© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are widely used in electric vehicles and portable electronic devices due to their high energy density, long cycle life, environmental friendliness, and negligible memory effect, though they also suffer from low power density, safety issues, and an aging effect. Cobalt chalcogenides/phosphides as promising anode materials have attracted intensive interests due to their high theoretical capacity based on the conversion mechanism. Cobaltates (XCo2O4, X = the other metal) have attracted attention because the X element can partially replace the high cost and toxic cobalt element. The serious volume variation during the cycling process has an impact, however, on the lithiation environment of above materials. Hierarchical construction can provide more active sites and shorten the diffusion pathways of Li ions as well as accommodating the volume expansion during lithiation processes. Herein, the research progress on the synthesis methods, structural characteristics, and electrochemical performances of cobalt chalcogenides/cobalt phosphides/cobaltates with hierarchical nanostructures for LIBs is presented. The concluding remarks highlight the research challenges and possible development directions of cobalt chalcogenides/cobalt phosphides/cobaltates with tailored hierarchical nanostructures for LIBs.