Best Shoe Insoles For Basketball

So, you want to be a big-time basketball player, do you?

Maybe you’ve got the skills. Maybe you’re blessed with the kind of athletic quality to bring out the envy of others. Maybe, just maybe, you’ve got big league dreams on your mind. 

The first question I’m going to ask is, what kind of insoles are you wearing? 

As a vastly experienced coach (with more years on the clock than I’d care to mention), I can’t stress the importance of arming yourself with the right pair of insoles. These little shoe inserts can be a life-saver out on the court. 

Let’s just think about what we’re doing to our bodies here. Basketball is a game for the fleet-footed and, though we spend hours trying to find the right sneakers, we so often forget to protect ourselves. 

The best basketball insoles make sure your feet are kept in prime condition to wreak havoc out on the paint. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together the ultimate buyers’ guide for the best cushion insoles for basketball. We’ve even included the best insoles for flat fleet for basketball. Seriously, we’ve got you covered in pretty much every way imaginable. 

1. Sof Sole Insole Men’s AIRR Performance - Best insoles for serious basketball players

Sof Sole Men's Airr Insole, Black, 9-10.5
2,945 Reviews
Sof Sole Men's Airr Insole, Black, 9-10.5
  • Sof Sole insoles with Skydex air bubbles in the...
  • Gel in forefoot provides maximum cushioning
  • COOLMAX fabric top cover wicks away moisture so...
  • Perfect for athletic shoes
  • Ideal for running, cross training, walking

As far as high-impact insoles go, the Sof Sole is a fantastic weapon to pick up in your personal war against foot pain. I’ve even used these for things like hiking and tennis, and, frankly, they work wonders. 

Built with shock absorption in mind, their air chambers and polymer gel cushion your feet and disperse impact with ease. Imagine you’re just landing after taking a shot and, once you land from that glorious sporting heaven, crashing back down to the real world isn’t a crushingly painful experience. 

Doesn’t that sound great? Keep your feet firing on all cylinders at all times. The best shoe insoles will help you do precisely that, as insoles help offer pain relief and high arch support in many different sizes. 

Well, with these, that dream is now a reality. The quality of their foam is absolutely stunning, and they fit in your shoe so easily, you’ll forget they’re there. As far as full-length shoe inserts go, these are some of the best out there. 

Pros

  • Comfortable 
  • Built for high impact 
  • Top-quality shock absorption
  • Snug-fitting heel cup
  • Strong support

Cons

  • Slightly less durable than other brands

2. Sof Sole Insoles Men’s ATHLETE Performance - Most suitable insoles for any sport lover

Sof Sole Insoles Men's ATHLETE Performance Full-Length Gel Shoe...
6,466 Reviews
Sof Sole Insoles Men's ATHLETE Performance Full-Length Gel Shoe...
  • Neutral Arch design fits most foot types. You can...
  • Gel pads in the heel and forefoot provide...
  • Hydrologix moisture management treatment keeps...
  • Perfect for athletic and casual shoes
  • Ideal for walking, running, cross training, and...

Having tried so many insoles over the years (they don’t tell you just how painful your feet can feel after years of coaching when you sign up!), I’ve even tried the ATHLETE performance for daily use, such as running to catch trains, planes, and automobiles!

Still, what really matters is how these bad boys feel out on the court. Well, with their contoured neutral arch fitting most foot types, they’re certainly something you can turn to easily. As they come in different sizes, any kind of feet can consider themselves swimming in support with these shoe inserts. 

Crucially, their lightweight cushioning and gel pads in both the heel and forefront provide cozy comfort without feeling too bulky, and the Hydrologic moisture-wicking feature keeps your feet dry and prevents odor. Basketball insoles really are clever, aren’t they? 

So, if you know someone whose feet could do with insoles to fight off bad smells (if you don’t, it’s probably you…), then these are an absolutely perfect gift. 

Pros

  • Suitable for most feet 
  • Fight off odor 
  • Extra padding in the heel 
  • Safe and stable support 

Cons

  • Could be too thick of some activities (hiking, long-distance running)  

3. Shock Doctor Active Ultra Insole - Best insoles to use for the hard-training player

Shock Doctor Active Ultra Insole, Men's 9.5-10.5/Women's...
151 Reviews
Shock Doctor Active Ultra Insole, Men's 9.5-10.5/Women's...
  • Leading sports Protection Manufacturer^Performance...
  • Adaptive arch technology, adapts to any foot shape...
  • Air/FX top cover
  • Forefoot and heel shock pad and Shock Dome absorbs...
  • Full foot control bar, full foot motion control...

Now we’re talking. When I first came across these after seeing one of my players absolutely change the game, practice session after practice session, I had to ask what he was wearing in those shoes. 

Well, the Shock Doctor Active Ultra Insole was the answer, as it is to so many questions. 

Want to protect as high up as your knees, hips, and lower back? Done. Want to help relieve plantar fasciitis (pain and swelling between the heel and arch of your foot)? Done. Need full foot motion to reduce lower body joint stress? Once again, done. 

Worn by professional and college athletes, the full shock-absorbing foam is an absolute delight on your feet, and, designed with high-impact landings in mind, they are stable throughout your entire stride. 

Pros

  • Support for more parts of the body 
  • Fights off plantar fasciitis
  • High-quality shock absorption 
  • Moisture-wicking technology 

Cons

  • Insoles considered a bit too stiff by some consumers

4. Superfeet CARBON Thin and Strong Insoles - Perfect insoles for players who need strong foot support

Sale
Superfeet Unisex-Adult Carbon Pain Relief Strong and Thin Insoles...
1,578 Reviews
Superfeet Unisex-Adult Carbon Pain Relief Strong and Thin Insoles...
  • FIT PROFILE: Low profile/Low volume insoles;...
  • CARBON FIBER STABILIZER CAP: The stabilizer cap of...
  • LOW-PROFILE DESIGN: These Superfeet sole inserts...
  • HEEL CUP: The structured heel cup of these slim...
  • SUPERFEET SHAPE: The low profile shape of the...

For long-lasting foot protection, the Superfeet CARBON thin and strong insoles are an excellent purchase. In the competitive world of basketball insoles, it’s essential to stand out, and the arch support these offer is some of the best out there. 

The carbon fiber stabilizer cap cushions your foot into an embrace most people would be jealous of, and their low profile design fits so nicely into your shoe, no one will notice they’re there. 

Also, boasting a structured heel cup, playing basketball will no longer leave the lower portion of your body feeling like it has run a marathon. Widely thought to be more comfortable than a gel insole, any athletic shoe will be complemented by this kind of insole. 

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable 
  • Low profile hides them very well 
  • Carbon fiber stabilizer caps keep your feet protected against the hard court 

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive 

5. Superfeet GREEN Insoles - Best insoles for players desperate to absorb shock when landing

Superfeet unisex-adult GREEN Professional-Grade High Arch...
18,431 Reviews
Superfeet unisex-adult GREEN Professional-Grade High Arch...
  • Full-Length Fit: High-profile, high-volume...
  • Stabilizer Cap: Our specialized insoles for men...
  • Deep Heel Cup: Equipped with the widest, deepest...
  • Superfeet Shape: The high-profile, special...
  • High Density Foam: The closed-cell foam layer in...

The Superfeet GREEN insoles rank amongst the best for long-lasting comfort. Thanks to their high-density foam, layers are designed with durability in mind, and these insoles boast arch support to be envied thanks to the deep heel cup. 

Basketball players will be thanking anyone who buys them these. The insoles are made from 100% man-made materials, and the high arch support makes them ideal as full-length insoles to wear out on the court. 

Available in different sizes, these high-quality insoles are definitely worthy of your time. 

Pros

  • High arch support 
  • Deep heel cup lasts for years 
  • Absorb shock very well 

Cons

  • Can sound a bit squeaky when running
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The Ultimate Buying Guide

Hopefully, that quick run-down of the best basketball insoles was helpful. 

Yet, despite as much information you have now, we’re still not done here. Oh no, we’ve compiled the ultimate buyer’s guide for when it comes to shopping for the right insoles, to really have you feeling like an expert when browsing online. 

Remember, a confident consumer is a successful one. Strangely enough, though insoles do come in many different sizes, it is a one size fits all policy when it comes to looking for insoles that are perfect when it comes to protecting your feet. Indeed, there are several key things to consider. 

So, with that in mind, what should you be looking for when it comes to basketball insoles? How do you take your athletic shoe to the next level? 

Here are some KEY features you need to look out for. 

Support

Considering just how much movement is required for even your average weekend basketball player, it’s absolutely crucial to find an insole with as much support as humanly possible. Don’t forget, the main job of the best basketball insoles’ main job is to provide as much support as possible. 

Don’t forget you’re likely to be twisting and turning your feet regularly when playing basketball, so the support really is important. Remember, the aim of the game is to stave off the dreaded plantar fasciitis. 

With that in mind, I think the Shock Doctor insole is the best way to go. Not only do these support your feet, they help with your lower back and hips, meaning the lower part of your body is protected as much as it can be. 

Moisture-Wicking

Let’s face it, any athletic shoe (as well as what’s inside it) is likely to smell after a while. That’s just science; there’s no getting away from that.

Or is there? Well, with moisture-wicking technology in some of these insoles, the battle against any unwanted odors gets an awful lot easier. By absorbing sweat, they keep the shoe free of smells and, helpfully, can be washed.

So, as you can imagine, it’s a pretty important feature when it comes to buying the right insoles. To that end, the Sof Sole ATHLETE is ideal.

Their use of Hydrologix technology really keeps your feet dry better than the rest.

Durability

Buying insoles can be expensive, even if you think you’re picking up a cheap pair. After one use, it’s hard to go back to life without them, so you’ll find yourself continually buying new ones if you don’t pick a durable and long-lasting pair at the start. 

For insoles that last for years, particularly when playing basketball, the wisest idea would be going for the Shock Doctor product. Used by professional athletes, they last a long time and will stop you racing to buy a new pair of insoles every time the cheap ones you thought you struck gold on let you down. 

Insoles are perfect for anyone conscious enough to try and take care of their body when playing sport. Do yourself a favor and invest in the right pair right away, and you won’t need to worry about foot damage when playing basketball. 

Overall Winner:

It’s got to be the Shock Doctor product.

Not only do they fight bad smells, the support their adaptive arch technology wraps your foot in cotton wool effectively, naturally absorbing shock on impact and protecting more parts of your lower body.

Frankly, they help you train harder and therefore play longer. With these, you can focus on your game safe in the knowledge these insoles are helping fight off lower body fatigue, as well as niggling bone injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I wash basketball insoles?

Like any sports apparel, you must keep on top of washing insoles.

To do so, all you need to do is remove the insole from your shoe after each use. Then, remove any dirt with a soft brush before rinsing them in warm and soapy water, using the brush to get deep inside them before leaving to dry completely.

Never submerge them in water; I cannot stress that enough.

How often should I change my insoles?

As long as you wash them frequently, a good pair of insoles can last for up to two years and beyond. Regularly check they’ve still got that springy, cushioning texture after washing and, if they do, they’re still absolutely fine to use. 

What is Plantar fasciitis?

Usually occurring in the morning after playing basketball, plantar fasciitis includes pain around the heel and arch of the foot, usually caused by inflammation to the plantar fascia, the part of your foot that connects your toes to the back of your foot.

This can be painful and lead to further injury, so look for insoles designed to prevent it. If you do that, you can fight off this incredibly annoying ailment and focus on your own game.

Should I buy custom orthotics?

The idea of having a pair of custom orthotics (insoles designed for your foot exactly) does sound appealing; there’s no doubt about that. Surely, if I pay a bit extra and get something built for my exact needs, it’ll work better inside my shoe, right? 

Well, insoles don’t really work out like that. According to a study conducted by the New York Times back in 2006 suggested, you DON’T need to spend close to one thousand dollars with the over-the-counter products; those we’ve suggested are doing the job perfectly as it is. 

Seriously, don’t spend more money than you have to on these. Insoles are there to help you bring the best out of yourself, not to be a financial burden. 

Will insoles make me a better basketball player?

Ha, if only it were that simple! 

Clearly, there’s no scientific proof to suggest insoles do anything for your hand-eye-coordination, but they do at least allow you to focus on what’s important. By minimizing the risk of injury and providing comfort, you can train for a longer time, developing your game even further. 

Final Words

Hopefully, the word of basketball insoles isn’t quite as scary as it was for you at the start of this article. With these recommendations and tips on what to look out for, the act of actually buying them now should be far less daunting than it was before.

From a coaching perspective, I’d urge anyone who plays basketball (or any sport, to be honest) consistently to go out and purchase a pair. Your body will thank you, and, in the long run, you’re likely to see improvements in your game as a result of the increased training time possible after purchase.

Frankly, they make your life an awful lot more comfortable, all while protecting your bones. As you can imagine, your future self will thank you. Trust me, I’ve seen some of the toll sports can take on a body that wasn’t properly protected, and you’re going to want to avoid that at all costs.

By wearing some of these, you most certainly will be.

Did you pick up a pair of insoles? If so, which ones did you go for? Let us know by commenting below…

Justin D. Johnson
Justin D. Johnson
Justin is a PhD student at Stanford University and has been a basketball youth coach for over ten years. He is passionate about sports, cinema, astronomy, and sharing knowledge.