Are Basketball Shoes Good for Netball? [Here’s What The Pros Say]

One thing’s for sure: playing netball is not for the faint of heart!

Netball is a grueling sport. Players constantly start and stop like their feet are on fire, jumping, pivoting on one foot, and running as fast as possible.

It’s no wonder so many players end up with ankle injuries.

When it comes to sports, shoes are vital. For example, running is a relatively straight-line activity, while netball involves sudden changes of direction and a lot of side-to-side movements – just like basketball.

So, are basketball shoes good for netball? Yes, they are! Basketball shoes meet all of these needs, making them an excellent choice for netball players.

Read on to learn more!


What Makes A Shoe Good For Netball?

Whether you’re running or playing a quick-paced game like netball, your shoes can make all the difference in performance and safety. 

women playing netball

Today, researchers continue to study the impact that different shoe designs have on athletes, and what they’ve found is that netball is a particularly challenging sport.

Unlike many other sports, netball requires frequent changes of direction and side-to-side movements. Therefore, it is imperative to have a shoe that will help protect you from any sudden braking forces. 

The shoe should also give you the grip and traction you need to change directions quickly. It is also essential that the shoe has enough side-to-side stability to support your ankle joint.

Many Netball players will choose to wear running shoes because they have them lying around the house. This is a big mistake! 

Running shoes are great for straight-line activities, and they don’t provide the same level of support needed for side-to-side movements. This can put players at a higher risk for injuries.

To meet the demands of netball, here are the key features to look for in a shoe. Luckily, basketball shoes pass these requirements with flying colors.

Related resource: “The Correlation Between High-Tops And Sprained Ankles In Basketball”.

Sudden braking support

A good netball shoe will have a durable outsole that can withstand sudden braking movements. The outsole should also provide good traction to change directions quickly without slipping. 

As a result, the ideal outsole for playing netball should be made from a lightweight and flexible material. The best soles for netball are rubber or synthetic materials.

Check out my article on making basketball shoes more grippy for more details.


As we mentioned before, netball players need a shoe with good side-to-side stability, especially the ankle. 

Man tying shoe's laces

In addition, you need a well-structured upper that provides adequate lateral support and stability for netball. This is where the materials and design of the upper come into play. 

For example, mesh uppers with flat laces help to ensure that your foot remains in place throughout your movements.

In addition, materials like leather and synthetic microfibers provide excellent support for lateral movements and can reduce wear and tear over time.

Related read: Which Player Wore Fortnite-Branded Shoes On A Basketball Game?

Comfort and fit

A good netball shoe will be comfortable and provide a snug fit without chafing or pinching. If you’re buying shoes online, buy from a reputable retailer that allows you to return or exchange items if they don’t fit properly.

Don’t play with uncomfortable shoes for long, or you risk getting painful blisters.

Low heel pitch

The key to success in netball lies in having a low heel pitch that allows for optimal control. In contrast to running shoes, which tend to have a higher heel pitch, netball shoes have lower stack heights

low heel basketball shoes for netball

This is because a lower center of gravity is critical for netball players, as it helps keep them stable and prevent injury while maneuvering quickly on the court. 

In addition, a lower heel pitch allows us to plant our feet securely on the ground and maintain balance during quick stops and turns, helping them stay agile and perform at our best.

Are Running Shoes Good for Netball?

No. While running shoes are for straight-line activity, they are not ideal for lateral movement. This is due to the increased risk of injury when carrying out lateral movements. 

running shoes

Netball-specific shoes provide more support and stability when moving side to side, which can help reduce the risk of injury. 

In addition, netball shoes often have a herringbone tread pattern that provides excellent grip on the court. 

This can help you make quick stops and changes of direction without slipping. Ultimately, netball shoes are a more suitable option than running shoes if you want to reduce your risk of injury on the court.

Running Shoes vs. Netball/Basketball Shoes

Here is a breakdown comparison between running shoes and ideal shoes that meet the demands of netball:

Running ShoesNetball/Basketball Shoes
Pros:-Good cushion for up and down impact-Designed for speed (in a straight line)
Cons:-Not designed for lateral movement-Higher risk of ankle injury
Pros: -Lower midsole for more stability-Structured upper for lateral stability-Stronger traction-Greater ankle support
Cons:-Heavier than running shoes

Are Basketball and Netball Shoes the Same?

Basketball shoes and netball shoes are very similar in terms of function. 

Both types of shoes provide good traction and support for the wearer while playing. The main difference between the two types of shoes is typically the weight. 

Pair of shoes

Another difference is that basketball shoes have more ankle support because players constantly jump and land. 

Netball shoes are lighter than basketball shoes, which can help improve the player’s speed and agility on the court.

However, both types of shoes serve the same primary purpose: to provide the wearer with the necessary support and traction to play their sport safely and effectively.

Is There Such Thing As Netball Shoes?

Yes. There is such a thing as netball shoes. Typically, netball shoes are for active, high-intensity movements on the court. Companies like Mizuno and Asics offer great netball shoe options.

They feature unique treads that allow for quick and agile movement and extra padding in critical areas to help protect the foot from injury.

Are Tennis Shoes OK for Netball?

In recent years, tennis shoes have undergone a weight reduction, making them more suitable for netball.

tennis player with racquet

The playing surface and movement patterns in netball and tennis are very similar, so the shoes perform well in both sports.

If you are a shoe destroyer, you may want to consider tennis shoes as an alternative to netball shoes.


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