10 Volleyball Shoes Put to the Test!

Check out our findings and lace up a new pair for the season.

Rosie Terrell
2012 Shoe & Gear Review

We put 10 different volleyball-specific shoes—from a myriad of brands in a rainbow of colors—to the test. Pick your favorite. Then grab a new pair of kneepads, some comfy duds, and perhaps even a neon item or two. This fall it’s all about the loud colors. Go ahead, stand out on the court.

Asics GEL Flashpoint

Featured color: Orange flame/Neon blue/ Hot pink
Price: $100
Sizes: 6-11, 12
Weight: 8.6 oz
Where to buy: 1st Place Volleyball
Description This lightweight sneaker delivers in durability and performance. Featuring an NC Rubber Outsole that provides more traction on the court and Asics’ patented GEL cushioning system, the Flashpoint is perfect for players seeking a well-cushioned, stabilizing sneaker.
VBM Tester Review Great for spirited young players, and those who are young at heart – the Flashpoint is not only the brightest and most noticeable shoe on the market but also a great practical lightweight shoe for players looking for speed and comfort throughout an all-day tournament.

Mizuno Wave Lightning RX

Featured color: Black/Silver
Price: $120
Sizes: 6-12, 13
Weight: 8.9 oz
Where to buy: Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA The Wave Lighting RX has the enhanced ap+ Mizuno midsole that allows for increased rebound and greater cushion durability without compromising its super-lightweight frame. Using the volleyball -specific full-length Pebax Mizuno Wave Technology to dissolve shock, this sneaker will prove extremely effective on the court.
VBM Tester Review A roomy toe box keeps these shoes from pinching, and as Mizuno still remains the symbol of elite volleyball players, just lacing them up provides a burst of court presence and confidence.

Nfinity BioniQ 2.0

Featured color: Silver
Price: $110
Sizes: 6-13, 14
Weight: 8.4 oz
Where to buy: Nfinity
Description The silver lining is the only difference between this sneaker and its twin in black. The Nfinity BioniQ 2.0 is one of the lightest on the market while still providing custom support and optimal foot flexibility.
VBM Tester Review This incredibly flexible shoe provides great maneuverability in the toe without sacrificing heel support, and if Nfinity’s science is on-point, their BioniQ design will help to prevent knee injury by addressing the different angles unique to the female body.

Adidas Opticourt 8.5

Featured color: Collegiate royal/Metallic silver /Running white
Price: $60
Sizes: 5-12
Weight: 10 oz
Where to buy: Adidas
Description Available in colors like University Red and Collegiate Navy, the Opticourt 8.5 is perfect for not only collegiate athletes, but is designed for all hardcore volleyball players who stil crave a comfy sneaker. This model has a beveled heel for stability and non-marking rubber on the outsole for increased traction indoors.
VBM Tester Review A very comfortable shoe with plenty of collar padding for ankle support, but make sure to try them on or order a few sizes, as they tend to run larger than other brands.

Asics Gel-Volley Lyte

Featured color: Royal blue
Price: $85
Sizes: 6-13
Weight: 9 oz
Where to buy: 1st Place Volleyball
Description With an advanced exoskeleton upper design and mesh panels for extra breathability, the GEL-Volley Lyte provides excellent support and comfort on the court while weighing in at just 9 oz.
VBM Tester Review The metallic accents on the GEL-Volley Lyte provide a modern redesign to this classic shoe, and the comfort and support is still unrivaled – a great choice for any level player.

Nike Multicourt 10

Featured color: Black/Anthracite/Hot punch
Price: $58
Sizes: 5-12
Weight: 10 oz
Where to buy: Nike
Description The Multicourt 10 is designed to bring you durability, breathability, and stability on the court. With a reinforced toe-tip for increased durability, combination leather and mesh upper for extra lateral support, and forefoot pivot circle for stability during multidirectional movement, the Multicourt is built to keep you on your feet and in the game.
VBM Tester Review These shoes are very trendy, especially with the pink accents, and the reinforced toe is great for players with an aggressive serve follow-through.

Asics GEL 1140V

Featured color: Black/Grape/Silver
Price: $85
Sizes: 6-13, 14
Weight: 10.9 oz
Where to buy: 1st Place Volleyball
Description This update in the popular 1100V series features improved cushioning and a ventilated sole unit. With a removable sock liner and an Air Mesh Upper, the 1140V combines speed and performance in a breathable lightweight shoe.
VBM Tester Review This Asics shoe is one of the best options for teams looking to color-coordinate their footwear – the Gel-1140V is available in cardinal, navy, and royal blue, but our favorite is the purple, the only color that sports the funky camouflage sole.

Nike Air Extreme Volley

Featured Color: White/Black/Navy/Metallic silver
Price: $90
Sizes: 5-12
Weight: 10.2 oz
Where to buy: Nike
Description Not only does the Air Extreme Volley have a comfy padded collar, a Max Air unit in the heel for impact protection, and modified herringbone pattern on the outsole for multidirectional traction, it also features a low profile tongue so there’s more room for an ankle brace to fit inside the shoe. A bonus: it uses environmentally preferred rubber outsole pods for increased durability and traction.
VBM Tester Review The low-profile tongue is a lifesaver for players who wear ankle braces, and the high concentration of mesh material provides great breathability.

Mizuno Wave Tornado 7

Featured color: White/Black
Price: $140
Sizes: 6-12, 13
Weight: 12 oz
Where to buy: Mizuno USA
Description The seventh generation Wave Tornado from Mizuno is equipped with Dynamotion Fit technology to relieve stress on the foot, allowing for the perfect fit. Teamed with a triple-layered mesh upper and synthetic overlays for maximum breathability and comfort and an improved ap+ midsole for better rebound and cushioned durability, the Wave Tornado 7 really is the total package.
VBM Tester Review One of the more expensive options on the market, the Mizuno Wave Tornado 7 is best for players who need a lot of support and structure in their footwear, and this well-engineered and durable shoe is likely to last for a couple of seasons.

Adidas Adizero Tempaia

Featured color: Bright pink/Running white/Metallic silver
Price: $125
Sizes: 5.5-11.5
Weight: 11 oz
Where to buy: Adidas
Description It’s full court play with the Tempaia 2.0, which features a hard court rubber outsole for maximum performance in multiple directions, along with a cushioned insole for impact protection. It’s easy to feel like a champion in this high-performance sneaker – even in this brilliant pink hue.
VBM Tester Review This is a serious statement-making shoe, and is great for women with wider feet and those who prefer a lot of support, as the soles are very thick and firm.

Originally published in September/October 2012

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