places a premium on ankle support and durability, these are a great option.
Wide feet approved!
Great option for anyone who has dodgy ankles and/or highly values comfort.
Extremely affordable retailing at around the $100 mark.
Super responsive and lightweight. These shoes make you feel extremely connected to the court.
Pretty average cushioning system, so not ideal for anyone doing a large amount of spiking.
Best Budget Shoe
Adidas Dame 7
As we all know, basketball shoes are the new volleyball shoes, and the way I see it, the Dame 7s are the best for all high-flyers who want to protect their joints with top of the line shock absorption.
Best Budget Volleyball Shoes
The Dame 7s are my personal favorite volleyball shoe… err basketball shoe… for volleyball.
I’m a middle blocker/opposite who plays a lot and does a lot of jumping. For me, shock absorption is key as I want to protect my knee joints from overuse injuries like jumper’s knee.
The Dame 7s are widely regarded as having the best budget midsole of any basketball shoe – meaning the most shock absorption for you buck!
So far as impact protection goes, they’re the best shoe on this list.
They also have great durability and bite on outdoor courts.
The craziest thing about this shoe is that it’s on the heavier side, yet feels incredibly light and springy to wear.
The heel is very high up off the ground, making them a poor choice for liberos and defenders.
They are a little clunky and boot-like, which some players might not prefer.
The Dame 7s also come in a variety of unisex designs for women who don’t like the idea of wearing a men’s basketball shoe!
These are also considerably cheaper than every other shoe in this list, so they’re a great budget option and really excellent value for money.
Extremely good for wide feet! These are the widest shoes I’ve ever worn, so definitely not a great choice if you have narrow feet!
Great option for any spikers who don’t want to spend a ton of cash on pricier volleyball shoes.
Excellent shock absorption.
Mid top design offers great ankle support.
Excellent traction compared to the Dame 8s.
Easily the most affordable volleyball shoes under $100!
Slightly bulky and boot-like, perhaps not a great fit for setters and liberos.
Nike React Hyperset
The Nike Hypersets are being worn by professional volleyball players all over the world and not just because they’re incredibly stylish, but because they perform exceptionally well.
Nike React Hyperset Volleyball Shoes
So far as traction goes, the Hypersets are simply incredible. They also function remarkably well on outdoor courts and the rubber tread is far more durable than you’d expect!
A super smooth heel-toe transition with plenty of flexibility in the forefoot makes these excellent for jumping as well as quick changes of direction.
These shoes are reasonably low to the ground and have a very responsive cushioning setup making them a popular choice amongst back court specialists.
They’re also a great option for setters.
You won’t get a ton of extra bounce or incredible impact protection from these shoes, but they certainly hold their own in this regard.
Unfortunately these shoes have been discontinued by Nike, which means availability is extremely low and this has caused prices to soar.
Nike’s best ever volleyball shoe is perfect for all volleyball positions… However they are the most expensive volleyball shoe on the current market.
Excellent traction and responsiveness.
Perform really well on outdoor courts and are remarkably durable.
Extremely expensive and stocks are very limited.
Not the best for people with wide feet.
Great Budget Option
Nike Giannis Immortality
The Giannis Immortality is what I like to refer to as a brilliant back court budget shoe. It’s the lightest shoe on this list and performs really well for liberos and setters who like extreme responsiveness.
Best Back Court Budget Volleyball Shoes
This shoe may as well share the title of ‘best budget shoe’ with the Dame 7s, but it’s an extremely different shoe.
The Giannis Immortality is known for being ultra lightweight. It’s by far the lightest shoe on this list.
What this means is extreme responsiveness making this particularly good for liberos who like to feel low to the ground and need to make lots of micro adjustments when passing.
The cushioning system in this shoe is pretty average unfortunately, making it not the best idea for front court players doing tons of jumping.
Having said that, setters who play mostly from the back court will also find this shoe exceptional as they’re going to prefer being lighter on their feet and require less impact protection.
These retail for considerably less than $100 making them a really affordable option!
These shoes fit a little on the snug side, so if you’ve got wide feet, consider going up half a size.
This is a great, budget shoe for setters and liberos who like a super responsive, low to the ground feeling shoe.
Extremely affordable retailing at around the $100 mark.
Super responsive and lightweight. These shoes make you feel extremely connected to the court.
Pretty average cushioning system, so not ideal for anyone doing a large amount of spiking.
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.
Best Basketball Shoe
Nike Lebron 18s
The Lebron 18s have arguably the most technologically advanced midsole of any sneaker ever. This gives them unparalleled bounce with the best impact protection possible, making these ideal for high powered athletes doing a lot of jumping.
Best Basketball Shoe For Volleyball
Okay, I’ll level with you.
There’s about 3-4 different basketball shoes that I couldn’t decide between for the top spot.
But today I’ve chosen to shine the light on the Lebron 18s because they have one of the craziest midsoles we’ve ever seen in a shoe…
Seriously, it feels like you’re wearing alien technology when you put these bad boys on!
I don’t think there’s another shoe on this planet that feels better to jump in.
The comfort is unparalleled and the cushioning system is absolutely ridiculous, giving you a ton of extra spring when jumping.
This makes them perfect for middle blockers who do a bunch of toe jumping when blocking opposing middles.
If you’re a spiker and do plenty of jumping (I’m looking at you middles and opposites), these will protect your joints better than anything on the market.
Absolutely perfect for those multiple game, long day tournaments.
These are a premium shoe and cost a pretty penny, but it’s an investment I’d be willing to make over and over!
They work great for wide feet!
Great option for middle blockers and opposite hitters who want maximum spring and shock absorption as well as good ankle support around the net.
Most ridiculously bouncy shoes to jump in, awesome for spiking and blocking!
Fantastic shock absorption and ankle support.
This is one of the most expensive shoes on this list!
Li-Ning All City 9/10
This list wouldn’t be complete without another pair of shoes for the setters and outside hitters out there. The Li-Ning All Citys are perfect for these positions and might just be the prettiest shoes I’ve ever seen!
Great Volleyball Shoes For Setters & Outside Hitters
The setter position is one which requires a unique blend of responsiveness, lateral support, and cushioning/impact protection.
You’ll also probably want to feel lower to the ground as a setter, which rules out a bunch of my earlier recommendations.
Outside hitters have pretty much the exact same requirements the way I see it, and the Li-Ning All City 9s or 10s check all of these boxes.
They’re nice and low, extremely responsive with incredible traction, and also have a really solid cushioning system, making them great for passing, hitting, and all of the movements setters perform, front court and back court.
These shoes also have a reputation for being some of the most comfortable shoes on the market – they even look like you’re walking on clouds when wearing them!
The All City 9s are very similar to the All City 10s, so go for whichever tickles your fancy. They have some amazingly vibrant unisex colorways which makes these great for both men and women.
These shoes have the wide feet check of approval!
Another fantastic highly responsive option for both setters and passer hitters.
Cushioning setup is on the better side: bounce and impact protection is on point.
Fantastic option for wide feet!
Great choice for anyone who prefers a lower to the ground shoe.
Absurdly stylish with tons of cool colorways!
Could be a little cheaper…
Note: Li-Ning’s official store is on Amazon, however you can find other retailers with a simple Google search. Stock and colorways may be extremely limited outside of the Amazon store.
Having worn a few of these shoes, I personally think the Asics Sky Elite FF is so far out ahead of the pack in terms of being the full package. For me, it’s the perfect volleyball shoe.
At the end of the day, every one of these shoes are on the list because they are exceptional in their own right, so it really doesn’t matter which one you pick.
If you can’t decide, just pick the one you think looks the coolest!
Or keep reading to learn more about what things you need to be aware of when buying volleyball shoes…
What To Look For In A Volleyball Shoe?
Volleyball shoes vary a lot in design because of the unique needs of the various different volleyball positions.
What a middle blocker does during a volleyball match is extremely different to what the libero does, and their shoes should reflect this.
I’ve written a more detailed break down of the best shoes for hitters in a separate article, so if you’re spiking the ball a lot, be sure to check that out.
I’ll briefly run though the design aspects I looked at to help me decide which of the above volleyball shoes were worth recommending.
Any sport where jumping and lateral movement is involved requires a fairly hefty amount of ankle support.
Volleyball is definitely one of those sports and in my opinion, the more ankle support the better!
Some defensive specialists, particularly ones with exceptional body control, will need less ankle support and can instead opt for a lighter weight, more flexible shoe to increase their court agility.
Volleyballers doing a lot of spiking and blocking need to prioritize ankle support.
I believe this is the most important factor to consider for volleyballers who do a lot of jumping (outside hitters, middle blockers, and opposites).
Every time you jump, or land from a jump, your joints take a hit.
If your shoes absorb force poorly, that pressure will slowly wear your knees down until you’re left with a chronic overuse injury like tendonitis.
This is one of the main reasons I often recommend basketball shoes for volleyballers, because they’re designed with these landing forces in mind.
As a middle blocker myself, this is why my favorite shoe is the Adidas Dame 7.
Traction & Grip
Half of the issue when it comes to traction is how well maintained the court is.
If the court you’re playing on is regularly cleaned and not dusty, chances are most shoes will do a decent job in the grip department.
Old shoes with worn tread are clearly going to be a problem on any court, which is why it’s important to replace old and worn out kicks.
Most courts will be somewhat dusty though, so having shoes with decent traction will always be beneficial.
The Asics Sky Elite FF shoes are the best of the above 5 so far as traction goes.
If you’re primarily playing on an outdoor court, the Hypersets or Dame 7s or are by far the best choice however.
It’s difficult to quantify exactly how important having a lightweight shoe is.
Certainly it’s not ideal to have great big bulky shoes, but nowadays most shoes are fairly similar in terms of weight.
The Mizuno Wave Momentum 2s are easily the lightest shoe on my list and are considerably lighter than most of the others.
Perhaps more important than weight is how mobile, flexible, and agile the shoe allows you to be on court.
The Mizunos along with the Hypersets allow for extremely quick and precise movements, much to the libero’s delight.
There’s definitely something to be said for how confident a shoe can make you feel on court.
If I’m wearing a crisp new pair of all white Hyperaces, I’m going to feel a lot more powerful and explosive on court than I would if I was wearing an old pair of worn out trainers…
Your kicks say a lot about you as a volleyballer.
If you show up to the court in some Sky Elite FFs, we know you mean business!
Whichever shoe you get, make sure you like the way it looks as well as the way it feels.
It’ll make you play better.
Best Place To Buy Volleyball Shoes?
In an ideal world, the best place to get volleyball shoes would be a brick and mortar sports store where you can try the shoes on before purchasing.
Ensuring you’ve got the right fit is pretty important.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty rare to find volleyball shoes in sports stores these days, which is why most people turn to the internet to buy their shoes.
After writing over 50 articles on volleyball shoes, I’ve learned which sites work best and offer the biggest range at the most affordable prices.
My first preference is usually Amazon for a couple of reasons.
- Huge range of shoes from each of the major manufacturers.
- Frequent discounts.
- Competitive range of sizes.
- Plenty of information regarding whether the shoe runs big or small and what size is best to get.
- Super quick and easy checkout and fast shipping so you can be playing in your new shoes sooner!
For those reasons, I tend to mostly link to Amazon in my articles.
I’ve also found that Amazon will often have a wider range of sizes as well as shoes that have been discontinued by the manufacture.
The next best place to get shoes has to be direct from the brand’s site. Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, Asics, etc – usually all sell shoes via their online shops so this is a great place to go if you couldn’t find what you wanted on Amazon.
What Are The Best Volleyball Shoe Brands?
While some other companies like Under Armour do make a couple volleyball shoes, there are really only 4 major volleyball shoe brands.
The 4 best volleyball shoe brands are Asics, Mizuno, Nike, and Adidas.
Many moons ago, Mizuno and Asics were the top dogs when it came to volleyball shoes. This was mainly because these were the only brands making volleyball-specific shoes.
These two companies have been known more for their basketball shoes, but luckily most basketball shoes double as pretty decent volleyball shoes.
While Nike is now marketing shoes as specifically designed for volleyball, Adidas tends to market more to the general court sport (handball/squash/badminton) market.
What Are The Most Popular Volleyball Shoes?
Not too long ago, if you were to look around most volleyball courts, you’d probably see a lot of Mizunos and Asics being worn.
These two brands have been the most popular for a long time now, however Nike is definitely eating into their market share.
In recent times, a lot of the top pros in the world have been seen wearing the Nike React Hypersets as depicted below.
Looks like a couple Mizunos in there but the Nikes are certainly becoming very trendy today!
What Are The Most Comfortable Volleyball Shoes?
Having worn the Asics Sky Elite FF shoes, I would submit these as the most comfortable volleyball shoe because of how well she shoe locks the heel down.
Of my list, the Nike Hyperaces are also said to be extremely comfortable because of the very thick padding around the ankle, yet highly flexible upper.
Having worn the Dame 7s I can also say they feel incredible, especially for someone with such wide feet.
How Should Volleyball Shoes Fit?
Volleyball shoes should fit snug around your foot, without too much looseness around the heel.
They shouldn’t be too tight around the sides of your feet, which can cause discomfort after long games.
I’ve included information about which shoes fit well for people with wide feet in each of the above write-ups.
But if your heart’s set on the look of a certain shoe that isn’t ideal for wide feet, I’d suggest buying half a size higher than normal.
In a perfect world, we’d be able to try before we buy, but that’s simply not an option for a few of these shoes.
Do Volleyball Shoes Run Small Or Big?
The vast majority of volleyball shoes run true to size, however Adidas has been known to make a shoe on the smaller side, so consider going up half a size with Adidas.
Are Volleyball Shoes Supposed To Be Tight?
When you’re playing a sport like volleyball which requires a lot of jumping and rapid changes of direction, it’s best to get shoes that fit fairly snug and can be laced up quite tight.
Obviously you don’t want the shoe to be too tight and so I highly recommend taking heed of my wide feet warnings!
Ideally you’d like the heel to be locked down nice and secure so there’s minimal movement during these explosive movements.
Volleyball Shoe FAQ
If you take good care of your volleyball shoes, they should last a number of years.
It’ll depend quite a bit on whether you’re using them on indoor courts exclusively and whether you take them off after playing or walk them out to the carpark.
Even if you’re playing volleyball multiple times a week, you should get at least a year or two out of them before they might need replacing.
Yuji Nishida wears the Asics Sky Elite FF Tokyo edition.
Nishida is one of only two volleyball athletes sponsored by Asics.
Volleyball shoes are definitely not ideal for lifting weights in.
Many volleyball shoes have quite a thick, soft sole which makes lifts like squats and deadlifts a very bad idea.
The Adidas Stabil Next Gen volleyball shoes are low enough to the ground that they’d probably be fine to lift in.
Although still not recommended, if you’re just doing general fitness workouts in the gym, most volleyball shoes will probably be fine.
Indoor soccer shoes are not suitable for volleyball and will probably be quite uncomfortable to play in.
Indoor soccer shoes aren’t designed for jumping.
They have a flat sole with a poor heel-toe transition, making jumping inefficient and landing even worse due to the minimal shock absorption.
Squash shoes are similar to volleyball shoes and most people will happily wear them interchangeably.
If you’re a front court volleyballer doing a lot of hitting, I’d avoid most of the court shoes marketed towards squash or badminton as you’d be better off going for something closer to a basketball shoe.
Impact protection is extremely important in volleyball shoes and a lot of the squash shoes have quite thin soles which will put stress on your joints after a considerable amount of jumping.
Volleyball shoes are indeed non-slip and most of them have exceptionally good traction patterns for both indoor and outdoor courts.
Volleyball shoes are certainly worthwhile if you’re regularly playing volleyball.
Due to the nature of the sport, unless you have basketball shoes or certain generic court shoes, you’ll benefit greatly by having some shoes designed specifically for the volleyball court.
Most cross trainers will be fine for beginners to wear but they’ll notice significant performance benefits by investing in some volleyball shoes.
Youth volleyball shoes are no different to adult volleyball shoes.
Any of the recommendations I’ve made here today will be suitable for volleyball players of any age.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Personally I prefer the look of Adidas shoes but I also think the Li-Ning All City line looks amazing as well as the Nike Hypersets.