If you’re an avid netball player then you will know that Asics is to netball, what Canon is to cameras. Asics is the brand of choice for most professional netball players and with so much innovation going into the design of the Asics Netball trainer range it’s easy to see why. Sure there are other brands playing in the space including Adidas and New Balance, but if you do your research, you’ll find that no other brand has the history of performance and years of testing netball specific trainers quite like Asics. I’ve played netball since I was old enough to catch a ball and yet I’ve never owned a pair of Asics Netball shoes instead, I opted to go for more general cross trainers time and time again. So, is it worth splashing out for a pair of ASICS Netball shoes and can you REALLY tell the difference on the court? I decided to put the Asics Gel Netburner Super 7 Netball trainers to the test and find out.
Before buying these shoes online, I decided to do some research and as it turns out, Asics Gel Netburners are the most recommended shoe for any netball player – they’re even the official shoe of Netball Australia, one of the most successful netball teams in the world, so that should tell you something. The coolest thing about this shoe is definitely the unique gel system. It’s one of Asics’ most famous innovations and it allows for optimal shock absorption. With the Asics Gel Netburner Super 7, these GEL units are strategically placed in the forefoot and rearfoot to help absorb shock during play. In addition to that, extra support and cushioning are offered in the 2-layer midsole.
It’s this extra level of cushioning that was the most noticeable thing for me when wearing them on the court for the first time. While running shoes or cross trainers are designed for straightforward motion (with the support features in the heel and toe areas) these netball shoes with cushioning in the midsole, forefoot and heel, are specifically designed to give you support when running, in quick bursts, stopping suddenly, pivoting, and jumping. From the minute I put these on, I could tell why netball players rave about them so much. You feel like you’re standing on a super well-supported cloud and wearing them made me realise just how little support my cross trainers provided.
Another thing I love about the Asics Gel Netburner Super 7 Netball trainers is the support it offers for your ankles and the rest of your foot. The shoe has a Clutch Counter around the heel that enhances fit and it features a fully wrapped outsole and High Abrasion Resistant (AHAR) rubber for durability. Running shoes generally have a much thicker tread and outsole and they don’t provide support to the sides of your feet or cater for the range of motion that is needed during a rigorous game of netball. When reverting back to plain old running shoes or cross trainers on the court, I realised that my ability to make multidirectional movements is reduced and my ankle sits higher in the shoe and feels far more exposed.
The Asics Gel Netburner Super 7 Netball trainers allow the foot to sit on a lower platform which helps to not only maximise comfort and cushioning on the sides of your feet, for a greater range of movement and flexibility but also to reduce the risk of rolling your ankle. These shoes are a great fit for players with a skinny heel or those who have issues with slipping around the ankle in other shoes.
After a pretty serious knee injury, which saw me step off the court for 2 years, having a shoe that is specifically designed with Netball players in mind was extremely important to me. No matter what level you play, wearing a shoe like this will no doubt help to reduce the risk of injury, by providing the correct support and will also give you a bit more of an edge when you’re playing.
I play Centre, so I need a shoe that allows me to move quickly and easily but that can also offer a lightweight feel and great cushioning when I’m jumping and landing. Wearing the Netburner Super 7s, I have definitely noticed a big reduction in the impact I feel when coming down from an intercept and I can feel a major improvement in my range of movement. Not only that, thanks to the clever cap feature on the toe, the shoe also makes it easier to go up onto my tip toes when defending and for someone who isn’t crazy tall that’s a huge plus!
While some netball shoes tend to look quite bulky and heavy, the Netburner Super 7 Netball shoes are quite sleek and lightweight. They look slightly bulkier than my cross trainers but overall I love the design of the shoe and they’re a great fit. These are no doubt the most stable netball shoes I’ve ever worn and I will definitely be buying them again next year.
The shoe comes in limited colourways including a purple and pink option and a white, pink, and orange option. As for using them off the court, I wouldn’t recommend wearing these for any other types of exercise other then netball. You could use them for jogging but I use mine for netball only (which also means they’ll last longer) and have a pair of cross trainers for gym and other activities. Price wise, the Asics Gel Netburner Super 7 shoes aren’t the cheapest on the market but they peace of mind you get knowing they’ll give you extra comfort, support and protection on the court is worth every penny.
Find them at Asics stores nationwide as well as online from Sportsman’s Warehouse at R2,000.
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After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.