What do pro volleyball players wear? This might surprise you

Pro volleyball players often wear the same outfit as college-level or high school players would. This means that they are wearing shoes, sporting socks, underwear, a short, a jersey, and knee pads. In some instances, they wear arm sleeves, sporting glasses, and hair bands. Pro players wear gear that is specifically designed for volleyball. This can endure a lot of wear and tear and has a system to keep it in place when a player jumps or slides over the floor. Some players also wear leggings under their shorts.

Professional players often have to wear the gear of the brand that is sponsoring the team. A lot of big brands such as Nike don’t offer volleyball gear and therefore some players are not allowed to wear these brands. Mizuno is sponsoring the Olympic volleyball team of the USA and therefore athletes have to wear their gear. They have great volleyball shoes and in general, players enjoy wearing them. 

The outfit of pro volleyball athletes: what do male and female volleyball players wear

We discussed the best volleyball shoes before. It has to be noted that these offer more stability than other shoes because you have to start and stop running very often in volleyball. Therefore your shoes have to offer enough stability so that your feet get enough support. In the image below you can see the difference between normal shoes and shoes that have been designed with volleyball in mind. As you can see, normal shoes get deformed a lot and this can put a lot of pressure on your feet. This is why professional athletes wear volleyball shoes as they need support. 

Sporting socks are special in volleyball because often volleyball players wear long socks. These can absorb the sweat and also help the players when they slide over the floor. During winter, these socks also keep the players warm. Not everyone is playing with long socks but everyone wears sporting socks as these are thicker and better able to contain the sweat than normal socks. 

The shorts and jerseys are often provided by the team. If the other team is wearing the same colors, the visiting team should change their outfit so that the colors are different. This avoids confusion and makes it clear who is part of which team. Players often have gear that matches the color of the rest of their outfits to look fashionable. In general, teams try to use the same colors. For example, the Brazilian players wear white arm sleeves during the Olympics as these fit with their yellow and blue outfits. 

Professional volleyball players don’t wear arm pads as they have a good diving techniques. They do wear knee pads as you often land on your knees during a volleyball match and this can be quite painful. Therefore even professional players wear knee pads. Some of them wear these under their knees as they feel that this is the area that needs to be protected the most. This depends on personal preferences. Knee pads often contain gels and foams to reduce the impact of touching the floor with your knee caps. 

Sporting glasses can help players that wear glasses during normal life. These are made out of plastic so that they don’t break when the ball hits them. The best ones are quite expensive as they need to stay in place during the match. It is important that they can see where the ball is the whole time so therefore this is an important attribute for certain professional volleyball players. Some players wear this as a fashion item as well.

A lot of professional volleyball players have long hair. This can disrupt their game if it is just flying around. Therefore it is necessary to tie it together. This can be done with a simple elastic or sweatband. Each player has their own system, it just has to work when the player is sweating as well. Players have to jump and run around a lot and keep their hair in a certain form. A sweatband is often not enough to do this and players might need to combine multiple systems. You don’t have time to rearrange your hair during a volleyball match. 

Professional beach volleyball players have the same outfit as indoor players but they don’t wear knee pads as they can land softly in the sand. What they often wear is sunglasses because the sun can interfere with their overview of the game. They might wear sweatbands as well as it can be quite hot when you play in the sand. Beach volleyball players don’t wear shoes as they can just walk in the soft sand. However, some beach volleyball players wear special socks that keep them warm if needed. These socks can also protect them against rocks or dirt in the sand. Beach volleyball is an Olympic sport as well so they have sponsors as well. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

Why are volleyball players wearing leggings?

Legging are pants that are worn under the shorts but above the underwear. This is often done to keep yourself warm. It also can provide some comfort when you are sliding over the floor. Some players wear it because they believe that the pressure that the leggings provide helps them to recuperate faster. Other players think that leggings are fashionable and wear them because they believe that it completes their outfit. Leggings can also help to absorb sweat. Sweat can make the court very slippery and leggings can help to avoid this.

Leggings are quite comfortable as they are made out of soft materials. Therefore some players just enjoy wearing them. Several big brands produce these leggings so you have a big assortment in them, from different sizes and colors.

I don’t enjoy wearing them as they feel too restrictive but this depends on personal choices. It is also an item that you have to wash and maintain. For me, the advantage of wearing them does not outweigh the additional work.

Volleyball players can’t wear long pants as this would cover their knee pads. This would look weird and also give an annoying feel. Therefore you won’t see volleyball players with long pants during a match. They might wear them during warmup but they often change this to leggings if they are really cold. 

Beach volleyball players almost never wear leggings as it is often very hot outside while they are playing. If they are playing in colder climates or months, you might see some beach volleyball players wear leggings as well to keep them warm.