Netball Shoes vs Traditional Runners


Netball is a high impact sport that often requires short sharp bursts of agile movements. Children and adults alike, may find it tempting to use their traditional running shoes for netball for convenience. However they are not created to be as durable as netball shoes and therefore are likely to not only wear down faster, but increase the risk of injuries.  Additionally, running shoes are designed for linear motions, and are not suitable for the side to side movements.

What makes netball shoes different

The rubber outsole of a netball shoe is wrapped differently extending up beyond the side edges and securely attached to the front of the shoe. This reduces drag which favours multidirectional movement and decreases the risk of the outsole coming away from the rest of the shoe.

The outsole of netball shoes is a solid rubber compared to runners having lightweight blown rubber. However this is to have the ability to with stand a higher amount of abrasion enhancing the shoes durability on asphalt surfaces.

On the surface of the outsole, the traction and flex grooves vary largely. Some netball shoes have pivot reinforcements on the forefoot and patterns that favour lateral side to side movement.

Is any netball shoe good for me?

If you have ever played netball, you know that whilst many skills are fundamental to the game, certain positions and playing styles favour different types of movements. This is why there is an array of netball shoes featuring different characteristics that compliment your game. (Focus on ASICS range)

Netburner Professional – Known for it’s lightweight feature, the Netburner Professional is the closest netball shoe to a running shoe, with the appropriate added stability. It enables quick and agile changes of movement and suits a netballer with speed, quick transitions, indoor surfaces and running a large portion of the court such as a midcourter.

Gel Netburner – A great supportive netball shoe that has additional support and durability features. Suitable for a player requiring additional stability and lower limb support during game play. Increased durability across all court surfaces.

Netburner Super – A cross between both the professional and netburner, the super combines support and stability with enhanced flexibility at the forefoot. It features it’s unique outsole X-groove design that favours a player who rapidly changes direction in confined spaces such as players in either goal ends. Additionally, this option comes in a wider width!

Netburner Ballistic – A newer released model featuring a higher heel drop of 15mm which allows for more heel cushioning and reduced load through the heels. The Ballistic also features the X-groove outsole favouring 360 degree pivot release action. ASICS also offer a mid cut option in this model which raises higher up the ankle to enhance stability and a more secure fit.

Gel-Netburner Academy – An entry level netball shoe that is suitable for beginners or social athletes who are still looking for more activity specific support than a running shoe.  

Still unsure?

Netball is known for it’s high demands on your lower limbs due to the high velocity of short bursts, multi directional movements. If you are still not sure which netball shoe suits you, consider a biomechanical assessment with a podiatrist where they can determine your functional needs, injury considerations and help guide you in the right direction.

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