The shear-wave (S-wave) velocity of near-surface materials (soil, rocks, pavement) and its effect on seismic-wave propagation are of fundamental interest in many groundwater, engineering, and environmental studies. Rayleigh-wave phase velocity of a layered-earth model is a function of frequency and four groups of earth properties: P-wave velocity, S-wave velocity, density, and thickness of layers. Analysis of the Jacobian matrix provides a measure of dispersion-curve sensitivity to earth properties. S-wave velocities are the dominant influence on a dispersion curve in a high-frequency range (>5 Hz) followed by layer thickness. An iterative solution technique to the weighted equation proved very effective in the high-frequency range when using the Levenberg-Marquardt and singular-value decomposition techniques. Convergence of the weighted solution is guaranteed through selection of the damping factor using the Levenberg-Marquardt method. Synthetic examples demonstrated calculation efficiency and stability of inverse procedures. We verify our method using borehole S-wave velocity measurements.Iterative solutions to the weighted equation by the Levenberg-Marquardt and singular-value decomposition techniques are derived to estimate near-surface shear-wave velocity. Synthetic and real examples demonstrate the calculation efficiency and stability of the inverse procedure. The inverse results of the real example are verified by borehole S-wave velocity measurements.