There is ridiculously large range of volleyball related equipment out there, and if I’m being completely honest, a lot of it is complete junk…
Over the years I’ve gained plenty of first hand experience using virtually every piece of volleyball training equipment you could imagine.
I’ve found that there is a few key items I get significant use out of, and everything else probably isn’t all that important to have.
In this article I’m going to reveal the best volleyball equipment that real volleyballers actually use on a regular basis.
I’m also going to describe the exact type of player (age, position, skill level, etc) that is an ideal fit for each piece of gear, so if you’re shopping for someone else, you can get them something really practical that they’ll actually use!
Let’s dive right in!
Mikasa Heavyweight Volleyball
The Mikasa heavyweight volleyball is a setter’s best friend. Being 75% heavier than a regular volleyball, it helps players develop strong hands, wrists, and fingers.
Use A Weighted Setter Ball For Developing Specific Strength
This is one of my all time favorite pieces of volleyball equipment, and I’m not even a setter!
A setter ball is identical to a regular volleyball, but almost twice as heavy.
The idea is that you’re able to develop much stronger forearms, hands, wrists, and fingers, so that you’re able to set further and with more accuracy when you switch back to a standard game ball.
Since everyone in volleyball has to set, these are perfect not just for setters but for all players.
They’re great for players of all ages too. Whether you’re a complete beginner or play the game professionally, this is always going to be a great tool for developing setting specific strength.
The Mikasa weighted volleyball is, in my opinion, significantly better than the other options on the market.
Be sure to check out my full article discussing the best weighted volleyballs for more details and a product comparison.
- Volleyballers of all ages and skill levels. This training ball can be used by complete beginners or by elite professionals.
- Setters in particular. If you’re a setter and don’t have a weighted volleyball, you’re missing out!
Aceletiqs Volleyball Rebounder
The Aceletiqs rebounder is one of the larger rebounders on the market with the ideal surface area for use with a volleyball.
Practice Spiking At Home Alone With A Rebounder
The key to becoming a better volleyball player is to get lots of touches.
If you can get more reps in than your competition, your skills are going to develop much quicker.
A volleyball rebounder is the ideal way to practice at home by yourself.
This training aid is ideal for perfecting your arm swing, but also allows you to work on digging and setting.
You’re not always going to have your teammates around to practice with, which is why the rebounder is the perfect option for solo training.
There’s some other decent volleyball rebounders on the market with varying sizes, so if you’d like to shop around a little, make sure you check out my article discussing the best volleyball rebounders of 2022!
- Solo practice. Sometimes you’re simply not going to have access to a training partner. This is where volleyball rebounders are super effective.
- No dead zones. If you hit the edges of some of the cheaper rebounders, you’ll sometimes get a ‘dead’ rebound which interrupts your rally.
- Most weatherproof. These things tend to hold up very well after being left outside in the elements for years.
- Doesn’t fold completely flat. Unlike some other rebounders, this one will fold up but not completely flat so it’ll take up a little more room in storage.
The Edge Pro Spike Trainer With Target Stand
When it comes to volleyball spike training equipment, the Edge Pro is undoubtedly the holy grail.
Perfect Your Spiking Technique Without A Setter!
The main reason spiking is so difficult to learn is because you’re having to get your jump timing just right.
When you completely remove the aspect of timing, you’re able to focus on developing your max jump, hitting posture, arm swing, and follow through.
And there’s no better way to do this than with the Edge Pro.
Being able to master your hitting technique with a stationary volleyball is going to make spiking a moving ball that much easier.
When it comes to volleyball spike training equipment, nothing even comes close to the Edge Pro!
- Stores volleyballs so you don’t have to chase after them! This makes solo training alone at home way more enjoyable and efficient.
- ‘Fake’ volleyball net so you can simulate real court situations. You’ll notice that below the target net is a miniature volleyball net which simulates having an actual volleyball net to hit over. This helps simulate that in-game feel extremely well.
- Comes with top quality setter net. If you changed your mind about becoming a spiker and just wanted to practice setting, this is one of the best tools to use to get setting reps in as it allows you to get feedback regarding your accuracy even while training alone.
- Ideal for training alone. Practicing spiking alone has never really been a great option until this setup came along!
- Not cheap… I’ll just come right out and say it… This training system is expensive. But there’s nothing else on the market quite like it. Definitely worth the price for those who have plenty of cash!
Best For Serving
Ovanto Spike/Serve Solo Trainer
Using an Ovanto spike trainer is one of the best ways for complete beginners to learn how to serve the ball over the net.
Best Volleyball Serving Equipment For Beginners
When you’re brand new to volleyball, simply serving the ball over the net can be really challenging.
It can become extremely frustrating for younger players who, despite their best efforts, never seem to be able to get the ball over the net.
It’s definitely no fun to watch as a parent either.
If your child is struggling to serve the ball over the net, this is an absolute must have piece of equipment.
This tool allows you to get many serving/spiking repetitions in by immediately returning the ball right back to you.
Getting that initial success with serving comes from being able to contact the ball accurately and with force.
Repetition is how we get these players over the line.
I’ve found this to be the single quickest way for newbies to become proficient at serving as they can practice for hours on end with these things.
They’re super cheap and work really well!
- Contacting the ball feels no different to normal. Even with the fabric on the ball, it still feels almost the same as hitting a typical volleyball.
- Super affordable. This is one of the most cost effective spike training aids on the market!
- Includes volleyball setting aid. These things come with a bonus setting aid which helps younger players improve their hand technique.
- Not ideal for top spin tosses. If you wanted to toss the ball up with top spin, as you would for a jump serve for instance, the harness will prevent this. So you simply have to toss it up neutrally/as you would for a float serve.
PowerNet Setter Training Net
Using a setting net is an excellent way to get immediate feedback on the accuracy of your sets, even without anyone to spike the ball.
Improve Your Setting Accuracy With A Target Net
Volleyballers have been using target nets for setting practice since the dawn of time.
These tools are an excellent way to get immediate feedback on how well you’re putting the ball in the desired hitting window, even if you don’t have enough people to actually hit the ball.
This is the best possible way for smaller training squads to get plenty of high quality setting reps while actually simulating the types of sets you’ll be using in-game.
Be sure to check out this article for a full comparison of the different volleyball setting nets.
- Younger, less experienced players. Having the slightly larger target area makes this a really nice option for younger athletes.
- Ball storage. This net has a drawstring mechanism which is a really smart way of storing multiple volleyballs inside the net so you can maximize repetitions when training.
- Anyone balling on a budget! This is the most affordable volleyball setter net on the market!
Not Ideal For
- Carry bag durability. The carry bag is quite poor quality so I definitely wouldn’t expect the bag to last forever!
Mikasa V200W Game Ball
Every volleyballers needs to own a decent volleyball for playing around with at home and with friends. I recommend using the volleyball that you’re most likely to play with in a real game!
Practice With The Ball You’re Going To Play With
Different volleyballs each feel quite different to touch.
For that reason I always recommend training with the same ball you’re likely to play with.
It’ll make your sets that much crisper and your passes that much more accurate.
The Mikasa U200W is the official FIVB game ball and is definitely the most commonly used volleyball in all levels of the game throughout the world.
It feels great to touch and is actually pretty affordable too!
- All volleyball players. Every volleyballer needs a decent volleyball, even if your school/team mostly supplies the game balls. If you ever wanted to play around with your friends or get some extra practice in at home, you’ll need a decent ball.
Not Ideal For
- People playing mostly outdoors. These balls won’t last quite as long outside or on grass courts.
UA Contain Volleyball Backpack
Volleyballers usually have plenty of gear to carry around to training sessions and games. The UA Contain was designed specifically for the needs of volleyball players.
Most Practical Sports Bag Designed For Volleyballers
If you’re looking for a volleyball bag or backpack, the UA Contain is about as good as it gets.
It’s wide/deep enough that you can fit a volleyball inside and still have plenty of room for your other gear too.
There’s a separate shoe compartment which is ideal for keeping stinky/sweaty shoes, socks, and shirts away from everything else in your bag.
They’re also insanely stylish!
Check out this article for a full comparison of each of the best bags and backpacks for volleyball.
- Anyone who brings a volleyball to practice/games. This is by far the best option if you want a backpack that’ll fit a volleyball.
- Any volleyballer who travels light. If you’re the kind of player who only packs the essentials: volleyball, knee pads, ankle braces, towel, spare shirt – then this bag will definitely get the job done.
- Smelly shoes and knee pads! The large, gusseted laundry/shoe pocket at the bottom of the bag is ideal for storing your sweaty volleyball gear after/in between games.
Asics Sky Elite FF Volleyball Shoes
Perhaps the most important volleyball equipment you’ll ever spend money on are shoes. Getting a pair of shoes that fit your specific needs as a volleyballer can make a huge difference in performance on court.
Upgrade Your Kicks To The Top Rated Volleyball Shoe!
I’ve reviewed more volleyball shoes than anyone else on the Internet so trust me when I say I know a thing or two about volleyball shoes!
My current top picks are the Asics Sky Elite FF because of their advanced cushioning/impact protection system as well as incredible all-round performance.
These shoes are ideal for all positions, both men and women, and come in a variety of styles.
Worn by Japan’s superstar high flyer Yuji Nishida, the performance of the Sky Elites is second to none.
If you want to shop around a little more, be sure to read this article to get my full list of volleyball shoe recommendations.
- All volleyball players. Seriously, these are perfect for all positions, both men and women.
- Any volleyballer doing a lot of jumping. With some of the best shock absorption and ankle support, these are ideal for hitters.
- Any volleyballer who prefers a thicker sole. This means you’ll be a bit higher up off the ground, which will make you feel taller!
Not Ideal For
- Some liberos and defensive specialists. For those back court specialists who enjoy feeling lower to the ground, these aren’t for you. Instead, check out my shoe recommendations for liberos.
Active Ankle T2 Brace
Ankle injuries are the most common volleyball related injury and they happen pretty often. Ankle braces are going to go a long way to protecting you from ending your season early!
Help Prevent The Most Common Volleyball Injuries
When I was training full time on the national team program, we were prohibited to participate in training unless we were wearing ankle braces.
These things definitely work and they work especially well for people who have a history of ankle sprains.
The T2 ankle brace from Active Ankle is by far the most popular option, it works really well, and it’s super affordable compared to the competition.
I’ve worn this exact ankle brace for 10+ years and in that time I’ve only had 1 grade 2 ankle injury while wearing them!
Be sure to check out this article for my full breakdown of the best ankle braces for different volleyball positions.
- All volleyball players, especially hitters. These ankle braces are excellent all-rounders and are great for anyone who plays volleyball.
- Anyone with mid/high top volleyball shoes. The T2 braces I’ve found are best for mid/high tops as they conform nicely to your shoes – many of the alternatives are extremely rigid and hard on the bottoms and don’t fit quite as well for this style of shoe.
Not Ideal For
- Liberos. While you definitely can wear these as a libero, and a huge number of liberos do, it’s really not necessary to wear ankle braces at all for this position.
Mizuno LR6 Knee Pads
When it comes to knee pads, some are absolutely awful to wear and others are significantly more comfortable and effective.
Choose The Most Comfortable & Effective Knee Pads
I had tried quite a few different knee pads during my early volleyball career, most of which were terrible.
Some pads would slip off your knees as soon as you hit the court, causing immediate friction burns. Others were too thin or too bulky.
But after a while, I noticed virtually everyone started wearing the same knee pads, so I decided to get myself a pair.
The Mizuno LR6s are unequivocally the best volleyball knee pads as I’m sure most players would agree.
They feel super minimal and are fairly hard on the outsides, meaning they let you slide across the ground very easily.
Some softer knee pads tend to stick to the court on contact, which causes them to slide off.
This one’s a no brainer!
- Players of all ages and skill levels. This is the only knee pad you’ll ever need for volleyball!
Skill Attack Serving Machine
If your team needs to work on serve reception, hitting them with plenty of reps is going to be an ideal way for them to improve their passing.
Get More Reps In When Training With A Serving Machine
Using a serving machine is one of the best ways to get passing reps in, especially if you don’t have a huge squad of players and lots of people to serve.
The Skill Attack serving machine is super portable and remarkably affordable, making it a great option for volleyball programs and teams of all sizes.
This machine is ideal particularly for women’s volleyball programs or for younger teams as it lacks top end speed.
It does produce wicked float serves though and is an excellent serving aid for coaches!
Make sure you check out this article for a full comparison of the best volleyball serving machines.
- Women’s volleyball and younger athletes. Since the max speed for this machine is 40mph, it’s best used for women’s volleyball or with younger athletes.
- Anyone on a budget. At less than half the cost of the next cheapest serving machine, this is the single most affordable volleyball serving machine on the market!
- Portability and footprint. This thing is ultra compact and portable and takes just a couple minutes to set up and pack away. The larger Attack machines really have to be stored in the gym somewhere, whereas the Skill Attack fits perfectly in the trunk of a car.
- Functions well as a setting machine, great for spike practice. This machine works well not just as a serving/passing tool, but also can be set up to produce perfect sets for training spikers.
Not Ideal For
Mizuno Arm Sleeves
Arm sleeves make passing smoother, prevent sweat getting onto your hands, keep your muscles warm, and prevent friction burns from the court.
Play In Comfort & Style With Arm Sleeves
There’s plenty of great reasons to wear arm sleeves as a volleyballer…
Many players find they make contacting the ball when passing much smoother to the point that it increases their ability to pass well.
They also help to keep sweat off your arms.
Most importantly they keep your muscles warm, so you’ll be ready to swing on any volleyball that comes your way.
They also just make you look like you mean business!
The Mizuno arm sleeves are top quality and more affordable than a number of other options.
- All volleyballers. Anyone at any level of the game who likes the look and feel of playing in arm sleeves will love these.
Not Ideal For
- Anyone who doesn’t see the point… Realistically, arm sleeves make a very small difference whether you wear them or not. Personally I see them more as a fashion statement than anything overly practical.
Mizuno MZO Elbow Pads
Elbow pads are an excellent addition for players who love to give maximum effort while diving after volleyballs, but don’t want to be covered in bruises. Perfect for liberos and defensive specialists.
Give Your Best Effort Without Getting Bruised Up!
Let’s get one thing straight… elbow pads are definitely not necessary for volleyball.
Even if you’re a libero they’re not all that common.
But they are really good particularly when learning to dive/roll or if you constantly find yourself with bruised up elbows.
For many players they can increase confidence which allows them to put their best foot forward defensively.
The Mizuno MZO are the best in the business when it comes to volleyball elbow pads.
They’re very minimalistic but offer excellent protection and look super stylish as well!
- Liberos. Anyone doing a ton of digging will benefit the most from elbow pads.
- Anyone just learning how to dive. If you’re spending a lot of time doing diving and/or rolling drills, these can definitely help save you from some bruises.
- Confidence. Knowing it’s really difficult for you to get hurt digging makes you more likely to give your full commitment to every dig!
Not Ideal For
- Anyone who doesn’t see the point… Most volleyballers don’t wear elbow pads and are happy to risk the occasional bruise.
A lot of this gear is a ‘nice to have’ luxury and won’t make a huge difference whether you have it or not.
If you’re mainly concerned about getting the essentials, make sure you’ve got that stuff covered first.
All of the gear on this page is excellent value and I’ve determined that they’re the best items in their category, based on either personal experience, a friend’s experience, or hours of research!