What gear is typically worn for playing volleyball? (answered)

What do I wear for volleyball training? What do high school volleyball players wear? These are questions that I often get as a volleyball coach. Let’s discuss this in detail so that you bring everything to your volleyball match or training. It can be really annoying if you just miss one of these items.

 Volleyball essentials for beginners

Volleyball players wear shoes, socks, underwear, a t-shirt, knee pads, and a short. This can be the standard version or they can choose to wear a sports variant that is better at holding the sweat. Some players also wear finger tape to protect their fingers. In some instances, a player wears sporting glasses to see what is going on. Players with long hair also need a hairband to make sure that their hair doesn’t move too much as you don’t have time to adjust this during the match. Arm sleeves are also optional as they can help to reduce the burn of sliding over the floor but using the proper technique will do the same.

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

You don’t need a lot of gear when you play volleyball and these things will do. For about 200 USD you can buy all of these if you don’t go for the premium brands. This outfit can last quite a long time so you don’t have to make huge expenses when you buy volleyball clothing.

You also need a backpack to store and transport all this gear. Players often buy a small backpack but in most instances, it is better to buy a bigger one so that you can bring a spare unit of everything. You never know when things will break and having another pair of socks or hairband can help you out during a match. I have had it multiple times that I had to switch and take out another pair of arm sleeves like the ones I was wearing were drenched in sweat. It is also possible to help out a team member if you have a spare of everything.

Let’s discuss some of these pieces and see which ones you can get. We have written about the best shoes before so we will focus on the other types of clothing now. 

What socks do volleyball players wear?

You can wear normal socks to play volleyball but most volleyball players tend to use sporting socks. These are designed to absorb sweat. They also stay in place when you move a lot. You don’t have to adjust them the whole time as they have elastics that keep them in place.

These elastics wear out over time so you have to replace these socks every 3 to 6 months, depending on how often you train. Sporting socks are also thicker so they are more comfortable to wear as your feet will move a lot in your shoes when you play volleyball. You will have to start and stop a lot and good socks can help you by increasing the grip that you have in your shoes. 

Sporting socks come in different sizes. Some players prefer to wear socks that come just under their knee pads. This can offer some additional warmth during the winter months. Other players prefer to wear short socks as they feel that these are more convenient.

What tshirt do volleyball players wear?

Volleyball players often wear standard T-shirts. These are generally made out of cotton as synthetic materials are less able to absorb sweat. Some players prefer to wear special t-shirts that even attract more sweat than cotton. This depends on how much you sweat and your personal preferences. You can just wear a t-shirt that you wear to school or work. Just make sure to wash it after every training so that you don’t end up by the smelly guy or gal. 

What shorts do volleyball players wear?

Volleyball players often wear shorts that don’t ride up. There is nothing more annoying than shorts that move the whole time and need to be adjusted as you are losing your focus when you are doing this. This can mean the difference between a great dig (dive to get the ball) or letting the ball drop because you were still adjusting your shorts. 

You might have to try several pairs of shorts to see which ones you like the best. This is a really important piece of gear for volleyball players so, therefore, you have to think about what shorts you will wear. 

What knee pads do volleyball players wear? 

Knee pads can be shorter or longer, depending on the brand. Longer knee pads are less comfortable but are more stable. Shorter knee pads are often more comfortable as they cover a smaller part of your leg but they might be less stable, therefore. Most brands use elastics to keep these in place so you have to make sure that you find a model that you like playing with. Some bands are also better at absorbing sweat. If you have to play with wet knee pads, it is not a lot of fun. Therefore you have to check the fabric that they are made out of. Some brands use foam whereas others use gels to dampen the impact. Gels are often better at absorbing an impact but they are less flexible so they can be harder to play with. As you can see, there are a lot of things that you have to consider when buying knee pads. Each brand has its own design and you have to check what works for you by wearing them for a while. You can also check with your team members to see which brands they are wearing. 

What can you not wear in volleyball?

There are also several things that you can’t wear in volleyball. Clothing that has sharp ends could affect other players and is therefore not accepted on the field as you have to run and dive at high speed. You should make sure that your clothes don’t have sharp ends that could get stuck on other things in the sports arena. This also includes jewelry and other items that you can wear on your body.

Jewelry is typically also not allowed as it has sharp edges or can get stuck somewhere. Therefore it is recommended to remove earrings, necklaces and other types of jewelry.

Shoes that will leave an imprint on the floor or dirty shoes should not be brought to the sports arena. Some soles can leave a layer of rubber or stripes on the floor of the sports arena. You have to make sure that your shoes don’t damage or stain the floor in the sports arena as you will get remarks about this from the manager of the field.

It is not allowed to wear clothes that could blind other players. For example, certain items can reflect the lights of the sports arena and distract the players of the other team or even your own team. This will not be allowed by the official as it disturbs the game overall. 

You shouldn’t wear shoes that don’t offer a lot of support. For example, flip-flops are not suited for volleyball as they don’t offer the required balance and support. It is not recommended that you wear them for training or match.

You might refrain from wearing clothing that is too small as this can distract other players or the audience. Make sure that your clothing doesn’t shrink too much when you wash them. It is often better to buy a size too big than too small.

Some teams also have specific requirements when it comes to colors and brands to make sure that the whole team is looking similar (with the exception of the libero).

Can you wear Nikes for volleyball?

Big sports brands such as Nike haven’t made volleyball gear for a long time as they believed that it was a sport that was played by only a small group of people. As volleyball has gained more traction during the past few years, Nike is starting to look more at volleyball.

This is the reason why you don’t see a lot of volleyball players wear gear of Nike. You can definitely wear their shirts during volleyball training. Their indoor shoes should work as well as long as they are clean and the sole doesn’t leave marks on the floor. Check the model number to make sure that you have an indoor model of shoe. Other than this, Nike shoes should work for volleyball as well as they offer a lot of support and padding. Some brands such Asics offer shoes that are specifically designed for volleyball. These might offer a better balance between stability and agility but at the end of the day, it depends on personal preference as most indoor shoes are quite similar. The volleyball shoes of Nike have gotten a lot better in recent years as well. Some teams work with one brand exclusively and you might want to check with your coach if your team does so. Overall we can say that you can wear Nike outfits when you play volleyball. Not a lot of people do this so far but more and more players are doing so.

Why do volleyball players wear spandex and which one is the best?

Spandex is a brand name for a synthetic fiber that is lightweight and stretches out really well. It is used in a lot of sportswear. Volleyball players also often wear it as it stretches when they move. Spandex is great for volleyball players as it stays in place when you move around a lot. During a volleyball match, you often touch the floor and this could push your clothes around. Volleyball players don’t have a lot of time to adjust their clothing during a game so it is important that everything remains comfortable. Therefore Spandex is great as it offers comfort but due to its stretchiness, it also stays in place. It is easy to maintain and lasts for a long time. You can also have different prints on spandex. Furthermore, it is able to absorb a lot of sweat without feeling wet. Volleyball players often sweat a lot as they have to jump and run the whole time. Spandex keeps them dry and comfortable for a reasonable price. Not every player wears this as some think that it hangs too close to their body. Especially men therefore often opt for cotton instead of spandex. Other people just prefer cotton because it is more natural than synthetic fibers.

To conclude, we can state that volleyball players often wear standard outfits and nothing too crazy. A normal t-shirt, shorts and socks will do. You need indoor shoes and knee pads but other than that not a lot of gear is needed to play volleyball. There are also things that you shouldn’t wear during a match: sharp objects, items that can damage the floor, shoes that don’t provide support, flashy items, and so on. Be sure to check with your coach in advance if certain things are allowed or disallowed by your volleyball club.