Volleyball Tip: How to Pick a Volleyball Shoe
Picking the proper shoe for your year-round play or even just a summer volleyball camp can be a little difficult. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, knowing how a volleyball shoe is designed and what your preference is will help you in the future. Follow this guide from Nike Volleyball Camps to help pick out the perfect volleyball shoe.
How are they designed?
Volleyball shoes are designed differently than other running and basketball shoes. This is because of the constant movement volleyball players do laterally and vertically. There are three sections to the shoe, the rubber sole, mid-sole, and upper section.
The rubber sole is typically made up of a gum material. This allows the player to have great traction on the floor and solid foot. A good shoe will have a sole that is non-marking and decrease ankle-injuries.
The mid-sole supports the ball of the foot. This is for the quick movements and jumps volleyball players make during a game or practice. The mid-sole can sometimes be made up of a foam material, gel, or air cushions that creates a flexible, yet strong support.
The upper section of shoe is the nylon or mesh material. It is designed to be lightweight and breathable to help reduce moisture and keep the foot cool.
How long do they last?
The wear of volleyball shoes depends on the amount of use a player has in them. A typical shoe should last one full season when wearing them up to 4-5 days a week. Common signs of wear is the support of the ankle begins to weaken, and the sole begins to lose traction causing players to slide more on the court.
What do I look for?
Cushioning: This is very important when looking for new shoes. A player’s foot needs to feel great in the shoe and having painful feet can psychologically make one feel tired or exhausted.
Stability: Stability is key in volleyball because players are constantly moving in all directions. Having a great support for the ankles will help reinforce confidence to play at a higher level.
Breathability: This determines how well the shoe can keep a player’s foot cool and dry during a game. Certain designers will place mesh or vents to allow air flow in the shoe. A good material to have for breathability is high-tech polyester.
Lightweight: Volleyball players are always on the move. Heavy shoes could slow one down and not get the right height when jumping. It is important to make sure the shoe is durable to withstand the constant use, yet light to make movements quick.
Make sure to have an idea of what you are looking for in a shoe. Different brands may specialize in light weight and durability while others focus on breathability and cushioning.
How should they fit?
The volleyball shoe needs to be able to move with a player’s foot. This means the shoe should fit snugly, with the foot not moving inside. A helpful tip when trying on shoes is to have a finger width or less between the tip of the shoe and toes.
Can I wear them outside?
Volleyball shoes should only be worn on the gym floor. They should never be used as everyday wear because concrete and asphalt will quickly wear the soles out. It is recommended to bring a change of shoes for after practice or games.
When your volleyball shoe starts wearing out, turn to this guide to help you decide on your next pair.
Read more volleyball tips and find a Nike Volleyball Camp near you.