If you’ve landed here, chances are you have a young girl who is new to volleyball, and needs some gear. We have you covered, with recommended brands and the best styles for the very youngest of players!
Volleyball doesn’t require much gear, but it can be hard to find the right fit for the youngest girls. Girls who are on the taller and thinner end of the spectrum (who might be especially drawn to volleyball because of their height!) can be a real challenge for sizing. As a long-time volleyball mom, I’ve been through the process with my girls, and hope these tips help you find the gear that works for your daughter! Finding the best volleyball gear for youth doesn’t have to cause brain damage… we’re here to help you make sure it’s as easy as possible so you can get to the important part… your girl enjoying her time on the court!
If your daughter loves the game, you might also consider helping her practice at home with these awesome training aids!
Youth Volleyball Gear: Ideal Options For Players Under 10
Where To Find Volleyball Gear For Youth Girls
Here are my top tips for selecting youth VB gear, along with some tried and true favorite styles that worked for my daughters in their younger years of play.
Let’s help you get the gear-buying out of the way, so you can get your girl suited up and ready to enjoy her time on the court, as comfortably as possible!
Best Youth Volleyball Kneepads For Girls
What To Look For In Youth Volleyball Kneepads:
If you’re shopping for a girls’ first pair of volleyball kneepads, there are a few helpful things to know. First, be sure you’re shopping for ‘youth’ or ‘junior’ sized kneepads. Many of the more well known brands come up in searches for youth gear, and even the XS adult sizes will be more appropriate for middle-school aged kiddos.
Second, use the ‘reviews’ and frequently asked questions sections of shopping sites! If you can find a pair that’s marketed as a ‘youth’ or ‘junior’ kneepad, you’ll get a better idea of the sizing and age range by reading the reviews for that specific brand and style. The fit will vary quite a bit, depending on the style of kneepad. There will often be photos to help guide you (or in some cases, you can order 2 pairs and return the ones that don’t fit.
What you DO NOT want are skate style knee pads, or anything with a hard/or rigid plastic knee cover. Volleyball kneepads are specifically designed for protection and passing smoothly over court flooring, and will be fabric covered with an interior pad. Your daughter will not be allowed to wear hard pads that are meant for other sports. The good news is, the right ones don’t cost too much!
Wilson Youth Volleyball Kneepads
This pair is ideal for the very young (7-9) player, or the older girl who is especially small or has thin legs and trouble finding kneepads that fit.
These got my (skinny!) daughters through their earliest rec leagues, and while they weren’t terribly fond of the pink… the fit was better than anything else we tried until they grew a bit.
Adidas Youth 5-Inch Kneepad
If you have a girl who wants a kneepad that covers less of their leg, this 5-inch option is great for youth sizes.
It may not be ideal for a girl who often dives for the ball (the coverage is limited, especially when compared to the Mizuno kneepads below), but they will be ideal for girls who want a minimal style pad.
Mizuno Youth T10 Kneepad
This was my daughter’s preferred pair from roughly age 10-14. Pay close attention when you order, as these come in youth as well as adult sizing!
If you have a daughter who needs a slightly longer kneepad, or who just doesn’t love the other youth options out there, I highly recommend these! They might not fit the very youngest or smallest, but the youth one size (o/s) should work well for girls of average build from about age 9 – 12. They offer great coverage above and below the knee as they grow into the sport.
Best Youth Girls Volleyball Shoes
Youth Shoes For Volleyball – Does Your Daughter Need Court Shoes?
Most general flat-soled tennis shoes will be fine for young and beginner players. However, I recommend staying away from a running styles, as they can be more prone to rolling an ankle due to the unequal distribution of sole thickness and padding. If you want a deep dive on court specific shoes by age range, this round up of volleyball shoes will give you some reliable choices.
Volleyball specific shoes really aren’t necessary if you’re just a beginner, but if you know your daughter loves volleyball, and she’s going to be playing a few seasons, you might consider purchasing some. She’ll love the extra grip on the court, and you’ll love knowing that she has the added stability and injury protection offered by a court specific style.
Adidas Kids Ligra 6 Volleyball Court Shoe
For the youngest players (or older girls with a small shoe size), this volleyball specific court shoe by Adidas is an incredibly sturdy and affordable entry level option for beginning players.
Other brands simply may not stand up to the demands of the court. These carry the quality you’d expect from the Adidas brand, with all the specifications you’d hope for in a volleyball specific shoe. The best part? They’re affordable, so you can spring for this entry level pair without blowing the budget.
Best Indoor Volleyball For Young Players + Beginners
What To Know About Volleyballs For Youth Players
The very youngest players do not typically begin with a regulation volleyball. Youth leagues will often start girls out using Volley Lites, and even if they are using regular balls at practice, chances are that any tournaments or leagues for the youngest players will use a Volley Lite.
Volley Lites are not only lighter in weight, they are also larger in size than a regulation ball. This helps girls in many ways; not the least of which is letting those tender forearms get used to passing a slightly lighter ball.
Youth players will typically utilize an underhand style of serve up until around age 10-12, and the lighter ball allows players to develop proper technique as they take on the challenge of an overhand serve. Their small frames at the younger ages simply aren’t strong enough for a regulation ball. They will grow into a “normal” sized ball as they grow, and with practice. They’ll also be more equipped to play with a regulation ball once they develop the upper body strength that comes with playing and age.
Tachikara Volley Lite Volleyball (Ideal For Players Under 10)
The very youngest volleyball players will appreciate the larger size and lighter weight of this age appropriate indoor volleyball.
This option will give young girls a chance to practice and develop proper skills and technique, with a ball that’s appropriately sized to their stature. Most youth leagues and clubs (whether competitive or rec) will use this size of ball through at least age 10.