Netball. Such a fast-paced game. So much action as the players turn and pass the ball, intercepting, defending and attacking across the court. You admire the strategies of the teams as they try to get points on the board. You look at the footwork and wonder if the players wear special shoes for netball, or are they just standard sneakers.
Netball shoes are designed to support the feet and ankles through the various twists and turns that players make throughout the game. Also, a great shoe for netball players has to provide stability and balance, as well as grip needed, so that the players can stop and start quickly without slipping.
We are going to show you what makes a shoe a netball shoe, how to select the ideal netball shoe and then we are going to attack the goal by giving you our list of the best netball shoes you can get.
This is no ordinary shoe. It’s a netball shoe!
When it comes to sports, shoes are designed specifically to match the unique demands of the activity. You wouldn’t wear soccer boots when powerlifting nor would you wear cross-trainers when out on the rugby field. So, when it comes to playing netball you need to get the right shoes that meet the physical requirements of the player and the game. Here is what a true netball shoe is constructed like…
The upper needs to be constructed to give your foot the support it needs so that you don’t feel yourself moving around within the shoe.
On the outside, the shoe needs to be made of a material that is durable yet flexible enough to allow you to move freely
Because of the jumping, stepping and quick movements required for a successful game, the sole needs to provide the grip that you need to keep you on your feet while allowing you to pivot. Soles made from solid rubber are the best it provides a better for the lateral movements of the foot.
As your feet impact against the court, the shocks will be sent up your legs and feet. A well-cushioned midsole provides a barrier to absorb the shocks.
You will want your feet to stay as close to the ground as possible as this gives you greater balance and stability. A low stack height/ heel pitch allows for a more sure step as well as reducing the chance of injury.
So, there you have it, The anatomy of a netball shoe that is made to handle the strenuous demands of a match.
The right shoe for you
When it comes to choosing the shoe that is going to serve you well, it’s a matter of finding the one that supports your foot. Here is a “strange but true” fact: You could have one leg that is a little bit longer than the other. That can affect your stability, so it pays to check if you need to have orthopaedics in the shoe that counter the height difference.
Also, the arch of your foot could be high, middle or low-to-non-existent. A shoe midsole that doesn’t give the correct support for your arch can not only be uncomfortable but can expose you to the possibility of being injured.
The best shoe for you is the one that serves you well through the support, protection, comfort and durability that you are needing through an intense netball game.
If you find that the soles lack in giving you the support you need, look at getting orthopaedic inserts. We want you to enjoy the game and not worry about your feet.
Before we run you through our list of the best netball shoes out there, here are some pointers to think about whilst shopping:
Invest in a quality pair of shoes
You want shoes that are well made and going to last. You will find some people recommend buying a new pair of shoes at the beginning of each season and that’s because doing so minimises injury. Great quality shoes will give you the support your need and will serve you well throughout the season. You don’t want to have to be constantly forking out cash because your shoes are cheap and fell apart or caused you to sprain an ankle.
It’s more than looks
You may like the style and aesthetic of the shoe you are wanting to buy to wear on the court, but you will quickly regret the decision when you find that you sacrificed functionality for looks as you move around the court. We’re not saying that your feet can’t look good, just make sure that the shoes will give you the performance you need for the game.
The rules are set
We have given you the rules that you need your stick to when getting a netball shoe that is made for the game and for your foot, You also know what you have to consider when buying the right shoe and now it’s time for the game to start.
The best netball shoes
Here are some of the best shoes you will spot gracing the feet of the professional netball players.
Speed and nimbleness are what the Stealth is all about. The upper mesh is specifically created to give you the support you need as you move with quickness and agility across the court while the lightness of the overall shoe won’t weigh you down. A heel counter provides balance at the back of the shoe and the front of the shoe has a shield to keep your toes safe. The midsole is plated to allow for sideways movement and midfoot support while cushioned to provide comfort as well as rebound.
The Ligra 6 has a durable outsole that can stand up to the rigours of a full-on netball game while the lace closure system and padded tongue secure the shoe against your foot for greater stability. The Adiwear outsole provides traction against the court’s surface while allowing for well-balanced pivoting.
You will truly be adding colour to the game with these shoes from Gilbert. However, there is more to this shoe than the fantastic styling. A mesh upper covered by a cage system provides you with breathability as well as flexibility and support. At the back of the shoe is a heel counter for stability while within the shoe is an antibacterial foam that provides cushioning against impacts while keeping your feet fresh. The midsole is designed to return to their initial shape after step. On the outsole, you will find pivot points placed in particular positions so as to meet the unique needs of the netball player.
Does your foot become irritated due to rubbing against the stitching of your shoes as you move around the court? Grab yourself some Gel-Tactics. The seamless design eliminates the stitching and minimises the seams which mean no more aggravation for as your feet stroke against your shoes. A lightweight sole that still responds to your movements enables you to play faster and more efficiently and the mesh upper allows your feet to breathe throughout the game. At the front of the shoe, as well as in the back, you will find gel cushions to provide overall comfort and support where needed most.
The leather overlay and contour design of the Vapor creates comfort and stability with the bottom of your feet being protected from impacts thanks to Nike’s Zoom system. The outsole is grooved to allow for flexibility as well as balance while the low profile footbed provides you with the stability you need through allowing closer contact with the ground under your feet.
The molded footbed will have you feeling secure while the rubber outsole gives you a firm grip against the court, so you can leap, jump and step in confidence. Shock absorption is provided through the cushion system at the front of the shoe and the outsole is designed to be light yet pliable enough to follow each pivot and flex of your feet. Overall comfort is offered through the lining and padding around the collar as well as the tongue. The sole has multi-directional traction so you can transition quickly from receiving to passing.
Comfort and stability come together harmoniously with the Ghost Shadows. The upper bootie fits like a sock while the mesh fabric allows for air to pass through the shoe, keeping your feet cool. The midsole is created to be light yet supportive so that you can move swiftly and quickly throughout the game while cushioning you against the jolts as you land on the floor. The widened outsole offers greater balance and stability so you can twist and turn with speed.
The synthetic upper of the Netburber will allow your feet to breath as you start to build up a sweat through the first quarter of the game. As you step and leap to make the shot for the net, Asics FlyteFoam technology will provide you with that extra bounce that you need to reach over the outstretched arm of the defence. At the back of the shoe, the heel is designed to match your profile so you have greater balance while the removable sock liner allows for a more customisable fit.
With these shoes from Gilbert, you are getting a cleverly designed upper that is truly light yet durable whilst within the shoe is generous cushioning that is made to return energy so that you can move swiftly throughout the game. Pivot points strategically placed on the outsole allows for maximum transition while ensuring grip, so that can maintain stability as you catch and pass the ball. Comfort and durability are what these shoes stand for. Let the Evolution begin.
If you are wanting a shoe that truly protects you from shocks, then you should get yourself some Hurricanes. The EVA midsole, as well as the integrated wave technology through the base of the shoe, is made to be highly shock-resistant. Flexibility is provided by the grooves on the outsole while overall support for your feet and ankles is offered by the heel insert and lacing system. Whether you are playing on asphalt or hardwood, these shoes will give you the grip you need.
The Ballistic is made with your heel in mind via the internal counter as well as dual-cushioning to provide you with the stability and comfort you need at the back of your foot. Yet, the rest of your feet isn’t neglected. The forefront of the shoe is strengthened with resin and rubber to protect your toes and the ball of your foot while you pivot and jump. The upper is a flexible knitted mesh that allows your feet to breath.
Made to keep your feet fresh and cool with an Airmesh upper, the Phantom allows for air circulation while extracting the moisture and sweat from out of the shoe. The shoe fits snugly to your foot via the lacing system while the midsole supports your feet during lateral movement. Bounce is offered through Mizuno’s Wave system which returns the energy from the impact of your foot and directs it towards the next step. If you need to use an orthopaedic insole, you can simply swap out the removable sock so that you get the support you need.
Improved upper design in the Academy shoes means that stitching is reduced so as to minimise irritation caused by your foot rubbing against the seams of the shoe. The midsole is created from Asics’ Fluidride technology allowing for comfort and bounce while reducing the amount of energy your feet and legs have to expend so that you can last longer in the game. Asics’ Duomax Support System keeps your ankles and feet safe from leaning too far while making lateral movements and cushioning at the front and back of the footbed offer relief against impact shocks. On the outsole, the rubber has been positioned to support you in areas where there is high stress so that you get the traction and comfort you need as you bound across the court.
Yes, they are volleyball shoes and we’re all about netball. Yet they can still serve the purpose as you step onto the court. The seamless upper allows for comfort while offering you the durability and protection you need. As you move, your foot is kept safe and sound thanks to the DynamotionFit bootie, lace closure system and dual-layer of shock absorption within the footbed. Keeping steady on your feet is made possible through the EVA heel insert and outrigger at the front of the shoe.
Do your feet get hot and tired, like really hot and tired during a match and you wish you could just slip off your shoes to allow your feet to recover? Well, you don’t need to have that kind of issue any more if you have Flares on your feet. The upper is made to offer ultimate ventilation for your feet yet is rugged enough to keep you secure and protected. Lateral movement is supported via the overlay system and traction is supplied by the durable rubber outsole that is hardy to wearing out. You can adjust the fit of the shoe by removing the sock liner so that you get the comfort you need and can focus on the game and not on the icky feeling of shoes that don’t fit right.
Allow your feet to breath thanks to the increased air circulation that these shoes offer. The lightweight design of the Academy enables you to move quickly through the game so you can set yourself up for that shot at the net. The full length cushioning within the shoe makes for a pleasurable game while sideways movement is kept natural thanks to Asics support system. Under the shoe, the abrasion-resistant outsole is designed to connect the front of the foot with the back so that you can leap around the court with agility while giving you the grip you need to stop and turn fast.
The final whistle
Sadly, we have reached the end of this game and what a game it was! You gained valuable knowledge in how a netball shoe is made as well as what to think about when you are handing over your cash for the pair of boots shoes you set your heart on. In the list, you will have noticed that there are only several brands that are mentioned and that’s because they are the ones that professional netball players respect and trust. And, if they are good enough for those who make a living playing the game, then they are good enough for those of you just starting out.