This article breaks down a series of high-quality insoles that are great for when you’re playing basketball.
I’m a long-time basketball player who has more than two decades of experience with the game. Using that knowledge, in addition to external research, I was able to properly review all of the items listed throughout this guide.
I prefer the Sof Sole over other models because it delivers a strong base without taking away any comfort.
The insoles are sturdy and tough, two traits that give them a surprising amount of stability as you play. They also come with gel to balance out that feel and deliver a nice cushion. The unique design also gives you excellent arch support and helps ventilate your feet.
As great as they are, the insoles are not the only premium basketball ones on the market. I’ll break down similar models, and explain their traits, below.
Who Should Get This
Basketball players cannot avoid stress impacts on their lower body. As such, insoles are great for those who want to prevent strains and aches while also increasing both stability and comfort. They absorb shock, promote balance, and actively reduce muscle fatigue.
The extra padding is also great for those who have weaker feet or players who are injury-prone. While they won’t give you the same support as something like a strong brace, they still protect your feet and make playing much more comfortable.
Top Basketball Insoles
Every part of this section analyzes a specific insole by reviewing its traits and exploring its different applications.
1. Sof Sole
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: Incredibly sturdy and long-lasting. Solid arch support. Comfort that reduces pain during play. Versatile, can be used with many different shoes.
- Arch Type: Medium
- Weight: 6.38 ounces
- Style: Orthotic Insole
The Sof Sole is an excellent option for players who want something that manages to be durable and comfortable at the same time. Though the insoles are inherently stable and strong, they also come with gel pads that keep your feet protected when you’re pounding out on the court.
The model also gets high marks from the Hydrologic Moisture Management System that wicks away sweat and keeps your feet dry. You’ll never have to worry about too much moisture with these. On top of that, they offer great arch support and reduce general pain as you play.
The only downside to the insoles is that, despite their strong ventilation, they tend to retain odors. You’ll want to air them out every now and then. The thickness adds to the stability, but it can also make them hard to use in some shoes. Always check before your final purchase.
- Best for: Stability
- Key Features: Extreme moisture wicking. Deep heel cup helps fight plantar fasciitis. Solid art support. Premium EVA material.
- Material: EVA foam
- Weight: 3.21 ounces
- Style: Arch Support Insole
If you need a strong insole that offers great support in a range of different ways, the WalkHero might be your best bet. The company makes it with strong EVA foam that’s durable and helps keep your feet safe from the constant pounding you experience while playing.
On top of that, the model comes with anatomical arch support to better align your foot and your leg. Not only does that make the insoles great for people who have flat feet, but they’re also wonderful for players who deal with plantar fasciitis. The ventilation system is great too.
As great as the deeper heel is, it isn’t as comfortable as the rest of the insole. The model is still generally nice to wear, but that part of your foot will take a little bit more of a pounding than everything else. That’s one small drawback, however, to what is a complete model.
3. Soul Insole Shoe Bubble Orthotic Insole
- Best for: Arch Support
- Key features: Good arch support. Can help relieve pain. Fits in nearly every shoe. Easy to clean and place. Odorless.
- Material: Gel
- Weight: 2.12 ounces
- Style: Arch Support Bubble
If you struggle with any foot pain caused by having high arches, the Sol Insole Shoe Bubble can really help. These small-profile insole bubbles can relieve plantar fasciitis, heel pain, over-pronation and other common issues athletes might experience.
Thanks to its small profile, this insole is easy to use and won’t require any cutting or trimming. It will work with virtually any shoe, and you can quickly transfer it from one pair of shoes to another for added use and versatility. They are easy to clean because of this as well.
These are also very easy to clean because they are made from a non-porous, medical-grade gel that won’t hold on to odors. They are small, so they don’t provide you with added support over the entire length of your foot, although that also helps keep the weight down.
4. Superfeet Green
- Best for: Comfort
- Key Features: Fully adjustable and easy to remove. Comfortable fit with heel cradle. Easy to remove. Stabilizer cap provides extra stability.
- Material: High-density foam
- Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Style: Arch Support Insole
Superfeet is one of the leading brands in the insole world, and their green model is perfect for basketball. Equipped with a stabilizer cap and created with high-density foam, the shoes are excellent for players with flat feet or extremely high arches thanks to their tough foam material.
They are also easy to move and adjust, which gives you a surprising amount of versatility depending on what you need as you play. They also come with a deep heel cup that helps support your entire foot as well as a high-profile shape that promotes stability.
The biggest downside to these insoles is that they don’t feel extremely tough. The comfort and support are both top-notch, but you won’t quite have the strong support of more durable options. They are also quite squeaky, which can be annoying if you’re in them for long periods of time.
5. Superfeet Carbon
- Best for: Lightweight
- Key Features: Fit profile with a low volume. Structured heel cup. Anti-odor feature. Light-but-durable build. Special Superfeet shape.
- Material: Carbon fiber
- Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Style: Arch Support Insole
As great as many basketball insoles are, they can be a bit too heavy or cumbersome for certain shoes. If you want something that won’t get in the way of your feet, the Superfeet Carbon is an incredibly low-profile insole that still gives you an ample amount of stability and support.
This lightweight option utilizes a carbon fiber material that takes away weight but still manages to hold up to the rigors of a long game or practice. It also utilizes a special structured heel cup as well as Superfeet’s patented shape that helps conform to your shoe shape.
These shoes are a bit on the expensive side, which may put some people off. However, they’re absolutely worth the higher cost. They are also a bit slippery, which can cause your feet to slide around in sneakers. The carbon fiber may be a bit thin for some as well.
6. Shock Doctor Active
- Best for: Shock absorption
- Key Features: Extreme cushioning. Adaptive arch technology. Forefoot and heel shock pad. Solid support. Full foot control bar.
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 4.5 x 1.9 inches
- Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Material: Shock absorbing foam
While all of the insoles on this list offer some level of support when you play, nothing matches the Shock Doctor Active. These soles, which are made for active users, come with shock pads in the forefoot and heel. On top of that, the Shock Dome cuts down on impacts.
Backing up that technology is the full foot control bar to help align your foot as you run to cut down on both injuries and stress. The insoles adapt to just about any foot shape and are extremely supportive in all of the important areas.
These come with a lot of padding in the toes. While extra cushion tends to be a pro, in this case, it can make the fit a little odd. The insoles are a bit on the high side as well. If you can get over both of those, the model is a great way to ensure your feet stay happy out on the court.
Best Basketball Insoles: What to Look For
Each of the following characteristics is important to keep in mind when purchasing basketball insoles.
All basketball players, regardless of their foot shape, need some level of arch support in their shoes. That goes double if you have flat feet or plantar fasciitis. Make sure your inserts support your foot in a way that helps promote good arch support and keeps everything stable.
You also need to pay attention to how thick or thin you want your insoles to be. Bigger models come with more cushion and support, but they can also be a bit bulky. Lighter ones aren’t as durable, but tend to stay out of the way. Always get one that matches your specific needs.
As mentioned, basketball is a tough sport. Your body takes quite a beating running around, which is why you want to get insoles that can take impacts. Shock absorbing models are critical, especially if you’re someone who plays hard or has bad joints.
The amount of absorption you go with entirely depends on how much you play as well as how much you need to stay protected. Those who play less experience less stress and don’t need as much cushioning. If you go out a lot, more is always better in this regard.
Basketball Insoles FAQs
You may have some questions when picking out basketball insoles. I’ll answer some of the most asked below.
Should you put insoles in basketball shoes?
Most modern basketball shoes don’t require insoles. However, if your shoes aren’t supportive, or if you have a foot problem like high arches or plantar fasciitis, you’re going to need the extra support to cut down on pain.
Can insoles make you jump higher?
In short, no. While insoles come with a whole mess of different pros, you’re not going to see any significant improvement to your jumping ability with them in.
What kind of insoles do NBA players use?
As with any item, it comes down to the individual. Each player has different needs based on their shoes and foot shape. Some use thicker options for better support, while others go with lightweight ones that give them a bit of additional cushion.
Why do NBA players remove insoles?
NBA players tend to remove insoles from their shoes because they use custom options that are quite expensive to replace. As such, when they are done with shoes or give them away it’s important to keep the part of the shoe that’s the hardest to replace.
Tips on How to Clean Basketball Insoles
Since they make insoles from foam and synthetic materials, you need to keep them from getting too saturated — especially when you’re cleaning them. Here are a few tips for you to follow after a game:
- Take out the insoles from your shoes to air out after every use, especially if they are stinky.
- Remove any dirt, debris, or lint with a small soft brush.
- Put some warm water in a container and add a few drops of mild liquid detergent.
- Place the scrubbing brush into the hot water mixture and scrub the insoles in a circular motion. Pay more attention to the stained areas—like the heels and toes (where bacteria build-up).
- Ensure that the soap gets deep into the insoles, but avoid soaking it.
- As soon as the top of the insole is clean, turn the reverse side and repeat the cleaning process.
- Remove the soap residue with a clean cloth.
- Dry the insoles thoroughly under the sun, which helps to kill bacteria.
The Sof Sole is a well-rounded insole that’s perfect for any type of basketball you want to play. Where many models give you durability or comfort, this perfectly blends both together through the tough construction and additional gel padding built into the design.
Few options are as durable or as reliable, either. While you lose a little bit when it comes to odor retention, everything else about the insole works towards making your time playing basketball more about playing the game and less focused on any discomfort with your feet.