can you wear basketball shoes for volleyball

Can You Wear Basketball Shoes for Volleyball – Confused?

Young athletes who practice basketball should definitely try volleyball at least once in their lives. Sometimes, they use their basketball shoes for volleyball. 

Last summer my younger brother noticed his friend did the same. He asked me if he could wear basketball shoes for volleyball.

Well, I knew it pretty well, even from my personal experience. 

Yes, you definitely can wear basketball shoes to play volleyball and that was my answer. I am pretty sure many of you have the same confusion as my brother.

And that’s why today I am here. I will share my personal experience of wearing basketball shoes in volleyball. Also, I’ll share the details of the mechanism of these two types of sport-designated shoes and why they are similar.

Let’s stay with us till the end to learn the facts properly. Make sure to check the situation where you should avoid wearing basketball shoes on the volleyball court.

What We Are Considering?

Just as I have said, Basketball shoes are also suitable for playing Volleyball too. Well, I stumbled upon the discovery when I forgot my volleyball shoes for practice. Reluctantly, I borrowed my friend’s basketball shoes.

To my surprise, the grip and support were perfect for quick moves on the court. Here are some points where I found the shoes are just perfect for playing volleyball.

They Have Superior Grip

Those basketball shoes have a herringbone pattern on the outsole. It provided me with excellent traction for quick movements and lateral cuts on the volleyball court.

Ankle Support Was Great

Those shoes have high-top designs that offer increased ankle support. They simply helped to prevent sprains during sudden stops and jumps.

The Cushioning Was Perfect

I found the cushioning technology in the midsole of those shoes. That simply reduced the impact on your joints when landing from jumps.


I am pretty sure that they are designed for multi-directional movement, making them versatile for both sports.

These are the points that immediately triggered my thoughts on why basketball shoes are also suitable for playing volleyball.

Look At The Differences

Later on, I was wondering exactly what makes a basketball shoe different from a volleyball shoe. So, I talked to a few specialists and checked them thoroughly on the internet.

Even though I found wearing basketball shoes is okay while playing volleyball, I noticed a lot of differences between the designated shoes used in these two sports.

Basically, there are a lot of differences that have but their functions are pretty similar. Maybe that’s why I found my friend’s basketball shoes very comfortable while playing Volleyball.

However, I think you should have a proper idea of the differences between a basketball and a volleyball shoe. Let’s have a quick glance at the table below.

Basketball ShoesVolleyball Shoes
Outsole PatternHerringbone pattern for multidirectional tractionGum rubber or gum sole for grip on smooth courts
CushioningTypically thicker cushioning in the midsole for shock absorptionModerate cushioning to balance shock absorption with court feel
Ankle SupportOften high-top designs for enhanced ankle supportGenerally low-top to promote agility and reduce weight
AVG. Weight12-16 OuncesTend to be heavier due to added ankle support and cushioning10.5-14 OuncesLighter to facilitate quick lateral movements
FlexibilityMay have less flexibility in the sole for stabilityGreater sole flexibility to aid in quick changes of direction
Lateral SupportOffer lateral stability for cutting and lateral movementsFocus on agility and quick lateral transitions
BreathabilityVaries, but often includes breathable materialsEmphasizes breathability to keep feet cool during play
Toe ProtectionMay have reinforced toe caps for added durabilityLightweight and less emphasis on toe protection
Court TypeSuitable for both indoor and outdoor courtsPrimarily designed for indoor courts with smooth surfaces
Design and AestheticsAvailable in a wide range of styles and colorwaysSimpler and more functional designs
DurabilityDurable for both indoor and outdoor playDesigned for indoor play, may wear out faster on rough outdoor surfaces
Jumping and CushioningFocused on cushioning for jumping and landingBalanced cushioning to minimize impact without sacrificing court feel
Traction on Smooth CourtsMay be less effective due to deep outsole patternsSpecifically designed for optimal grip on smooth courts
Price RangeCan vary widely, often including high-end optionsGenerally more affordable with fewer premium options
Specialty FeaturesMay include ankle straps, advanced cushioning technologies, and signature athlete modelsFocus on essential features for volleyball performance

Basketball Shoes Overview

You got the idea of how basketball and volleyball shoes are different.

Now, let’s have a quick overview of the basketball shoes to understand them better.

Features of Basketball Shoes

Ankle Support

Basketball shoes often feature high-top designs that provide excellent ankle support. It reduces the risk of sprains during quick movements.


They come with ample cushioning that offers shock absorption for jumps and landings. The cushioning technology in basketball shoes is more advanced than that in many other sports-designated shoes.


Basketball shoes have outsoles with a herringbone pattern that delivers superb multidirectional traction. So, they are ideal for abrupt stops and cuts.


Most basketball shoes are designed for the rigors of indoor and outdoor courts. They typically have robust materials and reinforced toe caps for added longevity.

Style Variety

Basketball shoes are generally available in a wide range of styles, colorways, and signature athlete models to cater to personal preferences.

Basketball Shoes Overview


  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor play and for different court surfaces.
  • High-top designs reduce the risk of ankle injuries.
  • Extra cushioning technology reduces the impact on joints.
  • Herringbone outsoles provide exceptional grip and stability.
  • Lacing systems and lockdown mechanisms for a secure and customized fit.


  • Most basketball shoes tend to be heavier than other athletic shoes.
  • Some models may lack breathability.
  • Premium basketball shoes can be very costly.
  • The sole’s rigidity, while providing stability, may hinder natural foot movement for some players.
  • Outdoor Use: Constant outdoor use can wear down the outsoles faster, reducing their lifespan.

Volleyball Shoes Overview

Now is the time to learn the criteria and specifications of the volleyball shoes.

Features of Volleyball Shoes

Gum Sole

Volleyball shoes usually feature a gum rubber sole optimized for excellent traction on smooth indoor courts.

Lightweight Design

They are designed to be lightweight. The weight simply promotes agility and rapid lateral movements essential for volleyball.


Volleyball shoes prioritize breathability, with mesh and ventilation features to keep feet cool during intense play.

Low-Top Construction

Most volleyball shoes have a low-top design that allows for unrestricted ankle mobility and quick transitions.


While they offer cushioning, it’s usually balanced to provide shock absorption without compromising the court feel.

Toe Protection

Volleyball shoes, in most cases, come with reinforced toe caps for added durability during dives and slides.


  • A lightweight and low-profile design lets players maintain responsiveness and agility.
  • Gum soles for exceptional grip on indoor courts.
  • Designed to facilitate rapid lateral movements.
  • Advanced designed to reduce the risk of common volleyball-related injuries.
  • Mesh materials and ventilation systems help prevent overheating.
  • Requires minimal break-in time compared to some other sports shoes.
  • They support quick footwork patterns for both offensive and defensive plays


  • The gum soles may wear out quickly on rough outdoor surfaces as they are designed for use indoors.
  • Low-top designs offer less ankle support compared to high-top basketball shoes.
  • Volleyball shoes often have simpler and more functional designs.
  • The cushioning may be less substantial than that of basketball shoes.

Can You Actually Use Basketball Shoes For Volleyball?

The cross-utilization of basketball shoes for volleyball is not a recent phenomenon. Historically, athletes have experimented with different shoe types to find the ideal fit and functionality for their sport.

In the case of volleyball, players have sometimes turned to basketball shoes for various reasons. Basketball and volleyball share some common elements, like the need for quick lateral movements, precise footwork, and reliable traction on indoor courts.

This overlap in requirements has led to the exploration of basketball shoes as a viable option for volleyball players. However, just forget the history and think about what you should do now.

When You Shouldn’t Use Basketball Shoes for Volleyball?

Basketball and volleyball shoes both are made to be used indoors. Their functions are not similar and you have learned it before. However, Here are some cases, when you shouldn’t wear basketball shoes in volleyball.

  • If you have volleyball shoes, you shouldn’t wear basketball shoes regularly. It can be a reason, you won’t be comfortable with volleyball shoes later on when you will buy one.
  • When it’s beach volleyball, you shouldn’t wear basketball shoes anyway. They are made to use indoors and they won’t give you enough traction and support on the sand.
  • You shouldn’t wear basketball shoes in the volleyball competition and also while practicing for the competition.
  • If the volleyball court surface is pretty different from the one on the basketball court, it is better not to mix up the shoes.
  • Basketball shoes are not optimized for prolonged periods of play. They often have heavier materials and construction, which can be less comfortable while playing volleyball. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with the shoes, don’t wear them while playing Volleyball.
  • While basketball shoes can protect against ankle injuries, they may increase the risk of stress-related injuries in volleyball. So, if you have past records of an ankle injury, don’t wear basketball shoes in this case.
  • Volleyball players need to make quick lateral movements and react swiftly to the ball’s trajectory. But basketball shoes lack the lightweight construction and thin laces with attached eyelets. If this fact affects your performance, try to avoid wearing basketball shoes.

Well, what if you forgot to bring your volleyball shoes and instead bring your basketball shoes to the volleyball court? For sure you can use them.

However, let’s learn the facts in detail.

Is It Worthy to Use Basketball Shoes in Volleyball?

The question of whether basketball shoes are worthy of use in volleyball ultimately depends on your preferences, playing style, and specific needs. Here are some facts of considerations to help you determine if basketball shoes are a suitable choice for your volleyball game:

Traction and Grip

Basketball shoes are renowned for their outstanding traction due to the herringbone pattern on the outsole. This pattern excels in providing grip for quick lateral movements and stability during jumps and landings as you need to do in volleyball.

Even though the traction is excellent for most indoor volleyball courts, it may not perform as well on courts with dusty or slippery surfaces. You need to ensure the shoe’s outsole is clean and appropriate for the specific court conditions.

Ankle Support and Injury Prevention

High-top basketball shoes offer sufficient ankle support and reduce the likelihood of ankle injuries during intense play. It adds security can be particularly valuable for players with a history of ankle problems.

But if you find high-tops restrictive it can affect your agility and freedom of movement. It’s essential to strike a balance between ankle support and maneuverability that aligns with your playing style.

Cushioning and Impact Absorption

The cushioning technology in basketball shoes helps absorb the shock of jumps and landings. It also reduces the risk of joint injuries and enhances overall comfort during extended play. In that case, they are good to use in volleyball.

But, don’t forget that excessive cushioning can sometimes reduce court feel and responsiveness. If you prioritize precise footwork and agility, you will find the cushioning too much and not so suitable as well.

Versatility and Court Compatibility

Basketball shoes are designed to perform well on a variety of court surfaces. And that’s why they are suitable for both indoor and outdoor play. So, you can use the same pair of shoes for different settings.

Though basketball shoes are versatile, they may not excel in specific areas compared to dedicated volleyball shoes. For example, volleyball shoes usually offer more specialized features for agility and precise movements on the court.

Personal Comfort and Preference

Ultimately, the decision to use basketball shoes for volleyball comes down to personal comfort and preference. Some volleyball players have successfully adopted basketball shoes as their footwear of choice, citing the benefits of traction, ankle support, and cushioning.

However, others may prefer the specialized design and features of dedicated volleyball shoes, such as lightweight construction and enhanced court feel.

Now, what should you do to understand whether the basketball shoes are suitable for you to wear in volleyball? Just follow the trick below and find out what your case is.

  • Try both basketball and volleyball shoes during practice sessions to compare their performance and comfort.
  • Assess your playing style and specific needs. Try to learn whether you are more focused on agility, speed, or jumping ability.
  • Try to recall your personal injury history. If you’ve had ankle injuries, the ankle support of basketball shoes may be a significant advantage.
  • Consider the court conditions you regularly encounter. If you play on various surfaces, the versatility of basketball shoes may be appealing.

So, what do you find? Are the basketball shoes suitable for you to wear to volleyball? I’m pretty sure that you have your answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wear volleyball shoes for basketball?

If it’s your indoor volleyball shoes, you can wear them in basketball too. Generally, indoor volleyball and basketball shoes have similar functions and they perform in the same ways. Still, you shouldn’t continue wearing volleyball shoes regularly in basketball.

Do basketball shoes provide enough cushioning for volleyball jumps?

Basketball shoes generally offer sufficient cushioning for most volleyball players. However, some players may prefer specialized volleyball shoes with tailored cushioning.

Can I use basketball shoes for beach volleyball?

No, you shouldn’t use indoor basketball shoes to play beach volleyball. But some outdoor basketball shoes with durable soles can work for beach volleyball.

Wrapping Up

So, what did we see in the whole discussion? Can you wear basketball shoes for volleyball? The answer is yes, you can wear basketball shoes for volleyball, but only indoor volleyball. Still, you need to understand whether you are feeling comfortable with the basketball shoes or not.

Even if you have no issues with the pair of basketball shoes, you shouldn’t continue wearing the pair in volleyball regularly. Hopefully, you have got my point. Still, if you have any questions left, please inform me in the comment section. Thank you for your time.

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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