If you need to quickly know what I’d recommend as the best basketball shoe insoles, then go for the Spenco Total Support Max Shoe Insoles.
Basketball shoe inserts increase the comfort and support for your feet when playing. Not only that, they can also extend the life of your basketball shoes for less cost if the only problem is worn out insoles. Just replace your worn out basketball insoles with one of these and you can continue to use your shoes.
In this article, I’ll be reviewing the following products to help you choose the best basketball insoles:
- Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx
- Sof Sole ATHLETE Performance Insoles
- Superfeet Black Premium Insoles
- Spenco Total Support Max Shoe Insoles
- Walk Hero Arch Support Orthotic Inserts
How do insoles help with basketball?
Playing basketball requires a lot of fancy footwork. Basketball players run, jump, and pivot their feet throughout the game. They can also bump into each other a lot of times. All of these activities put a lot of strain on your feet.
Proper insoles inside a player’s basketball shoes help improve balance by providing support in the right areas of the foot. This will then enhance overall stability. It can also ease pain and make feet movement more comfortable. Knowing that your foot is properly supported will boost your confidence to execute the intricate moves required in your team’s play.
The right foot support can also help prevent issues like:
- stress fractures – small cracks in the bone due to constant pounding
- plantar fasciitis – inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament which causes pain on the bottoms of your feet when flexing your toes or arches
- bruised heel – sharp pain on your heels when you walk
- overpronation – inward tilting of your feet usually due to flat feet
The basketball insoles that I recommend here will give your feet that extra support when playing. Please consult a medical professional if you experience persistent pain or discomfort, or if you have a serious foot condition before using any over-the-counter orthotics.
What to look for when buying insoles for basketball shoes?
This should be your top priority when buying a basketball insole. You should look for insoles that provide appropriate support for your arches and heels. This will give you the benefits of shock absorption, stability, and balance.
The arch support must mimic your foot contour. If you have high arches, get one that has high arch support. For flat feet, a moderate or neutral arch is good. Get insoles that have a deep heel cup so that your heels will be correctly positioned.
The material used must be firm enough and provide ample cushioning. It should not crumble under the intense pounding on your feet brought about by movements like running, jumping, and pivoting. A sturdy material like EVA foam is a good example of such material but there are others that you can consider as well.
You should expect normal wear when you use the insoles frequently. The amount of time before a product needs replacement will vary greatly across individuals and their usage of the item. I would say that it is realistic for most users to expect a pair of insoles to last around three months. What you want to watch out for is the insoles suddenly falling apart while you are playing which could be dangerous. Purchasing from known brands that stand by their products can help with this.
Fit for purpose
Use insoles that are made for athletic shoes or even better if it’s specifically made for basketball. This ensures that the product was designed for the intense pace and movement required for sports. Insoles for athletic shoes can be used for everyday wear if they fit in your shoe, however, you can’t use an “everyday” insole for basketball shoes. The support will not be enough.
You can also consider custom made foot orthotics if you have a specific condition to target. This will be the best in terms of meeting your exact needs but it will come with a high price tag.
Size and Fit
Look at feedback from other customers in terms of sizing to get the correct size. It is very important to get this right so that your foot will be correctly positioned along the contours of the insoles. Take into account the shoes that you will use. Ensure there is enough space for your foot to comfortably rest in the shoe without being constricted.
Remember to remove the existing insoles of your basketball shoes. Double insoles will not do anything for your feet and will just make your shoes tight and uncomfortable.
There are some insoles that allow you to trim off excess material. Where possible, do get the ones that do not require adjustment. I would recommend getting full-length insoles over half-length ones so that you can have both the arch and heel support.
What are the other factors to consider?
Lightweight and Flexible
This is more of a performance consideration rather than support. A heavy insole will weigh you down and will prevent you from executing those slashing moves to the basket. Insoles made of EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), foam or similar lightweight materials are good for this purpose. While a firm insole is desired for support, they should be flexible enough for your foot to move naturally.
Moisture Wicking / Odor Prevention
Technology that prevents moisture from accumulating and odor from developing on your insoles is desirable. This will increase the longevity of your insoles. I will be put off from using a perfectly good pair of insoles if they smell pretty bad.
Compared to custom orthotics, over-the-counter insoles built for athletic purposes cost a lot less. The price range for these insoles is generally affordable. That said, do not sacrifice quality for cost. Get the best option that you can reasonably afford to keep your foot in good shape.
Break In Period
Insoles that provide firm support may require breaking in. I recommend starting by wearing it a few hours a day. Shift to full time wear when your feet have adjusted to the support.
5 Best Basketball Insoles
Now that we have carefully analyzed the different factors to consider, let’s go and decide which best insoles for basketball to buy.
The Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx has all the necessary elements to ensure your foot is protected from heel to toe. It is a full-length insole that has a deep heel cup (deeper than the original Pinnacle), firm arch support, a two degree medial post for midfoot support, a slightly angled exterior heel platform, and excellent cushioning. These features give you better foot control and stability which is a great enhancement to your basketball shoes.
The insole base is made of a double layer of EVA foam which provides adequate shock absorption when you make those high jumps. It has an anti-microbial polyester cover which keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Unfortunately, this fabric is not fixed very well to the insole base. It could be annoying to feel that peeling fabric on your feet.
- Solid arch support
- Deep heel cup
- Base is made of EVA foam; lightweight, flexible, and durable
- Anti-microbial polyester to prevent odor
- True to size
- The fabric covering may come off quickly
The ATHLETE Insole from Sof Sole is an insole that is suitable for most foot types due to the neutral arch and moderate heel cup. This is a flexible insole which is lightweight but still provides support. The base is made of Implus foam and has gel pads in the forefoot and heel. These gel pads absorb the impact on your feet as you land from that jump shot.
This is a full-length insole that is suitable for most athletic activities as the name suggests but is also a good all-rounder. You can use it in your casual shoes to provide your feet with more cushioning for your day-to-day activities. There is generally no break in period required for these insoles. It is treated with hydrologix moisture wicking treatment which keeps your feet dry.
This is a fantastic option for people looking for additional support in their basketball shoes and do not need the rigid support from more specialized insoles. I prefer this to the Sof Sole Airr Insole since air bubbles generally wear out more quickly compared to cushions made of foam and gel.
- Great value for money
- Adequate support and cushioning
- Shorter break in period
- Runs small. Order a size up if your feet are wide
- May start squeaking after a while
The Superfeet Black Premium Insoles is Superfeet’s most versatile offering which is suitable for most foot types. Unlike their very popular green and orange variants which are both made for high arches and are generally thicker, this insole has a more moderate arch and takes up less space in your basketball shoes.
Flexible high density foam is used for the entire length of the insole to provide comfort and a consistent feel. Underneath the foam, a reinforced stabilizer cap helps strengthen the structure of the rearfoot for durability. Stability and support are enhanced by the supportive heel cup to keep your heel in place and the unique Superfeet shape to reduce stress on your feet.
These insoles deliver a fine balance between support and performance. It comes with a solid construction at a higher price.
- Supportive heel cup
- Moderate arch
- Takes up less space in your basketball shoe
- Durable structure and construction
- Pricier than most options
As the name suggests, your feet get complete overall support from the Spenco Total Support Max Shoe insoles. It provides support for key areas of your feet which are subject to constant pressure.
This full-length insole has a deep heel cup and a firm arch support which keeps your foot in place. A 3-POD system (consisting of two soft blue pods and one stiff red pod) placed strategically underneath the heel and near the mid-foot helps prevent overpronation and gives increased shock absorption for these areas. The balls of your feet are not forgotten. They get additional relief from pressure through the SpenCore forefoot crashpad.
Spenco Total Support Max is not just all about support. It also delivers comfort. The footbed is made of a flexible EVA layer that conforms to the shape of your foot for a better fit. It has perforations in the forefoot for better airflow and a low-friction antimicrobial top cloth that helps control odor.
The sizing for this product can be tricky. It typically runs large. I would recommend going half a size down if you wear half sizes.
- Deep heel cup
- Firm arch support
- Support for the balls of your feet
- Base is made of EVA foam; lightweight, flexible, and durable
- Anti-microbial cover keeps feet dry and cool
- Sizing can be tricky
The Walk Hero Arch Support Orthotic Inserts feature a 7mm firm arch support, a deep heel cup with built-in silicon material, and premium EVA foam. These all work together to keep your feet in proper position to evenly distribute your weight for stability and cushions them to reduce the impact of hard landings. Proper foot positioning also lessens the chances of overpronation.
I do want to point out that these insoles have interesting markings inscribed at the bottom (unfavorable adjectives and phrases) which may not be to everyone’s taste. These could be perceived as negative or positive (getting rid of negativity by stepping on the bad words) depending on each individual. It can be a very unusual and controversial way to grab people’s attention.
For people who are just looking for an affordable option, who need an insole that is firmer than the Sof Sole Athlete, and who don’t care too much about what is inscribed in their insoles, then this will satisfy your requirements. What’s unique about this insert is that it is available in 13 different sizes. With such a huge range of sizes, you will not likely need to trim the inserts further.
- Firm arch support prevents overpronation
- Deep heel cup with built-in silicon material
- EVA foam for great cushioning
- Wide range of sizes for better fit
- Controversial words printed at the bottom of the insole
The Awesome Choice
The Spenco Total Support Max Shoe Insoles is my choice for the best basketball insoles. It is a true total support insert which uses multiple patented technologies to take care of each key area of your foot (heels, arch, and forefoot).
On top of the deep heel cup and firm arch which is a minimum expectation for good insoles for basketball shoes, it has the 3-POD Modulation System which is unique. A single stiff red pod placed in the inner heel reduces the chances of overpronation. While two softer blue pods, one placed in the outer heel next to the red pod and one under the outer mid-foot, help guide your stride. The SpenCore foot crash pad cushions the balls of your feet from impact and adds that spring to your step during toe-off.
In terms of comfort, the insole has an EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam base that conforms to the contours of your feet. The top of the insert is covered with an antimicrobial cloth with perforations to keep your feet cool and dry which helps minimize odor.