November 2

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How should volleyball shoes fit

By Teddy

November 2, 2022


When playing volleyball it’s very important to make sure your shoes help not hurt your performance. As someone who has played volleyball, I know just what it is like to have to stomp around in shoes that aren’t quite right. This is why you need to know the answer to how should volleyball shoes fit. Some sports want tight-fitting shoes to prevent ankle injuries but what should you be looking for in your volleyball shoes? In this post, we are going to go over all the factors you should consider to find the perfect fit for your volleyball shoes. From how tight volleyball shoes should be

How Tight Should Volleyball Shoes Be

This is probably the number one question people have when shopping for the best shoes for volleyball. The answer, however, is not as simple as you might think. While you don’t want your shoes to be too loose, you also don’t want them to be too tight. The best way to find the perfect fit is to have the pair of shoes fit snuggly enough that your foot is not moving inside the shoe while making sharp movements. Once you’ve found a pair that feels good, make sure to walk around in them a bit and try making sharp cuts to see if your foot moves.

Knowing if your shoe is too short or long

Once you have laced up your volleyball shoes you can use the “thumb test.” You should have about a thumbs-width gap between your big toe and the end of the volleyball shoe. This extra room in your volleyball shoes allows for your foot to swell and move without feeling too constricted.

How to test if your shoes are too tight

Another great test to ensure your volleyball shoes fit snugly but aren’t too tight is what I call the pointer finger test. Once you have your volleyball shoes are on and laced up try to put your pointer finger into your shoe by your ankle. You should have enough wiggle room to fit your pointer finger between the shoe and your ankle. If you are struggling to get your pointer finger between your volleyball shoes and your ankle then they are going to be too tight. The ideal is that it is snug when you put your pointer finger in but you don’t have to jam it in to fit.

How to know your volleyball shoes are too loose

If you are able to fit multiple fingers between your ankle and the shoe easily then your volleyball shoes are too loose to play in.

Exactly How Should Volleyball Shoes Fit

Finding the right fit for volleyball shoes is crucial to ensure comfort, support, and performance during play. Here are some tips on how a volleyball shoe should fit:

  1. Length: Your toes should have some space to wiggle, but there shouldn’t be too much room in the front. Ideally, there should be about a thumb’s width (approximately 1.5 to 2 cm) of space between your big toe and the tip of the shoe. This allows your feet to have some room to move and expand during play.
  2. Width: For individuals with wider feet, finding shoes with a wider forefoot or toe box is essential. Avoid shoes that feel too narrow, as they can cause discomfort, pain, and even lead to issues like black toenails. Look for shoe models that are explicitly designed for wider feet or have a reputation for accommodating wider foot shapes.
  3. Heel and Toe Box: The fit in the heel and toe box is crucial for stability and preventing slippage during movements. Your heel should feel snug and secure, with little to no movement inside the shoe. The toe box should allow your toes to spread comfortably without feeling cramped.
  4. Arch Support: Check if the shoe provides adequate arch support for your foot type. Some players might require additional arch support, especially if they have flat feet or high arches.
  5. Lacing Techniques: If you find a shoe that fits well in most aspects but is slightly narrow in the midfoot, you can experiment with different lacing techniques to create more space in that area. Skipping a few eyelets or using special lacing patterns can help provide a more accommodating fit.
  6. Break-In Period: Some new shoes might feel narrow or tight at first, but they can gradually adjust to your feet with time and use. However, if a shoe is significantly uncomfortable or causing pain, it’s best not to rely solely on the break-in process, as it might not solve all fit-related issues.
  7. Brand and Model Variations: Different brands and models of volleyball shoes can vary in sizing and fit. It’s essential to try on various options to find the one that suits your feet best. Don’t be afraid to explore different brands and styles until you find the perfect fit.
  8. Ankle Support: Another important consideration when choosing volleyball shoes is ankle support. This is especially important if you’re going to be playing on an indoor court, as there is a higher risk of rolling your ankle. Look for a pair of shoes that offer good ankle support and are made from a sturdy material.

When choosing volleyball shoes, prioritize comfort, support, and the right fit for your foot shape. A thumb’s width of space in the toe area is generally acceptable, especially if you have wider feet. However, if the shoe feels too loose or you experience slippage, it might be worth considering a different size or trying shoes known for accommodating wider feet. Each person’s feet are unique, so finding the perfect fit might require some trial and error, but it’s worth the effort to enhance your performance and prevent discomfort or injuries during play.

What Else Should I Look for in a Good Pair of Volleyball Shoes?

In addition to a good fit and good ankle support, you’ll also want to look for a pair of volleyball shoes that offer good traction. This is especially important if you’re going to be playing on an outdoor court, as you’ll want to make sure you don’t slip and fall. You’ll also want to look for a pair of shoes that are comfortable and offer good shock absorption. This will help keep your feet and legs from getting tired during long games.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to find the perfect pair of volleyball shoes for your needs. Just remember to take your time and try on several different pairs before making your final decision. And don’t forget to break them in before hitting the court!

Check for a Return Policy

A return policy is very important when ordering volleyball shoes especially online. A good no questions asked return policy will allow you to try out multiple sizes of the shoe you want without having to worry about if you can return them. Personally, when I’m looking for new shoes I generally order my exact size then a half size up AND a half size down. This gives me a chance to return the two that don’t fit perfectly and get the exact size I need every single time. 

If you aren’t doing this you should really consider it because it can make all the difference in finding a volleyball shoe that fits the way you want. I also recommend doing this for all shoe orders from volleyball shoes to basketball shoes I always order multiple pairs and sizes.

Consider Your Play Style 

Are you an outside hitter? A setter? A middle blocker? The way you play volleyball will influence the type of shoes you need. For example, if you’re an outside hitter, you’ll need a shoe that provides good lateral support so you can make quick changes in direction without losing your footing. On the other hand, if you’re more of a setter or middle blocker, you’ll need a shoe with good rearfoot support so you can jump high and block shots without injury. 

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