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Buying Volleyball Shoes

By JulieD

Volleyball shoes provide ankle support and excellent traction to aid in the start-stop, quickly moving, pivoting and jumping movements of the sport.  Indoor volleyball shoes most closely resemble basketball shoes in their appearance and design, but are different in several important ways and are designed to feel as if you are playing barefoot.

The sole

Volleyball shoes should have a rubber and gum rubber composite sole to give the player the absolute best traction on various indoor playing surfaces. 

The Mid-Sole

Because volleyball players spend a lot of time on the balls of their feet, the ability of the mid-sole to absorb the shock of all the jumping and landing volleyballs players do is critical.  Well designed volleyball shoes add advanced materials to the mid-sole made of foam from sheet/molded EVA to absorb shock. Other shock absorbing methods (air, gel, liquid) provide cushioning and energy return. 

The Uppers

Most volleyball shoes have a suede and mesh upper. Some will add mesh to the upper to lighten up the shoe to allow for air flow and breathe-ability. Some manufactures offer a leather or lightweight synthetic leather and mesh upper on mid and high cut shoes, adding ankle support for those players that desire it.

Frequent replacement critical to injury prevention

Because the mid-sole material of a volleyball shoe takes a pounding and eventually loses its ability to provide your child's foot with adequate support or cushioning, experts recommend that they be periodically replaced, even if the bottom sole shows no sign of excessive wear. If your child is playing volleyball 5 to 6 times a week, buying new shoes every month would be ideal.  For those playing 2 to 3 times a week, replacement shoes every 3 to 4 months is recommended.

Wearing shoes longer, says Dr. Michael Lowe, past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, and long time team podiatrist of the NBA's Utah Jazz, greatly increases stress to the foot, leg and related soft tissue and bone structures. In time, the stress will create a fatigue injury that then renders the player unable to  continue playing volleyball. The incidence of overuse injuries can be greatly decreased simply by replacing shoes frequently.  Buying new shoes are thus a relatively cheap investment in preventative medicine.

Source: VolleyballHeadquarters.com

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