Volleyball vs Basketball Shoes: The Structured Flexibility Factor

We buy different shoes for different events, daily tasks, and of course for options. Whether in sport, work, or play. We make decisions to wear specific shoes in our daily activities because of what they do for us. The footwear we wear can determine the outcome of our performance and physical comfort., so what happens when we make the wrong decision in volleyball?
Over the past few decades, volleyball footwear trends have changed as new technology emerged and consumer preferences changed. For example, running shoes were popular in the early days of the sport until research found the benefits of stability and traction were critical to performance … and volleyball shoes born.
Today, while basketball shoes have become another footwear trend for players, primarily due to their simple aesthetic and cushioned materials, the performance benefits of wearing a shoe designed to play volleyball could be the added advantage needed to win match point.
Volleyball and basketball are both played on courts, involve lateral movements, and require foot stabilization, yet the two sports have very different biomechanical effects on the body.  At Mizuno, we’ve been invested in the sport of Volleyball for more than 40 years – it is what we do. We analyze, evaluate and test to make sure the design and function give support where it is needed most.
There are three main factors highlight the differences between these sports – impact, structured flexibility, and weight.

Structured Flexibility

Paralleled to the landing of a jump in volleyball, the approach is particularly important to the success of a hitter, blocker, server, and defensive players who move around the court a lot. Basketball shoes are historically made with thick and leathery materials; a structure like this limits the flexibility of the shoe needed by a volleyball player. Their approach isn’t smooth, and subsequently, when landing, the shoe causes the player’s foot to quickly snap back into the structure of the shoe.

Contrarily, more recent basketball footwear designs now include soft materials; mesh and knit uppers with small pieces of leather and/or plastic reinforcement. These materials, of course, allow for smooth approaches in volleyball, but the impact, pivots, and lateral movement often times leave the basketball shoe weak in the upper, both impacting performance and minimizing durability.

The Mizuno Wave Momentum combines these attributes to create the optimum shoe; soft and flexible enough to allow unrestricted movement when making an approach, yet structured enough to keep your foot secure in the shoe without compromising your natural movements. This combination allows the player to perform all necessary functions on the volleyball court at a high level and not have the shoe working against him or her.


Want to know more? Learn how the weight of a shoe highlights the differences between the sports here.

Published: December 2018