Volleyball Gear: 13 Essentials She Needs to Feel Cool on the Court

Volleyball Gear

Is your daughter starting out on the girls high school volleyball team and you want to know what volleyball gear, equipment, and essentials she will need? I have it all laid out right here, from basic volleyball gear to a few extras to feel cool and confident on the court.

In 2019, my youngest daughter began her journey in volleyball. We were looking for a way for her to join a team to start her high school year and she expressed an interest in volleyball because she enjoyed it in gym class, so she decided to pursue it.


Before the school year began, we reached out to the school’s varsity volleyball coach for guidance and she recommended a volleyball camp at a local indoor athletic sports center that was coming up that week.

We figured it would be a great crash course to see if volleyball would be something our daughter would gravitate to and she loved it. She was naturally adept at it, and when she tried out, she made the freshman team.

And so began our family’s journey into the world of volleyball.

At that point, I thought to myself, exactly what kind of volleyball gear or volleyball equipment do female indoor volleyball players use? Here is what I found.

Volleyball Gear

Get Coordinated

Something very interesting that I discovered in researching volleyball gear and volleyball equipment is that there are really two companies that dominate the manufacture of volleyball gear at the high school level. Nike and Mizuno with Adidas being the official sponsor of Team USA Volleyball.

Depending on your coach and the program, the volleyball gear you will likely select will either be mostly all one brand or the other. It is a curious thing really.

My daughter’s volleyball team asked them to use Nike shoes and socks to keep a uniform look to the team. So in keeping with that, she chose to coordinate all her accessories accordingly. We have no particular affinity for Nike products over Mizuno for instance or Adidas, but the range of products available did make it helpful to coordinate her look. So keep that in mind.

And let’s face it, a coordinated look makes every player feel more confident, which can make a difference in play. Otherwise, why wear uniforms at all right? So here we go!

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Essential Volleyball Gear for every High School Volleyball Player

When I asked the coach what I would need to pick up for my daughter to play during the first week of volleyball camp, keeping in mind that she was completely new to the sport, she told me just two things: kneepads and later on if she made the team, volleyball shoes.

Volleyball Shoes

Volleyball shoes are specifically designed to support stability in the side-to-side lateral moves that players make with their feet and the quick push off and response required in the sport.

Volleyball shoes are wider than typical sneakers at the front of the foot and have extra cushions and support on the outside of the foot to protect and provide stability.

Here are three favorites I discovered for volleyball shoes:

nike volleyball shoe
mizumo volleyball shoe

Adidas Women’s Crazyflight Bounce 3 Volleyball Shoes

adidas volleyball shoe

Volleyball Kneepads

Volleyball can be brutal on unprotected knees. There is diving and lunging, and much falling to our knees to save the ball and the point. So you want to protect your child’s knees for the years ahead. Invest in good kneepads and change them out every season to keep the padding full and protective.

My daughter has a pair for practice and a pair for game time.

Mizuno LR6 Volleyball Kneepad for practice because those were the ones I found before the camp. I am glad I did though, because they have great padding, and were perfect for a beginner starting out, making a lot of mistakes that ended with her knees on the floor. Plus they are black, which worked out best for hiding dirt and dust from the court floor.

mizuno black volleyball kneepads

For games her team wanted to go with white Nike Knee Pads to match the socks and shoes so I picked up Nike Streak Volleyball Knee Pads and these are working out good too. But since they are white she reserves them for game time.

white nike volleyball kneepads

If you’re looking for an option from Adidas, try these: Adidas Elite Volleyball Knee Pads.

black adidas volleyball kneepads

Volleyball Shorts

This is the part that gets me, why oh why, do volleyball shorts need to be so SHORT? Yeah, so, beach volleyball athletes wear bikinis, so tiny shorts are what, supposed to be an upgrade in modesty for young girls?

Whatever, not sure what the deal is here. But I do know that if you ask most teenage volleyball players what the shorts of choice are, they will tell you it is the Nike Pro 3″ Shorts. I don’t know how or why that is the standard, but there you have it. So here it is.

Nike Women’s Pro 3″ Shorts are available in many colors. I got my daughter 4 pairs in basic black to rotate for both games and practices.

nike pro shorts

If your team uses Mizuno gear, here is their version: Mizuno Women’s Victory Volleyball Shorts or Mizuno Core Flat Front Vortex Hybrid Volleyball Shorts or these Mizuno practice shorts.

Volleyball Bag

So when we began our search for a bag to hold her gear, we decided at that time that another backpack style would be unhelpful since my daughter was already wearing a backpack for books at school. She wasn’t into the double backpack sandwich board look. Hence we went for a duffle bag syle.

When thinking of size for the duffle bag, we thought about what she would actually need to carry to school for gear: volleyball shoes and kneepads. Her water bottle and other small items. Her uniform (of one pair of socks, tiny shorts, and a jersey shirt). It really wasn’t much. She didn’t need a big bag. In fact the smaller the bag, the easier it would fit in her locker.

nike duffle bag

Enter the Nike Brasilia Duffle Bag in Extra Small. It fits all the above and even fits the volleyball (but doesn’t leave too much room for much else). If you want to get a SMALL size try the Nike Brasilia Duffle Small Bag, it would fit a volleyball with room to spare for snacks and random gear. For weekend tournaments you can try a bigger bag to fit a weekend’s worth of gear and extra clothes too and plenty of snacks and stuff.

Plus you can carry your volleyball separately in one of these handy Volleyball Ball Bags and hook it onto any duffle or backpack. Definitely check that out.

volleyball ball bag

Or if it’s just your ball and kneepads you’re toting, this Volleyball Cinch Sack will do nicely too.

Useful Volleyball Gear for High School Volleyball Players

Volleyball Socks

Moisture-wicking padded crew socks are what our team recommended. We went with Nike Dri-FIT Crew Socks Six Pack.

nike socks

These volleyball socks from Mizuno look great too, Mizuno Runbird Volleyball Crew Socks.

mizuno socks

Volleyball Headband

If your daughter wants a headband to wick away sweat and keep her hair out of her eyes, give these a try. Mizuno Elite Volleyball Headband or Nike Dri-FIT Head Tie.

nike headband

Volleyball Practice Tops

For practice, any t-shirt or long sleeve t-shirt will do. Moisture-wicking is great because girls sweat bullets playing this physically demanding sport, and long sleeves help protect against ball burn at the beginning of the season until she gets used to the sting of the ball on the inside of the arms.

If you are looking for a recommendation for a practice top for volleyball, here are a few suggestions:

Volleyball and Ball Pump

Your team will provide a volleyball for practice and games, so really you only need a volleyball to practice on your own.

Here are just two of many volleyballs to choose from: the Nike Hyperspike 18P Indoor Volleyball and Tachikara SV-5WSC Indoor Volleyball.

tachikara volleyball

And don’t forget a compact Nike Ball Pump to keep in the car or at home for an occasional fill-up.

Sports Bra

Volleyball is a high impact sport and many growing young ladies need a supportive sports bra. Sports bras can be a matter of preference and level of support so thankfully there are a number of options to fit her needs. Here is but one option for you to consider: the Nike Women’s Alpha Dri-FIT Sports Bra.

Crocs or Slides

Our coach insists that volleyball shoes are not to be worn on the street. No athlete’s shoes should be worn on the street, really. So what is a comfortable option to prevent your socks from being ruined getting into and out of the car on the way to practice or a game?

The Crocs Classic Clog is a comfortable slip-on shoe that is great regardless of how wide your feet are and will be comfortable either with socks on getting to the games or for letting your feet air out after games. The holes throughout the shoes allow for air to circulate and work to hide a peeling pedicure or self-conscious toes. Ask me how important this can be for some high school girls. 🙂

Plus you can pretty much pick a pair of Crocs in nearly every team color out there so you are bound to be able to coordinate with your favorite color for extra fun.

You also really can’t go wrong with this classic Adidas Women’s Adilette Aqua Slides. I have one daughter with extra wide feet that don’t feel comfortable in these with socks on, so the Crocs won out. But these slides are loved by many female athletes all over the world.

Sweatpants and Sweatshirt

I mentioned my beef with the extra tiny shorts volleyball players wear. And in some parts of the country temperatures begin to drop in September and especially in October while the season is still in full swing. So, enter the need for easy pants and a sweatshirt to throw over her uniform to get to and from games and practice.

The options are really endless and the likelihood is your daughter already has plenty of both, but just in case, here are a couple of fun trendy options.

female athlete in nike sweatshirt and pants

Want some Volleyball Leggings? Try these: Adidas Women’s Alphaskin ¾ Length USA Volleyball Tights.


Water Bottle

An excellent water bottle to keep ice and water cold for HOURS: YETI 18 oz. Rambler Bottle (car cup holder friendly) or YETI 26 oz. Rambler Bottle and the YETI Rambler Straw Cap that fits both.

yeti rambler bottle
yeti straw cap

I know Hydro Flask is all the hype, but YETI bottles win out for me in every way. They are tougher and don’t dent as easily. They keep liquids hot or cold very reliably, the TripleHaul caps have space for three-finger hold which makes them much easier to carry (where the Hydro Flask only has enough space in the cap for one finger to hold on to a very heavy bottle when filled with water) and the caps can be interchanged with straw or chug caps based on your style of consuming your favorite liquid beverage.

I personally LOVE my YETI and my kids both have Hydro Flasks and keep looking at mine with green eyes. Update: everyone has a YETI now and loves theirs. It really is the best water bottle out there.

Looking to decorate your new water bottle with stickers? Check out my post on 20 Unique Gifts for Volleyball Players Devoted to the Game. You will find personalized sticker options there and all sorts of cute volleyball themed gifts for your player.

KT Tape or Ankle Brace

Many athletes rely heavily on KT TAPE PRO Synthetic Kinesiology Tape for support of past injuries, for relieving pressure, and for improving muscle function. KT Pro Tape is strong, durable, waterproof and sweatproof and can last through multiple runs, showers, humidity, and more for up to a week.

kt tape

Mizuno Ankle Brace is a good option to protect susceptible ankles to sprains and tears and to help support ankle injuries from occurring.

Extra volleyball bag essentials to have on hand

Think about your kid and what she needs for her personal essentials.

volleyball notebook

Game Day Snacks and Necessities

Let us not minimize the importance of satisfying snacks in the volleyball bag for practices and game time. Snacks are everything! Here are a few easy packable options. A small icepack for keeping some of the snacks cool might be a good idea too.

Cheese, crackers, pretzels, granola bars, fruit cups, apples, tangerines, cut up veggies, and fruit. A pack of gum is essential too.

Volleyball Gear Brand Specific Lists:

Mizuno Volleyball Gear

Nike Volleyball Gear

Adidas Volleyball Gear

Other Volleyball Essentials for Practice and Game Time

Get your What to Pack in your Volleyball Bag List

Want to get organized for the volleyball season? It’s not too late. This is the complete list of everything a girl needs to pack in her volleyball bag for practices, games, and tournaments.

The complete What to Pack in your Volleyball Bag checklist is available in our resource library. Get access to it here!

volleyball gear essentials checklist

Good luck with the volleyball season! May your daughter have what she needs to be successful, may she enjoy the camaraderie of a team sport and most of all, may she have a lot of fun in the process of getting better with every practice and game! And may you enjoy cheering her on through the season.

cheers chandra

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