When trying out any new sport, it’s natural to want to save the pennies by using your pre-existing sportswear. Therefore, many people question if they can play a safe volleyball game in their everyday sneakers.
The answer to this is probably not. Taking into account the constant jumping and side movements, volleyball shoes are specifically made to cater to the sport. They allow you to stick to the floor without slipping and absorb the impact of many jumps. But how exactly do volleyball shoes help you level up your game? The best volleyball shoe brands take their design seriously, and it shows.
Here’s what makes them different from other sports shoes and why you’ll find them (quite literally) game-changing.
Wearing the right shoes to play volleyball can help prevent injury. Most kicks are made with a gum rubber sole that provides extra traction. This prevents the shoe from sliding and causing injury to the ankle.
A good shoe will also be non-marking, with the mid-sole supporting the ball of the foot. This is so players can easily make quick jumps and movements during practice or an actual game. You’ll quickly notice the added support when wearing volleyball shoes as opposed to your everyday sneakers.
In volleyball, ankle support is non-negotiable. It typically comes in the form of high-top shoes and strong sides. These features act as a buffer if the ankle begins to roll, and the proper shaping of the shoe allows your foot to be completely secure.
High-top shoes are preferred as they prevent sprained ankles the most. However, if you don’t have a pair, you can purchase an ankle brace to add some extra protection. Quality ankle braces will feel comfortable and increase protection for your ankles. Insert them into your shoe, and when worn with good-quality ankle-supporting shoes, you can ensure ankle injuries (which are the most common injuries in volleyball) will be less likely.
Volleyball shoes have impact shock absorption, which cushions landings and take-offs. This feature reduces the risk of shin splints, which is a pain that is felt below the knee and through the middle of the shin.
Shock absorption in a shoe also helps to console a player’s midsoles after every jump. This is because this characteristic allows soft landings. As well as this, volleyball shoes have extra cushioning, so players can last longer on the court. And with the game requiring excessive jumping, running, and overall being very fast-paced, sustaining this necessary stamina through footwear is very important.
Volleyball shoes can help with overpronation issues as they keep your feet in the position they need to be in at all times. This also reduces injury and damage to the ankles. You’ll find you can get different variations of shoes, all with different rolls.
For example, every step has a delicate balance for how much the foot rolls. When the foot rolls forward too much, this is called overpronation, and you’ll need some volleyball shoes with a removable insole to accommodate this movement. Shoes that support overpronation are also known as orthotic friendly.
If your feet do not roll enough, this is called supination, and it prevents the muscles from working properly when you play.
While comfort and protection are probably the most important factors when it comes to choosing volleyball shoes and how they can help you, you’ll obviously want to consider your performance as well when you’re looking to make a purchase. For example, certain shoes can provide you with a nice amount of performance-boosting that will inevitably be a benefit!
As we previously mentioned, volleyball shoes must be able to withstand the shock of repetitive jumps and allow the player optimum flexibility due to them spending the majority of time on the balls of their feet. You can purchase shoes with foam, a foam-gel mixture, or models with air cushions in the midsole, all of which support a player’s stance.
And when the stance is supported, this obviously enhances performance. Also, the comfier the player is, the more likely they’ll be able to last for longer as well as perform moves without any issues.
Volleyball shoes can typically add around one to two inches to a player’s height. This can be pretty beneficial for both defending and attacking.
For example, the taller a player is, the more chance they can block the volleyball and stop the opposing team from scoring a point. And from a hitting perspective, the taller a player is, the more advantage they have of getting the ball over the net. Volleyball players are known for being tall; therefore, adding height will only add to your advantage.
The springs in the shoes also allow players to jump higher, adding height. As well as this, heavy shoes can slow down players, not to mention not being able to achieve the right height when jumping. Volleyball shoes need to be lightweight and durable, as they need to withstand constant use and allow players to make quick movements.
However, while compression-spring shoes can be worn in practices and normal games, they are typically banned in competition.
Volleyball can be a very strenuous sport, and it can especially take its toll on the feet and ankles. By making sure you have shoes that are functional, protective, and comfortable, you’ll be able to ensure you always play your best and be able to play for years to come!