Welcome to part two of the netball shoes series! If you haven’t caught part one I’d definitely encourage you to check it out before we get into part two. Previously we spoke about the key differences between netball shoes and running shoes, and why having specific shoes are beneficial.
Netball season is just around the corner and there may be some new faces to the sport, or some returning veterans that have decided to lace up the shoes for another season. In this episode, we’ll discuss the benefits of choosing footwear that is tailored to a specific position or area on the court. Bet you didn’t think there are shoes for specific positions huh? It’s actually a brilliant idea! I also wonder how many people know that Mizuno designs netball shoes, so if you’re looking for an alternative to Asics, there is one!
Centre court shoes
These are for positions that do a hell of a lot of running, or as I like to say, the beep test players. For those of you that have played centre or wings, you’ll know there is a lot of running up and down the court, with minimal to moderate amount of pivoting.
So, with this in mind, these shoes are built similarly to a running shoe except with a harder wearing, court based sole. Most of these products will have a central pivot point, however some might not have a pivot point at all.
Let’s get to the pointy end of the stick – what shoes are they and what features do they possess?
Asics Netburner Super FF – Great for a harder wearing mid-court shoe. It features a lighter weight upper with a harder wearing outsole, coupled with a flight foam midsole. If you’re hard on your netball shoes but want something a bit lighter, consider giving this a nudge this season. Available in wide fitting
Asics Gel-Netburner Academy – A great price point shoe that offers a rugged exterior, but also a bouncy interior. Fantastic for a weekend warrior, but also a nice training shoe for those who play and train frequently to reduce some wear and tear and your game day shoe. Almost built like a running shoe but with added lateral support and hard wearing tread.
Mizuno Phantom – Following the trend from above, this is Mizuno’s answer to what Asics are providing for mid court players. Mizuno provide footwear that are known for being a hard-wearing option
End Court Shoes
These are for the players at either end of the court that typically need robust shoes. They’re usually constructed from firmer uppers and denser outsoles that can handle the stress. Unlike the mid-court shoes, these typically have a pivot point to reduce shearing forces on the outsole, which extends the life of the shoe.If you are quite hard on your footwear or using the same shoes for both training and competition, these can also be great value for money options.
Asics Ballistic FF 2 – These are one of the lighter weight end court shoes. These are excellent as a competition specific shoe due to their flexibility and weight. For those who have had previous ankle injuries or are suffering from ankle instability, there is also a high cut version available.
Asics Gel-Netburner 20 – A staple of the Asics Netball range for some time. They feature a slightly higher cut collar than most netball shoes. The Netburner also features a firmer outsole and a firmer midsole to reduce fatigue on the shoe. If you’ve got a wider foot, the Netburner is available in wide fitting.
Mizuno Stealth Neo NB – The elite shoe in Mizuno’s range. Similar to the Netburner, there is a higher cut collar to aid with ankle stability. The Stealth has premium level cushioning to provide excellent shock absorption throughout training and competition.
There you have it, a look at the new season netball shoes! I hope this can make your selection easier for the current season. As always, I recommend having your shoes properly fitted at a local store – and if you’re an ankle guard wearer, make sure you take that with you to get fitted. Hunter Podiatry wishes you a great and safe season ahead but if you do unfortunately have an injury, we are always more than happy to get you back to the sport you love sooner. I’ll catch you next time!