Volley (shoe)

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Volley 400x400.jpg
ManufacturerBrand Collective Pty Ltd (owned by Anchorage Capital)

Volley, formerly known as Dunlop Volley is a brand of sandshoe manufactured by Brand Collective. Formerly, it was produced by Dunlop Sport (Australia), part of Pacific Brands which separated the Volley brand into its Brand Collective Pty Ltd which was sold to private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners in November 2014.

A moderately worn Dunlop Volley

The shoe is constructed of cotton canvas with a thermoplastic rubber sole. It was introduced by Dunlop Australia in 1939,[1] and has had only minor changes to its design since then. Originally plain white in colour with a vulcanised rubber sole, it evolved into the iconic green and gold stripe along the ankle and heel with a direct injection sole in the 1970s. Today, the standard design is white with a 3-stripe woven tape on the heel, while the green and gold stripe, and an all-black version, are also available.

In 1939, the Volley OC was released[2] In the 1970s, Dunlop released a new style of Volley named the Volley International. The new model featured a new design upper and direct injection thermo plastic sole. From 1978 to 1985, there was a large volume of sales of the Volley in Australia. It became virtually the standard tennis shoe, and was also popular with roofers, who needed a sure foothold on sloping roof surfaces.[3]

During the early 1980s, Dunlop briefly released a 'basketball boot' version of the Volley International which covered the ankle. These shoes, which had the high-grip herringbone tread, were highly prized by rafters and bushwalkers, who appreciated the dissipation of the friction point at the heel, the reduced entry of sand and debris, and the protection to the ankles against knocks from rocks when wading in rapids. The cotton canvas around the ankle was a seamless extension of the Volley's uppers; it did not seek to 'support' the ankle, only protect it. However, the boot was unavailable by 1983.

In 1998, Dunlop Footwear moved production offshore and in 2004, Dunlop Sport became part of the Pacific Brands group. By 2009, the Dunlop volley brand was diluted with a vast array of casual slip on shoes and plagued with production quality issues and constant supplier changes of the Dunlop Volley.

In 2011, Dunlop created Volley as a stand-alone brand and revised the "Volley International" back to its 1970s design and brought the original OC and SS shoes back into the line up. Volley also released the High Leap variation on the International by 2012.

From 2014 to 2017, Brand Collective unsuccessfully released a series of Volley branded fast fashion sneakers and open toe variants which sold poorly due to no relationship to the brand's iconic heritage. These variants have mostly been phased out with the majority of the current Volley footwear line-up returning to the 2012 Volley International platform; www.volley.com.au.

Usage of the Dunlop Volley[edit]

The Volley was originally developed in 1939 as a tennis shoe by Adrian Quist, a famous Australian tennis player and employee of Dunlop. Adrian borrowed a pair of boat shoes (with Herringbone sole) during his Davis Cup tournament win in the US and upon his return, convinced Dunlop to develop this high grip sports shoe. The original shoe was called the Volley OC (Orthopaedically Correct) and was worn by Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Ken Rosewall etc. The Volley OC continued up until the 1970s when it was replaced by the Volley International which featured the three-stripe woven tape around the heel, side quarter panels which secure the tongue, and new look injection moulded rubber sole.

In 1976 Mark Edmondson won the Australian Open[4] catapulting the Volley back into the spotlight.

The distinctive herringbone tread is famous for its excellent grip, making the shoe a favourite among roofers, canyoners,[4] and parkour practitioners.[5] The popularity with tradespeople led to the development of Volley Safety shoes with steel caps to meet work site safety requirements.

Dunlop Volleys were standard issue by the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force until the late 1980s, and are still issued by the Royal Australian Navy, although sometimes the Spalding imitation shoe is substituted.

A pair of Volleys subjected to prolonged wear and tear will develop two distinctive holes.[6] Firstly, where the canvas meets the rubber sole at the big toe, and secondly, at the widest part of the shoe where the little toe will subsequently be exposed.

2012 Australian Olympics team[edit]

The Dunlop Volley was included as part of the Australian Olympics team's official uniform for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[2]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2006.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b Atkinson, Bruce (29 March 2011). "Volleys in as Olympics go casual". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Dunlop Volley". Bushwalking NSW. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b Harms, John (17 January 2004). "Why I love... Dunlop Volleys". The Age. Melbourne.
  5. ^ Deola Adebiyi (June 2013). "Kick Starters". Vertical Floor Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]