We’ve tried a lot of volleyball gear in our household over the years. I’ve ordered lots of different shorts (and had to return a lot, too). While finding the best spandex shorts for volleyball doesn’t seem like rocket science, there are definitely some brands and styles that are more likely to work well for the demands of the court. We round them up for you here, so you can learn from my mistakes and buy right the first time!
If you’ve just heard, “Mom, I need volleyball shorts!” you’re in the right place. While it’s not possible to read your daughter’s mind, I can pretty much guarantee that this is the style of spandex she has in mind. These brands and styles are worn across age level, competition level, and are the favorite styles of club players across the country.
And psst: if you haven’t already heard, volleyball leggings have become more than a trend… I think they’re here to stay. You might consider purchasing a pair or two of leggings (in addition) to the typical spandex shorts!
Looking For The Best Volleyball Spandex? Read More About Our Top, Tried And True Choices Below!
Best Volleyball Spandex For Older/Competitive Players (Age 12+)
Nike Pro 365 3″ Shorts: Our #1 Volleyball Spandex Pick!
I’ve purchased SO many brands of spandex volleyball shorts for my daughter over the years. I can tell you, with confidence, that the Nike Pro 365 3″ shorts are a solid choice if you’re not sure where to start. While we have several styles and brands in the drawer, my daughter would rather wear these out of the dirty clothes bin than opt for a different style that’s clean.
More about this style:
Of note: I think the magic is in the waistband of this pair. Other Nike styles without a narrower waistband or low rise cut tend to ride up, and just sitting in my daughter’s drawer, unused.
Pros: These don’t ride up on her (so she doesn’t tug at them), the waist band doesn’t show under any of her jerseys, and the length (while as a mom, I think they’re short) matches what all the other players are wearing on the competitive courts.
Cons: The waistband doesn’t look great, after a full season of wear and washing (it pills). However, this doesn’t seem to affect the comfort at all, and they are holding up well. The price was also a turn off initially, so while I might opt for something less expensive for younger girls, you’ll be glad you paid a premium for this pair if your girl is over 12.
Nike Womens Volleyball Shorts – Runner Up Choice
A close runner up to the above options, I also like these basic Nike volleyball shorts. They are an especially good option for girls on the smaller side, as they come in XXS (where the Nike Pros above only go down to XS).
These were a staple in our household until my daughter opted for the Nike Pros (above) for the feel of a sturdier/higher waistband. She wore these shorts for her first several years of club play, and they held up well.
These are available in many colors, so while teams typically require black for game play, you can mix it up for practices!
Mizuno Victory 3.5″ Volleyball Shorts – Budget Option
An alternative to the Nike options above, this style by Mizuno is a nice, budget-friendly alternative. The waistband is more comfortable for some girls, but is still nice and wide, so these won’t ride up. This is a great, basic volleyball spandex.
This pair is still short, but with a 3.5″ inseam, they also offer a slightly longer fit, for taller girls (or those who just want a bit more coverage).
Best Volleyball Shorts For Younger Girls (Ages 7 – 12)
Nike Girls Performance Game Shorts
Our top choice for girls under 12, these Nike performance game shorts are the perfect volleyball spandex for young players.
Ranging from XS – XL Youth sizing, they span that difficult size range before girls fit reliably into women’s sizes. These were my daughter’s favorite shorts for her first club season (around age 13), when she was still too thin and small for womens XS sizes. They held up nicely for her through 2 seasons of play; and she outgrew them before they wore out.
Under Armour Girls Heatgear Shorty
Similar to the ever popular Nike Pros (but at a more attractive price point), this pair of Under Armour Spandex is another great option for younger players and tweens.
A 3″ inseam and wide waistband make these a similar style option for older girls. They also come in women’s size XS, so they would work well for those in the ‘tween’ size range, in between youth and women’s sizing.
I like this pair as an entry level option, if your girl is just getting started with volleyball, and playing at the rec level. They’ll get the performance they need on the court, and you won’t break the bank.
Under Armour Womens Team Shorty 3
For some girls, this pair by Under Armour is a good option, as well. I’d lean this direction if you have an under-12 girl who is on the smaller side for her age (or needs a fit for a very tall / thin frame).
You may find this fit will work better for girls that don’t like the feel of a high waistband, or who struggle with other styles being too loose around the upper thigh. Of note: these tend to run on the small side, so depending on desired fit, you may need to size up.
Considerations when shopping for volleyball shorts and spandex:
Spandex are certainly put to the test when they’re subjected to the moves required on the volleyball court. Here are the most important things to look for when considering your options.
You’ll generally want a higher waisted style, to ensure that they don’t ride up. No girl wants to be tugging at her shorts after every play. A thick waistband is best, though you don’t want anything uncomfortable or too tight, which is why the smaller elastic waistbands tend to be less comfortable.
An athletic material is a must – they should be breathable, and very sturdy and resilient in construction. Trusted brands are your best bet, and we particularly like the stretch technology of the brands above. After MANY washings, it’s important that the material holds it’s stretch to ensure a reliable fit over time.
3″ inseam is by far the most common for volleyball. If it feels WAY too short for your daughter, you might look into a quality pair of volleyball leggings instead.
Other Considerations For Selecting The Best Volleyball Spandex
Is there a particular style or color that’s most popular for girls volleyball spandex?
Generally speaking, black is the most common. Unless you want to end up with shorts that will only work for practice, take the time to ask whether your team will require a certain color for games / uniform purposes! For the vast majority of players, even with multi colored jerseys, we see teams opting for black volleyball shorts.