Volleyball is a difficult sport. It requires explosive jumps, quick lateral movements, and adequate balance to pull it off correctly. Then you have to add in the knowledge aspect. Today, we’ll be talking about how to deal with the first list of items. How do you get the most out of your game as a player?
Shoes go a long way to answering this. While they won’t just magically make you a great player, they will definitely give you the opportunity to become one. That is, if you have the right shoes. With so, so many choices available online, it can be tough to narrow it down to just a few. But today, we’ll take a look at the most popular pairs on the market right now.
We’ll be reviewing them and answering any FAQ’s that you might have, but before we get there we are going to take a look and break it all down in our buying guide.
Top Volleyball Shoes Comparison Chart
|Image||Name||Pros||Feature||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Asics Women’s Gel-Rocket 8||versatile and used for multiple sports||Patented Gel cushioning||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|2. Adidas Originals Women’s Ligra 6||Flexible and easy to move in||Adiwear technology||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|3. Mizuno Women’s Wave Bolt 7||Responsive to movement||Shock absorption||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|4. Asics Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF MT||Sockliner keeps players cool and comfy||Using gel cushioning||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|5. Adidas Men’s Crazyflight Bounce||Bounce sustains shocks and is comfy||Durable and supportive||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|6. Nike Women’s Zoom Hyperace 2||Cushions your jumps with Zoomair||Using mesh combined with TPU||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|7. Asics Women’s Upcourt 2||Durable and breathable||Good grip with gum rubber||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Volleyball Shoes Buying Guide
Why Tennis and Running Shoes Don’t Work
Right off the bat, let’s get this out of the way. There is going to be a temptation for you to pick a running shoe. There are so many out there, and many claim or attempt to claim to be a fix for all problems. This is just not the case. And it’s not also to say that they are all awful. That’s just not true. They just are not built to be effective for volleyball. A running shoe is constructed to help someone run.
When was the last time you saw a jogger jumping into the air or running side to side? If you’re like me, the answer is never. That’s because running shoes are engineered to help you get forward. There’s no lateral support, and there’s certainly no ability for you to have shocks absorbed in terms of jumping. Of course, you’ll have some absorbed, but nothing like what you’d see with shoes that are made for volleyball shoes. Other court sports shoes can work well in the game of volleyball, but one of those is not tennis.
Tennis is a game that has a lot of side to side aspects to it, and that part would serve you well. But there isn’t very much jumping going on in tennis, and that means that those shoes also do not do a great job for volleyball. You can lump basketball shoes into this category, though it is not for the same reasons. Basketball shoes, although they are getting lighter and smaller as we progress, are still oftentimes too bulky for volleyball.
They can do a good protecting you, though, so unlike tennis and running shoes, they just might have a purpose for you if you just so happen to have had a ton of injuries and want to try and prevent that from occurring in the future.
Gum Rubber Soles
Volleyball, like the other court sports, have shoes that utilize gum rubber to full effect. This compound, though, the name implies something that it is not, is very useful at making sure that the integrity of the court is not ruined and also supplies a lot of grip to the wearer. Volleyball shoes, as well as those for racquetball, squash, and badminton all use gum rubber.
Eve indoor soccer shoes use this material because it is great at giving the wearer both comfort, durability, and extreme grip. It is usually a tan or orange/brown color, and is easily recognizable. One of the big reasons why basketball shoes are discouraged is because they do not use gum rubber. This just doesn’t provide them with as much grip for volleyball, and that has to be pointed out before you embark with them. Gum rubber is quite durable… when used in the right way.
On courts, it does an awesome job. On other surfaces, though, it erodes quickly. For example, walking on sidewalks are not going to help aid your shoes’ life much at all. In fact, it will hurt them a great deal. It’s very much encouraged, in order for you to take the best possible care of your volleyball shoes, that you wear them on the court only. Bring a pair to change in and out of when you have finished playing, and you’ll be much happier as you won’t have to buy a pair nearly as often as you might if you aren’t using them properly.
If you like them because they are comfortable, you can wear them around all of the time. But you should retire them from active play before you do, so that you don’t lose out on the best parts of them.
Comfort and Cushioning
A whole ton of people are going to be confused by this, but it’s not that tough to figure out. Comfort is how your shoes feel on you. Everyone aspires for this. No one wants something that feels bad on you. If you feel awful, it’s a good idea to not buy a shoe. It’s a good idea to send it back as well. You have to have some comfort, but that should not be the only thing on your mind. You also need cushioning as well.
Cushioning is going to determine how well the shoes hold up, and more importantly, how well you feet and ankles hold up. You can take the most comfortable shoes ever and end up hurting at the end of a game simply because of a lack of cushioning. Cushioning is going to allow you to take those sustained shocks from the ground. Even if you aren’t jumping, you are going to be standing and moving side to side.
This causes your feet to hurt after a while without a pair of shoes that do not have adequate protection built in. So, please realize the difference. You can tell if a shoe doesn’t have comfort, but it is harder, not impossible, however, to decide if it doesn’t have cushioning.
Something that should never be overlooked in volleyball is ankle support. Some players need more of it than others, though, so it’s not always a make or break issue. The thing that makes shoes stand out is the cut or the top that they have. Besides color and style, and maybe gum rubber soles, one of the first things that you will be able to notice is whether a shoe is a high top or low top. This is easy to find out.
Does the back part that goes up against the heel high or low? High tops offer the most possible coverage of any type. This akin to the traditional basketball shoe. That is even going out of style now. This type of shoe is best for those that are going to be jumping a whole lot, bigger players, and also people that have had injuries before and just want to have as much protection as they can to help prevent it from happening again. This type of shoe makes it very tough to roll your ankles, so that is a major plus.
On the opposite end of the spectrum comes the low top. The low top does not offer nearly as much protection, that’s not to say that it’s a hazard to wear, however, but it does have its merits. A major plus to wearing a low top is that it is much lighter and is very freeing. With a high top, you have a tendency to feel weighed down all too often. On top of that, they can also feel like they are restricting your ease of movement.
A low top doesn’t do any of that. You can glide around effortlessly. This is best for smaller players and players that want a bit of a quickness edge to their game. It just isn’t going to bring you as much protection. The middle way is the mid cut, of course. This type of shoe is right between the high and low, and it serves to try and bring you the best of both worlds. With high tops really going out of style, this is sort of the new high top. It’s not nearly as bulky, though as the high top is, yet it still offers enough ankle support to you that you see a great deal of players going with them over the low tops.
An issue to look out for is the heel counter. The heel counter sounds like a fancy name, but it’s pretty simple. It’s just where your heel fits into the shoe. Some heel counters are super plush, others are super tough. In truth, you probably don’t want either of those two things. But what you do want is a heel counter that does not rub against you.
If it is coarse, then you could find yourself experiencing some discomfort. This is a sure fire way to lose concentration on the court and end up making mistakes. Look out for that. If you don’t like how something feels, don’t buy and don’t wear it. Stubbornness is a lot of folks’ downfall, don’t be one of them. The other thing with a heel counter is that it keeps you ‘locked in.’ This means that your ankle is sliding back and forth and that you aren’t feeling as if your shoes are going to come off over and over again.
If a heel counter doesn’t keep you locked into the floor, it’s not going to be the right shoe for you. Sizing does play a role here, so we should talk about that next.
Let it be known that without the proper sizing, everything we have discussed prior can be thrown out the window. Without getting the best size for your specific foot, you are going to be left without comfort, without support, and without proper protection. So, here are a few things you should keep in mind as you look to find yourself a great pair of shoes for the court.
– Try on some shoes in a store. Try on everything you can that is labeled for volleyball, or other court sports except basketball, use. This way you can get a better grasp on the situation as a whole. If you try on brands, then you will start to see how they fit and ‘run’ on you. Some brands are smaller than others, some are wider, some are narrow. It’s all just a matter of preference and feel. If this is your first time shopping, this is especially helpful to do. You can always decide to order online after you have tried them and know what you want. It takes a lot of the guess work out of it.
– Make sure and resize yourself every couple of years, even if you don’t think you need it. Feet are a lot like our eyes. They might change slowly, so you will adjust and might not notice. But you might end up being a little off, so you can prevent that by resizing. Just knowing what you wear isn’t always that helpful if there are no good comparisons to go by.
– Go try on shoes/put them on for the first time when you are either just finished with exercise or are at the end of your day. This makes sure that your feet are at their most swollen and allows you to get the best fit out of your new shoes. Failure to do this can result in your ending up with ill fitting shoes, and you have to put many of the poor reviews written on websites could have been avoided simply by doing this. It is not always the shoe company’s fault!
– Ensure that you have enough space between your toes and the end of the shoes. This is crucial. The recommended about of room you need is a half of a thumb. Less than that and you set yourself up for blistering. You might ask why this is the recommended amount of room, and the answer is pretty simple. It’s because your feet are going to swell as you go on. There is no quicker way to end up sidelined and unable to play, barring serious injury, than this. You also don’t want too much room, either, though. Remember the heel counter we talked about? It will not be able to work if the shoes are too large because you’ll be sliding up and down. This is a silent killer, if you will, because it will take the strain placed upon you and slowly build until you end up with a big problem down the line.
– Check to see if you like the width of the shoes. If you have a wide foot, for example, you shouldn’t just see if the ends are positioned nicely. You’ve also got to make sure they are wide enough. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of companies in the volleyball shoe market that offer wide running shoes, so you will need to be extra careful when attempting to buy a pair. A lot of people assume that you can just size up to make up for this, but that is not always the answer because it then throws off the length. Sometimes you just need to realize they aren’t for you and look to another model or brand, possibly.
– Other things to consider are the tops of the shoes. Every now and then, you’ll see a pair of shoes that have tops that restrict your feet. This feeling on the top is not a wanted one, and it can lead to uncomfort and just a lack of flexibility on the court. You can avoid that from happening by just checking. Also, check to see if any orthotics you might have will fit. Some shoes have removable inserts, while others do not. If you just assume they will work, you might find yourself placing an insert on top of the ones they have and then end up rubbing up against the tops. Not a lovely feeling at all.
It’s also helpful to note that men’s and women’s shoes are different, and that there are reasons for this. Men’s shoes are a little bulkier and they are shaped in a different manner than those made for women. Women’s shoes are a little bit lighter and have support from elsewhere. One thing that can be said is that men’s are generally wider, but that’s only natural because the foot is typically bigger in general. Sizes and colors are usually different, too, with those being the obvious things that people are most likely to notice right off the bat.
It doesn’t matter if you are a first time player or a seasoned vet to the game, you are going to want to buy a pair of shoes that hold up for as long as they possibly can. No one likes to spend any amount of money, whether large or small, only to see their shoes wear out well before they anticipated. While a great deal of the durability is going to be down to how much and where you wear your shoes, durability is also determined by how well constructed the shoe is and how good the materials used are.
Shoes that use poor materials are going to wear out quicker than those with new technologies and proven materials. Keep in mind that if you play six times a week, then you’ll need to replace your earlier than players that play just a little bit. It’s normal for this to occur, so when you go to judge a pair of shoes, go by how much you play not the length of time that you have owned them.
To further increase your durability, you might even designate a pair for practice and a pair for games. That’s another idea to help your cause a little bit, if you so choose to do so. For serious players, it is pretty common to end up replacing shoes every season. It must better to do that than to end up losing performance or getting injured!
This part is often forgotten, but it’s essential to a whole lot of people. Breathability refers to how much the shoe allows the foot to breath. It might sound dumb if this is the first time you’ve ever heard of it, but it’s a life saver to people that are ultra sweaty. I think we all know someone like that. The way that shoes do this is by providing tiny holes in the materials. Most of the time, they use mesh in order to do this.
Mesh is lightweight, too, so that helps to cut down on the total weight of the shoe as well. Mesh takes that sweat away, which further reduces the weight that is inside of the shoe because it is letting off some of that ‘steam,’ if you will. Breathable shoes are also much better for reducing the amount of bacteria. This means they will be much less smelly than ordinary shoes without mesh.
If you are playing outside, this is definitely something you’ll want to consider. But even if you are indoors, it really will pay off to have mesh, especially at practice when you’ll be doing a whole lot more running than you find yourself doing in actual games.
Mesh could have been included here in this category, but we have already taken a look at it. Outside of mesh, there are a couple of main materials used for the upper part of the shoe. The most common used to be leather. Leather was and still is awesome because it felt really nice and stretched well. However, it was expensive, people didn’t like that it was killing wildlife, and also wasn’t as durable.
So, synthetics came to the forefront. Most products today use synthetics as it’s just what they have moved toward. Synthetic leathers are just human attempts to replicate leather. To begin with, this type was super rigid, but over time they have made them much more flexible. This is a big part of why they are so popular today, and it’s why you see them out on the market so abundantly. They also have great durability, so that also helps to explain it.
Best Volleyball Shoes Reviews
Aside: Because of the models being generally available in both men’s and women’s, we will keep from having reviews on the men’s and women’s versions. If you see it on here, chances are it will be out there for both men and women as well. But you will have to check to be sure!
Asics Women’s Gel-Rocket 8
It wouldn’t be much of a list without Asics being on it somewhere, and they take #1 with the Gel Rocket 8 because it is a great shoe for an inexpensive amount of money. For one, they look great, though they do not have many colors to pick from. On top of that, they are versatile and able to be used for multiple sports.
Reasons for that are numerous, with their well-known Gel cushioning system taking affect as well as the toe area being reinforced to help you push off better than you’re able to with most pairs. With a gum rubber sole and a synthetic upper, these shoes are built to last. They also have mesh built in with them, making them breathable as well as flexible and lightweight.
Some people might not like the fact that they are a low top, but they still are going to be pretty good at protecting you considering the sheer quality of them. They even have removable inserts, making it easier to bring your own into the game. Some have found them to not offer a lot of arch support, so if you have flat feet or high arches, you might want to steer clear if they are extreme issues.
- Good mid range price
- Patented Gel cushioning does a great job
- Flexible, light, and breathes easy
- Not for high arches or flat feet
- Low tops might not be best bigger players or those with ankle problems
Adidas Originals Women’s Ligra 6
Another pair of shoes that deserve a great deal of plaudits is the Ligra 6 from Adidas. Like Asics previously, this pair is a low top that will offer you a lot of flexibility. Adidas also brings good breathability into the picture with the Ligra, utilizing plenty of mesh on the forefoot along with synthetics to give you that along with stability.
The laces are reinforced to make them super durable and much easier to keep in place; there’s really nothing worse than shoelaces that won’t stay tied! In the midsole of the shoes, there is EVA used. This allows the shoes to remain lightweight will also being able to cushion you from those repeated blows on the floor.
The outsole used their Adiwear technology to make them even more durable by adding abrasive resistant materials and designs to keep from them getting worn out too quickly. As any good volleyball shoe would have, these have gum rubber and are excellent at giving grip on the correct surfaces. A couple of things that you should look out for are the looks and the fit of them.
The looks are a little bit disappointing for Adidas, while the fit is a little bit off. You might find yourself needing to go half a size up with them to get the best feel you can.
- Good price
- Flexible and easy to move in
- Very durable pair of shoes
- Many need to size up ½ a size
- Not the greatest looking pair of Adidas shoes
Mizuno Women’s Wave Bolt 7
Right away it’s important to note that these shoes are going to set you back more in the wallet than the previous two. But that doesn’t make them bad. On the contrary, Mizuno does a great job in volleyball, just as they do with baseball, and have done so here with a pair of shoes that are all about absorbing shocks to the feet. These shoes have a midsole that makes them lighter than most yet still also good at handling the blows.
Better yet, they are responsive, meaning you don’t feel like you are too heavy and overextended out on the court by wearing them. The upper uses both synthetics and mesh, and the mesh used looks wonderful. On top of looking great, it is the type that is going to be much tougher to tear just because of the construction. The bottom of the foot in the heel area has a grooves in it to help when you jump and for when you land to stay more protected than others out there.
They are a little bit stiffer than other Mizunos, which means they might take some time to break in, so that is something to look out for. They also aren’t best for those with flat feet, either so keep an eye out for that.
- Great for shock absorption
- Very high quality mesh
- Responsive to movement
- Stiffer than other pairs
- Not for flat footed players
- Higher cost than previous pairs
Asics Men’s Netburner Ballistic FF MT
With the Netburner comes our first shoe for the men on the list so far. And if you find yourself in need of extra support on the court, this is the one for you. With a mid top look, these shoes are going to offer your ankles and heels more protection than you’d get with a low top, and you won’t risk losing a ton of the flexibility and lightweight nature at the same time.
Furthermore, these shoes just look really cool, looking like basketball shoes with slight alterations. The use of mesh is prevalent with these shoes, being paired up with synthetic leather. The insole uses a sockliner that is very comfortable and light on your feet, helping you to remain cool, calm, and comfy. The front and rear of the foot have their gel cushioning that everyone has come to know and love, so you won’t be let down.
The biggest knocks on this pair of shoes will be the added weight to them and the price that you have to pay, which is higher than the moderate price range. However, they do well for wide feet, so saying that alone could be enough to win over a good number of players.
- Extra ankle support
- Sockliner keeps players cool and comfy
- Gel cushioning never lets you down
- Little bit pricey
- Heavier due to the extra protection
Adidas Men’s Crazyflight Bounce
With this pair of shoes, we get back to what we know about Adidas: that cool factor with their designs. There may not be many choices in terms of colors, but the ones available are brilliant and will stick out. Apart from that, the Crazyflight does what it promises to do. It uses Adidas’ bounce inside to allow you the ability to play all day long with comfort and support.
So many companies bring shoes to the marketplace that are plush and cushy but fail to deliver support. These don’t forget that part of the puzzle. Using a mesh liner with TPU and synthetic materials makes the upper very durable and also supportive to the top of the foot. In the midsole, EVA has been used to add extra cushioning to the mix and to keep the overall weight down as much as possible.
The one thing that has to be pointed out in the negative column is about the sole. Instead of customary gum rubber, it uses just rubber. They are still not going to leave marks, but they don’t offer the same traction as others out there, and many have not been happy about that. Another issue is with the price, which is a little bit high.
- Wicked looks to set you apart
- Bounce sustains shocks and is comfy
- Durable and supportive
- Grip just isn’t the same
- Runs a little expensive
Nike Women’s Zoom Hyperace 2
If you want something that is as close as possible to a Yeezy on the court, then this is your best shot. The Hyperace just looks classy with a number of mostly-white designs that help you just look cool. The way the outsoles are shaped also remind you of a Yeezy, though they have been put there in order to give more cushioning for all of the jumping and lateral movement that is required of you.
Lots of mesh is used, and it is combined with TPU to help increase the life of the shoes greatly. The rubber used on the bottom is good for grip, but it might not quite be up to par like the gum rubber, so that is a bit of a concern. The price is also pretty high as well, so that’s something you’ll have to consider. The ease at which you can get them on and off is greatly increased by the pull tab in the back and on the tongue.
Using the Zoomair feature that Nike does such a great job with, it is light and offers excellent cushioning as you encounter the floor repeatedly. They are a little lacking in terms of support and padding compared to others, but many just love them for their looks and overlook that aspect.
- Exceptional looks for the court
- Cushions your jumps with Zoomair
- Very durable thanks to TPU
- Can be very pricey in certain sizes
- Not as padded as some others out there
Asics Women’s Upcourt 2
With the Upcourt 2, you get a very nice pair of volleyball shoes for a very reasonable, budget friendly price. These shoes don’t offer a ton of colors, but they look pretty good for what they are at the price. Coming with the gel cushioning in the rear of the foot, they won’t do as much as the last Asics we looked at, but you can’t expect them to with that price.
With the gum rubber sole, you will never have to worry about them losing grip on the hardwood court again. Using synthetic leather and mesh in the upper, these shoes offer durability as well as breathability all at the same exact time. They are very flexible and light with a low top design, so these are best served for quicker players or those that don’t want to be weighed down anymore.
One big thing to keep in mind is the sizing. With these, a lot of people have expressed concern because they do run large. You will have to order down and cross your fingers if you don’t try them on in person first. They are quick to break in, but the grip comes in slowly, so you have to sort of wait and ‘break them in’ in that regard.
- Very good price point
- Durable and breathable
- Good grip with gum rubber
- Grip takes time to get there
- Sizing is way off for many
Conclusion And Final Volleyball Shoes recommendations
To be able to withstand the pressures of playing volleyball consistently, you are going to need the right footwear. Just wearing any old pair of shoes won’t cut it. You need to have something that isn’t just comfortable but also is supportive. With so many lateral movements and so much jumping, with little running involved in game, it’s unique in a lot of ways, even from other court sports.
That’s why it is so important to find a pair of shoes that fit you well and are made for volleyball. You’ll be much happier and your game will improve as your confidence grows in your new shoes. You confidence in picking them out will also have grown after today and our buying guide. You now know what to look for and what to avoid.
For any further questions, look below in our FAQ’s! Good luck out on the court!
Frequently Asked Questions About Volleyball Shoes
What Brands Are The Best?
In volleyball, you get a lot of different choices. You get the traditional powerhouse brands like Nike and Adidas and they compete with the likes of court sports brands like Asics and Mizuno. Some people swear by a brand, whether it’s a volleyball specific brand or a brand that is from other sports. The best thing to do is to find a brand that you like and enjoy. This makes finding your size much, much easier. It can be really tough to go to a new brand and get the correct size, and by sticking with a certain brand, you not longer have to worry about finding the right fit unless they make drastic changes to their lines after a while.
Can You Wear Volleyball Shoes for Other Sports?
You could, but we don’t recommend that. Volleyball shoes are very good for jumping and moving side to side, but they can be a little light in weight and a little flimsy for other sports, besides the court sports we mentioned (racquetball, squash, badminton, etc). They might be comfy, which seems to be all that people are concerned with these days, but that isn’t everything. You need something that suits the sport you are playing. Just like we wouldn’t recommend shoes intended for other sports to be used for volleyball, we wouldn’t suggest you use volleyball shoes for others.
When Should I Replace My Shoes?
Some people are harder on shoes than others. I might be able to wear a pair for a year without much wear and tear and you could wear the same pair and have them worn out in a couple of months. How you wear them is a big, big deal, and where you wear them is as well. One way, though, that you cannot indicate when to replace your shoes is by looking at them. Just scuffs don’t mean they need to be replaced. With that said, if you see holes in the upper part, then you should replace them.
Also, if you notice the sides of the shoes are showing wear and tear, this means the support is giving out. This is another good reason to replace them. A further reason to look for new shoes is if they begin to hurt you when they never have before. This is because the support has been taken out of them slowly, and that means you need to get a new pair to get all of the desired support back to your feet.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number of months or number of miles to go by, so it’s just something you have to play by ear and take note of. It’s natural to notice a little less support over time, but once you get to a certain level you just have to hang them up and get a new pair.
What About Youth Volleyball Shoes?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a footprint at all for youth as of yet in the volleyball shoe market. We should start to see some start to move into it soon, but until then you are on your own until they get a little bit older and are able to wear adult sizes. Besides two companies that is. Volleyball stalwarts Mizuno and Asics offer youth sizes, so those are well worth a look.
With the game growing more popular at younger ages, it’s should be easier and easier to find in future years and decades. If you don’t want to do that, you can always try them on adult sizes from other brands, that never hurts, but if they do not fit well, then please don’t let your child wear them. It can cause injuries and even a lack of desire to play.
Are Volleyball Shoes Really That Important?
The answer is a big yes. If you are playing volleyball at any sort of a competitive level, even if it is recreationally, you’re going to get the most out of your game by wearing volleyball shoes. That’s just a statement of fact, not of opinion. You can get by with our types of shoes, sure, and those for other court sports will do a good job, too, but volleyball shoes have specific purposes and features built in to them to make the the best choice imaginable. We’re not suggesting that wearing them is going to be you a great player, but they can have a serious impact on how good, or bad, you can be.
What If I Play on Grass?
Playing on grass is a lot different, but you might want something to help you with that, too. For grass, there are a lot of options, but the best might just be to wear some trail running shoes. Those shoes are good at absorbing shocks and they also good a job of giving you grip on that kind of surface. You just won’t get the same type of grip with gum rubber on grass, and even if you did, they would wear out much quicker.
Are There Other Accessories I Might Want or Need?
There isn’t of stuff to worry about with volleyball, but besides shoes, you are going to need a ball and knee pads for sure. But more specifically for the feet, there are a couple of things you could also add to the list. First and foremost would be a good pair of socks. Socks are overlooked, but they can make a huge difference. I’ve worn socks before and felt fine in them but then played or exercised with the same pair and they caused issues. Next, in the same vein are compression socks.
They aren’t always a sock, but they are similar and can do a good job at keeping your feet focused and ready to play. Lastly, an insert is always a possibility. If you find that your feet are always sore after playing, this might be your best option to help alleviate that pain from occurring by stopping it before it even starts… hopefully, that is.