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What Shoes Are Good for Volleyball: A Guide to Finding the Right Pair

If you're an avid volleyball player, you know how important it is to have the right equipment. And when it comes to footwear, having the best volleyball shoes can make all the difference in your performance. That's why we've put together a list of the top volleyball shoes available right now, which we'll keep updated as we review new and better options.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, having the right shoes can help you move faster, jump higher, and stay comfortable during long games or practices. With our comprehensive guide, you'll be able to find the perfect pair of volleyball shoes to help you dominate on the court.

What Type of Shoe is Best for Volleyball?

When it comes to playing volleyball, having the right shoes is crucial. The best volleyball shoes should provide you with excellent traction, cushioning, stability, support, lockdown, and heel-toe transition. These features will help you move around the court with ease, jump at full speed, and protect your feet and joints from injury. While no shoe is perfect, the ones listed in this article are some of the best on the market. Consider investing in a pair of these shoes to take your game to the next level.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 1st Place

When it comes to finding the best volleyball shoes, the Puma All-Pro Nitro takes the top spot. This shoe is the successor to the Clyde All-Pro and has an even better feel at a lower price point. With its high-performance features, it edges out the Nike Lebron 20 on this list.

One of the standout features of the All-Pro Nitro is its excellent traction, which is crucial for any volleyball player. The shoe's upper is comfortable and provides good lockdown, while the denser foam around the outside adds stability without making the shoe feel too rigid. The outsole also wraps around the base of the shoe, which has a bit of an outrigger, ensuring that you have the traction, lockdown, and stability needed to play safely and effectively.

The Nitro foam in the midsole of the shoe is softer underfoot than around the edge of the shoe, providing excellent step-in comfort and impact protection. Even after long tournaments, players won't experience any discomfort or issues with impact protection. The foam also feels springy and responsive when jumping, allowing players to jump just as high as they would with shoes featuring Zoom Air.

Another great feature of the All-Pro Nitro is its smooth heel-toe transition, making it a great shoe to jump in. The shoe's midsole foam setup and excellent impact protection make it an ideal choice for volleyball players who want a shoe that is both comfortable and high-performing.

The only real downside to the All-Pro Nitro is that it may not be the best choice for players who prefer shoes that feel super low to the ground. However, this is a preference-based issue and is not a significant concern for most players.

Overall, the Puma All-Pro Nitro is an excellent choice for volleyball players looking for a shoe that performs well and is reasonably priced. It has all the necessary features for playing safely and effectively, while also providing excellent comfort and performance. If you haven't tried a Puma shoe in the last few years, the All-Pro Nitro is an excellent place to start.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 2nd Place

If you're looking for a top-tier volleyball shoe that offers incredible cushioning and traction, the Nike Lebron 21 is a premier option that manages to overtake sneakers with some other better features. Although it comes with a steep $200 price tag, it is worth the investment if you're looking for a shoe that delivers on performance.

One of the standout features of the Nike Lebron 21 is its comfort. As soon as you put your foot into the shoe, you notice the plush sphere liner collar around your ankle, and the upper can lockdown without being too tight. The premium leather shroud is also comfortable, and the laces lay nicely across the top of your foot. Despite some complaints about lockdown, we didn't experience any problems with this shoe. In fact, we tried it with insoles and still felt secure inside the shoe, even with our foot sitting higher in it.

The Lebron 21 also offers great stability along the net or playing defense, thanks to its outrigger and excellent lateral containment. At first, we thought there were traction issues, but once the outsole broke in, the rubber was sticking to both wooden and plastic courts. Although we're habitual shoe wipers, it didn't feel necessary with these shoes.

However, there are a few cons to consider. The Nike Lebron 21 has a TPU midfoot shank, but we still noticed some arch pain that usually comes from shoes with a lack of torsional support. Partway through a long day of play, we opted to put insoles in to add a little more support through the midfoot, which we don't always need to do. This might not bother everyone though. The elephant in the room is the price tag. At $200, the Nike Lebron 21s cost about as much as you can pay for basketball/volleyball shoes these days. Although you're getting an incredible shoe with top-tier tech for that tag, we can see that price pushing many people to options that are almost as good for a fraction of the price.

Despite these cons, the Nike Lebron 21 has quite possibly a perfect cushion setup. The forefoot Zoom Turbo unit is top-loaded, which means you can feel that spring every time you jump. In the heel, you need impact protection, so they put a 13.5mm zoom unit under your heel. The rest of the midsole is full-length Cushlon. The Lebron 20 is bouncy where it needs to be and cushions your landings at the same time. This sneaker feels amazing to jump in and easy to move in, making it an ideal choice for a volleyball shoe.

Overall, the Nike Lebron 21 is one of the best volleyball shoes, offering unparalleled cushioning and traction. If you're willing to invest in a top-tier shoe, the Nike Lebron 21 is a premier option that delivers on performance.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 3rd Place

If you're looking for a volleyball shoe that offers great performance and comfort, the Puma MB.01 is worth checking out. This shoe is the first signature sneaker of LaMelo Ball and is a spiritual successor to the Clyde All-Pro, which was widely considered the best performance shoe of its release year.

One of the standout features of the Puma MB.01 is its translucent outsole, which provides excellent grip on wooden and clean plastic courts. The midsole is made of Puma's Nitro foam, which offers a bouncy feel while still protecting your landings. The lockdown is basic but effective, with a standard lacing system complementing a solid heel counter. Stability is also very good in this shoe, thanks to the lockdown and the way it cradles your foot in the insole. The upper is soft and plush, yet remains breathable.

But what really sets the MB.01 apart from other volleyball shoes is its outsole shape and structure. The outsole wraps smoothly around the lateral edge of the shoe, resulting in a very smooth transition in your penultimate step. This specific, aggressive motion is crucial to volleyball, and the MB.01 encourages your foot to take that sharp contact angle and roll smoothly and safely through the step.

However, the only downside to the MB.01 is its translucent rubber outsole on dusty, plastic courts. While it doesn't cause slipping, it doesn't feel as sticky as on wooden or clean courts, which can make you hesitant to move at full speed. This issue can be solved by wiping the outsole frequently, but it can become a hassle during gameplay.

Overall, the Puma MB.01 is a comfortable and high-performing volleyball shoe that offers excellent stability and encourages the specific motion needed for volleyball. While the translucent rubber outsole may be an issue on dusty, plastic courts, it's still a great option for those playing on wooden or clean courts.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 4th Place

If you're looking for a volleyball shoe that offers excellent cushioning and support, the Nike KD 16 is definitely worth considering. This shoe is part of Kevin Durant's signature line and offers a range of features that make it a top-tier option for volleyball players.

One of the standout features of the Nike KD 16 is its cushioning system. The shoe boasts a full-length Cushlon midsole, a large Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, and an Air Stroble that covers the midfoot and heel. This combination of cushioning materials makes the shoe soft and absorbent, while still offering bounce back that can help you jump higher and move more quickly on the court. In fact, the cushioning setup is so effective that it can help alleviate soreness and discomfort in your feet and knees, making it a great choice for players who need extra support during long matches or training sessions.

Another feature that makes the Nike KD 16 a great choice for volleyball is its rounded outsole edge. This design element allows for greater agility and control when making quick movements on the court, particularly when jumping and landing. The rounded edge makes it easier to roll through your steps and maintain your balance, which can be especially helpful during high-intensity games.

However, there are a few drawbacks to the Nike KD 16 that are worth considering before you make a purchase. One issue is the shoe's bulk, which some players may find a bit clunky or heavy. The upper material is quite thick, and the collar is substantial, which can make the shoe feel a bit cumbersome on the court. Additionally, there is a small stability concern with the shoe, particularly when landing at certain angles. The cushlon material can be quite soft, and when combined with the Air Zoom unit and Air Stroble, it can cause the shoe to wobble or roll a bit underneath you. This is not a major issue, but it is worth keeping in mind if you are looking for a shoe with maximum stability.

Overall, the Nike KD 16 is an excellent choice for volleyball players who prioritize comfort and cushioning. While it may not be the most lightweight or stable shoe on the market, its cushioning system and rounded outsole edge make it a great option for players who need extra support and agility on the court. If you're looking for a shoe that can help alleviate soreness and discomfort during long matches or training sessions, the Nike KD 16 is definitely worth considering.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 5th Place

If you're looking for a shoe that provides excellent cushioning and stability, the Nike Kyrie Infinity is a great option. The forefoot Zoom Air unit in these shoes provides a responsive and explosive feel, while also being soft on landing. This feature makes jumping and landing more comfortable, allowing you to focus on the game.

The Infinity also boasts an extremely stable design, with a wide forefoot and a traction system that wraps around the edge of the foot. This design makes it easy to cut in for an approach jump, with a smooth transition as you roll through the motion. Additionally, the lockdown on this sneaker uses bands that wrap tighter around your foot as you pull on the laces, ensuring that your foot stays in place and doesn't move around inside the shoe.

However, there are some downsides to the Kyrie Infinity. The shoe is very snug, and can feel uncomfortable depending on your foot shape. The toebox is also a little narrow, which may be an issue for those with wider feet. If you have a more neutral foot shape or wider feet, you may want to consider going up a half size.

Overall, the Nike Kyrie Infinity is a top-tier option for volleyball shoes. The traction, stability, lockdown, and cushioning are all excellent features that make it a great choice for any player. If you're looking for a shoe that can help you perform at your best on the court, the Kyrie Infinity is definitely worth considering.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 6th Place

If you're looking for a high-quality ASICS volleyball shoe, the Sky Elite FF 2 is a fantastic option. These shoes are designed specifically for volleyball and are popular even at the highest levels of play.

One of the best things about the Sky Elite FF 2 is the excellent traction it provides on both wood and plastic courts. You'll feel secure and stable while playing, thanks to the combination of a wide outrigger and solid lockdown. The DYNAWRAP holds the forefoot in place, but some players may find it uncomfortable due to its thickness.

Cushioning has been a concern with past ASICS volleyball shoes, but the Sky Elite FF 2 solves this problem with a combination of soft GEL and a responsive FLYTEFOAM midsole. You'll feel comfortable playing in these shoes, and your knees will thank you for it.

The main draw of the Sky Elite FF 2 is the TWISTRUSS plate, which provides torsional support and helps with heel-toe transition during an approach jump. These shoes are specifically designed for volleyball, and they do their job well.

The only real downside to the Sky Elite FF 2 is the DYNAWRAP, which can be uncomfortable for some players. Additionally, the shoes can be hard to find in certain sizes due to supply issues, and the colorways are basic.

Overall, the Sky Elite FF 2 is a great choice for volleyball players who want a shoe that provides excellent traction, stability, and cushioning. While it may not be the most comfortable shoe on the market, it delivers where it counts and is a top-performing ASICS volleyball shoe.

Best Volleyball Shoes: 7th Place

If you're looking for a reliable and stable volleyball shoe, the Mizuno Wave Momentum 3 might just be the perfect fit for you. With the latest upgrades, Mizuno has made this shoe even better than its predecessor, the Wave Momentum 2.

One of the standout features of the Wave Momentum 3 is its cushioning setup. The Foam Wave midsole provides quick and responsive cushioning, while the Mizuno Enerzy foam puck under the ball of the foot adds a bouncy feel for that final explosive strike of the ground when jumping. Despite this softness, the shoe maintains stability and good court feel, making it a great option for players who need to move quickly and change direction frequently.

Mizuno has also made significant improvements to the stability of the Wave Momentum 3. The outsole has been widened into an outrigger-like shape in both the forefoot and heel of the shoe, while a unique medial support section has been added into the arch portion of the outsole. These upgrades have completely solved the slight instability problem that some players experienced with the Wave Momentum 2.

However, one minor drawback of this shoe is that the cushioning setup could use more impact protection. While this won't be an issue for most players, heavier players or very high jumpers might prefer a shoe with more cushioning.

Overall, the Mizuno Wave Momentum 3 is a great option for players looking for a reliable and stable volleyball shoe with excellent cushioning and stability.

Best Volleyball Shoes: Honorable Mention

If you are looking for a volleyball shoe that offers unparalleled cushioning, then the Nike GT Jump 2 is definitely one to consider. With its advanced cushioning setup, this shoe is perfect for heavy players who suffer from sore feet or knees.

The Nike GT Jump 2 features a massive slab of React foam in the back, two huge Air Zoom units in the forefoot, a full-length Zoom strobel, and a jump plate that work together to provide exceptional impact protection. You can play on cement for a full day and not have any pain in your joints when wearing these shoes.

While the cushioning is undoubtedly the highlight of this shoe, it does have some drawbacks. The shoe feels inflexible and the heel-to-toe transition is a little stiff. Additionally, the high ankle collar limits ankle mobility, which can take some aggression out of your approach steps.

Overall, the Nike GT Jump 2 is a solid choice for those who prioritize cushioning above all else. However, if you are looking for a more flexible shoe that allows for greater mobility, you may want to consider other options.

Here's a quick summary of the pros and cons of the Nike GT Jump 2:

Pros:

  • Unparalleled cushioning with React foam, Air Zoom units, Zoom strobel, and a jump plate
  • Ideal for heavy players with sore feet or knees

Cons:

  • Inflexible feel with a stiff heel-to-toe transition
  • High ankle collar limits ankle mobility and takes some aggression out of approach steps

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