Get the right trainers for playing netball

If you're coming to play or train with Storm it's important you wear the right type of trainers.

Whilst fashion trainers look funky with a pair of jeans they are simply not suitable for the forces you're going to put on your ankles and feet on the netball court!

Wearing the wrong trainers can leave you more prone to ankle injuries because fashion trainers just don't give you the support and cushioning you need for a high impact sport like netball.

To really get the right pair of trainers you first need to know your foot type.

You can do this easily by simply walking on paper when the soles of your feet are wet.

You'll see one of the four outlines similar to the one's shown on the right and from this you'll be able to identify what type of feet you have.

Feet naturally come in all shapes and structures but they are mainly in these three categories:

Flat Feet

Your foot is flat if you have no visible arch and your footprint is completely visible with no inward curve between the big toe and heel. (Footprint #3 above)

High Arches

High arches are easy to spot. There is a clear arch between the heel and the ball of the foot. If your footprint has a large curve with a skinny outer edge, or perhaps an actual gap between the ball and the heel, you have a high arch. (Footprint #0 and #1)

Neutral Foot Type

A neutral foot type is neither flat-footed or high-arched. Your footprint will have a small inward curve of no more than an inch. (Footprint #2)

Added to that you could either be an Overpronator or a Supinator! Don't panic it's nothing to worry about it just describes how your foot rolls when you run!


Overpronators tend to roll inward from heel strike to take off during every stride. Those who pronate often need more stable training shoes.


Supinators tend to roll outward from heel strike to take off during every stride and need a flexible, cushioned shoe to absorb shock while running.

So what does that mean for my training shoes?

Flat Feet

If you're looking at your foot, you'll know you have flat feet if you don't see any arch. The bottom of your foot, from your toes to your heel, is completely flat. If you do the footprint test, your print will look like a foot-shaped blob. You won't see an inward curve from your big toe to your heel.

Problem? Well, if you're flat-footed, you're most likely an overpronator, which means that your feet roll inward when you run.

What to Buy: You will probably need a training shoe that maintains your stability. Look for the words "motion control" and "stability" on the box of trainers you are considering. In addition to motion-control shoes, some flat-footed runners also need to wear orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts that correct foot issues).

High-arched Feet

You should be able to easily determine if you have high arches because you'll notice a high and definite arch on your foot. If you do the footprint test, your print will curve inward, making the middle part of your foot look very skinny. When you push your hand against the bottom of your foot, your arch will stay rigid.

Problem? If you have high arches, you probably supinate or underpronate, which means your feet roll outwards as you run. It's very important that athletes with high arches periodically re-measure their feet because running will cause their arches to gradually fall, making their feet longer.

What to Buy: You need to look for flexible shoes with a soft midsole that absorbs shock. When buying training shoes, look for options with the words "flexible" or "cushioned" included in their descriptions.

Neutral or Normal Feet

If you've examined your foot or your footprint and it doesn't look flat-footed or high-arched, you most likely have a neutral or normal foot. Your footprint will have a noticeable curve inward, but not by more than 3/4 of an inch.

Problem? As long as you pick a training shoe that doesn't counteract your foot type, you shouldn't encounter any problems. This is the most common type of foot, and it's also the least susceptible to injury provided it's outfitted with proper footwear.

What to Buy: If you have normal feet, you can choose from a wide variety of training shoes, including ones made for neutral runners or those with slightly flat-footed or high-arched feet. Don't pick training shoes that have a lot of stability or motion control.

Netball specific trainers

Asics make several trainers that are designed for netball. The top of the range is the Netburner Professional series but the Netburner Academy and Gel Academy ranges are also very good.

Remember with netball being such a high impact sport on the ankles, due to the sudden stopping when you land, it's good to have a trainer that also incorporates what is known as a 'crash zone'. This is extra cushioning to eliminate the jarring caused by the sudden stopping.

Some useful tips when going to buy trainers

Shop late in the day because your feet swell during the day.

Measure your foot while standing.

Try on both shoes with the socks you will wear for playing netball.

Buy for your larger foot (feet are rarely the same exact size).

Allow a thumbnail's width between the shoe and your big toe.

Choose shoes that are comfortable immediately. If they hurt in the store, don't buy them.

Look for a moderately priced shoe. Price is not necessarily an indication of quality. Research has shown that moderately priced trainers work just as well as expensive ones.

Make sure the shoe matches your foot type and running style as we've shown above.

Wear new shoes around the house before using them for training or matches.

So remember ...

Fashion trainers are a definite no-no when it comes to playing netball (or any sport for that matter).

Don't buy trainers just because you like the colour or style! Make sure they are right for your feet.

Trust us, your feet and ankles will thank you if you get the right shoe!!

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