It’s no secret that basketball shoes can be worn for a game of volleyball. But what about Kobe Bryant’s basketball shoes specifically, are they actually good for volleyball players?
Kobe shoes are good for volleyball because they are lightweight and have great traction. Both are features most volleyball players would want in their shoes. Most Kobe shoes are also low-cut, mimicking the feel of volleyball shoes and helping players move quickly.
If you have Kobe shoes at home, you can wear them at one of your volleyball games. Although you can wear other basketball shoes for volleyball, Kobe shoes are just better. Let’s explore.
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Kobe shoes are good for volleyball because they are lightweight, have excellent traction, and are designed for lateral movement that most volleyball players would want on their shoes.
Here are the 5 reasons why Kobe shoes are good for volleyball, explained further:
1. Kobe shoes are lightweight
Volleyball players are always on the move.
Because of this, you always need lightweight shoes to make your movements quick. Heavy shoes can slow you down and hinder you from achieving the right height when jumping.
Kobe shoes work just like volleyball shoes, if not better because they are lightweight. The lightest Kobe shoe to date is the Nike Kobe 8, weighing in at a mere 9.6 ounces.
The lightweight nature of volleyball shoes allows players to change directions quickly. In fact, the average weight of volleyball shoes is 9.2 to 11 ounces for women and 11.2 to 15 ounces for men.
2. Kobe shoes have excellent traction
According to Volley Kicks, traction is the most important feature to look for in a volleyball shoe.
A slippery shoe will make you feel like moving in sand. At best, the energy in your legs is lost, and at worst, your feet slip forward and you risk the safety of yourself and those around you.
Since both volleyball and basketball are played on a hardwood court, Kobe shoes are designed with top-of-the-line traction to help players change directions on a dime.
Most basketball shoes, including Kobe shoes, are equipped with rubber outsoles. They also have different tread patterns from herringbone, parquet, circles, and squiggles, all of which help both basketball and volleyball players achieve traction without slipping on hardwood courts.
3. Kobe shoes are designed for lateral movement
Having both a light weight and excellent traction means that Kobe shoes are designed for lateral movement. In simpler terms, lateral movement is front to back and/or side to side movements.
But how does a volleyball shoe or Kobe shoe help with lateral movement? The answer is lockdown.
A good volleyball shoe needs to help your foot stay planted to the insole. In other words, lockdown is about minimizing the movement of your foot inside. An excellent pair of volleyball shoes provides lockdown and makes them an extension of your feet.
To achieve lockdown, Kobe shoes are equipped with a good lacing system. Some of the more modern Kobe shoes, like the Kobe FastFit, secure both of your feet without laces but with a strap.
Much like volleyball players, Kobe shoes help basketball players push hard laterally and change directions quickly. This means that Kobe shoes help optimize your side-to-side movements.
4. Kobe shoes are designed for jumping
In addition to lateral movement, both volleyball and basketball require jumping abilities.
Flexibility is often an overlooked aspect in performance sneakers. Generally, a shoe should be smooth in the heel-toe transition. This helps your natural running and jumping motion.
Kobe shoes are not only flexible but are equipped with adequate cushioning to minimize the impact on your feet and knees upon landing from a jumping motion.
In fact, most Kobe shoes are equipped with Nike Zoom technology. According to Nike, the Zoom technology is an explosive cushioning system designed for speed and agility.
The Zoom technology uses pressurized air and tightly stretched fibers to absorb impact and then snap back for fast movement and reduced stress on muscles, joints, and tendons.
So, whether you’re playing volleyball or basketball, Kobe shoes can help improve your jumping while absorbing the impact from your landing, especially if you jump a lot during the game.
5. Most Kobe shoes are low-cut
Last but not least, the reason why Kobe shoes are ideal for volleyball is due to their low cut. Unlike most basketball shoes, Kobe shoes are known for being lower than the ankle.
In fact, the Nike Kobe 4 was the first low-top basketball sneaker (inspired by soccer shoes). Kobe said that the sneaker was the boldest move that he has ever done together with Nike.
The move is a smart one, as it proved to the world that wearing low basketball shoes would not get you injured. Thanks to Kobe Bryant, we now have low-cut basketball shoes everywhere.
Today, most Kobe shoes are lower than the ankle, resembling volleyball shoes. After all, a good volleyball shoe needs to be comfortable, and Kobe shoes are actually comfortable. The low-cut design allows both volleyball and basketball players to move efficiently on the court.
Best Kobe Shoes for Volleyball
Both the Nike Kobe 8 and Nike Kobe A.D. NXT 360 are considered two of the best Kobe shoes for volleyball. Their low-cut design and excellent traction mimic the feel of volleyball shoes the best.
The Nike Kobe 8 is the lightest of all the Kobe shoes, weighing in at just 9,6 ounces. From the side, it looks like a typical volleyball shoe. It has the best traction on a Kobe, hands down. The rubber is soft and the herringbone tread pattern is awesome on practically any indoor court.
While the Nike Kobe A.D. NXT is not as light (11 ounces), it has a low-cut design unlike any other basketball shoes (resembling soccer cleats), making it a great substitute for volleyball sneakers. The React foam gives a much more fluid ride once broken in.
And there you have it, the answer to the question: are Kobe shoes good for volleyball? Now you can wear a pair of Kobes for a volleyball game, knowing that it can improve your performance.