As a volleyball setter, you play a pivotal role in each match.
Choosing the right shoes for optimal performance on the court can make all the difference.
You require a unique combination of features in your volleyball footwear.
It’s not just about style but staying steady, moving precisely, and being quick.
The setter performs various tasks, from making accurate passes to swift directional changes and even spiking (rarely) sometimes.
So, your shoes need to be up for the challenge.
At a Glance: Best Volleyball Shoes
Setters’ shoes strike a unique balance, combining the agility required by liberos with the shock absorption vital for hitters.
They’re the versatile choice for those who need the best of both worlds on the volleyball court.
In this article, beyond detailed shoe reviews, I’ll unveil the secrets to finding the best volleyball shoes for setters.
So, catch every word and stay with me until the end for the ultimate insights.
Comprehensive Reviews of Volleyball Shoes for Setters
Now, you’re probably eager to explore the in-depth reviews of each setter’s shoe.
I recommend taking time with each to find the perfect match for your needs.
So, without any more delay, let’s get started!
1) Best Overall: ASICS Upcourt 5
The ASICS Upcourt 5 stands out as a top-notch choice for volleyball enthusiasts, and its features truly set it apart.
I’ve listed it as the #1 pick for setters primarily because of its exceptional grip and traction, thanks to the herringbone pattern on its outsole.
This shoe boasts ASICS’ iconic breathable mesh, ensuring your feet stay relaxed and comfortable during those lengthy volleyball matches.
I’m a huge fan of its classy design, with the black variant being my personal favorite.
You might recall that I previously recommended it as a budget-friendly option for hitters.
So, if you’re a setter who often finds themselves in the front-row action, these shoes are tailor-made for you.
The reason is its spot-on cushioning, guaranteeing a trouble-free experience during lateral movements and vertical jumps.
For setters dealing with joint pain, you’ll find solace in its GEL cushioning technology, which offers the utmost support.
2) Runner Up: Nike React Hyperset
If you’re a setter searching for volleyball shoes with excellent traction, your ultimate choice should be the Nike React Hyperset.
It might have started as a basketball shoe, but Nike reimagined it as a volleyball shoe, and the result is outstanding.
It earns a well-deserved runner-up spot on my list due to its premium appearance and exceptional support for those lateral movements.
With these shoes, there’s no compromise on comfort and shock absorption.
They are my personal favorite for both front-row and back-row setters.
The fitting is snug, providing a one-to-one fit that feels just right.
Its unique tread pattern offers excellent grip and support during lateral moves on the court.
Unlike typical volleyball shoes with thinner soles, these have a more prominent sole, providing extra cushioning and protection.
The mid-top design provides added protection for your ankles, reducing the risk of injuries.
The upper mesh allows your feet to breathe, keeping them cool throughout the match.
If you have wider feet, consider going for at least a size 10 or 11 for the best fit.
It will ensure your comfort and domination on the court.
3) Best Budget: ASICS Gel-Furtherup
The ASICS Gel-Furtherup stands as number #3 in my recommended shoe list for the setters.
The reason I have put up another ASICS model in the list is the quality that they are providing.
If you look closely, ASICS has rebranded Gel Rocket 9 and created new shoes as Gel-Furtherup.
So, if you previously used the Gel Rocket 9, this is a solid upgrade for you, as the fabrics are better than it.
These shoes are easy to break in, and you will feel comfortable after 1-2 matches.
One standout feature is the Trusstic technology.
It’s like your secret weapon for stability.
It stops those annoying shoe twists and turns.
Trusstic isn’t some mysterious word.
It’s a resin in the shoe’s midsole that brings more support to your lateral moves and makes the shoe lighter.
Now, let’s talk about cushioning; it’s fantastic.
You need that shock absorption as a setter, and the Gel-Furtherup delivers.
It’s like having a cushioned safety net for your feet.
Moreover, it is lightweight, offers breathability, and has a gum rubber outsole for enhanced traction.
In short, if you’re a volleyball setter, the ASICS Gel-Furtherup is worth a look!
4) Also Great: Adidas Crazyflight Mid
The Adidas Crazy Midflight shoes are a stylish choice for setters who love funky designs while excelling on the court.
They are lightweight and stretchy, offering a snug fit for your comfort.
What’s cool about the Crazy Midflight is its famous Adidas BOOST midsole.
This technology provides soft cushioning and ensures smoother landings after jumps.
For added durability, you’ll notice a leather toe cap at the front of the shoes, guarding against wear and tear, especially in the toe area.
I am a fan of the outsole of the Adidas Midflight shoes because they give excellent grip and support when you need to move sideways.
5) Worth Considering: Mizuno Wave Lightning Z4
The Mizuno Wave Lightning Z4 is an excellent choice for volleyball setters.
The credit goes to its remarkable blend of flexibility, outstanding shock absorption, and impressive durability.
If you’re already using Mizuno’s volleyball-specific shoes, you’ll love the consistent lightning-speed effect and the soft uppersole that these shoes deliver.
One notable feature is the slightly higher back of the Wave Lightning Z4.
The design of the Lightning Z4 assists with rolling movements and prevents your feet from twisting during side-to-side actions.
These shoes feature AIRmesh, which keeps feet cool and comfortable.
So, no need to worry about overheating during intense sets.
In terms of fit, these shoes are true to size, and the centralized lace-up closure makes it a relief to achieve that perfect fit.
When it comes to cushioning and stability, these shoes hit the mark.
You won’t experience discomfort or pain in your feet or ankles, even after those demanding landings.
What Setters should look for when buying volleyball shoes?
As a volleyball setter, selecting the perfect shoes is pivotal for your performance on the court.
Remember that your shoe preference can vary depending on whether you primarily play as a back-row setter, front-row setter, or switch roles.
To make your decision easier, I’ve compiled a list of essential factors to consider when purchasing your next pair of volleyball shoes.
By the way, if you’re considering using tennis shoes for volleyball, I’ve got a whole post about it.
1) Lateral Support
Lateral support is all about maintaining stability during rapid side-to-side movements.
It is a crucial aspect, particularly for back-row setters.
Volleyball shoes that excel in lateral support ensure you can swiftly change direction without the fear of rolling your ankle.
Furthermore, solid traction is a must.
You want shoes with outstanding grip on the court, allowing you to push off confidently without slips.
Some volleyball-specific shoes, like the Nike React Hyperset, even feature a unique tread pattern for extra traction.
It’s an intelligent choice to opt for such footwear as a setter.
As a setter, you want to focus on your plays, not discomfort or potential injuries.
So, always choose volleyball shoes with ample cushioning, particularly in the midsole.
It helps with shock absorption from those intense jumps and landings.
Ankle support is equally critical.
While you may not be making towering jumps like front-row players, having proper ankle support reduces the risk of sprains and injuries.
Some shoes, like Mizuno Wave Lightning Z4, offer extra padding or ankle straps for added security.
3) Lightweight Design
As a coach, I recommend all the back-row players in my team to choose lightweight shoes.
The reason is that they allow you to move quickly and be agile on the court.
As a setter, this should also be your top-most priority.
A lighter shoe won’t weigh you down and lets you easily make those precise sets.
One of the main reasons I listed ASICS Upcourt 5 as #1 is its lightweight design.
Also, don’t forget the design preference when choosing your shoes.
Some setters prefer low-top designs, which offer more freedom for ankle movement.
Others go for mid-top shoes, which provide additional ankle support.
So, take your time in choosing the shoes that suit your style and comfort.
Are you thinking about taking those volleyball shoes for a jog?
No worries, I’ve got an article that dives into whether volleyball shoes are good for running.
Lastly, pay attention to breathability.
Volleyball can be intense, and your feet can get hot and sweaty during a match.
Shoes with breathable materials, like mesh uppers, help keep your feet cool and dry.
They also enhance your overall comfort and performance.
Regarding breathability, ASICS Men’s Gel-Furtherup is a decent option to consider.
Conclusion and final thoughts
Finding the perfect volleyball shoes as a setter can be tricky.
You’re looking for shoes that match your agility on the court while protecting you from those hard landings.
In my list of top recommendations, you’ll discover gems like the ASICS Upcourt 5.
It’s a versatile choice that caters to all your setter requirements.
The best part?
It’s budget-friendly, too.
Remember, your performance on the court relies on those feet.
So choose wisely, stay agile, and make every set count.