Can You Use Running Shoes For Volleyball? Answering With Facts!

It’s always tempting to step on the Volleyball court with those old running shoes, and sometimes, we may think investing in new volleyball footwear is unnecessary. But can you use running shoes for Volleyball? Let’s find out. 

Running shoes are designed for forward motion, providing cushioning and support for heel-to-toe movement. In contrast, Volleyball involves quick lateral movements, so specialized volleyball shoes offer better stability and traction. Using running shoes for Volleyball may lead to inadequate lateral support and an increased risk of injury. 

However, remember that depending on the current state of your running shoes and what type you’ve got, it might be okay to wear them for Volleyball every now and then, but not every day. Keep reading to know more about the reliability of running shoes as volleyball footwear. 

Unveiling Distinctions: Running Shoes vs. Volleyball Shoes

In the realm of athletic footwear, discerning between running shoes and volleyball shoes is crucial to optimize performance and prevent injuries. Let’s review the differences to help you make informed choices regarding your athletic footwear.


  • Running Shoes: Designed for forward motion during jogging, long-distance running, and walking.
  • Volleyball Shoes: Tailored for the dynamic, lateral movements required in Volleyball, such as jumping, quick directional changes, and lateral shuffling.

Cushioning And Support

  • Running Shoes: Feature ample cushioning in the heel and midsole to absorb impact, reduce joint stress, and provide a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
  • Volleyball Shoes: Prioritize lateral stability over excessive cushioning with a lower-profile midsole to enhance responsiveness during quick lateral movements.

Sole Design

  • Running Shoes: Often have a flexible outsole designed primarily for linear motion, emphasizing shock absorption and energy return.
  • Volleyball Shoes: Incorporate an outsole optimized for multi-directional traction on indoor courts, facilitating rapid lateral and diagonal movements.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

  • Running Shoes: Typically have a noticeable heel-to-toe drop to encourage a heel strike and smooth transition during each stride.
  • Volleyball Shoes: Tend to have a minimal heel-to-toe drop to maintain a low profile for stability during lateral movements.

Upper Material

  • Running Shoes: Often feature lightweight, breathable uppers for comfort during long runs and walks.
  • Volleyball Shoes: May include reinforced uppers to withstand the abrasion and stresses caused by intense lateral movements and abrupt stops.

Outsole Material

  • Running Shoes: Utilize rubber compounds for durability and longevity, with a focus on wear resistance.
  • Volleyball Shoes: Employ gum rubber outsoles for superior grip on indoor court surfaces, crucial for quick direction changes and jumps.

Injuries And Performance

  • Running Shoes: Designed to reduce the risk of injuries associated with running-related impact on joints and muscles.
  • Volleyball Shoes: Aim to minimize the risk of ankle sprains and provide the stability necessary for peak performance in volleyball-specific movements.

Impact Of Footwear In Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport that demands precision, agility, and quick movements on the court. Your choice of footwear can significantly impact your performance. In this discussion, we’ll delve into how your shoe type can influence your game in Volleyball.

Support And Stability

Footwear in Volleyball is pivotal in providing the necessary support and stability. Volleyball involves abrupt changes in direction, rapid accelerations, and frequent jumping.

Shoes designed for the sport offer features like reinforced ankle support, cushioning for shock absorption, and a snug fit to minimize the risk of sprains or strains. Proper support ensures that you can move confidently and maintain balance, enabling you to excel in crucial plays.

Traction And Court Grip

The right volleyball shoes have outsoles for maximum traction on indoor court surfaces. These outsoles typically feature gum rubber, which enhances grip, allowing you to make precise movements without slipping.

Adequate traction is essential for quick lateral movements, efficient starts, and sudden stops, enabling you to respond swiftly to the ball and outmaneuver opponents.

Comfort And Endurance

Comfort is a key factor in footwear’s impact on volleyball performance. Shoes that fit well and provide cushioning in the forefoot ensure you can endure long matches without discomfort.

Discomfort or foot fatigue can detract from your focus and performance, making comfortable footwear a vital aspect of volleyball success.

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is paramount in any sport, and Volleyball is no exception. Proper volleyball footwear helps minimize the risk of injuries such as ankle sprains or tendon strains.

By providing the right support and cushioning, these shoes enable players to engage in intense gameplay with reduced susceptibility to common volleyball-related injuries. 

Only when you understand the impact of footwear in Volleyball can you reap the benefits of using proper volleyball shoes. 

Can You Use Running Shoes For Volleyball?

When it comes to sports, choosing the right footwear is important to enhance your performance and prevent injuries.

While running shoes are ideal for their intended purpose, they might not be the best choice for sports like Volleyball. Here, we’ll delve into why using running shoes for Volleyball may not be the wisest decision.

Support And Cushioning

Running shoes are meticulously designed to provide cushioning and support for forward motion. They excel at absorbing shock during heel-to-toe movements, which is crucial for runners.

However, Volleyball involves different types of movements, such as lateral shuffling and quick stops. Running shoes lack the lateral support needed for these actions, potentially leading to ankle injuries or reduced stability.


In Volleyball, rapid changes in direction and sudden stops are common. Volleyball shoes feature specialized rubber outsoles with excellent grip, allowing players to make quick movements without slipping.

Running shoes typically have different tread patterns and may not offer the same level of traction required for Volleyball.

Weight And Design

Volleyball shoes are lighter and designed with agility in mind. They typically have lower profiles to keep you closer to the ground, enhancing your ability to move swiftly.

Running shoes, on the other hand, often have thicker soles and higher profiles, which can hinder your agility on the volleyball court. 

Therefore, out of almost infinite volleyball shoe brands, choose one that caters to your needs and invest in a pair on time! 

Choosing The Right Volleyball Footwear 

Here’s a concise explanation of the factors to consider when buying volleyball shoes.

  • Fit and Comfort: Prioritize a snug yet comfortable fit with adequate toe room.
  • Type of Court: Choose indoor or outdoor shoes based on your playing environment.
  • Ankle Support: Decide between low-top, mid-top, or high-top based on your ankle support needs.
  • Traction and Outsole: Look for non-marking rubber outsoles with effective tread patterns.
  • Cushioning and Shock Absorption: Select shoes with good cushioning to reduce joint impact.
  • Weight and Agility: Balance shoe weight and support for your playing style.
  • Breathability and Material: Opt for breathable materials to keep your feet cool and dry. For example, high-tech Polyester is one of the most lightweight and breathable materials used in Volleyball shoes. 
  • Budget: Determine your budget and consider investing in quality shoes for better performance.
  • Reviews: Read Volleyball shoe reviews of reputable brands like Adidas for insights into their performance.

Considering these factors, you can make an informed choice when buying volleyball shoes, ensuring they enhance your game while providing comfort and support. 

Meanwhile, give our other article a read explaining whether you can use Volleyball shoes for running. 

Pros And Cons Of Using Running Shoes For Volleyball 

Using running shoes for Volleyball can have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the individual’s preferences and playing style. Here are the pros and cons.


These are some of the possible upsides of using running shoes for Volleyball.

  • Comfort: Running shoes are often designed for comfort during prolonged activity. They offer cushioning and support that can reduce foot fatigue during long volleyball matches.
  • Multi-Purpose: If you own running shoes and play Volleyball recreationally, using them can save you money since you won’t need a separate pair of shoes.
  • Versatility: Running shoes are suitable for various indoor sports and activities, making them versatile if you engage in various athletic pursuits.


Let’s review the cons of wearing your running shoes on the Volleyball court.

  • Lack Of Lateral Support: Running shoes are primarily designed for forward motion, lacking the lateral support crucial for Volleyball’s side-to-side movements. This can increase the risk of ankle injuries.
  • Traction Limitations: Volleyball-specific shoes have outsoles with superior grip on indoor courts. Running shoes may not provide the same level of traction, leading to slipping during quick movements.
  • Reduced Agility: Volleyball shoes typically have a lower profile and are lighter, promoting agility. Running shoes with thicker soles can hinder quick lateral movements and jumps.
  • Performance Compromise: Volleyball-specific shoes are engineered to optimize performance, from jumping to quick direction changes. Using running shoes may compromise your game’s overall performance potential.


When it comes to the question, “Can you use running shoes for volleyball?” the answer is nuanced. While running shoes provide comfort and versatility, they are not ideal for serious volleyball players.

Volleyball demands specific features like lateral support, superior traction, and agility, which running shoes lack. Opting for volleyball-specific footwear is smart for those aiming to excel on the court while minimizing injury risks.

That’s because Volleyball shoe technology is different from running shoes. While you can technically use running shoes for Volleyball in a casual setting, investing in a dedicated pair of volleyball shoes is a decisive step toward unlocking your full potential in this dynamic sport. 


Are There Specific Shoes For Volleyball? 

Yes, there are specific shoes designed for Volleyball. These shoes are tailored to the sport’s demands, providing features like lateral support and superior court traction. 

Where To Buy Volleyball Shoes Near Me? 

You can find volleyball shoes at sporting goods stores, specialty shoe stores, or online retailers. Search for “volleyball shoes near me” online or visit nearby sports equipment stores.

How Much Are Volleyball Shoes Similar To Basketball Shoes? 

Volleyball shoes and basketball shoes vary in design and purpose. While both offer sport-specific features, the prices can differ significantly based on brand, model, and performance features, with basketball shoes often having a wider price range.

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