Are Running Shoes Good for Volleyball? 7 Differences

Do you not have enough money to buy a new pair and wanna utilize old shoes for other purposes? Take it easy; here you’ll get the experienced answer: “Can running shoes be good for volleyball?“.

So, are running shoes good for volleyball? Through thick and thin, it’s not ideal to play on a volleyball court. It doesn’t provide enough cushioning, traction and ankle support on the shiny wooden court.

Volleyball players need support and traction for lateral movements. They need cushioning for jumping and landing to prevent strain on their feet. These facilities of volleyball shoes save them from injury and stress while playing. 

Are Running Shoes Good For Volleyball? 3 Reasons

Running shoes, as a professional, are not good for playing volleyball. Professional players need cushioning for jumping, grip on wooden courts and support for instant movements. Running shoes lack these abilities, which volleyball shoes provide.

Are Running Shoes Good for Volleyball
Are Running Shoes Good for Volleyball?

You can wear them in some conditions, such as recreational play or as a beginner. If you’re a beginner and don’t want to buy professional volleyball shoes for some reason, you can utilize the best affordable volleyball shoes.

3 Reasons Why Running Shoes are Not Suitable for Volleyball

  • Running shoes don’t provide enough traction on wooden courts, which will lead to slip and fall.
  • Volleyball players need lateral movement to block or hit the ball, but running shoes don’t provide enough lateral support to prevent your ankles from rolling.
  • Jumping and landing have huge impacts on joints, and running shoes don’t provide cushioning to save your joints and foot from landing’s impact.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Running Shoes for Volleyball Play

These are the Pros and Cons if you’re wearing running shoes instead of volleyball shoes to play volleyball.


  • More flexible
  • More lightweight
  • More Affordable


  • Less cushioning
  • Less ankle support
  • Less grip on the court
  • May cause any injury
  • May slip and fall

7+ Key Differences Between Volleyball Shoes and Running Shoes

Running shoes and volleyball shoes, lightweight and breathable, are designed as per the need of sports. So, here’re the main differences between them. 

1- Lateral Support

Volleyball shoes provide more lateral support than running shoes because running shoes are prepared for onward movement, not lateral motions. 

2- Traction

Running shoes don’t provide traction on the volleyball court because their out-soles are made of carbon rubber.

3- Cushioning

Volleyball shoes offer more cushioning than running shoes. If you play volleyball wearing running shoes after some jumps, you’ll feel an ache in your joints.

4- Stability

Volleyball shoes have more stability than running shoes on indoor wooden courts.

5- Materials

MaterialsVolleyball ShoesRunning Shoes
UpperSynthetic materials (mesh, synthetic leather)Synthetic materials (mesh, synthetic leather)
Breathable to allow air circulationBreathable to allow air circulation
Reinforced areas for durability and supportFlexibility for natural foot movement
MidsoleEVA foam, gel, or air cushioningEVA foam, gel, or air cushioning
Forefoot cushioning for jumping/landingHeel-to-toe cushioning for impact absorption
OutsoleGum rubber or non-marking rubberDurable rubber or carbon rubber
Tread patterns for indoor court tractionTread patterns for outdoor running surfaces
Material difference between volleyball shoes and running shoes

6- Outsole

Outsoles of volleyball shoes, made of gum rubber, provide more grip on indoor volleyball courts. While outsoles of running shoes, made of carbon, don’t provide grip on indoor wooden courts.

7- Flexibility

Running shoes are more flexible than volleyball shoes because running requires a greater range of motion in the foot and ankle compared to the lateral movements and quick direction changes involved in volleyball.

8- Breathability

Both are designed to provide ventilation and breathability to enhance comfort and performance during running and play.

Impact on Performance While Wearing Running Instead of Volleyball Shoes

These are the impacts on performance while wearing running shoes instead of volleyball shoes on the volleyball court to play volleyball.

  • Running shoes are mainly designed for onward motion, not for sidewards movements. So, they decrease agility on the wooden court.
  • They don’t offer optimal traction on smooth indoor volleyball wooden courts, which can lead to slip and fall.
  • Ankle sprains.
  • Knee injuries.

Wearing running shoes has a huge impact on your professional performance. And you see that pro players don’t wear running shoes in professional matches and even practices.

How To Choose Footwear for Volleyball?

Picking the right pair of shoes may increase your performance and confidence in matches. So, choosing the right footwear for volleyball for professional games is necessary. 

Your shoes must have these qualities;

  • Strong grip
  • Shock absorption
  • Ankle support
  • Stability
  • Lightweight.

Can Running Shoes Be Used for Volleyball?

No, running shoes can’t be used for volleyball and vice versa (running by wearing volleyball shoes ). I can’t use my running shoes for professional or even practice matches. Running shoes as designed for only running as per the need of a marathon. Running shoes don’t provide the necessary facilities which are vital on volleyball courts.
You can use them if you play volleyball occasionally as a recreation with friends and family. But your performance will be average or below due to incorrect footwear.


No, running and volleyball shoes are not the same; they have many differences. Running shoes don’t provide the required cushioning, lateral support, breathability, traction and grip on polished wooden volleyball shoes. 

It’s not ideal to wear any shoes to play volleyball. Other shoes are not designed per the needs of volleyball players. Volleyball shoes are designed to provide cushioning, lateral movements, breathability, traction, strong grip, heel-toe transition and ankle support. 

Appropriate footwear is highly important in every sport. It significantly impacts the performance of players. It lessens the chance of injury and enhances performance. Wearing appropriate shoes, you’ll feel comfortable and confident.

No, running shoes are not used for playing volleyball on polished wooden courts. Volleyball shoes provide necessary cushioning, strong grip, and lateral support and are lightweight to players. These qualities are not provided by running shoes.

Final Words

Can I use running shoes for volleyball? It’s a very common question for every beginner or sport-switching player. Therefore the answer is straightforward. No, you can’t use them for volleyball. Running shoes are not designed for volleyball players. They’re designed for runners with more flexibility and grip on outdoor surfaces. 

So, If you’ve your old running shoes, you can utilize them as a beginner. To become a professional, you must buy a new pair. If you’ve a very low budget, you can purchase very affordable/budgeted volleyball shoes.

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