Volleyball is a fast-paced, contact sport that is enhanced with the right shoe technology. Features like stability, responsiveness, and traction enable you to play your best game. When it comes to purchasing the best volleyball shoes, there are several brands to consider. However, only two brands stand out as leaders in the volleyball niche– ASICS and Mizuno. Both brands are popular among new and experienced players and have a rich history. They both originated in Japan and are making gear for multiple sports (including golf, baseball and running).
Mizuno is the sponsor of Team USA and given that the female team has won the tournament, we can conclude that it is a great brand. The players mentioned that the shoes are performing quite well so they should work for you as well. This is a Japanese brand and given that volleyball is very popular in Japan, they are able to test a lot of designs with professional players and see what works. ASICS also offers great shoes but they are better known for their running shoes than their volleyball shoes.
The difference between ASICS and Mizuno is not the quality or price, but the design. They use different types of cushioning and also another sole. Mizuno has a system that support the whole foot and this offers more stability to players. Asics uses a cushioning that mainly supports the heel and the forefoot. The middle of the foot is therefore less supported. This can offer more agility but less balance. It is always a trade-off between balance and agility when it comes to volleyball shoes. The right shoe depends on your position on the court and your playing style. It is always a great idea to give both brands a try and see what works for you.
Which shoe do most volleyball players choose? The answer comes down to personal preference and where they need support. ASICS are often worn by newer players as they have some great entry-level models that use fewer materials. Mizuno is often worn by college students or professional players as they are offering a lot of sponsorships and use gels in their shoes that reduce the impact of a jump. Both brands have developed their own gels and foams to offer more support while you play. There is not that much difference between them and a lot of it comes down to branding. They are experimenting with new formulations for their foams so it is possible that one of the gets a temporary edge over the other but in general they use similar materials. More expensive shoes use better materials and finishes.
Let’s take a closer look at both volleyball shoe brands.
Best Overall Volleyball Shoe for Women: Mizuno Women’s Wave Momentum
The Mizuno Women’s Wave Momentum takes the prize in this category. It offers excellent traction and stability while being supportive and lightweight. This is a durable set of shoes. A few drawbacks with this shoe are that it is not suitable for players with wide feet. For beginners, the cost may be a deterrent.
Wave technology is the brand’s trademark. It diffuses energy generated from impact, providing players cushioned protection and comfort. The midsole plate is shaped like a wave, offering lots of support and cushioning. The engineered upper mesh offers breathability. Wave Momentums are fitted with Intercool ventilation to minimize heat accumulation inside the shoe and enhance performance. The outer sole is made with extra-grade rubber to enhance agility and flexibility on the volleyball court. Wave Momentums have a lace-up closure and are available in sizes 6 to 13.
Best Overall Volleyball Shoe For Men: ASICS Gel-Rocket 9
The top men’s volleyball shoe is ASICS Gel-Rocket 9. Players get excellent traction and shock absorption. The shoes are breathable and offer great value for money. They are available in sizes 6 to 15. These shoes are not suitable for players with wide feet.
ASICS Gel-Rocket technology offers gel cushioning in the heel. This is a versatile volleyball shoe with stellar shock absorption and traction. In addition, the midsole has molded EVA which conforms to the athlete’s foot. The design helps to soften take-offs and landings. ASICS Trusstic system helps stabilize the shoe so that the athlete can dig and pass. The rubber sole offers good grip action to help keep the player steady as they pivot and surge forward. Lastly, the shoe’s upper is made from lightweight, breathable mesh, which helps keep athletes’ feet fresh and dry.
Best Budget Volleyball Shoes for Women: Mizuno’s Cyclone Speed Shoes
For new volleyball players, Mizuno’s Cyclone Speed Shoes is a great option. These are versatile shoes from Mizuno. They are designed with EVA responsive midsoles for superior cushioning. This technology protects the joints and feet while running and jumping. Similar to other high-performance shoes, Mizuno Cyclone Speed Shoes have special rubber soles that offer superior traction for fast movements on the court. The upper portion of the shoe is made from synthetic mesh. The shoes are available at a pocket-friendly price, in women’s sizes from 6 to 11.
Best Budget Volleyball Shoes for Men: ASICS Men’s Upcourt 4
ASICS Men’s Upcourt 4 is suitable for both experienced and newbie volleyball players. These shoes are well made and lightweight, offering high performance that you wouldn’t expect from a budget shoe. To prevent players from slipping, the shoes are designed with rubber gum soles. The mesh panels prevent overheating while keeping the feet cool. Constructed from synthetic leather, the shoes have a lace-up closure for easy wearing.
ASICS Men’s Upcourt 4 are available in sizes 6 to 13, in several color combinations. These shoes are great for players with narrow feet.
Best Indoor Volleyball Shoes for Men: ASICS Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF MT 2
The ASICS Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF MT 2 series are durable, lightweight shoes that offer excellent fractions and cushioning. They have grippy rubber outsoles that are ideal for agile movements on the volleyball court. The Netburner Ballistic series are equipped with gel cushioning in the forefoot and rearfoot. This offers great shock absorption and support while making fast moves like jumping and striking. The midsoles are designed with lightweight Flytefoam. It improves overall responsiveness. With a leather and mesh upper and a mid-top profile, the Netburner Ballistic FF MT 2 offers superior court stability. The grooves in the rubber sole give extra traction. Available in men’s sizes from 6 to 15, this shoe is great for serious volleyball players.
Best Volleyball Shoe for Setters
In volleyball, setters may play in the back and front row. As a result, making quick turns is necessary. Such moves require exceptional traction and support. The ASICS Gel-Tactic is suitable for this role. The shoes have grippy rubber soles that enable quick cuts and acceleration, while the cushioning offers shock absorption. The gel feature inside the mid-sole contains an ortholite liner. Over time, it will mold to the athlete’s feet to enhance his or her comfort. ASICS Gel-Tactics are versatile and durable shoes. They are available in sizes ranging from 5 to 14, in many color combinations.
Best Volleyball Shoe for Hitters
The Mizuno Women’s Wave Lightning Z6 is the ideal shoe for volleyball hitters. This role requires a lot of running, jumping, and smashing, so any athlete in this role will need a shoe that offers stellar traction and cushioning. The Mizuno Wave Lighting offers Parallel Wave technology. It’s engineered to diffuse shock through the sole. When a hitter has to hump and smash repeatedly, the stress and shock are minimal on the feet. In addition, the shoe’s lightweight design reduces foot ache and fatigue while keeping the hitter ready for the next move. The design and location of the grooves improve agility, grip, and flexibility. Made from synthetic leather and mesh with a lace-up closure, this shoe is a great option for hitters.
Well-made volleyball shoes have rubber soles that offer a good grip on the court surface while enabling the athlete to pivot and cut at a moment’s notice. Volleyball shoes that offer excellent traction will inhibit sliding and sliding while avoiding injury. As the volleyball shoe technology evolves, features like stability, traction, and responsiveness will always be expected. Although several shoe brands offer great volleyball shoes, names like Mizuno and ASICS will always dominate this niche. The brand you choose will depend on your budget, preferences, and the features you’re looking for. With options like ASICS and Mizuno, you will always dominate the volleyball court.
Nike is quite new to making volleyball shoes but their volleyball shoes are rapidly improving and gaining more popularity. Other brands include Adidas and Under Armour. Under Armour has unique designs as the shoes come higher and can offer more support.
Beach volleyball players generally don’t wear shoes. In some instances, they are wearing special socks to keep their feet warm. We have also looked at more Mizuno shoes here.