Why do NBA Players Remove Insoles? 3 Reasons Why

Many NBA players remove the insoles from their shoes, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. Several professional basketball athletes remove insoles because they’re giving their shoes away. But why do NBA players remove insoles from the footwear if they’re only going to give the shoes away?

NBA players generally remove insoles because of three reasons: customization, hygiene, and shoe size. Some players have custom-made shoes or have large feet sizes that the new owners won’t be able to wear the footwear if they still have insoles. Also, hygiene can play a major factor as insoles tend to harbor bacteria.

Find out more about the reasons why NBA players remove the insoles from their shoes by reading the rest of this article.

NBA players remove insoles because of different reasons. However, some reasons are more common than others. The following are some of the standard reasons why professional basketball athletes remove their shoes’ insoles before giving the footwear away.

1. Customizations


Some players sport custom-made shoes. Certain signature footwear isn’t available for sale to promote branding for the shoe brand and the player.

Here are some players known to sport signature shoes:

Custom-made basketball shoes have immense value in them. Not only that, manufacturers create custom footwear with the form and size of the player in mind. Removing the insoles from the customized shoes can help fit another individual’s fit if the player decides to give these items away.

What if the NBA player would have the custom-made shoes tailor-made for the new owner?

Keep in mind that most, if not all NBA players have strict schedules. Many league athletes would even prefer to spend their free time with their families than do other activities. Therefore, don’t expect a professional basketball player to go out of his way to customize an already-custom-made shoe.

2. Hygiene

Another factor why NBA players remove insoles is because these pads are bacteria magnets. Dirt and sweat accumulate on the insole, which means it’s highly unhygienic to give the shoe with this pad to the new wearer. After all, you wouldn’t want to be the receiver of a bacteria-infested shoe, would you?

Like many people, NBA players don’t like to transfer their dirty products to new owners. If a fan receives an unhygienic item from a basketball league player, that person might not continue being an enthusiast to that athlete after that event.

Furthermore, giving away dirty insoles for others to wear is like transferring diseases willingly. Thus, giving dirty shoes for other folks to wear is never a good idea, especially for an NBA player.

3. Shoe Size

Insoles can provide a snug fit to loose-fitting footwear, which is one of the reasons why many NBA players wear these pads with their shoes. But the new owner might not need the tight fit, which is why the insoles no longer need to be in the shoes.

Do NBA Players Wear Orthotics?

Orthotics are custom-made heel or shoe inserts doctors prescribe to individuals that need them. These special foot pads can help in improving or addressing pain and discomfort in the feet and legs. Patients can wear orthotics to:

Simply put, orthotics are custom-made insoles to enhance and support the function of the feet and legs. Some NBA players wear these special foot pads in their shoes. However, the materials used in developing orthotics can still gather bacteria from dust and sweat. As such, it’s still not a good idea to give away basketball shoes with orthotics still in them.

Is it Wrong to Remove the Insoles of Shoes?

NBA shoe insoles myth

If a basketball player is the owner of the shoe with the insole, then it is not a good idea to remove the pad, especially during matches. However, if the player is going to give the footwear away, it’s vital to remove the insole for the well-being of the new wearer.

With that said, some people have misconceptions about wearing insoles in their shoes. Some of these misunderstandings are:

The Softer the Insole, the Better

Soft insoles can feel comfortable, but they serve little purpose in providing support for the feet. Also, soft footpads only pamper the problem.

Moreover, many people think that insoles should feel comfortable out of the box. However, these products have a break-in period. Allow the insoles to adjust the form and weight of the feet and legs. Over time, the pads will feel appropriate, minimizing discomfort while wearing shoes.

Insoles are Only for People with Foot Pain

Although insoles can help people with foot and leg pain, these products aren’t used for that sole purpose. These pads can also help in supporting the functions of the human body’s lower limbs. After all, the foot bone is connected to the leg bone, and the leg bone is connected to the knee bone, and so on, just like the children’s song explains.

In other words, if the foot doesn’t have adequate support, chances are the function and performance of connected areas will also be reduced.

Insoles are Only for Athletes

Insoles are important for athletes. But it doesn’t mean only athletes, especially those in the NBA, are the only individuals allowed to wear them.

You can even find insoles for people working 9-to-5 desk jobs. Some variants also help with women’s heels and men’s dress shoes. It’s important to wear the correct option to avoid aggravating existing foot and leg problems.

One Pair of Insoles is Enough

No one can stop you or NBA players from using one pair of insoles for every shoe owned. But some insoles work the best when paired with the right footwear. 

Why are Insoles Important in Basketball?

Running, jumping, and making swift movements on the basketball court can put enormous stress on the feet and legs. Therefore, appropriate footwear is important for any basketball player. Adding extra support by wearing insoles can help improve games.

Wearing insoles can also reduce the risks of common foot problems in basketball, such as plantar fasciitis and overpronation, which is an issue when the foot rolls too far inward than intended, causing pain and discomfort.

How to Pick Insoles for Basketball Shoes?

select NBA shoe insoles

As mentioned previously, insoles work the best when paired with the right shoes. You can’t expect an insole for sneakers to function effectively in women’s work shoes.

Here are the factors buyers need to consider when shopping for insoles, especially for basketball shoes.

Further, it’s also important to consider the type and size of the footwear to use. The insole should be snug in the shoe without causing severe discomfort to the user.

Final Words

Insoles can help reduce and prevent foot and leg issues for basketball players. However, NBA players remove insoles from their shoes if they’re going to give these items away. Removing these pads can reduce the risks of contamination from harmful bacteria to the new wearer. Furthermore, the shoes might not fit well if they still have insoles.

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