How Long Do Volleyball Shoes Last?

How long do the volleyball shoes last

Like all athletic shoes volleyball shoes also aren’t immortal. There isn’t any specific period of their lifespan like 2 months or 3 months.

According to estimates volleyball shoe pairs last for one season and even two seasons depending on the quality, usage, and maintenance. However, as per my experience, these shoes last for one season with good maintenance and dedicated use.

In this article, I will be discussing the various factors affecting the lifespan of volleyball shoes and the time to change the shoes. Lastly, few tips for maintenance and longevity.

So explore the topic How Long Do Volleyball Shoes Last?

What Affects the Longevity of Volleyball Shoes?

As per my experience, there are 05 factors including maintenance, playing frequency, position and style, court surface, and foot size selection that affect the lifespan of a volleyball shoe.

1. Maintenance

Improper maintenance of any equipment will reduce its lifespan, regardless of quality and price. The same is the case with volleyball shoes. A poorly maintained volleyball shoe is prone to damage earlier than a properly maintained pair.

When I talk about care, it means cleaning shoes regularly, storing them in a dry place, and lastly drying them after every use them after getting dried.

2. Paying Frequency

Special foam technology is used in the construction of the midsole of volleyball shoes. Likewise, the breathable mesh material is used for making the shoe upper. Whereas, gum rubber is used in the outer sole of these shoes.

The material used in the midsole upper and outer sole has a specific life span after which its degradation is started.

So, if your playing frequency is more and you are an extensive user of the shoes. These will leave you earlier as they have completed their life span.

On average, if you wear shoes for 4-5 days a week, they are more likely to last for a season. On the other hand, if you use them for 2-3 days a week then they may last longer. Importantly, I am talking about the dedicated usage of the shoes.

3. Playing position and style

Playing position and style matters a lot as far as the lifespan of volleyball sneakers is concerned. The shoes worn by the spikers may last shorter due to the max jumping. The primary area of the shoes under stress for hitting position is the shoes’ midsole.

On the other hand, if you are playing a libero the outer sole of the shoes will degrade earlier

4. Court Surface

Volleyball shoes are designed for indoor courts and have a soft rubber in the outer sole for better grip and maintaining the court’s integrity. Additionally, the indoor court surfaces are not very hard for these shoes and avoid wear and tear.

Using these shoes outdoors may lead them to damage earlier as these surfaces are completely different from those indoors. However,

5. Foot Size Selection.

Foot size and shape are also important factors in affecting the lifespan of volleyball shoes. Athletes with heavy and wide feet do more and quicker damage to the shoes compared to lean and narrow feet athletes.

I will give an example of my brother with very wide feet. His feet are a real test of shoes in most instances.

When to Replace Volleyball Shoes?

It is beyond discussion that Volleyball shoes are made of mesh, rubber, and foam. So, while playing you’re putting different types of stresses and strains on the shoe. Therefore, It is kind of difficult to know exactly when your volleyball shoe is going to wear out versus another.

Luckily, there are a few simple and easy indications to know when your volleyball shoe needs replacement. I will be focusing on the all major shoe components i.e. outsole, midsole, and upper.

Tread Thickness in the Outersole

  • The most common way to know when it’s time to replace your shoes is when the tread wears down, and there’s almost no thickness left.
  • Now, there is often some resistance on this point because people tend to think that the tread’s thickness, typically just a few millimeters, isn’t a significant duration for shoe wear.
  • They question whether this means the entire shoe is worn out. Well, let me explain. Rubber, which forms the shoe’s tread, is far more durable than foam. So, if the rubber has worn out and the tread has bottomed out, it’s a strong indicator that the shoe has seen its better days.
  • Also, the foam in the midsole and the uppers have lost their support. In volleyball, when your shoes lack sufficient grip, it can lead to various issues such as knee hyperextension, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and ankle sprains.
Tread thickness of volleyball shoes

As per my observation, one of the most common reasons we see players with foot pain is because they’re wearing shoes that are way too old. They have bottomed out and they are no longer serving a purpose

Creasing/lining on the Midsole/Heal Area

  • The second way to tell if your shoe needs replacing is obvious midsole creasing. Interestingly, these creasings are so evident that you don’t have to look at the shoes closely.
  • It’s clearly visible even from a distance of about a foot away. These creasing are the oblique and vertical lines that are going through the midsole looks like someone just scrunched up the shoe.
  • These linings are distinct from the typical stamping or decorative elements found on many shoes. These are different and kind of cutting through the midsole.
  • These distinct lines visible on the midsole might be concerning as they seem to cut through its material. What could these lines indicate? Do they suggest a loss in the shoe’s capacity to disperse or reabsorb energy? When the midsole appears visibly crumpled, does this signal a potential decline in its ability to handle impact and cushion effectively?
  • This typically indicates that the shoe’s midsole has lost its bounce. It’s no longer able to cushion your foot, and air might be getting in, causing it to harden. This can make your foot more vulnerable to injuries that cause shock, like plantar fasciitis, Achilles issues, and knee hip back problems.
Midsole creasing of volleyball shoes

Mileage

  • Typically, a shoe lasts for around 500 miles. This estimate is based on a consistent runner with a steady heel-to-toe stride, spreading their energy evenly throughout the shoe. However, this changes for volleyball players.
  • In volleyball, during a game of 60-90 minutes, a player runs on an average of 1000-1200 meters. However, reaching 500 miles might not be the only indicator. Instead, it may be used as a last count. It means that if your shoes are all fine with the above two then mileage will be the yardstick.
  • In active sports like indoor volleyball, the shoe undergoes a lot of unusual stress. Look for other signs of wear and tear. For instance, if you jump a lot, especially when spiking in volleyball, you might see the midsole creasing before hitting the 500-mile mark.

So it’s important to watch for those signs of wear and not rely solely on the mileage count.

09 Tips to Increase the Lifespan of Volleyball Shoes

The longevity of the volleyball shoe is of utmost importance for all ordinary volleyball players. On the other hand, this is not the case with professional players. It is due to budgetary constraints as most players at low levels cannot afford to wear a new kick after every month or a tournament.

Here are a few tips that I followed myself at the initial stage of my volleyball career.

1. Opt For Good Quality Volleyball Shoes

  • When selecting volleyball shoes, opt for a good quality pair. Rather, I will also go further and prefer quality over style. Volleyball shoes offer features tailored to the game’s movements, providing necessary support, stability, cushioning, and traction.
  • High-quality volleyball shoes contribute to better performance and reduce the risk of injuries. You can never equalize the Gel rocket with the Sky Elite FF2 in terms of comfort, stability, bounciness, and cushioning.
  • For some individuals whose feet naturally cause excessive wear on shoes, selecting more durable shoe options might be necessary, understanding that these shoes might wear out faster even with preventive measures in place.

2. Use Volleyball-Specific Shoes

  • Volleyball-specific shoes are engineered with the sport’s demands in mind. They have attributes like gum rubber outsoles for better grip, cushioning systems to support abrupt movements, and uppers that offer stability while allowing agile footwork.
  • The shoes that are not made for volleyball may not withstand the game demand and tear apart earlier. For instance, using running shoes for volleyball is not recommended for volleyball.

3. Inspect your Shoes Regularly

  • It’s important to Regularly inspect your volleyball shoes for signs of wear and tear. If you notice the cushioning diminishing, the outsole wearing down, or any tears or damage, consider repairing or replacing them.
  • Promptly addressing wear and tear issues helps maintain the shoes’ performance and prevents potential injuries.

4. Rotate Usage

  • I used to avoid wearing the same pair of volleyball shoes every day. So I will also suggest you rotate between multiple pairs if possible. In my opinion, this will give each pair time to rest and recover, prolonging their durability.

5. Store Shoes in a Dry Place

  • After use, store your volleyball shoes in a dry, well-ventilated area. Avoid leaving them in damp or humid places, as moisture can damage the materials and lead to unpleasant odors.
  • Storing them in a dry place, away from direct sunlight, helps preserve their quality and lifespan.

6. Clean Your Shoes After Every Use

  • Clean your volleyball shoes regularly and also clean them after every game or practice.
  • Use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris, and if the shoes are washable, gently hand wash them following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure they are thoroughly dry before storing them. Proper cleaning helps maintain the shoes’ appearance and structural integrity.

7. Avoid Misuse

  • While volleyball shoes are designed for the game’s specific movements, try to avoid wearing them for activities outside the court. Using them for running or casual wear can accelerate their wear and tear

8. Dont Use Indoor Volleyball Shoes for Outdoor Volleyball

  • Indoor volleyball shoes are specifically designed for indoor courts and might not withstand the harsher conditions of outdoor surfaces.
  • Using them outside can lead to quicker wear and tear due to the different terrain and elements such as rough surfaces, moisture, and debris.
  • It can cause damage to the shoes and affect their performance and durability. Instead, opt for outdoor-specific or multi-court volleyball shoes that are designed to handle the challenges of various surfaces, including outdoor play.

9. Select Proper Fit

  • Selecting the proper size and fit for your volleyball shoes is not only essential for your foot health but also significantly impacts the longevity of the shoes.
  • A well-fitted shoe is less likely to sustain damage from stress points or excessive friction, potentially extending lifespan.
  • It’s important to prioritize footwear that adequately supports your feet and fits comfortably to prevent potential injuries.
  • Correct-size shoes that fit your feet are less likely to experience premature wear and tear. The small shoes can exert excessive pressure on the shoe materials, causing them to stretch and break down more rapidly.
  • On the other hand, excessively large shoes can lead to friction, causing blisters, discomfort, and compromised structural integrity as your feet move around inside them.

Final Thoughts

Volleyball shoes don’t last forever and need replacement after a considerable period. Loss of thread thickness in the outer sole, and the visible creasing/lining in the midsole especially in the heel area are the key indicators of shoe replacement.
Prolonged use of worn-out volleyball shoes can lead to different injuries like ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles issues, and knee hip back problems.
Therefore, it is advisable to replace your volleyball shoes once they have gone through their shelf life.
Lastly, the longevity of shoes can be increased by proper maintenance, looking after them, storing them in dry places, and avoiding misuse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wear Athletic Shoes With a Ripped Upper?

If you’ve torn or rubbed a hole in the upper part of your shoe, simply using flex tape or shoe glue may not be a reliable or safe solution.

When the upper part of the shoe is damaged to the extent that it no longer effectively supports or encases your foot, it can compromise the structural integrity of the shoe. This can lead to an inadequate connection between the midsole and outsole, potentially causing issues like sprains, strains, or a lack of stability.

If the upper of your shoe is significantly torn or ripped, rendering it unable to properly contain and support your foot, it’s best to consider the shoe as no longer suitable for use. Continuing to wear such damaged shoes could result in potential injury, especially as they won’t offer the necessary support and stability for your feet.

If you find yourself consistently rubbing holes in the upper part of your shoes due to abnormal foot movement, using moleskin underneath the affected area or considering custom orthotics could help minimize the rubbing and prevent further damage.

When Do the Professional Players Replace Their Shoes?

Professional players have no issues with durability and budget like ordinary players. The pro players do not stick to a single shoe brand and model. They change their shoes frequently after a tournament and even after a match.

I have also written a detailed article about the shoes of professional players.

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