New Dunlop Volleys – Fail

For a long time Dunlop Volleys have been the shoe of choice for a lot of bushwalkers and canyoners in NSW.

They are particularly good for canyoning. The sole, favoured by roofers for a long time, has very good grip. This naturally carries over to canyoning. Volleys have changed over the years. The original Volley OC has gone. Manufacture of the remaining model – the Volley International moved from Australia to overseas in the 80’s and a lot of bushwalkers were worried that the quality of the shoe would deteriorate. It did perhaps, but not as much as feared.

A more expensive model – the “Volley Classic” was also made but did not seem to offer any great advantages in terms of wear or durability. Its thicker sole had a honeycomb manufacture that starts to crumble after a while when the shoes are used for bushwalking or canyoning.

Recently, things have changed. And significantly for the worse! The old style Volley Internationals are no longer made. A replacement model is available that looks superficially the same. One way to tell the new from the old is to look inside. The new models are coloured inside. The old models are the same colour as the outside (e.g. white). The old models have “Dunlop” just above the laces, the new models have “Volley”.

Volley Internationals. Old model above, new model below

I have not tried the new models, but some friends have. They are universally disappointed with them. They seem narrower for a given size and seem to pinch the heel as well. The inner sole seems very poorly made and slops about in the shoe when wet. The upper seems to last about as long as the old model but the sole seems to wear out much much quicker. On a recent trip, I was wearing old style Volleys and two friends had the new style ones. We wore them in exactly the same country for 5 days of very rough canyoning in the Northern Blue Mountains. This country is very hard on footwear – and Volleys do not last too long. A pair of the old model Volleys would probably last about 10 – 14 days of hard use. Have a look at the photo showing the sole wear difference between the two models. Both shoes were unused before the trip – and straight from the box.

Sole Comparison. New model above, old model below - after the same 5 days of use

You can leave feedback for the company at this website. I certainly will.

This entry was posted in Bushwalking, Bushwalking Equipment, Canyoning and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to New Dunlop Volleys – Fail

  1. Adrian Spragg says:

    Black Volleys
    I wore new Black Volleys prior to a 6 day Blue Breaks trip 07/2011, and found that while the soft rubber sole was excellent & may have been grippier than normal white volleys, it was not as durable (confirming an opinion T2 gave me at the beginning of the walk). The canvas upper wear appeared normal – until on a subsequent canyon the whole instep ripped. I never noticed how this happened (a sharp stick?), but have never had a Volley give out so comprehensively in one go (a shoe lace strapping around the foot got it to the end of the w/e OK). Adrian Spragg

  2. Justin Wilkinson says:

    I weigh 100kg when I’m carrying my pack. I have worn out the soles on my first pair of ‘new style’ volleys in about five days total. Also found there is a piece of reinforcing string bridging across the sole roughly at the ball of the big toe. This has a knot at one end which wore through the inner and gave me a fantastic blister after 3 days of canyoning. These shoes only survived the three days of canyoning and one caving weekend.
    Having said that I destroyed a pair of the old style volleys (worn through uppers plus holes in the sole) in three days doing Carra Beanga with a Thurat Spires exit so I am not sure if that is too much better.
    I have started thinking it may be my weight, as my friends that use volleys don’t seem to suffer the same rate of deterioration. Either that or I’m just a klutz. Anyway I will read other comments with interest.

  3. Volley Australia says:

    Hi David,
    Thanks for taking the time to review and feedback on the evolution of the beloved Volley.

    We value this, and would love the opportunity to talk through your feedback in more detail, and we may be able to shed some light on the source of the apparent issue with the stick you have purchased.

    Please feel free to reach out to us at the assigned email address, and we can continue the conversation. We would also like to send you a replacement pair (once we establish point of purchase).

    Thanks again, The team at Volley Australia

    • Steve Cofman says:

      Volley Australia,
      Please note that ALL the correspondence on this site have repeated exactly the same sentiments and information. I hope this is being taken on board?

      Steve Cofman

      • Mike says:

        Hi, I have found over the last 6 months to a year that Dunlop Volleys have changed in size and quality. I can even find the good old ones in shops any more. 1 do they still make the white and blue ones? 2 have they changed what they make them out of?

    • Philip Tarry says:

      I could not agree more. I play regular tennis, and am extremely disappointed with my last two pairs of Volleys.
      I tend to wear the sole of my shoes out at the pressure point near the ball of the foot.
      My last two pairs of Volleys have worn through in that position after less than 10 matches (en tous cas surface).
      Previously, they used to last me a year – about 30 matches.
      I and my friends have noticed a change for the worse, and that they are narrower.

      Not happy.

      • virginia bray says:

        I have been trying to buy the old volley classics which I have been wearing for so long now I cant remembert when I started. I bought a pair of the new ones and am unable to wear them. The toe cap is like steel and the wearing of the shoe is much harder than the old ones. The soles are very hard. I would like to know where I can get some of the old ones. I usually buy two to three pairs at a time for my tennis. If I can’t buy them you have lost me. Look forward to hearing from you

        • Dave Noble says:

          Virginia and others – make sure you also make your opinions known to the manufacturers. Click on the link on the last line of my post to go to the Volley feedback page. I understand that Volley have been testing prototypes of volleys with different soles etc – so heir may be hope for better shoes in the future.


          • Jonathan says:

            Hi Dave
            What were the results of your correspondence
            with Volley?

            I used to think my shoe life was sorted (buying volleys indefinitely), but alas I have the same issues as everyone here. they are narrower. Almost as narrow as chucks.
            Also the insoles are very poor compared to the old ones.

        • Joel says:

          Same here All,

          I first got a pair of Volley Classics at Jerry’s Shoes in my local town when i was six, fell in love and haven’t worn anything else since (17 now). In the old classics, I was practically spider man. Roofing, Hiking and a great town shoe. I had a pair that took me to the Summit of Bartle Frere Twice! Wor em out but they did it!

          The new ones are to narrow, the soles are not flexible enough, the inside seems more abrasive than before. And the height of the shoe in my size (13) makes them way to deep/high for my foot. They used to be an extension of me and fitted my foot perfectly.

          I contacted Volley via the link asking them to please just give us our old shoes back, and like many of us stating the reasons the old shoes were superior.

          Maybe somebody should start a petition on, the manufacturers need to see how many of us are dissapointed in their new shoes.

    • As a roofie I’ve worn the trusted Volleys for 40 years and have had no drama remaining upright even on steeper roof pitches that any other sports shoe or work boot will see anyone sliding to their doom. Over the last 40 years l’ve bought literally dozens of pairs of all colours, designs, laces/velcroe and even the ones with Aussie flag on them. Volleys wear out and deteriorate at different rates depending on your occupation/weight/terrain and climate zone. They will also die more rapidly if you leave them outside in the sun when not wearing them or overwash them in a washing machine with bleach the results can be catastrophic as they become hard soled, less flexible and lose their grip completely on a metal roof.I emailed a Dunlop lady from the company in Hawthorn Victoria with a query of why the majority of my Volleys snapped their sole just below the ball of my big toe and leaked like a sieve. She asked me to send in the broken ones and she would replace them. I sent 10 individual shoes to the company out of various pairs I had and never heard another word? I have since deduced you cannot drive a manual car with Volleys because 99% of the time it was my left shoe that broke right across the sole. I have to keep buying them to stay on a roof and if I want them to last I can’t drive the car in them. The Volleys made here in the 70s/80s never had that built in flaw of snapping soles so the rubber composition must have changed since that time???

  4. Tom Brennan says:

    My experience is similar to Dave’s – 6 day trip, a friend’s new model Volley had almost no tread at the end.

    Luckily I still have 7 or 8 pairs of the old model in stock. Hopefully enough to allow Dunlop enough time to fix the problems.

    My feedback to Volley Australia is below:

    “After reading Dave Noble’s blog post (, which you have responded to, I thought I would provide my own feedback on the new model Volleys, compared to the old ones.

    I have been wearing Volleys for the past 8 years, for canyoning initially, and more recently for bushwalking. They are very popular in the NSW canyoning and bushwalking community as they offer very good grip on wet and slippery rocks. I have been a strong advocate for them amongst friends and also the bushwalking clubs I belong to, so it is disappointing that the new model Volley International seems to be a poor quality shoe. I now find I have to explain to people that the old model was better.

    The sizing has changed significantly between the old and new models. I have been a UK10 in the old model for about 6 years, but took a pair of the new UK10s on an overnight trip recently and was in pain for much of the weekend. They were way too tight. The new ones seem over half a size smaller than the old ones. However, I have also tried the new UK11s, and my feet slosh around inside.

    The new inner sole at first I thought was good, as it has a bit more cushioning. However, it takes much longer to dry out, and the foam also disintegrates with time and use, unlike the more solid inner soles of the old model. That said, there seems to have been quite a bit of difference in thickness of the old inner soles from year to year (or factory to factory??), as occasionally the old inner soles were very thin and flimsy.

    On a recent 6 day canyoning trip, all 4 of us started with brand new Volleys, 2 old model pairs and 2 new model pairs. The tread on the two old model pairs is still in good nick. One of the new model pairs had the tread worn pretty much flat (very similar to Dave Noble’s photo), and the inner sole disintegrating (could poke finger through holes!).

    I weighed the old size 10 (6 days’ wear) and the new size 10 (2 days’ wear) and size 11 (1 day’s wear) on the scales. The new size 10 weighed 400gm, the new size 11 weighed 420gm, the old size 10 weighed 490gm. It seems as if there is significantly less rubber in the sole of the new model. Keeping in mind that the inner soles of the new models weigh more, the difference in rubber is likely to be even more stark. It is telling that I can easily fold the new model Volley in half as the sole is so flimsy. This is not possible with the old model, as the sole is more robust.

    Overall the new model Volley seems to be a significantly poorer quality shoe. Hopefully you can take this feedback (along with people like Dave Noble) and return the quality of the Volley to where it was before the recent changes. Certainly the “reset to 1975 specifications” has been a big step backwards.”

  5. Tim Vollmer says:

    I had this exact same issue last week when we spent a week in the Coorongooba area canyoning. Like you and Tom’s trips, we had a new and old style Volley for side by side comparison. The difference was stark. The quality of the new sole was terrible. I was very concerned they would not last the week. In fact, they barely did, and it influenced by decision to not push on to an eight day.
    Below is the email I have sent to Dunlop from the Volley site. I’ll let you know if I get any response. Otherwise I’ll be asking you all for some thoughts on good canyoning shoes as an alternative!

    * * * * *

    I am writing to complain about the quality of the new Volley.
    I have been wearing these shoes exclusively for canyoning and bushwalking activities for about four or five years, after being convinced to abandon walking boots. Since making that move I have been a strong advocate for the Volley, with the quality of grip afforded by the herringbone rubber perfect for outdoor pursuits, especially on wet rock. Not only do I normally go through four to six pairs a year, I have bought them for my wife and children, and encourage people I take canyoning to invest in a pair. Given that I regularly run introductory weekends for a large bushwalking club, this has no doubt led to a large number of sales for Dunlop!
    Last week I went on a seven day canyoning trip in the Northern Blue Mountains. I was wearing a pair of the new Volleys. Another member of the group wore an old style pair. Both were new (mine had been used for a short stroll of less than 3kms). The level of wear was shockingly different.
    By day three, my soles were almost completely bald, while the old style Volleys remained almost perfect. I noticed a rapid deterioration in grip, which also made it a safety issue. I also noticed blisters on the balls of my feet — something that has never occurred before in these shoes — which coincidentally were directly above the exposed piece of string that now runs on the inside of the soles. I cut this string out, which helped my feet, but the bad wear continued. Despite taking a rest day (so the old style pair had an extra 10kms plus of walking and two additional canyons) the level of wear on my shoes remained significantly worse.
    By the end of the walk my soles were completely bare, with dark patches on the heel and ball indicating the rubber was almost worn through (I can provide a photo by email if this assists). I was actually concerned I would not safely make it to the end of the trip and was planning to tape a pair of thongs to the soles of my Volleys. Even the inner had given out, with holes forming and the foam starting to disintegrate.
    This is the first time I have considered moving away from the Volley to a specialist canyoning shoe. It is not a choice I want to make, but I feel that if there is no improvement in quality it will be one I am forced into.
    I would appreciate a call to discuss my concerns. I would also appreciate a refund for this pair of shoes, as well as a swap of the two other new style Volleys I was given at Christmas for remaining old style stock.

  6. Like the people above, I too have had a dissapointing experience with the new Volleys. I’ve posted a bit more info in Tim’s topic on the Bushwalk Australia forums:

  7. Luke says:

    Has Dunlop got a fix in the works? If not, is there another brand of shoe that is good for canyoning? What a shame that they had a really good product with a loyal following, and now their new model has severely jeopardised their brand. Just go back to the old version, Dunlop!

  8. Steve Cofman says:

    I have been wearing volleys for 30 years (+).
    Sadly, the pair I bought in the weekend will be my last. The quality is no longer there and now they are simply an expensive imitation of cheap Asian footwear.
    I really do not understand why a company (Dunlop) would ruin a product that is both iconic and was fantastically designed and produced. I hope the savings you make on the production line, outweigh the losses in sales???

  9. swilbs says:

    I have been wearing volleys for 30 odd years and when my last pair of originals die I will be looking for a new brand.
    What do you recommend I try.

  10. Gavan says:

    My complaint is with use for Tennis.
    My son (13yrs) trains 5 times a week on Synthetic grass (overlaid with river sand) and unfortunately the new Volley Internationals have proven to be a disaster.
    While they still offer the best grip by far, we are already at hole in the sole stage after only 15 hours on court. Which means a new pair of shoes every 2 weeks (not happening).
    The old Dunlop Volleys lasted 4 times as long.

  11. Caitlin Browning says:

    Ive bought 2 pairs of old volleys years ago, never gave them particularly hard use but they have both lasted me about 3 years. Recently just went threw the second pair so have had to look for another pair and i do not like the new style volleys, the sizes have changes and they arent as comfortable. i remember putting on my first pair and feeling comfy in them straight away, new ones i dont, the sole is thicker which just feels weird and the fabric ends right on top of the knuckles on your toes which is just annoying!
    Dunlop, go back to the old style!

  12. Lindsay Dillon says:

    Dunlop have been mucking around with the soles of Dunlop volleys since about 1996
    I am a roofer who employs men and we have a lot of experience with shoes. One of my workers bought a new pair of volleys in 1996 . The particular worker complained of not being able to get a grip on the roof. We called him a girl and may other things until he slipped and badly cut his leg. I purchased a pair of volleys and found the same thing with them. Dunlop changed the sole without telling anybody. After a couple of years they brought out the Dunlop “Classic” at a considerable cost rise and a considerable quality drop. Then some extra stitching was added for some extra money. If there was some alternative I wouldn’t buy Dunlop again they have no regard for there customers

  13. rod says:

    i had the same problem with volleys i bought about 2 years ago, no grip on steeper roofs & detioration showing on first day. kt 26 used to be good too though they are worse for grip than volleys now, like they are a synthetic sole now

  14. Daz says:

    I agree that that the volleys now are far less of quality than they used to be. I have been wearing dunlop volleys since I was in school back in the 80’s. I bought a pair of “international” volleys recently and as soon as I put them on I felt that they were much narrower and the sole felt uncomfortable. My pair previous were the “dunlop” volleys as in your first picture. I am really really disappointed in the unnecessary changes made to what was once a great “iconic” product.

    Hey team at volley Australia, can you please go back to previous designs, as you have done yourselves and this great product a huge disservice.

    Thanks for this blog David Noble, I needed to know that other had noticed the change.

  15. ed says:

    Not sure if this is true for all Payless Shoe shops but Payless in Hobart still has the old style dunlop volleys with ‘Dunlop’ on the tongue (the style of the blue shoes in the photo). Payless online also stock these with free postage within Australia – at least in the women’s pink and black version. Just please don’t buy all the women’s size 7’s before next week please 😉

  16. Julie says:

    hi everyone

    I thought I was dreaming that my latest Volleys wore out way too fast, wored through to the ball of foot in no time!. I went searching around Hobart the past few days and online and realise that there are strange all different fake? Volleys out there. What has happened? Terrible. I started wearing volleys bought directly from the Dunlop factory in Melbourne in the mid 1970s, when many parents took their kids there to get their gym shoes. Nostalgia. Please make the proper volleys again – ones with staying power.

  17. John says:

    Dunlop volleys are great for mechanical repairs on boats 🙂 soft soles no scuff marks customers love it and personally still as comfortable as the old style 🙂

  18. john says:

    I have found in recent times my Volleys fall to pieces faster that previously. Worn mainly when dingy sailing, like canyoning your feet are wet but you need the grip.
    Perhaps its the salt water? even when rinsed with fresh water after use they do not last as older ones.

  19. Mark Maconachie says:

    Buying dunlop volleys is something I have done every year since I was a child. I use them for various purposes (including running) and generally have several pairs in varied states of disintegration.

    Splitting consistently along the ball of the foot, as per comments above, the latest iteration of the Volley “international” has a sole that disintegrates before the white canvas has lost its brightness. I can no longer rely on these shoes, until somebody convinces me that they have restored their reputation. Very disappointed.

  20. Glen Bryden says:

    One pair of volleys, 520g, Dunlop and on the inner sole, coarse canvas. EAN NO ….9340021130920 on the tounge. ’11’ in a circle
    Another pair, 410g, volley and a ‘D’ symbol on the inner sole, with a finer grained canvas. EAN NO…..9342296095324 ’11UK’ in a circle
    Both have been OK under easy conditions.
    Was struck by the weight difference.
    Have a sad memory of the knotted piece of string model.
    Will give the lighter pair a good work out chasing rabbits on Scottsdale in a couple of weeks.

  21. Nicolas BENDELI says:

    I have been using Volleys consistently for bushwalking and canyoning since 1971. That is over 40 years. In December I took a pair of NEW Volleys (~$29) w/e canyoning. I was exalted by the apparent better grip until I looked at the soles when returning to the car. They were so worn out that I thought it may have been a dud pair. I used the same pair for a further two canyons and they had fallen apart with wear in the soles and the uppers that they had to be ditched. Only six days of wear? not even half a season of canyoning whereas normally they last a season.
    I then went and bought the more expensive model (~$37). The more expensive model has a different last. The sole is not as sticky, the upper canvas is thicker, there is more room in the toe-box and wider at the ball of the foot. A much better fit. Also the rubber rand comes up the sides higher. I have only used them for one w/e of wear and they seem to survive much better than the previous model.
    I have experimented with Merell “barefoot” shoe. At $180 it is expensive. On the other hand after a w/e they hardly showed any wear at all, the grip was good, they drained very quickly and there were two big advantage. 1)the sole is thinner but tougher. Rocks and stones bend the sole less than a volley protecting the feet better from road bashing 2) they are so light that I felt like running up the hill.

    • Andrew Foster says:

      I found taking the rubber insole out of high leaps and internationals, the next best thing to ‘barefoot shoes’

  22. Ynte says:

    I wear Dunlop volleys for general footwear – as the older models provided the necessary flexibility in the soles for happy feet. I have been looking for a replacement pair and am saddened to find that the soles are now plastic – or feel to be plastic rather than rubber. I tried a pair but the wear was dreadful and the grip was non-existent. Am saddened and am looking for a different shoe now – other than the barefoot shoes, are there other suggestions?

    • Andrew Foster says:

      Is it possible your referring to the ‘original’ volleys from payless? I also found the grip to be crap, the sole to be super hard and the fit atrocious. The new international and high leap from target, n big W etc. are amazing, accept for wear, a trade off im happy to make

  23. Sd says:

    Just wanted to post my experience has been the same. Long time Volley-wearing-dude, noticed the newer models are not very durable at all. They are very uncomfy now too, especially when new they seem to pinch the heel and give blisters!

    Looking for a new shoe to last me through the ages!

  24. helen mckenzie says:

    One of my kids a Dominos employee only manages about 2mths of part time work (12hrs/week) before his volley soles are worn down smooth or even have holes. A lot of wages are spent replacing! I grew up with volleys & they had great soles – whatever has happened during manufacture isn’t good.

  25. James Bulter says:

    I have been wearing Dunlop volleys to work for over ten years and am disappointed that they have ruined a great shoe for a cheaper version, that are not only smaller in size but don’t last nearly as long, tried to call them up to discuss what was happening but obviously their staff have no idea about the change , I guess neither does the general volley wearing population, smell like a sell out and a cover up…… Looks like you can by the originals in the uk though ….only 40 quid a pair!

  26. John S says:

    So much bad news. I have an old style pair size 10 and a half. Fit perfectly. It seems half sizes are no longer available.
    Also –
    At times I like to smarten up my Volleys and have used Kiwi white cleaner from a tube. Whitens up the canvas beautifully. But can’t seem to find it anywhere.
    Does anybody know where to buy it or of an alternative.

  27. Andrew Foster says:

    I have to disagree with most people, i LOVE the the new ‘reset’ international and high leap… I agree that they wear out way to quickly, but the shoe feels more grippy and flexible to me. and i prefer the tighter fit, whilst getting a super flexi, shoe thats light but has a great cushiony soul and better grip, ill wear these forever.. if you want them too last longer get the original versions from payless shoes. not flexi enough for me, fit is too loose and not as grippy.

  28. Paula says:

    My issue with the new style volley is the look and the foot support. I have worn pastel coloured volleys as a leisure shoe for about 10 years. The old style had a different shape, heel was different, the rubber toe piece was a better shape, the colours available were great, orange one year, pale blue, pale pink and a well balanced overall look. Last year all i could get in colour was a garish pink, narrowed front, ugly toe cover piece and my feet hurt when wearing them. So disappointed as I thought I had my canvas shoe needs sorted for life. Get a grip Dunlop, fix this. I cant buy another rubbishy pair like last years.

  29. denis clark says:

    i have worn dunlop volleys for th last 30 odd years as my daily footware, the soles would always outlast the top which would tare at the folds. Over the last 10 years i have noticed a slow deteriation in the quality of the sole to the stage now where my last two pair of volleys have lasted me about three months before the soles ware out and start to hurt my heel and sole, I now regard volleys as a crap chinese product and i am looking now for a suitable replacement, i feel so dissapionted that a good aussie icon has failed ne so badly.
    I look forward to a reply.

  30. Ferozious says:

    I have also been regularly using Volleys for bushwalking, canyoning and tennis for many years now. My most recent pair had only been used for one canyoning weekend and one night of tennis. I didn’t notice that the sole had worn down so much until my recent walk down to the Kowmung River. I slipped at least 20 times on my way down (the aptly named) Misery Ridge.

    I WILL NOT be buying another pair of Volleys. I figure that I can probably get the same quality out of a pair of $15 K-Mart shoes rather than a $30 pair of volleys.

  31. Just been looking at the dunlop website and found this wonderful bit of news…
    (please say it is true and not just some nice spin written by an adman)
    “The Volley we’ve all known and loved. The International has been worn on and off court by generations of Australians and has now been reset to its 1975 specifications.

  32. david howell says:

    as a person who has used dunlop volleys for tennis starting back in the sixty’s right up till i was forty then for bush walkingin tas and south australia i find that i have the same problem as everyone else but i have high hopes that things will change i am sixty five and hope to finish my life wearing volley

  33. Noel Peters says:

    I used to wear the old Dunlop Volleys for tennis on synthetic grass courts. It seems its a Catch 22 situation here. What I liked about them was their grip and this I think is achieved by the use of soft rubber, be it synthetic or natural, for the outsole. Same with good grip car tyres. The only problem is because it’s soft it wears out quicker. I don’t think good grip and good durability can exist together given the laws of physics. Maybe in heaven only.

    PS I still use Dunlop Volleys for boating shoes.

  34. Al says:

    I currently own several pairs of the new Volley Internationals. I absolutely love the grey denim High Leap with brass coloured eye-lets. As I don’t use them for anything other than heading out casually, I find the sole is very comfortable and don’t really require too much durability. My only gripe is the minor rubbing (which usually leads to wear through) that your toe-nail gets from the rubber toe cap. What I am truly waiting on is some fashionable movement on some new retro style Dunlop KT26’s. Dunlop (not Volley International) haven’t done anything decent here since the mid 2000’s for bloke’s shoes (quite cool one’s for women though – have subsequently bought the GF a few pairs)

  35. Matt says:

    I had been using the old design Volleys(made by dunlop) for minimal style running as they are low to the ground and durable and couldn’t find anything better without forking out $100 plus for a pair of minimal style new balance/merrel etc. My last pair wore out after many miles and the only option left in stores were the new style ‘volley’. I didn’t mind this at first there was a greater range of colours, however the sole wore down what seemed like instantly and the shoes were useless within a handful of runs. The sole is obviously now made of a softer and less durable material, it is not a subtle difference and I would imagine to be conscious drop in quality by the maker. I sent an email to the manufacturer expressing my dissapointment in the fate of what was such an excellent Australian product, they assured me they have quality controls in place blah blah and offered me a free pair of volleys – the crap ones ofcourse which I told them would not be necessary as they are useless regarding my needs. I wouldn’t expect any positive change here, anytime soon.

  36. Rupert Russell says:

    I’ve used volleys for decades bushwalking in rainforest and open forest… very good to have soft soles which have far less impact on soft earth than heavier boots.

    Being synthetic they suit a vegetarian such as myself.

    Yes they do wear out quicker now, if not the sole then the uppers.

    But any Volley is better than none!! Seems like Target has stopped selling them…

    I’m not quite ready to stop bushwalking yet… Rupert Russell

  37. naught101 says:

    I bought some Highleaps mid last year. Amazingly comfortable shoes. The upper edge of the sole and the toe cap started to dry out and crumble after about 4 months. I shoe-glued it together, and it’s lasted until now, and is finally getting irrepairable… The sole is definitely thin (looks like the one in the picture – no tread on the balls of the feet). But I have used the shoes all year, walking and riding bikes, so considering the price, they’re great value. It is a pity the rubber wears so quickly.

    These were only my second pair of volleys. The first were a pair that I got free with some boots, that were these odd ultra-light model with a leather sole with a hard rubber glued to the bottom. They’re awesome shoes, they feel like nothing, and they’re still going strong, although the stitching is a bit weak between the shoe upper and the leather sole, but a bit of shoe-glue fixed that permanently. I think the model was “stealth” or something. I’d love to find another pair, but I can’t find any reference on the ‘net. They have ‘Dunlop Sport’ on the tongue, and ‘Volley’ on the sole, and ‘EAN No … 9342296013953’ on the inside of the tongue, whatever that means. Anyone know how to fine these shoes?

    In the mean-time, I’ve bought some originals from Payless, to see how they compare.

  38. tennis says:

    I also have to agree with the quality problems i am a tennis coach on synthetic grass courts old model lasted about 10 weeks the new model about 2 weeks the new sole is so soft when i try to slide on them they actually melt at the ball of the foot .another big problem for me is they are significantly more narrow can’t wear them anymore too uncomfortable. Dissapointing i have been wearing them for 35 years but not anymore.i heard of another version hitting shops in a couple of months does anyone know if the have been improved thanks.

  39. Paul says:

    I’m a tennis player too and have finally worn through my old DUNLOP Volleys. I play mainly on en tout cas courts. Same as most of you, too skinny, inner sole slips around inside the shoe and sole wears out much too fast. What a disgrace these new models are. Would love to know if any of you have any information if they are getting tweaked or fixed at all.

  40. Dave says:

    I have been wearing volley internationals for 30 years & am most disappointed in the new revised 70s style, why revise something that is perfect & has been for a long time ?
    Bring back the old internationals dunlop !! your loosing my support.

  41. Alan Frnsworth says:

    I have always used Dunlop volleys for roof work when the pitch is greater than 23 deg . They have always gripped for me in all conditions including very hot days when the iron is hot. All other roofers from roof tilers to metal roofers all claim the same thing, and I have been involved in construction work since the 70’s. I am 58 years old now and I went to buy a new pair of Dunlop classic last week because of the metal roof I was now replacing needed extra grip than my work boots. Believe it or not, when I put the new volleys on and went up on to the roof they slipped & slid like the roof was wet, so I put my old boots on and they gripped far better than the volley. What seems to be the problem is the sole seems different, the old were white and new are black. Also we always buy the dark blue ones as they were always the best. I believe they have changed the rubber compound to make it cheaper to make, therefore no good for the purpose of tradies, what a BIG let down.
    I really do not understand why a company (Dunlop) would ruin a product that is both iconic and was fantastically designed and produced. I hope the savings you make on the production line, outweigh the losses in sales??? I will never buy another volley shos and I will also tell other tradies the same, we are a large group in this country.
    What can volleys do to fix this problem? and what do I do with the pair I just bought as I have no other use for them.

  42. What was the result with Volley Au?

    I’m from the US but received my first volleys as I was a pro tennis players sponsored by Dunlop. I played a circuit in NSW on clay and synthetic grass and the Dunlop rep gave me some volleys. This is back in 1991. They were amazing. I actually kept them and continued to wear them casually. I still wear them today. I can’t believe they changed the design — and the fit! Crazy. I once bought an original pair of white with red navy stripes. I would pay top dollar for more pairs! If anyone comes across please contact me at ripe films at aol. com

    • Matt says:

      I have found some of the new colours of the volleys to have an improved sole as of late – but only certain colours. It’s odd. The durability is still not on par with the old style though. The fit is still different, whilst the length remains true they are narrower in the toebox, which makes them useless for me as I want them for hiking and minimalist running – and I have narrow feet. Mike Saunders – I have searched high and low for a pair of the old ‘dunlop’ volleys as I too would pay top dollar, but I have had no joy.

      • Kagi says:

        Which colours do you find to be the good ones?

        • Matt says:

          The colour at the time was green with yellow stitching, seems best to just examine before buying as some soles are definitely softer to touch and break down faster. I still have found nothing close to original quality though.

  43. Rob says:

    I need a pair of Volleys that is going to grip on the Roof. The workwear places are selling shoes with a rubbersole, but it does flex as much. Maybe its time Dunlop made a shoe, Dunlop Roof. It needs flex and a soft rubber sole. I have a pair wearing out. OVertime they dont wear but i will pay $50 to get 5 yrs out of them as long as the sole is the original rubber sole. Forget China, make me a goddamn shoe that is imperative for me to do my job and not slip off a roof. The new ones struggle to grip. I have other sneakers that get better grip than the ones on the shelves these days. Anyone know of a place selling what i need. Im sure there is a few out there. Suppliers have already sent boxes back as WE DONT WANT THEM!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Robyn Cooper says:

    I have sent Dunlop several messages regarding the dodgy quality and cut of the ‘new’ shoes. Never heard back. Thanks for the link and I sent them the following:

    I love the old volleys. Still have a pair I wore gardening and the odd bush walk or so.

    We now work in the states. Ordered 6 pair of new volleys for husband and myself less than one year ago.

    Shameful materials and construction and dodgy design. Falling to pieces already. Too narrow and in case of black ones, too short as well.

    Got my old ratty pair from garage….ahhhhhh. Bliss!

    After five years in Australia, the outside toes are worn through, natch. The rubber sides may gape a bit.

    But they are wide enough in the toes and the rubber hasn’t gone to rubbish and they have the darling green skulls inside the footbed! And real cotton laces, cotton grown in Australia no doubt.

    Oh…please, please, please go back to the true blue Aussie standards and quit acting like greedy Amerikans with a ‘new’ crap design and shoddy materials.

    I want the old model dunnies back please!!!!

    If not, I will never never buy another pair again. I vote with my hard-earned dollar and the ‘new’ dunnies fail!

  45. Stan Carter says:

    I hate to say it but it appears that the same thing has happened with the Dunlop KT26 joggers.
    I’ve been wearing these shoes since their introduction in the late 70s because I’ve found them to be the most comfortable running shoe I could buy, even compared to some of the more up market brands.
    I usually have several pairs of these (in various states of wear,disrepair) on the go at any one time and tend to buy two or three pairs at the same time. About 12 months ago I bought two pairs from BigW but because I didn’t need them at the time they stayed in the cupboard for some time before I started wearing them.
    Unfortunately when I did start to wear them it became very obvious very quickly that these were not the same shoes as the previous ones I had worn, even though they looked similar. The fit was totally different and they lacked the support I was used to. Also, in both pairs the sole on the right shoe had a very definite sideways tilt causing my right foot to roll inwards.
    I’m not sure what has happened, whether they have been redesigned or are being made in a different factory but the end result they are no longer the shoe that they used to be and I certainly won’t be buying them again!
    Dunlop, you’ve lost another customer!

  46. Jon says:

    I hope this gains more and more momentum, compelling Dunlop to return the volley to how they were.

  47. Joel says:

    Me too!

    Dunlop has to stop worrying about their shareholders pockets in the short term, and go back to making quality shoes that will extend the businesses longevity!

    Bring back pre 2013 Classic Volleys and Original International Volleys!!!

  48. Irritable Bill says:

    This is like “New Coke” all over again! Some dimwitted smart ass gets it into his head that all change is good because then they can call it “New”. Well its very bloody far from good. You had a perfect product and now I cannot wear them because they are now built to fit the feet of space aliens.
    Everyone I know that used to wear these shoes are looking elsewhere, as am I.

  49. Nic BENDELI says:

    Over the last two decades the Volley has degenerated to a poor quality shoe, ill fitting however still excellent grip in a canyon situation. The last pair I bought and used (three years ago) lasted about 7 days before the sole was worn through, the sides unglued and useless.

    I bought a pair of Volley last w/e. Potentially it is the best Volley ever. Why???

    I dropped from size 9 to size 7. No more flippers on my fit. Volleys used to have a narrow last. This one is wider and fits much better
    The canvas is the thickest yet
    The heel cup is semi-rigid compared to the floppy ones
    The sole is much thicker and better protection to prevent bruised feet
    The sides are now stitched to the shoe to prevent delaminating.
    The inner sole is quite decent.
    The sole is slightly less sticky and probably will last a long longer

    It is as if the manufacturers listened to complaint and actually did something.

    Careful. There are TWO models of Volley classics in the shop. The box and the container are indistinguishable. It is the construction that sets one superior to the other. Both are the same price. Points to note the difference:

    First and obvious is the Volley title on the outside on the side rubber of both shoes
    There is a thicker layer of sole material
    There is a (5mm at the heel to 0mm at the ball of the feet) wedge of extra rubber sole material under the hell
    The canvas is thicker
    The heel cup is thicker

    I obtained them from Payless Shoes at $34.95.

    Field Testing is yet to be done. If you (or mates) has used them, can you please share your observations and thoughts

    All the best

  50. Joejoebeef says:

    Well its been over two years. If you look on the volley website it says the shoe, “has now been RESET TO ITS 1975 SPECIFICATIONS”. I have not ordered a new pair yet but I am planning to soon, hopefully the website is telling the truth.

  51. FBS003 says:

    @Nic Bendelli can you attach a picture of the model to buy please.
    Hopefully Volley have listened, same thing happened with my favourite jeans, bought them year after year the store told me we will always have them, went last week, discontinued doh.

  52. muddy99 says:

    Friday 9th Jan 2015 – Bought pair of Black Volleys for $15 from Big W Katoomba.
    Saturday 10th Jan 2015 – Eyelet breaks while lacing them up before attempting Twister & Rocky Creek. About 1hr into the canyons I notice a huge instep blowout on the right shoe, exactly like how Adrian Spragg describes at the start of the comments section (3 years ago!). When back at the car (we did the circuit, not out & back) noticed hole in left instep as well. One of our other guys had a new pair of white volleys and no issues whatsoever.
    Sunday 11th Jan 2015 – Try to return the black Volleys to Big W. They refuse a refund or even an exchange based on “the volley is not an outdoor shoe”. Seriously??? Posted complaint on Volley Oz site. So far, crickets.

    • GAYLE DONNELLY says:

      They are absolute rubbish mine lasted a week soles completely cracked and crumbeld they were such a great shoe back in the good old days certainly don’t make them like they used to

  53. Russell robinson says:

    Last week I replaced my last classic volleys with a new pair and another matching pair.
    Worn for last week on a the drive and every stone can be felt through the soles. Dobt if can be used as general wear but shoukd be able to be worn in the kitchen or lounge. The toes also went white-a black pair canvas and rubber. All shoes are outdoor shoes. They are not marked as indoor only and are made for men and women.. Last pair of classics alsted twelve months working in the yard and around roads and building sites. Will return them this next week to get money back as finally found an old set on shelf and grabbled them.

    Waiting for buyer to get sack and return of better pair of Volleys. Typical demise of a good company with an auditing process affecting people in charge of purchasing a replacement..

  54. Sky Richardson says:

    Looks like waiting for Dunlop to restore the pre 2013 version is a lost cause: What do you consider as a best alternative?

  55. Ken says:

    I have played squash in Dunlop Volleys for 30 years. The soles wore out quickly, but the grip was fantastic, they didn’t mark the court, and they were cheap. The new Volleys have changed shape, they leave marks on the squash court (so the rubber must be different), and they are far more expensive. In short, the makers have completely stuffed it. Instead of buying three pairs a year, I will buy none. Why mess with such a good product?

  56. elle says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I was considering shopping for volleys.. I will pass and give my hard earned cash to a more deserving product. I am sure many others will be doing the same.

  57. Craig Taylor says:

    I am a roof tiler by trade and now work on a lot of metal rooves. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and volleys were always the best shoe for work. There was a period in the Ninetys where they changed to synthetic soles that were rubbish and it didn’t take long for volley to go back to rubber soles. But for probably the last 5 years volleys have gone to the dogs. Shop assistants have tried to argue with me about the grip but as they don’t work on a roof they don’t know what there talking about. The latest volleys are rubbish so I now wear Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars 100% rubber soles. They may cost a little more but they save me from sliding all over the show on a roof . I suggest more people walk away from volleys as they are not getting the message that has been sent loud and clear. If they don’t have people buying them they will be forced to do something about it.

    • Stuart says:

      Yes Craig that was me who got the soles fixed back then. They had a shine to the rubber. Like you i’ve worn them for some almost 40yrs.
      Like you i also took to converse and also found some Diadora shoes with a decent rubber sole which are a little more robust for working on the ground, yet good grip when on the roof.
      Stay safe

  58. Bill says:

    I have just started playing squash and googled dunlop volleys for squash as i need a better shoe than runners. I won’t be buying volleys after reading this post and also being unable to find out whether Dunlop have fixed the problems. You have dropped the ball Dunlop. I’d suggest Dunlop needs to gives us all an update on this blog.

    • Dave Noble says:

      If you read the original post you will see than Dunlop no longer own the Volley brand (which is probably part of the problem – new owner – new factory makes the shoes). The original past is now quite old – and you may want to try out the new shoes – perhaps they have improved?

  59. garry smith says:

    hi folks; garry here. i used to play a lot of tennis when everyone used to wear the good old [ dunlop volleys ] i was a rigger a few years ago and, same thing everybody had dunlop volleys. they used to have 1/2 sizes for people like me who has wide feet; now they are making volley international without 1/2 sizes so you have to get a size or two bigger than you need. really, to put it bluntly, the shoes are “crap ” they are clearly not in the class of the old shoe, don’t last nearly as long, and most people would understand how uncomfortable it is wearing shoes that have so much room in front of your toes. i would like to hear from anyone [excepting a kangaroo], who has a foot the shape of the inner sole in these horrible shoes; pull the liner out and have a look; anyone know where i can get a couple of the old, real dunlop volleys?????????????

  60. Kim says:

    Hi David,

    A shame that Dunlop doesn’t own the brand anymore; was about to go out to my local big w/kmart and replace my old volleys. What do you wear these days?

  61. Gail says:

    I love my black and pink volleys i wear them to work walking the dogs running just every where and hav been doin so for years they r now thread bare I hav been searching and I can’t buy a pair anywhere ime devode the international volleys r blokes shoes the shape is terrible and they r definatly a blokes volley not a woman’s volley I hav written to volley also to complain ime pretty sure they don’t care !!!! Sigh RIP dear old sneakers .

  62. JUNE 2016
    I use my Volleys for roofing. This last new pair lasted all of 3 days, then the tread was gone and became dangerous. Is there a comparable shoe on the market does anyone kn ow?

  63. JJ says:

    Hi everyone. I used to wear black volleys, but found they got narrower and hurt my little toes. I now buy these Feiyue martial art shoes online. They’re a traditional martial art shoe from China, but the link is to buy them on eBay from a seller in Korea. I can guarantee they are genuine from that seller. (Beware, there are fakes around).

    Anyway, I’ve found these shoes to be incredibly comfortable, flexible, crazy grippy and wide in the toe box like the volleys used to be. The sole is a soft rubber and does wear out relatively quickly. I’ve gone through two pairs in the last 2 years and I wear them everyday, for everything; walking, running, to work. Everything. So comfortable. And even after the soles wear through, the uppers still look perfect. Haven’t even had a broken shoe lace! And canvas hardly worn at all.
    Hope this helps someone 🙂

  64. Sarah says:

    Thanks everyone for all the comments. I was about to buy multiple pairs off Volleys site so checked to see if changes made as I’ve had similar problems to everyone else. Fit/ toe box probably the worse. I have emailed Volley and asked if they could post a response here, including the cause of the problems. I hope like everyone else they respond to all the ‘reaching out’ people have done. You would think a company would kill for a loyal and dedicated customer base. It’s gone the same way with so many products (Id pay $400 for a new Sunbeam Radiant toaster). People like me care about the enviro impact. Volleys can be a more eco friendly product (depending on manufacture and disposal). Volley should think this through, and review their approach. In the meantime, thanks JJ for the post, I’ll put my money across the your suggestion for now.

  65. john armson says:

    Been wearing vollies since the 70s thats all i wear except weddings and funerals, they have defiantly gone down hill over the last couple of years,They don’t grip anymore on a dry grassy hillside, in fact they are quite dangerous . wish i could find something compatible to them.every time i buy a new pair i look around for something similar but as yet haven’t found anything. surly some makers have copied them.

  66. Ian Croucher says:

    We had the same problem with cheap volleys from Kmart. The sole basically tears off in bits the first time used for skating and now the sole had split under the ball of the foot like happened to others. To be fair I had assumed that they were sports shoes but they may be just a casual model. Anyway not wanting to give up yet, I have now bought the new super grip model, said to be made for tradies and using the original rubber compounds. I’ll check back in later and let you know if they are any good.

  67. Micheal Saville. says:

    I’ve been wearing Dunlop Volleys since I was at primary school, I’m a 63 year old roofing plumber, I’ve just bought a single pair (usually buy multiple) as the fit was wrong and way to skinny, the store owner suggested they’d stretch but even after filling them with water and the wearing till they dried they are still way to tight, and as roofing shoes they are crazy bad compared to what they were. I read that the Co was no longer owned by Dunlop but by a Venture Capital Co’ They must be loosing market share but don’t give a toss.
    I’m always amazed how good successful business’s are bought and then the new owners change the format !!!

  68. Robbo says:

    wish I had read all of this before buying 2 pairs of volleys & 2 packs of socks…. it has been a bloody nightmare, it took over 30 days and many emails from the time I made the order before they finally arrived….customer service is about as useful as a set of titts on a bull, for real…

    So shoes arrived, opened the box to find who ever had pack my new white shoes had spaghetti or tomato sauce on their hands and left a big stain on one of the shoes… great start, I was like what ever I will deal with it they are going to get filthy anyway.

    I wear a size 12 and knowing that they are a slim shoe and that I have wide feet I ordered the size 13, I tried the shoes on and yep you guessed it they were way to tight… my little toe & big toe wear being crushed, I thought I might as well try on the other pair I had bought for shits and giggles, the left shoe was a looser fit and the right shoe was a tighter fit then the first pair I tried on…. talk about poor quality & consistency lol ,the overall construction is also very poor, I have seen ripoff china shoes at the markets for $10 that have a better fit & finish then these putrid things.

    Oh I nearly forgot the socks -.- well same issue I bought the size 13 “mens” socks, & struggled to get them over my big toe… my GF tried them on she is a size 9 in women’s and they fit her just about perfectly…

    *Sigh* now I have to deal with the incompetent twits at volleys customer service section again…. i’m done with volley they are dead to mainstream Australia, they can keep their handful of edgy hipster customers and as their new slogan reads “F*** OFF!”

    • Gerd says:

      Hi Robbo,

      Just read your comments about the Dunlop Volleys you bought, which particular style of Volleys were they eg Heritage, Classic etc I’m thinking of getting a pair


  69. Ben Walters says:

    Hi , I know this thread stated a while ago , but I wanted to put in my 2 c,
    I only bought volley for occasional use on roof.
    A couple of days ago I confidently steeped on to the roof and realised I had no grip.
    Could have been very nasty, It appears the sole has melted appearance and bits of sole roll off when I was on roof.
    I have hardly used these shoes, perhaps they have been damaged by hot roof at one stage.
    My advice is to check sole of footwear prior to going on roof.

  70. Gerd Roemer says:

    I’ve been wearing Volleys for over 40 years didn’t even have to try them on in the shop because they always fitted, I went in to try a new pair on yesterday and in order to get a pair wide enough I ha to try on a pair that were 2 sizes bigger which ended up being way too long, I ended up going to a Nike store and buying a pair of those,
    Who ever makes the Volleys now needs to wake up and relise the we the long term Volley wears aren’t stupid and will go elsewhere until we get the original Volleys back

  71. Gerd says:

    I have a pair of brand new size aus 7 original Volleys still in the box for sale $50 probably the last remaining genuine volleys left, anyone interested you can contact me at [email protected] the only reason I’m selling these is because they are too small for me I’m in Werribee you can pick them up or I can mail

  72. billious bill says:

    Hi all,

    This is more direct and as always be polite, unless you have fallen off a roof relying on their product which “are built for the rigours of the construction site… and hard wearing rubber sole”. Is it fit for purpose?

    Brand Collective – Volley footwear
    Sourcing Manager Footwear Barry Joyce +61 407 199 205
    [email protected]

    Brand Collective CEO
    Martin Matthews
    [email protected]

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