Netball shoes

Photo: orkneysports

Why not normal runners?

To help answer this, think about the difference in movement for each activity. In netball you run in short, quick bursts, your required to stop suddenly, jump and pivot. In contrast, running shoes are designed for straightforward motion, therefore the support features are located in the heel and toe areas.

As a result, runners do not provide support to the sides of your feet, which is one of the main reasons why they are not recommended as footwear for netball players. They do not cater the range of motion that is required during a rigorous game. Since runners are designed to help with forward movement, repetition and endurance; the tread and outersole are thicker, which means two things:

  • your ability to make multidirectional movements is reduced and
  • your ankle sits higher and is far less protected compared to a shoe specifically designed for netball.

A netball shoe allows the foot to sit on a lower platform. This helps to maximise comfort and cushioning on the sides of your feet for a greater range of movement and flexibility but above all, it reduces the risk of rolling an ankle.

No matter what level you play, consider the safety benefits of choosing a specifically designed shoe for netball as it will help improve your performance (your ability to withstand the massive demands the sport puts on your body), it will help to reduce the risk of injury (by providing the correct support), which will ultimately help you to continue playing netball for years to come!

What brand of netball shoe should I choose?

ASICS is to netball, what Kodak is to film and Canon is for cameras. It is the leading brand expert within the category and while there are plenty of others that play within the same space (Adidas, New Balance etc), only one has the history, the years of testing and performance to prove they are reliable/credible.

ASICS Gel Netburners are the most recommended shoe for any netball player. In fact, ASICS Gel Netburners are the official shoes of Netball Australia. ASICS have a unique gel system, it is one of their most famous innovations. “It is based on a special kind of silicon that enables optimal shock absorption. GEL units are strategically placed in the midsole and designed to enable specific functions and positions.” (Athlete’s Foot Netball Footwear 2011).

The range of ASICS Gel Netburners cater for every player so before going into a shoe store, take note of the ‘wear out’ factor on your current shoes as this will help to determine where you put most pressure when you play. Depending on the store you go to, stores like the Athlete’s foot can scan your feet to determine whether you are more inclined to be a person whose feet roll in, are neutral or roll out. It also doesn’t matter what court surface you play on, the ASICS tread is suitable for indoor (wood) and outdoor (asphalt).


Here's a selected range of leading netball shoes:

Netball shoes for women

Asics Gel Netburner Ballistic - Womens Netball Shoes

ASICS Gel-Netburner Ballistic

Ballistic, the newest addition to the Asics Gel-Netburner range, is ideal for those who play netball frequently. It’s mid top cut provides stability so that those who typically wear an ankle brace may not have to. It also features an exoskeleton on the upper toe area which prevents delaminating and provides the look and feel of a running shoe. Gel cushioning is in the rear and fore foot areas, while the midfoot trusstic prevents the ankle from rolling or turning.


Asics Gel Netburner Super - Womens Netball Shoes

ASICS Gel-Netburner Super

This is the most advanced shoe option within the netball range – ideal for keen and committed netball players.


Asics Gel Netburner Professional - Womens Netball Shoes

ASICS Gel-Netburner Professional

This netball shoe is designed for the player who wants the look and feel of a running shoe and has a neutral foot type.


Asics Gel Pivot - Womens Netball Shoes

ASICS Gel-Pivot

The Gel-Pivot is a great choice for the social player. The shoe comes with plenty of performance and stability at an affordable price.


Netball shoes for juniors (+10 years)

Asics Gel Netburner GS - Kids Girls Netball Shoes

ASICS Gel-Netburner GS Netball Shoes

The recommended introductory shoes for any youngster wanting to start playing netball on hardcourt surfaces.


Tips for wearing netball shoes

It is important to remember that if a netball shoe isn’t properly fitted than it isn’t going to provide you with its design benefits so make sure each lace across the top of your foot has equal tension and avoid making the top cross tighter than the rest. To sustain good traction when playing netball on indoor surfaces, keep the soles of your shoes dust free, using a damp cloth.

Tips for netball shoe care

  • Every few weeks, remove any dirt using a toothbrush dipped in warm soapy water (sunlight soap).
  • If the inside of your shoes get wet, stuff the shoe with scrunched up balls of newspaper. The paper will absorb the moisture and dry in approximately 12 hours (replace paper if necessary during that time).

Overall

Netball shoes help you to cope with the rigorous demands of the game. Without the proper support, your ability to perform well is reduced while the risk of injury is increased. Let’s face it, once a netball player, always a netball player so look after yourself so you can keep playing the game that you love!


Recommended reading: Why you need netball shoes instead of regular trainers or running shoes