Are male netball players satisfied with the shoes that they wear for netball?
Despite the recent growth of men participating in netball, the footwear needs of male netball players have been largely neglected by researchers and shoe manufacturers. This study aimed to determine whether male netball players were satisfied with the shoes they currently wore for netball and explore the reasons why many men do not wear netball-specific shoes. 279 amateur, sub-elite and elite male netball players completed a 38-question online survey about their footwear habits and foot-related problems. A mixed-methods approach was used to analyse the quantitative and qualitative survey data. Irrespective of shoe type worn, men were dissatisfied with the width fit, durability and breathability of the shoes they currently wore for netball activity. The participants desired to modify the outsole, insole and toe box of the current shoes they wore for netball. Men also identified a diverse range of non-shoe design and shoe design factors related to fit and functionality that deterred them from wearing netball-specific footwear. It is recommended that the fit and functionality of shoes designed for male netball players are improved to better cater for the foot dimensions and netball performance demands of men.
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