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Best Volleyball Shoes

Best Volleyball Shoes

This page will cover the best volleyball shoes available right now. I’ll keep it updated as I review new and better options.

Best All-Around Volleyball Shoe: 1st Place

Best Volleyball Shoes

Puma Clyde All Pro

Puma isn’t necessarily known for their court shoe options, but the Puma Clyde All Pro is a can’t-miss sneaker. Whether you’re playing men’s or women’s volleyball, front row or back row, the All Pro is the best volleyball shoe available right now.

Pros

The Clyde All Pro is one of those shoes that you forget you’re wearing, in a good way. The reinforced knit upper provides good lockdown without adding too much weight. The traction is just about perfect on these shoes, and sticks great to both wood and plastic courts. The cushion on the Clyde All Pro feels unexpectedly good for being foam-based. The combination of Puma’s ProFoam+ and a Pebax drop in the heel is bouncy and comfortable even after a long tournament. The sneaker is very stable, although I would say this is probably the one area that could be slightly improved. Finally, the thing that most separates basketball and volleyball shoes is how they handle the awkward, diagonal heel-toe transition of an approach jump. This is no issue as the Clyde All Pro feels smooth and even includes a TPU plate in the forefoot to assist with the energy transfer. 

Cons

The only drawbacks to the Clyde All Pro are minor ones. The sneaker is getting harder to find in some sizes and colorways. Additionally, there aren’t a ton of different colorways. There are some stylish options, but there just aren’t many options. 

These cons aren’t about the shoe’s function in any way, and this sneaker is worth trying. Read more about it in the WearTesters performance review.

Buy the Clyde All Pro

Best All-Around Volleyball Shoe: 2nd Place

Best ASICS Volleyball Shoes

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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. 

You can read a full review of this sneaker here.

Buy the Sky Elite FF 2

Best Mizuno Volleyball Shoe

Best Mizuno Volleyball Shoe

Mizuno Wave Momentum

Mizuno is probably the most popular volleyball shoe company and they know what they’re doing. With the Wave Momentum, Mizuno combines their signature Wave Plate technology with a host of other solid features to create a great jack-of-all-trades sneaker. Here’s what you can expect from the best Mizuno volleyball shoe.

Pros

The first thing I noticed with the Wave Momentum was that it is a very comfortable shoe. It might be the most comfortable sneaker on this list. The 3-layer, no sew upper has a sock-like inner lining instead of a traditional tongue. It’s soft, plush, and feels great. The shoe is also very well ventilated, with a loose knit in the forefoot and a large opening cut along the entire outsole. The lockdown was better than I expected. A standard lacing system and a substantial heel counter will not let your foot slide inside the shoe. Traction was excellent. 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. 

Cons

Starting with the most minor con, the cushion is just okay. See the description for U4icX on Mizuno’s technology page. It’s soft enough to protect your joints, but it doesn’t have much bounce. Moving to the next minor con, the materials are a little inconsistent. The heel-end of the shoe looks high-quality with premium materials, but the forefoot is a rough screen print over a loose knit. The biggest issue that I had with this shoe was stability. I tested these with a minor ankle sprain. The ankle felt more unstable than expected, and I didn’t feel very confident when planting or pushing off of that foot. I noticed that upon switching to other shoes, my ankle stopped bothering me. I’d still recommend this shoe: it won’t cause your ankle to roll, it just doesn’t do much to stabilize the joint.

Buy the Wave Momentum

Best Volleyball Shoe for Hitters

Best Nike Volleyball Shoes

Nike KD 14

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, this could very well be the best volleyball shoe for hitters.

Pros

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. 

Cons

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:

Buy the KD 14

Best Volleyball Shoe for Liberos

Best Volleyball Shoes for Liberos

UA Curry Flow 8

With Stephen Curry’s 8th signature shoe, Under Armour features its innovative Flow foam technology as both the midsole and outsole. This design choice makes this sneaker one of the most unique court shoes available right now, and it’s one of the best options for volleyball. 

Pros

One immediate concern with using a foam as the outsole is if it can still grip a court like rubber. This shoe’s traction is excellent and sticks aggressively to both wood and plastic courts. The shoe does pick up some dust but it wipes right off. The cushion on the Curry 8 is very comfortable as the Flow foam is soft but still responsive. It feels great on your joints, but I will say it doesn’t feel very bouncy. I felt like I lost a little bit of explosiveness on some jumps, but not enough to be noticeably lower when hitting or blocking. The stability on this shoe is pretty great, as the lateral lockdown is solid and the outsole is wide and sturdy. The heel-toe transition when jumping might be the best part of this shoe, as it seems to be curved just right and feels smooth underfoot. The shoe feels good to play in, and I think this is the best volleyball shoe for liberos and defensive specialists, although front row players and hitters could definitely wear it as well.  

Cons

There are two cons with the Curry Flow 8. The first was mentioned before, and it’s that the shoe doesn’t feel very bouncy. It’s still better than a lot of other cushioning setups though. The other is that the front to back lockdown was lacking. The shoe was snug and TTS in almost every area but felt a little long. A half size down was way too tight, and this is not a problem I usually have with shoes. It was minor and my foot didn’t slide too much, but I prefer the toebox to be close to my toes instead of having extra space as is the case here.

You can read (or watch) more about the Curry Flow 8 here. Keep an eye on this space for a review of the Curry 9 soon.

Buy the Curry 8

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, TwitterInstagram, or our Discord community.

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