The right netball shoe is crucial to good performance! Throughout the start of my netball career I chopped and changed netball shoes until I found the one that was just right for me… kind of like Cinderella. Once you find the right shoe it really can make all the difference to your performance in both trainings and matches.
The first thing I look for is functionality in regard to my position as a midcourt. Playing C involves a lot of full court running and I didn’t have the greatest strength in my legs, so I preferred a lighter shoe that allowed me to be light & quick on my feet – a shoe that worked to my strengths. I also needed the shoe to be stable to endure the accelerations, decelerations and agility throughout a match. Some C’s can run 5 – 6km a game and that’s at high speed with change of direction, jumping, dodging and all those good things we love about the game. I actually use to break a lot of my shoes in the beginning because they weren’t right for my position and load. I also suffered some bad injuries – 2 x ACL reconstructions, 1 x Achilles reconstruction. So for me finding the right shoe became crucial for my performance and ensuring that I was doing everything possible to look after my body and give it the best chance for optimal performance.
The Athlete’s Foot through their knowledge and products help direct you into the right shoe. They do all the heavy lifting – they take in information about what your body needs and what will work best for you. They care about finding the right shoe for you and have all the technology and knowledge to do so. At the end of the day, everyone is different and it’s important to find the best shoe for you. The right shoe for a GK may be completely different to the right shoe for a WA – and that’s why TAF is so great! They understand that everyone has different needs, different strengths and through their experience help to provide the best option that works for you and also fits and feels right!
A final factor that always comes into consideration for me is colour. I love bright, colourful and matching my shoe to my uniform or my purpose. When I had a blue uniform, my shoe was blue or had a streak of blue. When my dress was red, I had some red on my shoe. Sometimes it didn’t quite work out so I would match my socks to my shoe. At the Magic one year we even changed out shoelaces to mix it up and match each other. Picking the right shoe is important but it’s also fun and a highlight for me. Being with your team mates, trying shoes on and picking your shoe for the season is always a great time. At the end of the day, to me a shoe is a tool of the trade and I want to make sure that I have the right shoe so I can put out my best performance… and also match my uniform.