In this guide, you will learn:
- The advantages of using basketball shoes in volleyball
- Whether running shoes are also great substitutes
- What to look for in a good basketball shoe if you want to play volleyball with them
Before we get into the details for each of our top-rated basketball shoes for volleyball, check out the following list to give you a preview of what’s to come.
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
What's In This Guide?
Being able to use basketball shoes for volleyball is fine and all, but why would you even? Is there an advantage to opting for basketball shoes for volleyball? Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few benefits to wearing basketball shoes for volleyball. Here are just some of them.
- Better Availability
Compared to basketball, there are just fewer companies that specialize in making shoes for volleyball. This makes it difficult to find a pair of shoes that you like or fit well. Basketball is pretty much its industry, with a selection of shoes for days. If there’s a shoe shop close to where you live, chances are, they have a good selection of basketball shoes in stock.
- Larger Range
This one ties neatly to the previous benefit. Although our heads conjure up a specific image when we hear the words “basketball shoes”, the designs available on the market are pretty varied. You can find basketball shoes that prioritize maneuverability, or you can find shoes that have better support than others. If you play a specific game in volleyball, then there’s certainly a basketball shoe that can fit that niche.
- They Look Better
This one is more about preference, but generally speaking, basketball shoes are just more aesthetically pleasing than volleyball shoes. There are also plenty of designs to choose from. Even better, these shoes aren’t limited to the court. They look good with casual apparel, too.
Just like basketball shoes, certain running shoes do have designs that overlap with the needs of volleyball, and in theory, can be used in the sport to some degree, but at reduced effectiveness. Running shoes, in particular, are built for forward movement, and although volleyball does have a lot of forward momentum, there’s also plenty of lateral movement as well as backward movement.
This focus on multi-directional movement means volleyball players spend a lot of their time with their weight on the balls of their feet. As a result, shoes with high traction are needed to excel in volleyball. Unfortunately, running shoes don’t always have such good traction. Some do, but that is not a design most manufacturers focus on when they build running shoes.
Most of the focus with running shoes goes to the cushioning and stability whilst on the move. And although this can be helpful in volleyball, it’s not as important as traction. What’s more, running shoes tend to have heavier cushioning, which is detrimental to volleyball.
Running shoes are also primarily designed to be used on outdoor surfaces, like pavement and asphalt. On the other hand, volleyball shoes, and many basketball shoes, are designed for indoor courts, which are made of smooth hardwood.
If you are bent on using running shoes or something similar for volleyball, it’s recommended that you use cross-trainers.
Pick #1 - Nike AT7843-001 Shox BB4 Basketball Shoes
The Shox technology used on its cushioning helps dissipate energy your heels suffer from impact. It does so by redirecting the energy towards your forefoot and onto the floor without your entire foot absorbing much of it, reducing fatigue and the risk for injury.
For traction, the Shox BB4’s toe box has a solid rubber outsole meant to give a proper grip on smooth surfaces. Its lightweight design also means you get to enjoy this top-notch performance without the shoe ever weighing you down.
The material is far from breathable, however, and coupled with the slightly snug fit, we found it uncomfortable to wear after a while.
Pick #2 – Under Armour Curry 3 Basketball Shoe
The Curry 3 makes use of Charged cushioning technology, which gives its wearer enhanced responsiveness on the court. This also makes it perfect for sudden and quick changes of direction. Aside from this, the carbon fiber support on the heels helps support the ankle and the heel bones, whilst also providing balance and extra impact absorption during landing.
Traction is provided by the solid rubber outsole, which is not only durable but sticks like glue. Although traction is close to perfect, we discovered that continuous playing on dusty courts can lead to the Curry 3 losing much of its traction abilities. Cleaning your shoes regularly solves this problem.
Pick #3 – Nike Mamba Rage Basketball Shoes
The Mamba Rage’s performance is largely thanks to the Lunarlon cushioning at the midsole. It offers significant support and impact protection but is much lighter than other types of cushioning.
Depending on the model, the Mamba Rage’s outsole can either be made from the gum or solid rubber. Either material is great, but most of the shoe’s traction power comes from its multidirectional traction pattern, ensuring that your forefoot stays on the floor regardless of the direction you pivot to.
One problem we did find is that the shoes do take a while to break in; at least a day. We don’t recommend you play with this right out of the box.
Pick #4 – Nike 2007 Air Force 1 High-Top Basketball Sneakers
The Air Force 1 has a full leather upper that not only provides excellent overall support but also makes it easier to clean after a long day at the courts. Another thing that set this footwear apart and what started a revolution is its iconic Air Technology midsole. It offers excellent cushioning and impact protection without the added weight.
Of course, since it is a high top, it does limit much of your movement, making it feel a lot bulkier and a lot heavier than it looks.
Pick #5 - Adidas Dame 5
The Dame 5’s cushioning is designed to have an excellent response, impact protection, and support perfect for vertical jumps. On top of this, the traction patterns are multidirectional, making pivot maneuvers that much easier on the feet. Unfortunately, we did find that the traction is less effective on dusty or dirty courts.
Pick #6 - Nike Jordan Ultra.Fly 3
Going back to this shoe, this shoe shattered our expectations with regards to its comfort. It has several features that make it one of the most, if not the most comfortable basketball shoe on the market. For instance, it has a woven textile construction that feels nice and soft to the touch. This flexible material also makes it possible to provide optimal comfort during those dire saves in volleyball.
This shoe also has the Achilles pillows, which enhances the comfort level to new heights. Additionally, the midsole provides has superior plushness without reducing impact protection and responsiveness.
Aside from its optimal comfort this particular basketball shoe has a full-length herringbone design on its outsole. This particular design makes the traction ideal for volleyball, especially when the team needed to do a full stop for those sudden shifts in plays.
However, the outsole does have a number 23 logo that extends to the outsole. We didn’t like this design choice because it made some of our team members slip when it got in contact with the court. Thankfully, our teammates are experienced sportspeople, so they knew how to adjust their footing to reduce the occurrences of this issue. With that said, this basketball shoe might not be ideal for volleyball beginners.
Pick #7 - Nike Jordan Rising
First, let’s talk about this shoe’s fit; it was good, to say the least. The team members that got the chance to wear it didn’t have significant complaints in this category. They even said that the inner lining is quite comfy and the tongue is sufficiently soft. The ankle collar is also reasonably plush.
Next, we can say that the support is top-notch. The shoe has a built-in heel counter, lateral outriggers, and soft ankle collar that works extremely well together. The excellently built outsole also adds to the overall support, which is important for those hard landings while jumping around in volleyball.
Moving forward, the upper is made of synthetic leather, while the fuse panels are on some high-wear areas. These materials are quite standard for an athletic shoe. Although these elements doesn’t blow some of our socks off, it still enhances the overall comfort and ventilation of the shoe.
Pick #8 - Adidas Harden Vol. 3
But you might be wondering, what about its performance? We can answer that question in one word – great.
For instance, this shoe offers top-notch support. The brand went modern with the materials by going with premium fabrics. To be fair, it’s also what the company did with the previous iteration. Layers were practically non-existent, which gave minus points to enhanced comfort. However, the lack of layers added safety and support.
We also found that there’s the mesh is practically non-existent. At first, we were scared that this shoe would increase the risks of injury because of this factor. Thankfully, the mesh is hidden under a layer under the upper. Plus, the shoe still made our feet feel safe during intense plays.
Finally, we liked that the BOOST midsole is wider than usual. In turn, this shoe provides optimal support, balance, and lockdown.
Pick #9 - Nike Kobe Mamba Focus
Let’s start the explanation with its materials; the Mamba Focus is a full-length mesh/knit shoe that features an upper with high-quality materials. Additionally, the toe box area uses sturdy rubber bands to keep this part in place and with minimal risk of falling apart. The tongue is also made of mesh to improve breathability and reduce weight.
Next, this shoe a stiff cushion setup that provides a low profile ride and responsive feel. With that in mind, it does require a bit of breaking into for the stiffness to subside. Aside from that, it also comes with a small Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for extra breathability.
The sole is solid. We found that this area is reasonably stable and wide due to their fairly wide dimensions. In the back, there’s a heel counter that keeps the wearer’s foot in place while moving.
On the downside, we found that the toe box was too small to fit our feet properly. Although it suffers some points in comfort, it didn’t have any significant adverse impacts on overall performance.
Pick #10 - Nike Kyrie 7
The team members that had the chance to wear this shoe enjoyed several things. For instance, the Kyrie 7 features a tech-based traction pattern that allows wearers to monitor and identify specific areas of the foot that require the most amount of support.
In other words, this unique rubber outsole design that is an ideal choice for many athletes, especially volleyball players. With it, you’ll know which part of the foot to focus on your weight, promoting improved gameplay and reduced risks of injuries.
As for the fit, the Kyrie 7 is a true-to-size shoe. It features a snug fit and it even has removable heel pads. We also liked that this product has a wrap-around footbed at the forefoot for enhanced stability in that area.
This shoe is also sufficiently comfortable, thanks to the use of premium materials. However, in our experience, the comfort level is quite similar to the shoe’s previous iterations, particularly the Kyrie 5 and 6. Therefore, if you already own those shoes, you may find the comfort levels presented by the Kyrie 7 to be anything but new.