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Choosing the Right Shoes for Volleyball
Off the sand and onto court requires careful selection of footwear.

by Jack Moe

Imagining a volleyball game, your mind’s eye might see a bunch of folks in shorts and bathing suits jumping around a sunny beach with sand flying everywhere and the sound of waves crashing in the background. Volleyball, however, has enjoyed a steady climb in popularity and is now a very competitively played sport all over the world. Most high schools and colleges have teams, and the sport is gaining momentum. One major difference between the beach-front pastime and the competitive sport, is the need for proper gear. Once you are off the sand and on a court, you will find a need for safety equipment such as knee pads, finger tape and most importantly volleyball shoes.

Up until recently, a shoe made specifically for volleyball would be hard to find. Participants in volleyball matches would have to rely on basketball shoes, tennis shoes or cross trainers. Now major athletic shoe companies have shoes designed specifically for volleyball.

Volleyball shoes combine the elements of these other shoes. The lateral support of a tennis shoe provides stability when moving side to side, to keep the foot from rolling and causing a twisted ankle. The ankle support required for jumping and landing safely is borrowed from basketball shoes, and you will find volleyball shoes that some in a variety of hi, mid or lower tops. The lightweight cross-trainer is the model for the over all flexibility and adds a bit of support for the all around running and sprinting, as well as the hard stops that come with playing volleyball.

When fitting a pair of sneakers of any kind, always disregard the size printed on the shoe and go with how it feels. Every manufacturer will have a slightly different fit. You may need a half size up in a Nike or a half size down in a New Balance. Make sure your toes are not touching the front of the shoe, and make sure the toe box is wide enough that the shoe does not pinch. If your heel slips it may be a sign that the shoe is too big. Get both shoes on and do a few moves…hop from side to side, jump a little bit, get a feel for how the shoe will feel on the court. Most shoes stores have carpeted floors…if it is possible to step out onto a hard surface, do so and check out the cushioning.

Your shoes are you first line of defense against injury, so invest in a decent pair. You may avoid a whole world of medical problems just by this simple step. As usual, always go to a reputable store with a knowledgeable staff. Houser Shoes has a wide variety of athletic footwear for many sports including volleyball, and their friendly staff is always able to answer questions. If you already know the size and brand you want, then make your life easier by going to www.housershoes.com for complete selection of the finest footwear available.