You were twisted and thrown into the air for a quick reaction lay up. You probably should have never shot the ball or attempted to go up against a 6 foot 6 inches and 200-pound defender, but by some miracle of “skill” the shot hit the backboard, rim and slowly fell through the hoop.
You get a good smile and a high five from the defender with appreciation. You just won the game, but you noticed something today that you didn’t before. Not the confidence or the great skills you have, but pain…on your feet.
The pain suddenly showed up and now it feels like a rock or Lego piece is taped to the bottom of your foot on every step.
Right now this pain is bearable, but over time the constant overuse of your foot will cause weakened support, less arch, and possibly Plantar Fasciitis.
The first step is to rest, but you want to play ball again tomorrow and probably the next day. Most players will ask, what is the quick fix? How do I play now without pain?
The answer is simple. Shoe insoles that support your feet while you are still trying to strengthen the arch.
Basketball Insole Overview / Guide
When discussing shoe insoles to help support the feet, there are many different styles and needs among sports, hiking, or day to day activities.
For this article, we will be focusing on impact sports, such as basketball, football, baseball, or just running in general.
For this article, we will focus on 4 criteria that should be considered when finding/purchasing a shoe insole
Support is important for preventing high impact foot injuries. It might be a surprise to many people, but the amount of support varies from no support to a very high amount of support (maybe too much).
The bubbles and adjustments to an insole affect the actions of the foot and can be tricky for anyone to narrow down to perfection.
Insole Volume will entail different requirements. For basketball, we want to fill the shoe. The insoles should allow for padding that is comfortable and does not cause sliding. The thickness should be good and
Insoles are adjusted based on foot size initially, but personal measurements to track the foot can require high variations in insole designs. We will look for how difficult it is to size, if alterations, in fact, are helpful, and also into heel lift.
These will be big factors for any athlete looking to reduce pain and promote good foot/ankle movement.
This is the last and very important point for our insoles. The higher quality the higher price seems to run true, but a double check will tell you if the price is worth the quality.
I am not a medical professional and the advice for insoles is purely based on research and personal experience to help someone who is looking to shoe insoles to provide support and pain relief.
**I have personally tried on many insoles to fix a case of plantar fasciitis. It is recommended to try insoles on, inside the shoes you wear, before purchasing.
It is also important to develop a program to strengthen and rehabilitate the feet to eventually no longer need assisted support.
The Big Lie
Here’s the most important info you might read today! While custom orthotics are certainly a great thing for your feet, there are a number of studies we’ve heard of that suggest that custom orthotics are NO BETTER than off the shelf pre-cast orthotics.
The reason is that most people have similar requirements for their feet (shape, structure, etc.) unless your feet are VERY malformed through exceptional circumstances in birth or other external forces which have made your feet to be classified way outside of “normal” foot physiology.
Best Basketball Insole Reviews
1. Soul Insole
Soul Insole is one insert that stands above the crowd. I own a pair personally and I have never experienced anything like them.
They are anatomically correct inserts that are made to gently correct over-pronation (ankles turned inward so knees rub each other). They are designed to either correct or minimize the negative effects of bunions, calluses, corns, flat feet, hammertoes, high arches, forefoot pain, Morton’s Neuroma, Plantar Fasciitis, Sesamoiditis, and more!
They are made with an adhesive that won’t become “un-stuck” on its own, but it can be carefully removed on purpose and re-applied in another shoe.
Best of all, the adhesive will last indefinitely and can be regenerated by simply washing with plain water, air-dried and re-applied. They can also be effectively used in open sandals which (as far as I know) cannot be said of any other gel or conventional insole.
This product is my #1 choice by a wide margin.
Oh, and one other thing; it’s a real “brand” rather than just a product from a Chinese factory. You can see their website at soulinsole.com.
2. Super Feet Premium Insoles
The super feet insole provides both right and foot insoles in one package. This insole changes color based on arch profile and is highly recommended for hiking and personal uses.
The Super Feet insole provides great support for many different profiles (support height). This is great insole for providing support. Reviews rave about its use, but mostly in low impact activities, such as hiking and walking.
The plastic on the bottom will cause a slight movement while performing high impact sports. The use of plastic causes a sturdy and finite amount of absorption on impact.
The Super Feet insoles provide good volume for most shoes. The larger the support profile the more volume the shoe consists of.
From personal use, this insole is great for low impact movements as the material holds a sock well, but I suspect in high impact sports a normal movement will cause a shift. The thickness of the plastic, as stated in the support sections, adds to the impact of the feet and does not absorb as well as a normal shoe.
Super feet insoles change based on profile and foot size. They can be cut to fit most shoes, but the ability to personalize past this point in not available.
Super Feet is a high-quality brand but for low impact sports. When looking for insoles for basketball it is best to save your money and look elsewhere as these shoes do not rank high in all 4 categories.
3. Shock Doctor Active Ultra Insole
The Shock doctor court insoles are made specifically for high-impact sports. The design is based on professional athletes from tennis to basketball.
These insoles possess a good arch that is cushioned to absorb high-impact movements just like a shoe would. Users indicate that the support is perfect and not overcorrecting. This insole provides excellent support for basketball.
The Shock Doctor insoles seem to be much thinner (5mm total) than the Super Feet insoles for good reason. You do not want too much interference within the shoe. These insoles are lightweight and provide great traction for making cuts on the basketball floor.
Because of their thickness (or thin-ness), they won’t impact the overall fit and feel of most shoes, but just to be safe, I’d suggest trying them in a potential pair of shoes in the store.
These are incredibly good quality for a reasonable cost. A 30-day trial period is given to allow for returns. Use this to your advantage when trying these insoles for pain relief and support.
These shoes meet every category for our basketball insole requirements and should be highly considered when purchasing.
The features of this sole are impressive. They offer adaptive arch technology, which means they adapt to any foot shape for ultimate fit and customization. Their forefoot and heel shock pads absorb most jarring impacts.
Most interestingly, it features what Shock Doctor calls “full foot control bar” which aligns your forefoot and heel through an entire stride to reduce joint stress on your lower body.
How they do that, I have no idea, but I’d say these are definitely worth a try. My guess is that you’ll want 1-2 more pairs (more if the price was lower!).
4. Sof Sole Arch
The Sof sole arch support insole is a larger than typical insole that provides a high arch for support. The shoes tend to run too large and must be cut down to size. The gel heel provides a life for the insole.
The high support is good and is compared to the Super Feet arch support. These insoles do provide an arch and cushion. Simple and quick pass of the test as it resembles much of the Shock Doctor.
With a resemblance to the Shock doctor, the worry of moving around while moving off this sole is nonexistent. There seems to be little worry other than size discrepancies.
Shoe size is the only variation for this shoe. Much like the Shock Doctor, there is no real changes and variations from person to person.
The risk to reward is low, so do not worry if you are considering these insoles. Give them a shot and maybe they will fit perfectly.
With a low price and decent quality, I would consider these insoles for athletic performance until I performed rehab on my feet.
5. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Athletic Insoles
Spenco is a large provider of insoles from typical day shoes to high ironman training. This brand gets its own selection due to versatility. These insoles cover any needs required by a consumer. And that seems to be the point of Spenco’s style.
With a high amount of variety, Spenco insoles provide anything from a simple gel for comfort, to a thick arch support. Most critics would say that categorizing a whole brand in a single product review is unfair, but Spenco offers many possibilities for basketball and high endurance athletes.
Again we see a wide range of volume, but most insoles will not be blocky and constrictive. The Spenco brand seems to be focused on athletic use and so the design is to be best for athletes.
They also make very good shoes for foot support. These insoles do provide padding in the heel, arch, and forefoot to create great absorption on impact.
No personalized characteristics other than foot size for almost every insole. Shoes may be customized but that is a different product. Do try these before your 30 days runs out to be able to verify if the support is worth the relief.
Spenco is a high-cost insole. The price is high because there is an assumed high quality to the Spenco brand. Make sure you have the ability to try these insoles on before making a car payment for them.
Great insoles with a high price to match. I would consider getting medical orthotics with that high of a price. If you like these please review on Amazon and let people like me know. I would consider these if I heard more testimonials.
6. Dr. Sholl’s Tri comfort Orthotics insert
Doctor Sholl’s is known about every major store in the country. Walmart and health stores alike probably maintain a machine to allow you to pick the “perfect” orthotics for you. These orthotics are inexpensive and range from half to full shoe inserts.
Personally, I am hesitant on low-cost products for something as important as foot health so beware.
Doctor Sholl’s provides great support but can be “off” on a normal foot. These personally did very little to help my shin splints and pain. These insoles are geared towards everyday use and provide little lasting support over the course of impact sports.
Once the integrity of the insole is worn (quick I might add) the support is loss and the insole is now a burden and waste of money
Gels and low support are not what we are looking for in an insole. You are looking for something that grips to the foot, that does not move, and provides a cushion. The only thing on Doctor Scholl’s for impact sports is an extra cushion.
There are many different styles and a machine to tell you which styles are best. I find this confusing and often times reliant on the machine actually working. Be careful about Dr. Sholl’s insoles for sports and the lasting effects on your feet.
Cost is low for most insoles but still higher than the Shock Doctor and other preferred brands.
An athlete should look elsewhere for insoles to provide pain relief.
7. ProFoot Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
Pro foot insoles resemble the variety of Dr. Sholl’s and should be handled accordingly. The costs are low and the variety is high.
Basic arch support is available here, but with half-insole addition, your heel is lifted higher off the ground. This could cause tight calf muscles and Achilles tendon pain. The support given is low and can be faulty due to location or movement of the insole.
Though these imply less volume with half the insoles, do not be tricked. The lack of consistency throughout the shoe as well as the quality of the insole will leave a foot unstable, a raised heel, and probably more trouble than the initial arch support issue.
Limited customizing on these insoles also bring around a negative response. They are a one size fits all for a not-so-normal foot problem.
Please look elsewhere for insole and foot support. These will provide relief for a day or two, but over time the same thing or another problem will arise. The inexpensive cost is a lure for low hanging fruit customers who only want a quick return for a low cost.
8. Uni- Sex Silicone HoneyComb Sports Insoles
Honeycomb silicone is being used as a model for shock absorption from a helmet, padding, turf, and even insoles. The science is there for comfort and reducing impact, but for insoles, these are a new idea.
The shift from gels to structured padding is a likely route for the future, but these are relatively low.
Absolutely zero support is given to an arch. There is a comfort factor but the support for the foot gone. This is a big negative and a person seeking support should be concerned.
The volume of these insoles is low as they flex to the pressure of the foot. This is good for absorbing contact on foot strikes as well as grip for the foot. It is possible though that the low cost implying a quick reduction in quality.
They have Small, Medium, and Large. This is relative to foot size but is even less specific than other brands. Almost zero adjustments for the typical person.
Low cost is a worry for low quality.
A person should look elsewhere for a quality product. Even though the cost may be higher, the quality and overall protection/support for your feet is more important.
9. Power Step Orthotic insoles
Power Step is another strong contender in the insole market. They are currently ranked high in Amazon sales, made in the U.S., and with a high podiatrist recommendation, a consumer can be sure the quality is above decent.
Support: The Power Step Orthotics have a high amount of support and deem high quality in reducing pain related to support issues. These have a great reputation among buyers for their help with pain.
Volume: Does not exceed expectations and seems to run similar to Super Feet. The firmness and uncomfortable are common when beginning use, which makes the absorption on impact low. This would be preferred for daily use, hiking, or low impact sports.
The adjustment is solely based on shoe size, much like other competitors. These do not provide any other personal adjustments.
Cost is low for a high-quality insole like this, so this should be on your list if you experience pain outside of sports.
I would consider these only for low-impact activities. The firmness and support are great for hiking, but constant landing and repetitive quick movements may cause bruising and other problems.
10. Suscong Athletic Sport Shoe insoles
Suscong is a new brand and has gained a following on Amazon.com. This brand is a low-cost insole and it’s great if you have no insoles in your sports shoes at all, or if your shoes won’t be used in super competitive situations.
With a specific design for arch support in sports activities, the quality is geared towards an athlete, but not world-class elite competition.
The written words of the product description is a little jumbled as this is an out-of-country product. It’s also a bit thin to begin with and the low cost is a potential warning of it’s performance abilities.
The quality of this product seems slim and flimsy as it is made from foam. There could be underlying effects of foam, such as instability with socks and insufficient grip.
These should not cause discomfort inside the shoe, but the amount of volume will diminish if this product is made poorly.
We say they’re okay, but if you’re a serious competitor, go for something in the top 3 items on our list!
For Extreme Cases: Personal Orthotic Insoles
The personal Orthotic Insoles provided by a medical orthotic doctor provides the best support, perfect volume, and customization as that is the point of orthotics. These are great for anybody seeking long-term relief in any shoe style.
There is a major negative to orthotics and that is cost. You must pay to see the doctor and pay for the insoles. The cost can be significantly higher than the typical market sold insole.
I found out recently that an off-the-shelf Superfeet pair of insoles near Toronto, Canada will cost $80 CAD, while a custom orthotic in the same doctor’s office would cost $550 CAD.
As I mentioned earlier in this review, SuperFeet insoles are virtually identical to the support a custom insole would make, so we would suggest customized insoles only if your feet are extremely mal-formed and nothing but custom orthotics feels comfortable for you.
You may want to seriously consider this option if you have had long-lasting foot pain and already tried a few popular options on the market.
Insoles are tedious and can be ill-designed. Be prepared to perform trial and error. There are many workings to insoles and often times most people are tricked and tricked again as companies advertise the next best thing.
Besides Medical Orthotics I would turn to the Shock Doctor performance insoles to begin with or potentially the Superfeet (if you have the budget). The money and high quality may be exactly what you are looking for in a performance insole.
We REALLY like SuperFeet, and Amazon Has the Best Price! Any Questions?
Support, Volume, Personalize (Comfort), and Price. These will be the basic keys to help you decide what works for your feet and provide you with the support and pain relief you seek.
It’s important to pair your insoles with a great pair of basketball shoes for optional support and performance.
For any person suffering from Plantar Fasciitis and without a bone problem, then you can rehabilitate your feet with personal health through strengthening, and mobility exercises.
Do not expect quick results. Remember you are walking with our impairment at every step, this will take a significant amount of time to return to full strength.
If you suffer from significant pain, rest. Do not perform rigorous or strenuous activities such as lifting heavy weights or jumping. Repair your feet, follow all shoe care safety guidelines outlined here, then get back to the court.