What Gear do I need to play?

Volleyball shoes
It's always best to buy a pair of shoes that are specifically made for volleyball.
You are looking for a low-top or slightly mid-top shoe. 
The internal supports of volleyball shoes maintain lateral movement. 
Shoes should be relatively light weight with similar tread to a basketball shoe tread:

Asics and Mizuno make a wide variety of volleyball specific shoes - both brands
 are very comparable and are usually good choices.
Nike, Adidas and Kaepa also make volleyball shoes but have a limited selection.

You should be able to get a decent pair of volleyball shoes for about $50. 
Prices can exceed $100 for the top models.


Where can I get shoes?
You can purchase shoes locally at T&B Sports in San Rafael.
Limited selection but great if you want to support your local merchant!
T & B Sports, Downtown San Rafael click here

Some sporting good stores sports carry volleyball shoes but
they usually have a very limited selection.
We recommend calling the store ahead of time to see if
1) they carry volleyball shoes
2) if they have sizes your are looking for

You can purchase volleyball shoes online as well:
Eastbay is a big online shoe vendor that has a lot of shoes to choose from.
They have a great return/exchange policy so long as you just try on the shoes and
not wear them around town you can send them back.

Eastbay.com, online sports apparel,  click here

There's always Amazon
Amazon.com click here


Three major differences between vball shoes and non-vball shoes:

1.  Shoe structure:  99% of the time runners are going heel-toe in the forward direction,
so the shoes are designed as such.  If you look at most running shoes, the bottoms are
slightly curved upwards at the toe to promote this motion. 
Volleyball shoes, in contrast, are much flatter so that there is quicker toe contact
with the floor (since all directional changes are initiated with the toes).

2.  Tread:  Runners need grip on semi-rough conditions (e.g. asphalt, trail, etc)
so the bottom of these shoes tend to be knobby.  Indoor volleyball shoes have
much more surface area and are made of a much softer rubber. 
Volleyball shoes will have infinitely better grip than running shoes on an indoor surface.

3.  Lateral support:  Volleyball shoes are designed to support  lateral movement. 

Running shoes are designed to go forward and backwards.  

Basketball shoes are the only reasonable substitute. 
Cross trainers and tennis shoes are okay but are not designed for the
wood floors in a gym so they won't grip as well.

Our last two cents on shoes:
1) We definitely do not want to see non-supportive shoes such as
Keds, skater-type shoes, Toms or Uggs on the court! They have no support!
Lets keep those ankles safe! 

2) Take your shoes off after practice, put them in a mesh bag and
put on a pair of flip flops - don't wear your new volleyball shoes on the street.
The soles are soft and concrete will eat them up!
You're essentially losing what you paid for. 


Both Asics and Mizuno make great volleyball specific kneepads. 
These sets definitely have a generous amount of padding to
save those knees when diving for volleyballs. Nike also makes kneepads.  

*pads are usually "one size fits all."  If your player is in the 5th grade
or below you might consider purchasing a youth sized set of kneepads.

Bicycle knee pads are not good for vollleyball.
They are not designed for playing volleyball nor do they have enough padding.

The important idea here is to have sufficient padding in the correct areas
to protect the knee.  Although Asics and Mizuno are beginning to make thinner pads
the engineering and better materials used compensate for the reduction in padding.

Fit and comfort is the next consideration. Your kneepads may not feel
comfortable at first but they will eventually get broken-in so your player
will get used to them.

Pads usually come in either white or black.
Both are acceptable however at Marin Juniors we've traditionally worn black kneepads.

You can purchase kneepads at T&B, most sporting good stores, or online. 
See the shoe section above for a list of places to purchase gear.
I would call stores ahead of time to make sure they have a
brand you want so you don't waste a trip.
Kneepads cost between $15-$40 dollars.