Can You Use Basketball Shoes For Volleyball?

Can you use basketball shoes for volleyball? is a question that many players and enthusiasts ask, especially when they find themselves at the crossroads of these two popular sports basketball and volleyball.

As per my experience, observation, and research, I will say:-

It’s OK to wear basketball shoes for playing volleyball. This is because the basketball shoes are equipped with all necessary features like traction, cushioning, and ankle support which are required for qualifying the best volleyball shoes.

Despite of my background as a former volleyball professional and lover of Adidas Dame 08. I will try to answer this question based on the facts and available data.

For this purpose I will discuss the following points:-

  • Similarities Between Basketball Shoes and Volleyball Shoes
  • Differences between Basketball Shoes and Volleyball Shoes
  • Pros and Cons of Using Basketball Shoes for Playing Volleyball
  • Commonly Used Basketball Shoes for Volleyball
  • Which Volleyball Players Wear Basketball Shoes
  • Things to consider while choosing Basketball Shoes for Volleyball

Similarities of Basketball Shoes With Volleyball Shoes

Even though basketball and volleyball are extremely different sports, both games involve similar basic movements like Jumping, Pivoting, and agile motions.

A ton of grip and padding are required in the shoes to perform these movements properly and without injury.

Therefore, many features in basketball and volleyball shoes are similar in the aspect of shoe construction. Some are as follows.


  • Both Basketball and volleyball are played on court surfaces. These surfaces can be slippery for ordinary shoes.
  • Therefore, the footwear for basketball and volleyball is designed to offer a good grip on court surfaces.


  • Modern cushioning technology is frequently utilized in basketball shoes to reduce shock during high-impact sports.
  • Similarly, volleyball shoes are also equipped with the latest technology to afford a soft landing by offering decent shock absorption.
  • The ultimate objective is to protect joints from being stressed out after repeated jumping and landings.

Ankle support

  • Basketball shoes have been designed to provide better ankle support due to the sport’s frequent jumping and fast lateral motions.
  • Similarly, volleyball shoes are also designed to support the ankle and avoid sprain while awkward landing after a spike or a block.

A sprained ankle is one of the most common sports injuries. In fact, every fifth sports injury is a sprained ankle. In certain sports, especially team sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, and handball, up to 50% of all acute injuries are ankle sprains. In the course of a season, an elite level football, handball, basketball, or volleyball team can expect 2-3 players are spraining their ankle.,acute%20injuries%20are%20ankle%20sprains.


  • Both volleyball and basketball are demanding games and take maximum power and foot movement.
  • Comfort is the ultimate objective of both shoes whether it is the Volleyball or basketball shoes
  • Players can benefit from basketball shoes because they are designed for comfort during extended periods of play, particularly during long matches or tournaments.

Difference Between Basketball and volleyball Shoes

Although Volleyball and Basketball shoes are similar in terms of characteristics there are a few differences in both shoes.


Design is the most common difference between both shoes. One can spot the difference upon looking at both shoes.

  • Volleyball shoes are generally designed after keeping every position in mind. For instance, Adidas Crazyflight is worn by both the attackers and defenders. Likewise, Asics Sky Elite and Mizuno Wave Momentum are also all-rounder shoes.
  • On the other hand basketball shoes offer plenty of designs matching the player’s style and position in the basketball court.
  • This difference may be attributed to the evolution and size of both shoe industries. The basketball industry is currently more developed and big compared to volleyball shoes.

Shoe Construction Materials

As regards the construction material, volleyball shoes, and basketball shoes have a little difference.

  • The upper of the volleyball shoes is made up of leather and mesh material with a prime focus on keeping the shoe lightweight
  • On the other hand, basketball shoes also have a mesh-made upper material but this is more synthetic to increase durability.


The ultimate objective of both shoes is to mitigate the shock and give a soft landing.

  • Basketball shoes contain EVA or polyurethane material in the midsole for impact absorption and improving shoe stability.
  • Volleyball shoes have gel, liquid, or air in addition to the EVA for enhanced shock absorption.


  • Basketball-specific demands, such as constant running, jumping, and cutting, are taken into consideration when designing basketball shoes.
  • The thick construction of basketball shoes makes them more durable compared to volleyball shoes


Basketball shoes offer a greater variety of options compared to volleyball shoes. For instance, Nike offers fewer volleyball shoe options compared the basketball shoes. The shoe options by Nike for volleyball include

  • Kyrie
  • KD
  • Giannis
  • Lebron’s
  • PGs

On the other hand, it only offers the following three volleyball shoes

  • React Hyperset
  • Hyperspeed
  • Zoom Hyperace 02

Moreover, basketball sneakers are offered by more shoe-making companies compared to volleyball shoes. For instance, renowned basketball shoe manufacturing companies include Nike, Adidas, Air Jorden, Puma, Reebok, Under Armour, New Balance, and Anta.

On the other hand, volleyball shoes are mainly manufactured by Asics, Mizuno, Adidas, Nike, and a little share of Under Armor.

Why To Use Basketball Shoes for Volleyball

Let’s look at the reasons for and against wearing basketball shoes for volleyball in simple terms:

Ankle Support

  • Basketball players can move quickly to the side while being protected from ankle sprains due to the high ankle support found in basketball shoes.
  • As volleyball players frequently make explosive jumps and lateral movements while playing, this added stability may be helpful to them.


  • Basketball shoes frequently have excellent cushioning built in to help with landing after a jump.
  • Because volleyball players are known for their powerful spikes and jumps, the additional cushioning may help reduce the strain on your feet and knees, resulting in longer-lasting ease on your joints.


  • Basketball footwear is designed to offer excellent grip on indoor courts, which is useful in volleyball matches requiring quick stops and direction changes.
  • This is essential when playing on a wooden or polished floor because it supports in balance maintenance and slip avoidance.


  • According to the physical demands of basketball, basketball shoes are made to last a long time.
  • For volleyball players who perform frequent, high-impact movements throughout matches, this durability may be an advantage.


  • Basketball shoes can save you money and storage space if you play both basketball and volleyball.
  • You won’t need to spend money on two different pairs of shoes, and switching between the two sports won’t be difficult.

Personal Preference

  • Some athletes might prefer the approach that basketball shoes feel and fit, and this familiarity and comfort can enhance their performance on the volleyball court.

Commonly Used Basketball Shoes for Volleyball

  • Nike KD 15
  • Nike Lebron 20
  • Nike Kyrie Infinity
  • Nike Giannis Immortality
  • Adidas DON Issue 03
  • Adidas Dame 07 and 08
  • Adidas Harden Vol 06

Few shoes are used by professionals but are less common.

  • Nike Zoom Freak 05
  • Under Armour Curry Flow 9
  • Under Armour Flow Futr X 2
  • Nike Zoom Lebron NXXT Gen
  • Adidas Dame Certified EXTPLY 2.0 ‘Trail Blazers’

I have also listed these shoes while answering a question about what shoes the best volleyball players wear.

Why Not Use Basketball Shoes for Volleyball


  • Shoes designed particularly for volleyball are usually lighter than basketball shoes. Lightweight shoes can help you move quickly on the court, which is important for volleyball because it requires agility and speed.
  • Basketball shoes may slow you down and limit your performance because of their extra weight.
  • The average weight of Volleyball sneakers is weight 300 to 400 grams whereas basketball sneakers have an average weight of 425-570 grams.

Toe box:

  • Compared to volleyball shoes, basketball shoes typically have a bulkier and wider toe box.
  • You can have more control over the ball when passing, setting, and hitting it if your volleyball shoes have a narrower and more streamlined toe box.

Injury risk:

  • The ankle support found in basketball shoes can be helpful. Still, it may also restrict your ankle’s natural range of motion, essential for volleyball movements like diving and digging.
  • Some claim that certain volleyball-specific injuries may be more likely to occur when wearing basketball shoes.

Style of the Shoes

  • The style of the shoe is also an important factor to consider. Volleyball shoes typically have a sleek and streamlined design that is built for agility and speed.
  • While basketball shoes have a bulkier and more rugged look that is designed to provide maximum sport and durability.
  • Volleyball shoes are designed to be highly flexible allowing for quick changes of direction and fast movements on the court.
  • They typically have a lightweight upper and flexible sole that promotes natural foot movement in contrast basketball shoes are generally less flexible due to their thicker sole and higher cut which can restrict ankle movement.
  • Basketball shoes are designed to withstand the rise of high-impact movements and are more durable than volleyball shoes.
  • They often feature reinforced materials in highway areas such as the toe and heel and may have additional cushioning and support to protect the feet from injury. Volleyball shoes on the other hand may have a softer lifespan due to their lightweight construction and lack of reinforcement in highway areas.


  • Volleyball shoes and basketball shoes can vary in price depending on the model and features.
  • In general basketball shoes tend to be more expensive due to their thicker construction additional cushioning and a higher level of durability.
  • Volleyball shoes are generally less expensive due to their lighter weight and simpler design.
  • For instance, the Nike Kobe Mamba costs more than 300 USD whereas all the best volleyball shoes are available for less than 200 bucks.

In conclusion, your priorities and preferences will decide whether you should wear basketball shoes for volleyball. They can be useful if you already have a good pair of basketball shoes and you don’t want to spend extra money on volleyball shoes.

Do You Know

Most of the best volleyball players wear volleyball shoes. I have observed the volleyball shoes of the top 46 players including Attackers (17), Setters (09) Blockers (08), and Liberos (12). As per my observations, only 06 players were wearing basketball shoes and the majority of these players were from Slovenia.

Benefits of Using basketball Shoes for volleyball


  • Basketball shoes have a thicker and more protective cushioning system designed to absorb the impact of high jumps and hard landings.


  • Basketball shoes have a higher cut that provides more protection and stability.


  • Basketball shoes are typically heavier and more durable which provides additional support and protection during high-impact movements.

Protection from injury

  • Basketball shoes are designed to withstand the rise of high-impact shoes they often feature reinforced materials in highway areas such as the toe and heel and may have additional cushioning and support to protect the feet from injury.

Ankle support

  • Shoes designed for basketball have a high ankle support design. This helps prevent ankle injuries, which is beneficial for volleyball players. Your ankles are protected when you jump and land on the court, which reduces the possibility of sprains.


  • You can play other sports and engage in other activities with your basketball shoes. This implies that your shoes are worth more to you. These shoes can be used for a variety of activities, such as walking, running, and basketball.


  • Several basketball shoes are known for their trendy styles. While playing volleyball, you can feel good about your appearance.

Improved performance

  • You can perform better on the volleyball court overall if you wear the proper basketball shoes. Enhanced comfort, support, and grip can help you perform at your best.

Athletes who use basketball shoes for volleyball

Earvin Ngapeth

Earvin is a French professional volleyball player and member of the France national volleyball team who uses basketball shoes for volleyball.

Russell Westbrook

NBA superstar Russell Westbrook is renowned for wearing basketball shoes with strong ankle support when playing volleyball. Even at a professional level, he has admitted that he enjoys playing volleyball, and he frequently wears basketball shoes when doing so.

Destinee Hooker

Basketball shoes have been seen on American volleyball player Destinee Hooker while she trains. She is well known for preferring the extra ankle support and cushioning that basketball shoes offer.

Matthew John Anderson

A well-known American national volleyball team player has been spotted competing in basketball shoes.

Gregor Ropret

A well-known setter of Slovenia wears Under Armour shoes including Curry Flow 9 and Flow Futr X 2 basketball shoes

Kozamernik Jan

Another player from Slovenia Wears Nike Zoom Lebron NXXT Gen Basketball shoes. He plays as a middle blocker.

Kovačič Jani

He plays as a libero in the volleyball team of Slovenia and wears Adidas Dame Certified EXTPLY 2.0 ‘Trail Blazers’  basketball shoes.

Things to Consider Before Buying Basketball Shoes


  • The amount of movement that all volleyball players experience can be noticed by those who play the sport frequently. Therefore, a poor movement or wrong step on the field can break your ankle if a pair of shoes is not stable.
  • Therefore, it would be beneficial if you looked for footwear with better stability. Based on research, you should purchase basketball shoes with wider soles because they are very useful for volleyball as well.


  • Comfort and impact absorption are two important factors that affect the cushion’s structure. It would be best if you had footwear that can support all of your weight when you land.
  • Additionally, soft shoes for volleyball should be worn to maximize comfort for the player. More flexible shoes have more elastic fabric, which helps them absorb more impact while playing. Therefore, if you intend to wear your basketball shoes for volleyball games, always check the cushioning.


  • To apply pressure to the ball and score in volleyball, players must jump high. Having a pair of lightweight shoes is the only way to do that.
  • Find a shoe that can offer you all the wonderful features while remaining lightweight. The team will eventually suffer as a result of your strategy being slowed down by heavier footwear.

Proper Air Circulation

  •  You don’t want the whole locker room to smell like your feet after complete dominance in a volleyball match. Buy shoes with a good ventilation system to avoid such an embarrassing situation.
  • Your feet will stay dry and healthy if there is constant airflow both inside and outside the shoe. There won’t be an unpleasant smell if there is no swe

Final Thoughts!

Buying volleyball-specific shoes is highly recommended if you take your game seriously. These shoes are made specifically for the sport, offering the best court feel, agility, and traction.

The decision between basketball shoes and volleyball shoes ultimately comes down to your level of passion for the sport and your specific needs as a player.

Volleyball shoes are the best option for serious players who want to excel and enjoy the game to the fullest because they are designed for peak performance in the sport, unlike basketball shoes, which can be an appropriate alternative option.

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