Written by Hobbitish Team 1:05 AM Sports

Difference Between Basketball Shoes And Volleyball Shoes

difference between basketball shoes and volleyball shoes

Why you should know the difference between basketball shoes and volleyball shoes? Because selecting a good pair of shoes for sport is significant. When you play at this level, you’re not simply making a fashion statement.  Your performance and comfort on the field might be affected by the shoes you wear. In contrast, there is a wide variety of designs and functions available for sports shoes. How can you go around this to locate a suitable pair?

Well, just read the article to the end and you will know it. The perfect pair of shoes might be your hidden weapon in basketball slam dunking or volleyball game-changing spike jumping. Let’s put on our footwear and set off on an exciting journey to discover the myriad ways in which footwear can alter our play.

difference between basketball shoes and volleyball shoes

Key Difference Between Basketball Shoes and Volleyball Shoes

Knowing the distinctions between basketball and volleyball shoes is crucial when buying sports shoes. Let’s simplify these differences.

# Traction

Traction Requirements for Each Sport: Traction depends on outsole material and design. Indoor court-optimized rubber outsoles are seen in basketball shoes. The pattern uses herringbone and multidirectional grooves for grip during fast starts, pauses, and direction changes. 

Volleyball shoes have gum rubber outsoles with a tread pattern for indoor volleyball courts, where quick lateral motions are typical.

# Ankle Protection

Level of Ankle Support: Mesh and synthetic leather are common upper materials for basketball sneakers. Durable and breathable. Higher collars and ankle padding provide better ankle support and protection during numerous jumps and landings. 

Volleyball shoes mix mobility and support with lightweight, breathable mesh and synthetic overlays. Lower collars enable faster lateral movements.

# Shoe Cushioning

Importance of Cushioning: Midsole cushioning is important in both types of shoes. Basketball sneakers use Nike Air or Adidas Boost in the heel and forefoot to absorb shock from hard hops and return energy. 

To help with rapid landings, volleyball shoes provide forefoot cushioning. This is usually done using EVA foam or gel cushioning.

# Lateral Support

Lateral Support Features: The upper materials in basketball shoes may include synthetic leather and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) overlays to enhance lateral stability. Some types have midfoot shanks for lateral support. 

Volleyball shoes use lightweight mesh and synthetic overlays for agile lateral movements without sacrificing support. Balance between support and flexibility is key.

Similarities Between Volleyball and Basketball Shoes

While basketball and volleyball shoes have distinct differences, they also share some common features that cater to the needs of both sports. Here are the similarities:

# Breathability

Volleyball and basketball shoes are breathable. Heat, moisture, and ventilation from severe physical exercise are known to manufacturers. Both styles of shoes use mesh or perforated synthetic uppers to breathe. These materials circulate air, keeping your feet cool and comfy during the game. Breathability is essential to avoid overheating and discomfort when volleyball or basketball players dash.

# Lightweight

Both basketball and volleyball shoes are lightweight. Both sports need agility and speed, and heavier shoes can impair them. These shoes use lightweight materials and construction to improve agility and speed. They relieve foot pressure, allowing you to move quickly. These shoes are lightweight, so you can move easily on the court when spiking a volleyball or making a basketball break.

Can You Wear Basketball Shoes for Volleyball?

Yes, you can wear basketball shoes for volleyball. But they may have drawbacks related to their weight and bulkier design, which could affect agility and footwork precision in volleyball. Your choice should align with your specific playing style and priorities in the game.

Pros and Cons of Using Basketball Shoes for Volleyball

Basketball shoes do offer certain advantages for volleyball players. But they also come with some drawbacks:


  • Ankle Support: Basketball shoes often provide superior ankle support. This can be beneficial for preventing ankle injuries in volleyball. It is a sport that involves frequent lateral movements and higher jumps.
  • Cushioning: The extra cushioning in basketball shoes, especially in the heel and forefoot, can provide excellent shock absorption. It reduces the impact on your joints during landing.
  • Durability: Basketball shoes are designed to withstand the rigorous demands of basketball courts. This makes them durable for the quick, agile movements in volleyball.


  • Heavier Weight: Basketball shoes tend to be heavier due to their additional cushioning and support features. This can hinder quick lateral movements in volleyball.
  • Lack of Agility: The bulkier design of basketball shoes may limit the agility. Also, responsiveness is required for precise footwork in volleyball.
  • Sole Pattern: The outsole pattern on basketball shoes may not provide the ideal grip for volleyball courts. Which will potentially affect your stability.

Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes for Basketball?

Yes, you can wear volleyball shoes for basketball. But they may lack some of the ankle support and cushioning found in dedicated basketball shoes.

Suitability of Volleyball Shoes for Basketball

Using volleyball shoes for basketball does have some advantages and considerations:


  • Lightweight Design: Volleyball shoes are typically lighter than basketball shoes. It is an advantage for quick movements and jumps on the basketball court.
  • Agility: The lightweight and flexible nature of volleyball shoes can enhance agility and responsiveness. This allows for rapid changes in direction, crucial in basketball.
  • Ankle Mobility: Volleyball shoes have shorter collars to improve ankle mobility for basketball’s flexible playstyle.


  • Ankle Support: While volleyball shoes promote ankle mobility, they may not provide as much support as basketball shoes. This is a concern for players prone to ankle injuries.
  • Cushioning: Volleyball shoes may not have as much cushioning in the heel and forefoot as basketball shoes. Which will potentially affect shock absorption during intense jumps.
  • Traction: Volleyball shoes have a different outsole pattern. It is not the ideal grip for basketball courts. Which affects your stability and movements.
difference between basketball shoes and volleyball shoes

Are Volleyball Shoes as Good as Basketball Shoes?

Volleyball shoes may not be as good as basketball shoes for basketball due to differences in ankle support, cushioning, and traction, which are tailored to the specific demands of each sport. Your choice should align with your primary sport and playing style.

Basketball shoes are designed with superior ankle support to safeguard against sprains and injuries. It is a vital element in a sport characterized by frequent jumps and quick lateral movements. In contrast, volleyball shoes prioritize ankle mobility but may not provide the same level of protection.

Basketball shoes feature generous cushioning. Especially in the heel and forefoot, specifically engineered to absorb the impact of high jumps. Volleyball shoes, on the other hand, focus on cushioning for comfortable landings. They might not give the same level of protection during intense jumps.

The traction pattern of basketball shoes is optimized for hardwood courts. It  provides grip for rapid movements, quick stops, and direction changes. On the other hand, volleyball shoes come with a different tread pattern suited for volleyball courts.

Basketball needs fast lateral movements, sudden stops, and powerful vertical jumps. Basketball shoes are designed with support, cushioning, and traction for the hardwood court.

Volleyball, on the other hand, emphasizes agility, rapid lateral transitions, and precision footwork. This prioritizes lightweight construction, agility, and flexibility in volleyball shoes to meet the sport’s unique demands.


If you want become a professional volleyball player or Basketball player, you must choose your equipment wisely. Your performance and comfort on the court depend on your shoes. Your major sport and playing style should guide your volleyball or basketball shoe choice. Volleyball shoes are agile, lightweight, and great for lateral movements and precision footwork, but they may not provide enough ankle support, cushioning, and traction for basketball.

Basketball shoes must include ankle support, cushioning, and court-specific traction. Basketball sneakers with ankle support, cushioning, and court-ready traction are ideal for basketball fans. Lightweight, agile volleyball shoes emphasize mobility, flexibility, and comfort during lateral movements. Your sports shoes should match your favorite sport and your greatest moves to help you play well and stay comfortable.

One last thing is keep your shoes and ball clean after every match and practice session.


What type of shoes are good for volleyball?

For volleyball, lightweight and flexible volleyball shoes with good lateral support are ideal. They offer agility, comfort, and stability during quick lateral movements on the court.

Is basketball shoes good for daily use?

Yes, basketball shoes can be worn for daily use. But they are designed primarily for sports and may not provide the same comfort as casual sneakers for extended daily wear. It’s advisable to have a pair of dedicated everyday shoes for comfort and durability.

Can I run in volleyball shoes?

You can technically run in volleyball shoes. But they are not designed for running. Running shoes offer better cushioning and support for extended runs and can help prevent injury. If running is part of your fitness routine, it’s best to invest in proper running shoes.

Do basketball shoes make you jump higher?

Basketball shoes themselves don’t make you jump higher. They can provide better support and cushioning for your jumps, potentially helping you feel more comfortable and confident during jumps. 

Do girls need volleyball shoes?

Yes, girls who play volleyball can benefit from wearing volleyball shoes, just like boys. Volleyball shoes are designed to provide the necessary support, grip, and agility for the game, regardless of gender. 

Are volleyball shoes helpful?

Yes, volleyball shoes are helpful. They are specifically designed to enhance performance and comfort for volleyball players by providing features like lightweight design, good lateral support, cushioning, and traction optimized for the sport. Wearing volleyball shoes can improve your agility, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance your overall game on the court.