With so many volleyball shoes to choose from, buying new volleyball shoes can be a stressful process. While all volleyball shoes will perform better than any other shoe, buying the right volleyball shoes for you largely depends on a few factors: price, performance and preference.
Whether you are buying on a budget or just want to be responsible, typically more expensive volleyball shoes have many more features than budget shoes. These features include better ventilation, more cushioning, more support and improved durability. Lower-priced Asics volleyball shoes typically feature the GEL Cushioning Compound in only the rearfoot, while the higher-end shoes feature a forefoot and rearfoot Asics GEL system. Mizuno volleyball shoes all feature the Wave system for cushioning, yet only the higher-end Mizuno volleyball shoes feature an enhanced midsole designed for improved comfort.
Elite volleyball shoes from Mizuno and Asics fall into two basic categories: speed and stability/support. Shoes that fall into the speed category are extremely lightweight and offer less cushioning than shoes in the stability category. Volleyball shoes that fall into the stability category offer improved cushioning and support, but the tradeoff is increased weight. Your position and style of play will help determine which shoe is right for you.
In the end, the best shoe for you is the shoe you're most comfortable playing in. Players who spend most of their time on the ground or require more cushioning will prefer a more structured volleyball shoe, while hitters and active players will benefit from a lightweight shoe. Players who find themselves dragging their feet while serving might choose volleyball shoes with an upgraded toe area to extend the life of their shoes. When price isn't an issue, many players buy multiple pairs during a season and some use one pair strictly for practice and the other(s) as game shoes.