This page will cover the best volleyball shoes available right now. I’ll keep it updated as I review new and better options.
What are the best shoes for volleyball?
The best volleyball shoes let you move around the court and jump at full speed, and protect your feet and joints at the same time. Traction, lockdown, cushioning, stability, heel-toe transition, and support are all key features in a performance volleyball sneaker. No shoe is perfect, but the ones in this list are close.
Best Volleyball Shoes: 5th Place
Mizuno Wave Momentum 2
Mizuno is probably the most popular volleyball shoe company and they know what they’re doing. With the Wave Momentum 2, Mizuno combines their signature Wave Plate technology with an improved cushioning setup and better materials. Here’s what you can expect from the best Mizuno volleyball shoe.
The first thing I noticed with the Wave Momentum 2 was the cushioning. As soon as you put the shoe on, you can feel the dense and responsive Enerzy foam. It provides way more bounce than its predecessor did, and is a massive upgrade. A wide outrigger provides excellent lateral stability, which is another area that the Wave Momentum was lacking in. The traction was adequate. I did not slip at all on plastic or wood courts. Lastly, the Wave plate does make for a smooth heel-toe transition as you take your approach.
For the first Wave Momentum, I wrote “It’s soft enough to protect your joints, but it doesn’t have much bounce.” With the shift from U4ic to Enerzy, the problem has reversed itself. The Wave Momentum 2 is bouncy, but not soft at all. I found it to be a problem on thinner court floors that don’t provide as much additional impact protection. The other issue is the lockdown. The laces and heel counter are fine, but the toebox is a little wide and very high. The length of the shoe was True-To-Size for me, but I still felt lost in the toebox. I’d still recommend this shoe, but maybe consider a half-size down if you have a narrow foot.
Best Volleyball Shoes: 4th Place
ASICS Sky Elite FF 2
ASICS is one of the biggest brands in volleyball-specific shoes, and the Sky Elite FF 2 is their top model. These are the best ASICS volleyball shoes, and are extremely popular at even the highest levels of volleyball.
As you’d expect from ASICS, traction is great on both wood and plastic courts. The lockdown is effective (but not the most comfortable) due to the DYNAWRAP holding the forefoot in place and a substantial heel counter. The combination of solid lockdown and a wide outrigger provides good stability. Cushioning has been a concern in past ASICS volleyball shoes, but that is not the case here. The Sky Elite FF 2 combines comfortable but soft GEL with a responsive FLYTEFOAM midsole. This setup feels better than expected to play in, and still had my knees feeling okay by the end of playing. The main draw of this shoe is the TWISTRUSS plate. It’s primary purpose is to provide torsional support, but it also functions to help your heel-toe transition during an approach jump. These shoes are designed specifically for volleyball, and they do their job.
The DYNAWRAP is the only real con, because although it does provide most of the lockdown for the shoe, it does it all in one ¼” thick ribbon. This means you can really feel it around your forefoot when you push off laterally. It didn’t hurt, but it was uncomfortable at times. The other issues are on ASICS’ end: the shoe can be hard to find in some sizes due to supply issues, and the colorways are very basic.
Best Volleyball Shoes: 3rd Place
Kevin Durant’s 14th signature shoe is also the best Nike volleyball shoe. The KD line has been excellent for years, and this sneaker continues that trend. Though made for basketball, these could very well be the best volleyball shoes for hitters.
The traction was great when testing this shoe, with no slipping on wood or plastic courts. Lockdown was sufficient, although the strap doesn’t do very much. Stability is helped by a lateral plate in the midsole which also serves to cage the cushion slightly. The cushioning is where this shoe really shines. The KD 14 features a Cushlon midsole which is soft and good for shock absorption. Inside the shoe is a full length Zoom Air Strobel, which is hands-down the best cushioning technology available. This sneaker walks that perfect line of feeling super bouncy and still protecting your joints. Nike made a shoe that is excellent for any sport that requires jumping. Playing volleyball in the KD 14 is both fun and effective.
The only real con to the KD 14 is that the strap is more aesthetic than functional. On Reddit, you can find multiple posts where people have cut them off the shoe and noticed no difference in fit or support. The lockdown is still good enough without it, but Nike could still do better with their straps in general.
For a full performance review of the KD 14, click here. The Nike KD 14 comes in a bunch of different colorways so you’ll have a lot of options to match your team colors if you decide to buy them.
Best Volleyball Shoes: 2nd Place
Nike Kyrie Infinity
The Kyrie Infinity is the 8th of Kyrie Irving’s signature sneakers. Though it shares a lot of its aesthetics with its predecessors, it has some key improvements that make these Nike’s best volleyball shoes.
The Infinity’s best feature is noticed as soon as you take a step: the cushioning. The forefoot Zoom Air unit feels bouncy right where you want it to. Jumping feels responsive and explosive but soft on the landing. The shoe is extremely stable, with a rather wide forefoot and a traction system that wraps up around the edge of the foot. This makes it feel great when cutting in for an approach jump, with a smooth transition as you roll through the motion. The lockdown on this sneaker uses bands that wrap tighter around your foot as you pull on the laces. This works extremely well, and your foot will not be moving anywhere it shouldn’t. As a last note, the traction gripped perfectly on wood and plastic courts, even with some dust.
That crazy lockdown actually leads to the only cons: comfort and fit. This shoe is very, very snug, and gets tighter when you tie the laces. This feels secure and is great for not slipping inside the shoe, but it can be very uncomfortable depending on your foot shape. The toebox was a little narrow for my fairly narrow foot. If you have a wide foot at all, or even just a more neutral foot shape, I would consider going up a half size.
Despite some minor discomfort, these are great sneakers. The traction, stability, lockdown, and cushioning are top-tier, making them Nike’s best volleyball shoes, and a great option on the court. Find a full review here.
Best Volleyball Shoes: 1st Place
Puma made themselves known with the Clyde All Pro being widely considered the best performance shoe of its release year. LaMelo Ball’s first signature shoe, the MB.01, is its spiritual successor. With great tech, a plush onfoot feel, and some amazing colorways, you’ll want to check out this sneaker. Whether you’re playing men’s or women’s volleyball, front row or back row, the MB.01 is the best volleyball shoe available right now.
The Puma MB.01 has a translucent outsole(on most colorways). This soft rubber grips aggressively into wooden courts and clean plastic courts. The midsole is Puma’s Nitro foam, which isn’t necessarily the best tech by itself, but it feels great on these sneakers. They are bouncy but your landings still feel protected. The lockdown is basic but effective, with a standard lacing complementing a solid heel counter. Stability is very good in this shoe, assisted by the lockdown and the way it cradles your foot in the insole. It’s a very comfortable sneaker with a soft, plush upper that remains breathable.
The secret ingredient that makes the MB.01 the best volleyball shoes is their outsole shape and structure. The outsole wraps smoothly around the lateral edge of the shoe, which results in a very smooth transition in your penultimate step. This specific, aggressive motion is so crucial to volleyball and it’s where a lot of basketball shoes tend to fall short. The MB.01 encourages your foot to take that sharp contact angle and roll smoothly and safely through the step.
The only issue I found with the MB.01 concerned the translucent rubber on dusty, plastic courts. I wasn’t slipping, but it didn’t feel as sticky as on wooden or clean courts, I found myself hesitant to move at full speed. This was solved by wiping, but you’ll probably be wiping a lot. I realized I was wiping my shoes between every point. If you play on quality, clean courts, you can ignore this section.
The MB.01 is a can’t-miss-sneaker and has been my go-to for awhile now. It fits TTS and is available in some crazy colorways. Read more about it in the WearTesters performance review.
Let us know what you think. Did we leave anything out? Is there another shoe that you’d put on the list? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments, Twitter, Instagram, or our Discord community.