As a player, coach and mother of three daughters playing netball at all different levels, netball specific shoes have been essential in their development.
When my eldest daughter began playing representative netball at age 13, it became evident that netball shoes were a necessity. Not only did the other girls in the team wear and recommend them, but also the coaches of the team she played for.
Coaching my daughter’s as they began their junior netball development; I noticed many girls wearing trainers that were non-specific to netball. These girls lacked the grip and support which was obvious when going through drills and participating in weekly games. The girls experienced instability in their footwork and often would be called up for stepping infringements when the grip on their shoes caused them to drag.
When looking for a good quality netball shoe it is also important to look at the needs of the individual player. Circle players often require additional ankle support from their netball shoe to protect the ankle from abrupt and sharp changes in direction.
I always encourage my players to invest in the appropriate netball shoe. I find trainers are fine for other sports and for school, but netball is a sport that experiences many injuries to the feet, ankles and knees that may be prevented by having a good pair of netball shoes. As a young player becomes more proficient and skilled the more important it is for them to have good footwear.
Another quality to look for is a nice light-weighted shoe. As a parent watching my daughter play three days straight at the NSW State Titles and being exhausted, it is important to know that at the end of each say she finds her shoes are still comfortable to wear.
And of course, finally what all netball girls will appreciate is a shoe that looks good, has a nice colour selection and is worn by their role models in netball.
Author: Michelle Grice