The Best Basketball Insoles for Men, Women and Kids in 2018

A few guys playing basketball on a court with the best basketball insoles in their shoes.

Basketball is an incredibly popular sport, with most young kids aspiring to slam dunk like one of the Harlem Globetrotters. Unfortunately, a harder surface is a prerequisite of basketball, choosing a softer surface would simply reduce the bounce of the ball. The best basketball insoles will help to minimize the risk of injury on the court and choosing the best for your feet will help you up your game.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. with over one million high school athletes playing every year. A study of basketball injuries in high school players found that nearly 40 percent of all cases related to the foot or ankle. It’s not surprising when you consider all that jumping, leaping and running about on a hard surface for extended periods.

The stress impacts on your lower body and feet when playing basketball is unavoidable. The best basketball insoles will supply players with added comfort and stability while reducing the chance of suffering a chronic injury. If you’re a short ass like me, the extra energy return may even help you leap that bit higher.

Let’s look at how basketball can damage your feet before considering which factors you should focus on when choosing the best basketball insoles.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Maximum Performance Insoles

Spenco

Maximum Performance Insoles

4.5 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category

Click for price

  • Designed specifically for basketball players who want to protect their feet.
  • Available in eight sizes for men and women.
  • Decreased friction and impact allows for greater vertical leaps.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category


Our #2 Rated
Active Ultra Insole

Shock Doctor

Active Ultra Insole

4 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category

Click for price

  • Lightweight insole with adaptive arch technology to fit any shape of foot.
  • Antimicrobial top layer to reduce odor and friction.
  • Forefoot and heel shock pad with mid-foot shock dome to absorb the high impact of sports like basketball or tennis.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category


Our #3 Rated
Ultra Work Sport Insole

RxSorbo-Sorbothane

Ultra Work Sport Insole

4 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category

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  • Lightweight rubber foam insoles using Sorbothane foam—absorbs up to 94.7 percent of all shocks.
  • Cambrelle antimicrobial top layer to help prevent moisture bacteria and odors.
  • Available in eight sizes for both men and women.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category


Our #4 Rated
Full-Length Shoe Insoles

Sof Sole

Full-Length Shoe Insoles

4 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category

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  • Orthotic insole for players with a low foot arch or flat feet.
  • Extra shock absorption in heel and arch with Skydex air bubbles—perfect for those higher jumps and landings.
  • Available in choice of four sizes for men’s athletic shoes.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category


Our #5 Rated
Unisex Insoles for Kids

Nxtmile

Unisex Insoles for Kids

3.5 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category

Click for price

  • Orthotic insole designed to meet requirements of young basketball players feet.
  • Uses Du Pont engage technology for better energy return and less fatigue on the foot.
  • Unisex design in a choice of four sizes.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Best Basketball Insoles category

How Playing Basketball May Damage Your Feet

Each time you run or jump on a basketball court, you stretch a ligament at the base of your foot known as the plantar fascia. You’ve probably heard of it before in the condition of plantar fasciitis when you pull or strain this crucial ligament, often through overuse. If you don’t warm up properly before a game, like any other ligament in your body, it can get pulled and result in pain.

Another common injury in basketball is to the ankle. Every time you jump you flex the muscles in your ankle, primarily your Achilles tendon. Basketball can cause pulling your Achilles tendon and continuing to play through an injury may cause Achilles tendonitis or the earlier mentioned plantar fasciitis.

Both foot conditions result in symptoms of swelling, severe pain, discomfort and bruising. Furthermore, the high impact of constant jumping also leads to shin fractures, knee problems and lower leg muscle sprains. Constant overuse of your foot will lead to a weakened support, less arch in the foot and more fatigue of the foot and ankle.

How to Prevent Basketball Foot and Ankle Injuries

Figures from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission state that over five hundred thousand basketball-related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year. Most of these can be prevented by preparation for play, better technique and using the correct equipment.

Before playing basketball you should ensure you’re in good physical shape at the beginning of the season. When out of season try to stick to a balanced fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercises, strength training and moves for flexibility. Warm-up and stretches before a game will make the muscles less prone to injury and ankle-strengthening exercises, like in the following YouTube video can offer more support to your feet in the game.

Improving your pre-game preparation and fitness will not only reduce the risk of injury but can also take your game to the next level. A good pair of sneakers or basketball shoes is essential for peak performance too, but will often become worn down overtime. Adding the best basketball insoles to your athletic shoes will reduce the wear and tear on your foot while adding stability and may even improve your playing technique.

What to Look for in the Best Basketball Insoles

To get the best basketball insoles there are a few key features you should keep in mind.

Shock Absorption

Since basketball involves a lot of jumping, the best shock absorption is one of the most important things you should look for. The repetitive jumping motion forces players to absorb the shock from harsh landings. This can lead to agitating knee or ankle injuries.

Sports insoles should provide extra padding which acts as a shock absorber and if your heel is compromised, they can provide extra height. Absorbent foam, gel cushions or patented technology can help reduce the impact on your heel. Many insoles also feature forefoot crash pads which offer better energy return as you land.

Arch Support

It doesn’t matter what type of foot you have, you’ll need support for the arch whether flat footed or high arched. This area in the middle of your foot gives you extra balance to prevent tripping and causing pain or discomfort.

The most natural shaped feet feature an arch, so if flat footed you need to contour your foot by using insoles that are cushioned or air supported in the middle of the sole. Arch support will decrease the stress on your joints and tendons in the knee as well as reducing the impact on your feet and ankles. Different types of arch support are available according to your foot type.

Lightweight Insoles

When playing basketball your shoes need to be as lightweight as possible to enable you to run more freely around the court and leap without feeling your shoes are weighing you down. Whatever material or technology you choose, ensure they don’t add too much weight or hinderance to your feet. Foam can be a lightweight material that’s good at absorbing shocks but may not be as durable as some other insoles.

Breathability and Moisture Wicking

An additional feature of many insoles is having a perforation which allows your foot to breathe and sweat naturally. The best insoles will use a moisture-wicking technology which helps to keep your foot dry and cool as you play. Antimicrobial or antibacterial treatments can prevent the growth of bacteria which cause that sweaty shoe smell.

Which Are the Best Basketball Insoles?

With a wide choice of insoles available, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for your needs. We’ve checked out many top-selling insoles, considering the factors we looked at earlier to bring you, in our opinion, five of the best basketball insoles.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Spenco

Maximum Performance Insoles

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Our favourite insoles for basketball not only stabilize and support your foot but also promote a more efficient stride and push-off. Using a 3-Pod GRF (Ground Reaction Force) modulation system, these lightweight insoles ensure you land softly on your feet to avoid sprained ankles. The GRF also enhances your vertical leaps with maximum energy return.

Made from polyester for firm foot support a forefoot crash/launch pad and semi-rigid arch support combines with deep heel cups for more cushioning. Improved motion protects against overpronation and supination—a leading cause of many injuries including plantar fasciitis. And best of all, a perforated base allows your feet to breathe and sweat naturally as you play.

Pros
Pro Lightweight yet supportive foam.
Pro Deep heel cup for more stability.
Pro Improved energy return.
Pro Nylon top fabric promotes flexibility and easy movement.
Cons
Con Semi-rigid arch support may be uncomfortable for those with flat feet.
Con Polyurethane foam may wear away over longer periods.
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Shock Doctor

Active Ultra Insole

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
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Shock Doctor court insoles have been designed for any high-impact sport and are just as at home on a baseball court as a tennis court. A lightweight foam flexes both vertically and horizontally to adapt to any foot arch for a perfect fit. A top layer is antimicrobial to control odor and reduces friction.

What we particularly liked was the shock absorption offered by the contoured design which is thin enough to fit most shoes without making them feel tight. The high rebound foam provides 20 percent more rebound than standard foam, reducing joint fatigue and allowing you to train and play longer.

A mid-foot shock dome and extra cushioning at heel helps reduce the impacts which can cause plantar fasciitis and keeps your foot relaxed, even when enduring high impacts like jumping.

Pros
Pro Adaptive arch technology for a comfortable fit.
Pro Air/FX top reduces odor and friction.
Pro Extra cushioning at the heel and front of foot absorbs jarring shocks.
Pro Full foot shock control bar aligns forefoot and heel through entire stride.
Cons
Con Some customers find them too thin and lacking in cushioning.
Con Needs more padding under the toes.
Con Larger sizes can be expensive.
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

RxSorbo-Sorbothane

Ultra Work Sport Insole

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
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The RxSorbo Sports insole is different to other insoles we looked at because of the rubber foam it uses. A visco-elastic material, Sorbothane was designed to simulate the soft padding of your heels and is the only shoe insole material that absorbs up to 94.7 percent of impact shock. This rubber foam is used by NASA and NASCAR for its vibration isolation and unlike other foams resists becoming hard or flat over time.

The extra layer of Sorbothane helps in shock absorption and to relieve the pain and stress on the heels and arch. A Cambrelle antimicrobial top layer helps to wick moisture, control odor and prevents the growth of infection-causing bacteria. These insoles are perfect for therapeutic purposes and reduce arch, back, knee, heel and shin pain when used for walking, running or sports.

Pros
Pro Cambrelle antimicrobial top layer.
Pro Proven to relieve symptoms of heel spurs and diabetic ulcers.
Pro Firmer than traditional foam and gel-based insoles.
Pro Sorbothane absorbs nearly 95 percent of all shock.
Pro Durable and lightweight.
Cons
Con Sizing tends to run small and offers little protection for toes.
Con More expensive than many similar insoles.
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Sof Sole

Full-Length Shoe Insoles

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
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Skydex air bubbles in the heel and arch of this insert are designed to absorb the shock of high-impact activities like basketball or other court-based sports. A reinforced nylon arch support aims to enhance your motion and promote proper alignment of the foot. These orthotic insoles are best for people with a low arch or flat feet and ideal for walking, cycling or running and jumping (the two main activities of basketball!).

The insoles are topped with a CoolMax fabric which wicks away moisture to keep the foot dry and cool as you play. An antibacterial treatment prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria—nobody wants smelly shoes on the court! Available in four sizes to fit men’s athletic shoes, there’s also a version of this insole more suited to women’s feet.

Pros
Pro Extra shock absorption in heel and arch support.
Pro Provides plenty of cushioning.
Pro CoolMax top layer prevents feet from overheating.
 
Cons
Con Sizing tends to run about a quarter inch too short for most athletic shoes.
Con Many customers found them thick and shoes were tight when using them.
Con Stability arch support plate only offers low to mid support.
Con Not suitable for people with a high foot arch.

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Nxtmile

Unisex Insoles for Kids

  • Quality
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It’s not just adults who need to protect their feet playing basketball, but children too. The best basketball insoles for kids can help and are designed to prevent injury and strain on a young player’s foot. A Du Pont engage throughout the insoles helps reduce foot fatigue and stress while enhancing comfort and energy return.

These kids basketball insoles have be tailored to fit today’s top basketball shoes and incorporate heel lifts for a 3:1 heel to forefoot elevation. Extra height provided by these insoles to a child can help keep the shoe in place and provide extra support to the heel during more abrupt mechanical ducks, cuts, jumps and dives. The insoles can also treat or prevent foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Sever’s disease and Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease.

Pros
Pro Patented Du Pont engage technology reduces foot fatigue.
Pro Light and comfortable.
Pro Provides extra height to the foot and heel support.
Pro Extra energy return for more efficient jumps or leaps.
Cons
Con Kids with larger feet may find them too thick to fit in basketball shoes.
Con Hard plastic on outside of foot but more cushioning than support on the sole.
Con Relatively expensive for a kids insole—kids’ feet grow quicker and may need insoles replacing more often.
 

Our Choice

They often say during a single basketball game, a player can jump, cut, spin, slide and sprint nearly six miles. That’s a lot of wear and tear on your feet which can lead to increased knee, leg, ankle and heel pain. The best basketball insoles help to prevent injuries, straining and bruising that can often occur in basketball—some may even improve your game!

In our opinion, the best basketball insole is the Spenco GRF Basketball Maximum Performance Insoles. Manufactured by a true orthotic insole producing company, they’re recommended by many doctors and sports physicians alike. The patented 3-Pod Ground Reaction Force modulation system promotes a more efficient stride and push off. A perforated base allows the foot to breathe and sweat naturally for longer training sessions and more time on the court.

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