What Do Volleyball Shoes Look Like? 5 Characteristics

Volleyball is a very active, physically challenging game that requires a lot of movements like jumping, landing, and fast lateral movements. To execute these movements efficiently, volleyball players need special shoes that are specifically designed for this sport.

Volleyball shoes have amazing grip, cushioning, and support on the wooden court. They provide us comfort and protection while playing on the court. As a volleyball player, I’ve worn other shoes like basketball, tennis, running, and soccer to play volleyball. In the end, I found volleyball shoes best for optimal performance and safety.

These are 5 unique characteristics of volleyball shoes:

  • Gum rubber outsole
  • Cushioned midsole
  • Lateral support
  • Lightweight design
  • Breathable upper

What Do Volleyball Shoes Look Like?

Volleyball is such a popular sport, known for all those quick sideways and upward moves that can really put a lot of strain on your feet. That’s why having the right shoes is a big deal – they’ve got to give you the support, cushioning, and comfort you need to shine on the court. And that’s where volleyball shoes come in!

They’re specially designed to fulfill the unique demands of the game. These shoes have a gum rubber outsole that provides optimal grip on hard-surface courts. The cushioned midsole absorbs the shock of jumps and offers comfort during extended matches.

Having proper lateral support is vital for staying balanced and minimizing the chances of ankle injuries. Volleyball shoes are constructed to be lightweight, enabling players to navigate the court swiftly. The breathable upper ensures your feet stay comfortable and dry while you’re in the game.

5 Unique Physical Characteristics of Volleyball Shoes

What do volleyball shoes look like
What do volleyball shoes look like? 5 Unique Characteristics

The following physical characteristics fulfill the requirements of a volleyball player very well. After these 5 you’ll get some extra chacteristics of volleyball shoes, which will inform you more about “what do volleyball shoes look like?

  • Gum rubber outsole: Volleyball shoes typically have a gum rubber outsole. This feature offers superb traction on indoor courts, a crucial factor for players to execute rapid changes of direction and come to quick stops.Gum rubber outsoles are also relatively durable, which is important for a sport like volleyball, where players are constantly moving and jumping.
  • Cushioned midsole: Volleyball shoes also have a cushioned midsole, which absorbs the impact of landings and helps to prevent injuries. The midsole is generally constructed of a foam material, such as EVA or Gel. Some volleyball shoes also have additional cushioning features, such as heel pods or air bladders, to provide even more protection for the feet.
  • Lateral support: Volleyball players often make quick lateral movements, such as shuffling and cutting. To support these necessary movements, volleyball shoes have built-in lateral support. This support is typically provided by a combination of features, such as a wide base, a supportive upper, and a torsion bar in the midsole.
  • Lightweight design: Volleyball shoes are also designed to be lightweight so that players can move quickly and easily around the court. The weight of a volleyball shoe can alter depending on the brand and model, but most volleyball shoes weigh between 8 and 12 ounces.
  • Breathable Upper: Volleyball players work up a good sweat on the court, so having shoes with a breathable upper is a game-changer. It allows all that sweat to escape, keeping your feet nice and cool, and, most importantly, dry. These volleyball shoe uppers are usually made of lightweight, breathable mesh material, so you can stay comfortable and focused during your game.

In addition to these key physical characteristics, volleyball shoes may also have other features, such as:

  • Toe guards: Toe guards help to save the toes from any injury.
  • Heel counters: Heel counters provide stability and support for the heel.
  • Lace-up or strap closures: Lace-up and strap closures provide a secure fit for the shoe.
  • Removable insoles: Removable insoles can be customized to fit the specific needs of the player’s feet.

5 Key Features of Volleyball Shoes That are Different from Other Shoes

The key features that differentiate volleyball shoes from other shoes include traction, cushioning, weight, durability, and lateral stability.

  1. Traction is necessary for quick starts, stops, digs, and passes. Volleyball shoes have a gum rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on hard-surface courts. The outsole is designed to be sticky, which helps to prevent slipping during play.
  2. Cushioning helps absorb impact during jumps and reduces pain and fatigue during long matches. Volleyball shoes have a cushioned midsole that provides excellent shock absorption.
  3. Weight is crucial for quick movements around the court. Volleyball shoes are designed to be lightweight, which allows players to move around the court quickly without feeling weighed down.
  4. Durability ensures that the shoes can fulfill the requirments of the sport without losing support around the ankles or traction on the soles. Volleyball shoes are made of high-quality materials that are designed to last.
  5. Lateral stability is essential for maintaining balance and reducing the risk of ankle injuries.

Pros and Cons

Volleyball Shoes


  • Provide excellent traction on hard-surface courts
  • Offer cushioning for impact absorption
  • The lightweight design allows for quick movements
  • Provide lateral support for maintaining balance
  • Breathable upper keeps feet cool and dry


  • Can be expensive
  • It may not be suitable for other sports

Badminton Shoes

These are the possible pros and cons if you play volleyball by wearing badminton shoes instead of volleyball shoes.


  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Good Traction
  • Good Stability


  • Don’t provide enough cushioning
  • Don’t provide enough ankle support
  • High risk of injuries
  • Decrease performance

Basketball Shoes

These are the possible pros and cons if you play volleyball by wearing basketball shoes instead of volleyball shoes.


  • Give better traction on slippery court
  • Provide more cushioning
  • More Supportive
  • More durable than volleyball shoes


  • Heavier
  • Stiffer
  • Low flexible

How to Choose Volleyball Shoes?

Picking the right volleyball shoes is vital for any player to perform best on the court. Volleyball shoes are designed to fulfill the unique demands of the sport, which involves a lot of lateral and vertical movements that are not found in other sports like tennis or running.

Follow this buying guide to purchase a new pair.

  • Consider Your Playing Style and Position:  When choosing volleyball shoes, consider your playing style and position. If you’re a defensive player, you’ll need shoes that provide excellent lateral support to help you change directions quickly. If you’re an offensive player, you’ll need shoes that offer good cushioning to absorb impact during jumps.
  • Determining Your Foot Type: Your foot type can also influence your choice of volleyball shoes. If you’ve flat feet, look for shoes that offer good arch support. If you’ve high arches, look for shoes that provide extra cushioning.
  • Qualities: Choose shoes that have qualities like cushioning, durability, lateral support, breathable upper, weight, and good traction.
  • Try on Different Brands and Models: When choosing volleyball shoes, try on different brands and models to get the right fit. Look for shoes that offer excellent traction, cushioning, lateral stability, durability, and breathability.
  • Budget: Buy a pair according to your budget.

Popular Volleyball Shoe Brands

  • ASICS: Known for their GEL technology that provides excellent cushioning.
  • Mizuno: Renowned for its Wave technology, which effectively distributes energy of impact.
  • Adidas: Known for their Bounce technology that provides responsive cushioning.
  • Nike: Known for their Flywire technology that provides lightweight support.
  • Under Armour: Known for their Charged Cushioning technology that absorbs impact.

People Also Ask

Volleyball shoes are typically lightweight, have a flexible upper, and have a durable outsole. They may also have features specifically designed for the sport, such as lateral support, cushioning, and traction.

Volleyball shoes are lighter, more flexible, and have better traction than other athletic shoes. They may also have additional support features for lateral movements and jumping. These features make it different from others.

No, it’s not recommended to wear other shoes for volleyball. It’s best if you wear shoes specifically designed for volleyball, as they offer better traction, cushioning, lateral stability, durability, and breathability.

Final Words

In the conclusion of “what do volleyball shoes look like?”. Volleyball shoes are an essential piece of equipment for any serious and international player. They’re designed to provide excellent traction, cushioning, lateral stability, durability, and breathability. When choosing volleyball shoes, consider your playing style and position, foot type, budget, and other factors like weight, durability, breathability, traction, cushioning, and lateral stability.

I hope you’re satisfied with this article on “why do volleyball shoes look like?“.

What are your favorite volleyball shoes? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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