Asics has been manufacturing volleyball shoes since the 1960s. Over the years, the brand has found the right combination of cushioning, support, and traction to accommodate the swift footwork of the game. Asics volleyball shoes are meticulously crafted to deliver a reliable tool during intense practice and competitions.
What to expect from the best Asics volleyball shoes
Running, jumping, lunging — these are just some of the frequent foot movements that players do on the court. To avoid injuries, athletes opt for volleyball shoes that cater to their needs.
Cushioning. Volleyball players are always on the balls of their feet. This type of stance keeps athletes ready to take the next step. These athletes also often land on the balls of their feet, thus, cushioning on the forefoot is essential. Some Asics volleyball shoes have thicker heels for extra comfort in this area as well as for positioning the weight of the body forward, ready for action.
Foothold. The top of most volleyball shoes from Asics is made using mesh. This material may be too soft to offer the appropriate amount of foothold, so overlays are used in critical areas to help keep the foot locked in place. They prevent the foot from going over the edge of the sole unit. They are often found on either side of the shoe and around the rearfoot.
Another element that contributes to the lateral support is the padded collar. It prevents the heel from slipping out of the shoe. It also provides ankle support during side-to-side movements.
Toe protection. Some players tend to drag their toes during certain moves, like when serving. To prevent the early deterioration of the upper material, Asics volleyball trainers have toe guards and toe bumpers. A toe guard is often an extension of the outsole. It can also be a piece of rubber placed in front of the shoe. As for the toe bumper, it is made of synthetic material, TPU, or rubber. It is situated on top of the forefoot section of the upper. Both components protect against abrasion and bumps. This feature can also be found in some Asics training shoes.
Grip. The ball can travel very fast during a play, which means players should be able to move swiftly in almost any direction. To support this action, volleyball trainers from Asics employ an outsole that provides multi-directional traction. It is a soft type of compound that doesn’t leave marks on indoor floors. Tread patterns also support the expansion of the outsole for better grip.
Flexibility. A player’s foot should be able to bend in order to run, jump, and switch directions. It is common for volleyball shoes made by Asics to have a low-profile sole unit to facilitate natural foot movements.
Lightness. If you’ve ever been shoe shopping, you’d know that some models are quite heavy compared to others. Examples include hiking boots and weightlifting shoes. Compared to volleyball shoes, they would feel like lead weights if worn during sports. Volleyball shoes, in general, are crafted to be lightweight because it helps the wearer be quick on their feet.
Breathability. Another sought after feature is breathability. During volleyball games, the foot could get hot and sweaty, which leads to discomfort. Asics volleyball shoes have mesh uppers that allow air to cool the interior. In some cases, vents are also placed in some areas of the top to help with aeration.
Fit. Volleyball trainers from Asics are constructed to have enough room at the forefoot to allow the toes to spread and help with steadiness. However, the midfoot and the heel areas are snug-fitting to prevent the foot from sliding inside.
Technologies used on Asics volleyball shoes
- PGuard Toe Protector
There are different types of serves in volleyball. Some stay in the same place as they hit the ball, while others tend to take a few steps forward to gain momentum. You may have seen some players drag their foot, particularly by the toe, as they move forward. If you’re that type of server, a trainer like the Asics Gel Tactic 2 will suit you because of the PGuard Toe Protector. This synthetic element protects the underlying material against abrasion during dragging. It also guards against bumps, so your toes don’t get hurt.
A proprietary cushioning invention of Asics is Gel. It is used in one of the brand’s most popular volleyball shoes, the Gel Rocket 9. It is placed in the forefoot or the heel, or in both areas. This colloidal substance reduces the shock felt under the ball and the hindfoot. This material adjusts to the movements of the foot, so the person spends less effort in establishing stability, which results in less tired feet and legs.
A type of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam that has 20% more rebound. According to Asics, it helps wearers perform better by converting the energy from impact into energy for take-off. It reduces foot fatigue because the leg and the foot exert less effort.
- Trusstic System
It is common to see Asics volleyball shoes with an outsole that is tapered in the middle. This design helps the sole unit be more flexible. However, such craftsmanship can lead to a vulnerable arch area. To address this, Asics uses the Trusstic System to strengthen the midfoot section. This element is lightweight yet rigid to prevent excessive twisting of the foot as it transitions from heel to the toe. It prevents instability and injuries.
This cushioning unit is the combination of two Asics technologies: SpEVA and Solyte. Solyte is in charge of absorbing shock when the foot strikes the ground. As for SpEVA, its bouncy characteristic helps players be ready to make the next move. The combination of these two compounds provide comfort and could help wearers react faster, so they can hit or block the ball. One model that uses this type of midsole is the Asics Gel Netburner Ballistic.
Another impressive midsole technology used in some Asics volleyball trainers, like the Volley Elite FF, is the FlyteFoam. This unit is engineered to be 55% lighter than standard foam. It an adaptive platform comprised of ‘super fibers’ that can immediately return to its original form when pressure is released, which happens when the foot is lifted off the ground. Because of its resilient nature, it offers better shock attenuation despite its lighter weight.
- HG10MM Heel Gradient
The HG10MM Heel Gradient is a midsole construction wherein the heel is situated a little higher than the forefoot. Found in the Asics Upcourt 3, the 10-mm heel elevation shifts the body mass forward, thereby reducing the tension on the Achilles. It also puts the player in the ‘ready’ position to move when needed.
- AHAR and AHAR Plus
AHAR, which stands for Asics High Abrasion Rubber, is a compound that has the same durability as car tires. AHAR has twice the abrasion resistance compared to regular rubber, while AHAR Plus has thrice. However, unlike conventional rubber, AHAR’s spongy nature allows it to be lighter by 50%. The AHAR Plus renders traction on the Asics Netburner Super FF.
- NC Rubber
Asics volleyball shoes need to be grippy and the N.C. Rubber provides that. This material uses a combination of natural and synthetic rubbers, with the natural one having a higher ratio. It results in a soft layer that has traction on smooth, polished floors. It is also durable, so the compound doesn’t chip with constant use. A model that employs this technology is the Asics Netburner Ballistic FF.
Asics volleyball shoes through time
- Asics started making basketball shoes in the 1950s. In 1964, the company expanded its shoe line and released trainers for various sports which include gymnastics, soccer, fencing, and volleyball.
- During the same year, the first Olympics in Asia was held in Japan. Fun fact, the Japanese volleyball team won gold wearing Asics.
- The first volleyball shoes from Asics was the Rotation 6. It is named after six players on either side of the net that rotate positions. The footgear was equipped with a sponge heel for shock absorption. It also helps players perform better jumps.
- Another model launched by Asics alongside the Rotation 6 was the Rotation 9. It was a homage to the nine-a-side volleyball format. The nine-a-side game originated in China and became popular in some parts of Asia. The court is bigger to accommodate all the players and the athletes don’t rotate positions. Rules of the game have also been altered because of the number of players.
- In the earlier days, typical volleyball trainers used a canvas top. Though this material is durable and has some flexibility, it was not breathable. In 1972, Asics released the Rotation 72, a footgear that uses a mesh fabric instead of canvas. The change in upper material solves the problem of hot and sweaty feet. Mesh is more light, breathable, and offers more flexibility.
- A few years after the mesh trainer launch, in 1978, Asics came out with its dedicated volleyball line called Rote. The collection included shoes and apparel for volleyball players.
- Over the last few decaes, Asics has released numerous volleyball shoes that use some of the brand’s most sought after technologies for comfort and performance. In 2016, Asics launched the multi-sport Flame series. The line drew inspiration from the brand’s “Connection” concept.
- The collection represents how sports connect the mind and the body, as well as the past with the future. Included in the Flame line were three volleyball trainers: the Gel-Volley Elite 3 MT Flame, the Gel-Netburner Ballistic MT Flame, and the Gel-Netburner Ballistic LO Flame.
Collaborations and sponsorships
- In 2017, Asics signed a deal to be the official sponsor of the Brazillian Volleyball Confederation (CBV), the official beach and indoor volleyball team of Brazil. The sports company will be supplying apparel for the beach team and clothing and gears for the indoor team.
- In 2015, the brand partnered with the International Volleyball Association (FIVB). For five years, starting January 2016, Asics will provide shirts for beach volleyball players, and uniforms for on-court personnel, referees and officials for both indoor and beach volleyball.
- Some of the top volleyball athletes Asics signed under its belt include Lame Carico, Alisha Glass, and brothers Erik and Kawika Shoji. All these athletes have competed in both national and international levels and won accolades in their respective divisions.
Frequently asked questions
How much do volleyball shoes from Asics cost?
The price of volleyball trainers from the brand ranges from $70 to $140. Some of these shoes are reasonably priced while others may be too expensive, especially for novice players. Here at RunRepeat, we strive to give you the best deal on the planet. Just click on a pair you like and we’ll scour our partner retailers for the lowest possible prices. No more waiting for sales.
Are there wide Asics volleyball shoes available?
Asics does not offer its selection of volleyball trainers in a wide profile. However, it can be noted that these kicks are constructed with ample room at the forefoot to allow the toes to spread out. Splaying of toes is essential in maintaining balance, especially when you land on the ball of your foot or perform side-to-side movements.
Can I use my Asics runnings shoes for volleyball?
No one is stopping you, but it is not advisable. Running shoes, in general, are crafted to support forward movements. Some may offer lateral hold but it is probably not enough for the type of footwork performed by volleyball players.
Can Asics volleyball trainers be used for other sports?
Yes, especially for other indoor sports like badminton, squash, racquetball or netball. Outdoor sports is another story. Volleyball trainers typically have gum rubber outsoles that are grippy on smooth indoor floors. However, this compound is soft, which means it will not be able to withstand abrasion brought about by playing on rough surfaces.
Can workout shoes be used for volleyball?
It is not advisable to use workout trainers to play volleyball. Though some of these shoes have sufficient cushioning or lateral support, their outsoles are typically made from regular rubber which is not grippy on indoor courts.
Can basketball shoes be used in place of Asics volleyball shoes?
Some, especially male athletes, have opted to use their basketball kicks to play volleyball. They argue that trainers for both sports offer excellent cushioning, lateral stability, and great traction. However, the footwork for both sports is quite different. There are more jumping actions in volleyball compared to basketball. Also, volleyball athletes tend to stay and land on the balls of their feet, cushioning at the forefoot is crucial.
Another point of argument is that basketball kicks are crafted to deliver foothold for forward movements. On the other hand, volleyball shoes are created to provide a secure hold regardless of the direction a player takes.
Volleyball trainers also tend to be more flexible and weigh less. They often feature a soft upper material with overlays that enhance lateral support. The sole unit is constructed to be low-to-the-ground for better proprioception compared to basketball shoes.
Can volleyball shoes be used for streetwear?
As mentioned above, the soles of volleyball trainers are typically made of gum rubber which is softer compared to regular rubber. So, using it on the streets will shorten the life of your trainers. Though some Asics volleyball shoes use AHAR or AHAR Plus for the outsole, it is advisable to limit wearing them for indoor court action to prevent loss of traction.
Here at RunRepeat, we offer a vast collection of walking shoes. These include pairs that can be worn for running errands, power walking, light exercising, or just lounging around the house. But if you want stylish kicks, we also have a massive list of trendy sneakers.
When should I replace my Asics volleyball shoes?
It is recommended to replace volleyball trainers after a season. By doing so, athletes are assured that the midsole is still able to reduce impact, the outsole has sufficient traction, and the upper can securely hold the foot. However, if by mid-season your shoes start showing signs of wearing out, it’s time to get a new pair. Signs of wear include tear in the upper, loss of plushness, and rubbed down outsole tread.
How do I clean my volleyball trainers from Asics?
It’s quite easy to keep your volleyball footgear looking brand new. Use a brush or soft cloth to remove surface dirt. If there are some stains, use a brush or cloth dipped in mild detergent dissolved in cold water to scrub the dirt off.
Asics advises against using a washing machine to clean your volleyball kicks. They also recommend not drying it under direct sunlight or in sweltering conditions.
Does Asics sell volleyball shoes that cater to specific positions in court?
Asics groups volleyball players into 3 categories: basic, which can perform in any position; defense, which includes liberos and setters; and attack, which includes hitters and blockers. According to the brand, basic players need a trainer with excellent traction, cushioning, and lateral stability.
For defenders, the shoe they need should be low-profile, stable, grippy, and provide shock absorption during landing and bounce for take-offs. And as for attackers, they need a lightweight footgear with excellent underfoot cushioning, stability, and adherence to indoor floors.
Asics does not label their shoes specific to the categories they described. But it should be noted that the company has built all their volleyball trainers to be lightweight, stable, flexible, and grippy on the court. Therefore, regardless of what position you hold on the team, Asics volleyball shoes will deliver what you need.
Can I use Asics training shoes for volleyball?
Asics offers a wide variety of training kicks for everyday workout, weight training, CrossFit, and walking. Though some may look like they could be used for volleyball, they may not fit the bill. An example of this is the Asics Weldon X. It has a low profile cushioned midsole, and a breathable and structured upper. However, the tread pattern on this model is not suited to provide grip on indoor courts and may cause users to slip during the game.
What’s the difference between low- and mid-top Asics volleyball shoes?
Some volleyball trainers from the brand are offered in two versions: low-top and mid-top. Upon visual inspection, you will immediately see that the height of the collar is the main difference between the models. Low-top volleyball trainers have collars that sit well below the ankle bone. This gives wearers more freedom of movement. On the other hand, the collar of mid-top volleyball shoes almost reaches the ankle bone. They aim to provide better ankle hold.
As for which top you should get, it all comes down to a wearer’s preference. Some players like the extra support they get when wearing mid-top cut shoes; others prefer their ankles to be unhindered. Try out both models and see which one fits your playing style.
Are there Asics volleyball trainers for men?
Yes, because most of the brand’s volleyball kicks are offered in both men’s and women’s versions. The only difference in some models is the colorways. For male athletes who prefer the color of the women’s style, be sure to get a size 1.5 bigger. Men who typically wear a volleyball trainer in US size 9 should get a 10.5 in the ladies’ selection.
8 best Asics volleyball shoes
- Asics Gel Rocket 8
- Asics Gel Upcourt
- Asics Gel Tactic 2
- Asics Gel Netburner Ballistic
- Asics Gel Rocket 9
- Asics Gel Tactic
- Asics Upcourt 2
- Asics Gel Blast 7
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