Volleyball vs Basketball Shoes: The Weight 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.


Weight in shoes is a factor that we often times don’t think about until we are out playing on a volleyball court, in our 3rd match of the day finding ourselves tripping over our shoes.

Volleyball players must be able to quickly move and react in all directions, take fast approaches to jump, and quickly start and stop. The average weight of Basketball shoes is often higher than that of volleyball shoes, due to the amount of cushion and padding and thick rubber outsole. Because of the need for quick moments and lightness of foot, Volleyball shoe should offer a lightweight design, like the Wave Momentum which features purposeful materials, like EVA foam in the heel that is lightweight but yet very stable and cushioned.

As athletes playing volleyball, we believe it is important you take steps to protect your bodies to enable better performance. After all, ankle braces and kneepads are used as preventative measures and extra shoes to train or run in allow for more targeted workouts. Why wouldn’t we utilize the research footwear engineers have provided to prevent injury in volleyball and wear the shoes designed and tested for the sport?

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

Published: December 2018