Volleyball is currently one of the most popular sports globally and is played by about 800 million people. Today, excellent performing volleyball shoes will play an essential role. They will help with the quality of the game, comfort, and, most importantly, give you protection for your foot—preventing unwanted injuries. The selection of shoes is ten times more extensive today than in the past.
More and more volleyball players started to use basketball shoes which are very similar to volleyballs or vice versa. There are hundreds of different models available, both low-top and mid-top, from well-known manufacturers and brands like Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, and others.
Even if basketball and volleyball shoes are very similar, there are still minor differences, which we have to consider. Let’s look at the main ones, depending on the manufacturer, and find out if basketball will provide the same performance as volleyball shoes.
Both volleyball and basketball are played on courts that involve a lot of fast lateral movements, and both require good foot stabilization.
The key features that will make a good shoe for playing volleyball are flexibility and weight. Ankle protection is also as crucial as ankle injuries are most common in both sports.
Let’s look at the main similarities and differences between basketball and volleyball shoes.
Both volleyball and basketball shoes must have excellent grip, as fast lateral movements are performed in both sports, which is mandatory for injury prevention.
However, the sole of classic volleyball shoes differs slightly in material from basketball shoes. Volleyball shoes mostly use gum rubber, while basketballs use classic rubber. Both will produce excellent traction.
Ankle injuries are among the most common injuries in both volleyball and basketball. All brands will provide shoes low-top and mid-top. Mid tops will be overall better for protection due to more ankle support. One of the differences in heel counter I’ve noticed is that basketball has a slightly stiffer material than volleyball shoes, so ankle protection is also better.
Cushioning must be excellent in both basketball and volleyball to absorb blows from constant jumping and landing. The difference is that in volleyball, cushioning should focus more on the middle. However, basketball shoes focus more on the heel and ankle area, as the sport involves more running.
All Basketball and volleyball players make lots of fast sideways movements while playing. However, lateral support is more important in volleyball, as there are significantly more of those. Therefore, volleyball shoes should be more lateral supported than basketballs.
Overall the shoes should be light in both sports to make lateral movements and jumps as easy as possible. In addition, it will also help with better injury prevention.
Volleyball shoes are mostly lighter than their competitors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find lightweight basketball shoes. There are tons of them available on the market.
The best brands in the basketball category are Nike, Adidas and Under Armor, followed by Puma, Reebok, and others. Only Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor produces volleyball shoes as well. Interestingly enough, Under Armour has so far only made women’s. Each brand produces both low-top and mid-top in both sports. Each model has its advantages that will satisfy a particular individual.
Nike is, in my opinion, the best manufacturer for basketball, and recently it has also entered the volleyball scene. Every year, they sign new players and design a shoe based on each individual requirement, which refers to their needs and style of play.
Basketball shoes available at Nike
- Kyrie (Kyrie Irving)
- KD (Kevin Durant)
- Giannis (Giannis Antetokounmpo)
- Lebron’s (Lebron James)
- PGs (Paul George)
- Air Jordan ( Russel Westbrook, Luka Dončič, Zion Williamson and others)
Volleyball shoes available at Nike
- React Hyperset
- Zoom Hyperace
All basketball shoes listed above have different specifications; some have better ankle support, better grip, better support, and weight. For playing volleyball, you can go with one of the Durant, Kobe, Irving, and Giannis. They are very light and could be an excellent pick for volleyball players. I’ve also seen some players wear Lebron shoes, but in my opinion, these are too bulky and heavy.
Like Nike, Adidas is regularly signing new contracts with the world’s best basketball players. The well-known manufacturer, marked by the famous three straight lines, also produces both basketball and volleyball shoe models. A more extensive selection of designs and color combinations are available with basketball models, so many volleyball players decide to go with these.
Some of basketball shoes available at Adidas
- Trae (Trae Young )
- Dame ( Damian Lillard )
- Harden (James Harden )
- Rose ( Derrick Rose )
Some of volleyball shoes available at Adidas
- Crazyflight mid & low
All of the basketball shoes from the Adidas brand differ from each other, both in terms of specifications and appearance. Looking from a volleyball perspective, choosing one of Damian Lillard, Trae Young, or James Harden would make the most sense. If you have recurring problems with ankles, Dame’s will be the best choice as they will provide better overall support than the others.
The third brand in our review that could answer the question: Can basketball shoes be used in volleyball? Is Under Armor. Under Armor has a much smaller selection than its Nike and Adidas competitors. But they have an ace in the sleeve. Curry model. A trendy-looking and excellent performing shoe made for NBA Icon Stephen Curry, used by many basketball and volleyball players.
Some of basketball shoes available at Under Armour
- Curry (Stephen Curry)
- SC 3z5
- SC 3ZER0 III
- Lockdown 5
Some of volleyball shoes available at Under Armour
- Highlight Ace Elite
- Block City Elite
Interestingly, the Under Armour brand does not offer men’s volleyball shoes because their models are designed for women only. You will have to go with a basketball model to get men’s shoes. The Curry models will give you all the necessary specifications that a good volleyball player needs, and you cannot miss these shoes. You will get good support exceptional traction so that you won’t be disappointed in volleyball terms.
Overall, basketball shoes are an excellent substitute for volleyball. We went through the key differences what to look out for. The purpose of both is the same. They are supposed to provide sufficient traction provide good support, so you don’t get any unwanted slips and unwanted injuries.
Not every shoe and brand will perform the same, so you need to research the available shoes that will provide specifications that your foot needs. You can never go wrong with some of the shoes my teammates or I wore. Those are Kyries, Hardens, Mitchells Kobes, Currys, Dames and KDs. Of course, there are also others just try to stay away from heavy, bulky ones, and you are good to go for your next volleyball practice.
Which are the best?
Q: Can volleyball shoes be used in basketball?
There is virtually no case today of someone using volleyball shoes in basketball, and the reason for this is support in the ankle area, which is better in basketball shoes. Tho, some models could be used for basketball also. For example, Nike’s Hyperset is made based on the basketball Nike Hyperdunk model so you could technically use that one.
Q: What is the main difference between basketball and volleyball shoes?
The main difference between basketball and volleyball shoes is the support in the ankle area and cushioning, which is focused more in the middle. The sole is also slightly different, where in most cases volleyball, uses gum rubber, and basketball shoes use classic rubber.
Q: Is just about every basketball shoe suitable for playing volleyball?
There may be several possible answers here as each individual is just different. In principle, yes, but I would recommend that you choose from my suggested options. Try to choose one that is lightweight that will give you good support, cushioning, and a good grip.
Q: Can you use basketball shoes for volleyball?
We went through all the crucial points, the main differences between basketball and volleyball shoes, and concluded that there are differences. Still, they are certainly not so big that it could stop volleyball players from buying them.
We hope you enjoyed reading our article about basketball shoes for volleyball usage. If you have any questions regarding volleyball equipment or shoes, feel free to leave us a question anytime. We will try to respond as fast as possible and provide you with an answer. Do you need to get some valuable tips for buying volleyball shoes? Read this article to learn more.