What size of volleyball gear should you get? Get the right fit

Volleyball gear has to be comfortable because you need to wear it for more than an hour on end. At the same time, it should be quite snug as you don’t want to have them slip off when you are playing. How do you make sure that your gear is fitting well? In this article, we will share some tips for each of your gear.

How tight should volleyball shoes be?

Volleyball shoes often have the same sizing system as normal shoes. In most instances, you can wear the same size as you would for your normal shoes. In reality, there is a difference between brands and sizes can differ between them. This is annoying as it makes it less clear what you need to buy. Often it is said that you should be able to put a pen behind the heel of the player when their toes are touching the front of the shoe.

This makes sure that their feet can move somewhat in the shoe. If the shoe is too tight, it can be uncomfortable if you have to stop running suddenly as you don’t have anything that helps you to stop. If there is some margin left, you can use this to reduce your speed. You also have to jump and run around a lot in volleyball so your feet have to be able to move. 

If you feel that your shoes are too big, you might consider insoles. These can help with finding the right fit for your feet. Often small differences can have a big impact on how your shoes feel on your feet. You can cut insoles to size and this can help with making them feel just right. Once you have found shoes that fit well, you can keep buying the same ones over and over again.

Therefore it is a good idea to try several brands and sizes and see what works. Walk with the shoes once you wear them to see how they change when you move with them.  It might be frustrating to have to spend that much time on it but in the end, it will be worth it. 

Volleyball shoes should be quite tight overall. This is why they have laces. This allows you to tighten the shoes. This makes sure that the shoes stay in place when you jump or dive to get a ball. They should still feel comfortable as you have to wear them for more than an hour. Finding the right balance can be difficult and you can tie them multiple times to get it just right. If your laces get lost during a game, you often don’t have a lot of time to adjust them. Make sure that they are tight enough when this happens. 

It is important that you wear your new shoes during a few training sessions before you bring them to a match. Volleyball shoes need some time to adjust to your feet. At first, they might feel quite painful. After a few training sessions, they should feel a lot more comfortable. It can be really annoying if you have to play a match with painful feet. Therefore you have to make sure that the shoes have adjusted to your feet before you bring them to a match. 

How should volleyball knee pads fit?

Knee pads have sizing charts. This makes it easy to decide which ones you should get. 

You have to look at the circumference of your knee when picking a knee pad. This can be done by using a tape measure and going around your knee. You have to measure how many inches this is. Some people have wider knees than others.

The knee pad should stay in place and therefore you have to find one that doesn’t put too much pressure on your knees. The following sizing chart can give an indication of the sizes. Be sure to check these off the product itself as each brand has its own unique way of determining this. 

Size Knee Circumference (inches)
Small12 – 14″  
Medium14 – 16″
Large 15 – 17″
Extra large17-20″
Volleyball knee pad size chart

Sizing charts don’t tell everything and you still have to try them on to see if they fit. Volleyball knee pads can be really uncomfortable if you don’t get the right ones. It is often better to get long knee pads instead of shorter ones. Longer ones have elastics that are more spread out and this can reduce the pressure on your knees. If you decide to wear long socks, it is important that the socks don’t cover the knee pads. Therefore you have to make sure that there is a small gap between the socks and knee pads as friction between the two can be annoying.

The rubber part in the knee pad should cover your kneecap completely. This makes sure that the knee pad can absorb the impact of landing on the floor. Check this when you get knee pads as this has a big impact on the way that they function.

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash

You can use knee pads with velcros instead of elastic. These are slightly more expensive but are more comfortable and often last a long time. 

Keep in mind that you have to replace your knee pads every four to six months. These have to absorb a lot of sweat and over time the fabric might smell and feel uncomfortable. It is often better to replace them too early than too late. 

To conclude, we can state that most volleyball gear has sizing charts. This makes it easier to find the gear that you need. It also makes it straightforward to replace equipment. At first, you might need to try several brands and models to see what works for you. Everyone has their own preferences and the design can have a big impact on the comfort of the product. Give it some time and try several things before you buy volleyball gear.