Today, we’ll be examining the realms of performance insoles. There are several scenarios as to when you might want to consider getting an aftermarket insole despite already having a quality pair of performance shoes (whether it’s basketball, running, etc.).
For this, I present you my Superfeet insoles review – I’ll be taking a look at the brand’s three main insoles: GREEN, RUN, and CARBON. But first, let’s break down if you actually need them in your shoes, or will you simply be wasting money.
DO YOU NEED PERFORMANCE INSOLES?
I urge you to first check out my article of the best performance insoles listed, where I get into some detail in terms of the use of it and when you actually need it.
But let me quickly break this down for you here as well.
I recommend considering getting insoles if:
- You lack cushioning and impact absorption for your shoes (and possibly can’t get new shoes)
- You lack lateral and orthotic stability for your foot
- You experience a low-medium form of plantar fasciitis
These are really the only main reasons I’d recommend basing your decision of because all rest is mainly either marketing nonsense that insole brands are trying their best to push, or the features that the insoles do are extremely minor and it’s generally not worth investing into something that will barely affect you.
So, if you lack proper impact absorption while playing basketball/running, and you are not up for investing $100+ for a new pair of sneakers, a quality insole can definitely help here.
The same goes for general foot support and stability. Lots of shoes today offer very minimal lateral coverage. Some players prefer this in exchange for mobility and speed but some of you might not have expected that while purchasing the shoes.
So if you’re one of those people, a proper insole can help increase stability for your foot and provide a better, more stable step transition.
Lastly, and most importantly, one of the main reasons people are looking to get insoles is because they suffer some kind of foot condition. This is very commonly plantar fasciitis, or flat feet to put it simply.
However, there’s a reason I’ve mentioned that you should be looking for insoles only if you’re experiencing a mild form of this issue.
Plantar fasciitis is a serious condition and needs to be treated medically and physically to correct, some people never correct it fully.
Insoles do their best to complement this foot shape, increase support, and ease up the pain but they can only do so much to a stronger form of this condition.
So if you’re experiencing severe plantar fasciitis, the first step would be to seek medical attention, not get the most expensive performance insole and hope for the best.
You also MUST invest in a quality pair of shoes that support and properly accommodate a flat foot’s movements properly. If you’re a hooper, check my list of the best basketball shoes for flat feet here.
THE SUPERFEET LINE: ONE OF THE BEST IN THE GAME
The reason I’ll be showing you three insoles off of one brand is that Superfeet does a great job covering different purposes and accommodate certain foot conditions with each of their products.
You’ve come for the Superfeet insoles review, let me give you three! Since I’ve tested them all, I’ll be breaking down the performance, comfort, assessing how well they fight plantar fasciitis, breaking down other features, and examining who they’re really for.
Let’s begin with the Superfeet GREEN!
I. SUPERFEET GREEN
Price: $49.95 | Grab on Amazon
Purpose: general cushion, support, and comfort improvements
Superfeet.com rating: 4.5/5
These would generally be one of my go-to choices for a performance insole when I’m running. Based on the description, these are meant for medium-high arch feet and provide a lower profile cushion.
However, that’s actually not what I experienced. I’ve found the GREEN model to have very present cushioning and impact absorption, which is awesome. The thing that kind of sucks is for high arch + wide feet like mine, there’s not a lot of room to leave for the shoe, so when I put these on inside a thicker/sturdier upper shoe, it doesn’t feel as comfy as it should.
Besides that, the insole is awesome and this is one of those times where the experience pretty much matched what the brand’s description advertises.
The cushioning is surely the #1 feature of this insole – you’ll get a noticeable increase in softness and impact protection, so if you got a shoe that’s very profile and you need just a bit more – these are perfect.
They also have a very deep heel cup that grips around your feet and adds a bit of heel containment, which is also nice if your shoe lacks a quality heel counter/cup. It’s not as present as a shoe’s heel counter of course, but it makes a difference, which is important if you’re lacking some security. Every drop matters when it comes to preserving security.
There’s also the stabilizer cap, which is that green plastic on the rear section of the insole, which adds a bit of structure for your movements and provides some support. This is the area where I felt the least difference comparing when I’m playing/running without the insole.
The all-natural coating on top that takes care of bacteria and maintains proper traction inside, which I agree with as I did feel my foot felt even more grippy inside the shoe.
For plantar fasciitis, I think this isn’t the best choice out of the three. Even though I don’t suffer from this condition, based on the experiences of other users, there are better options.
Overall, this is a very nice package for those who are mainly looking to improve their cushioning, impact protection, and ultimately preserve their knee/joint health.
II. SUPERFEET RUN
Price: $49.95 | Grab on Amazon
Purpose: improve comfort & efficiency for runners
Superfeet.com rating: 4.5/5
This RUN model is specifically designed for runners, to improve their efficiency and increase comfort for long runs.
Despite it being for runners, I’ve tested them both on the road and on a basketball court.
As per the Superfeet.com page, the insole offers the H.I.T. technology in the heel area for increased impact protection and the Aerospring technology mainly in the forefoot for additional cushioning to accommodate smooth movements.
All the fancy names aside, since these are made for running, the cushion setup isn’t as present or bouncy as on the GREEN model above. I’ve found these to be the most balanced out of the three in terms of cushion.
In terms of support, I feel like these offer even stronger heel containment than the GREEN model, while overall foot stability felt pretty much the same as the Superfeet GREEN.
Another surprising thing I’ve noticed is the RUN model does a very nice job of controlling sweat and odor inside the shoe. I’ve found these the least intrusive in that area, and moisture buildup wasn’t an issue at all if you’re wearing shoes that don’t cause too much of it that is.
Last but not least, I can say that based on what the people are saying, these will be the #1 choice for fighting plantar fasciitis. The insole does not provide too much support but the shape itself and the balance cushion setup very naturally helps assist the movements where people have the most trouble with.
It is actually my favorite model out of the three since it offers the most balance and provides slight improvements in just about every area. They don’t intrude too much, don’t take up much space inside the shoe and feel like a regular inside your shoe came with, which is awesome.
III. SUPERFEET CARBON
Price: $54.95 | Grab on Amazon
Purpose: general cushion, support, fit and comfort improvements
Superfeet.com rating: 4.6
According to Superfeet, this insole is their most innovative one ever, providing a wide range of implemented technologies and offering the best performance for the widest range of footwear.
The insole boasts with EVOlyte cushion technology with carbon fiber & polymer blend.
The cushioning setup overall felt pretty nice, though it won’t be near as present as on the GREEN one, it’s similar to the RUN model, though it does all that in a very lightweight manner.
This is a great setup for low profile players or runners who need lots of mobility and movement speed. If your shoes are lacking that responsive feel, these will definitely help you achieve it. Impact protection will probably be the weakest out of the three but if you’re not lacking it from your shoes, it shouldn’t cause any issues.
I can say the CARBON model is surely the most supportive one out of the 3. Heel containment, foot support, and stability were top-notch during play. If you find your shoe lacking foot stability or your heel slips around, these will fix that more or less. This one will also work with plantar fasciitis, though I can still say the RUN model is the best for that.
Something I like a lot about these is the fact they’re extremely low-profile. The CARBON is Superfeet’s thinnest insole and it sure feels that way. The forefoot area is also sculpted to fit as many shoes as possible. My feet felt comfortable and natural both inside runners and basketball shoes, and you can barely feel they’re inside.
DO YOU ROCK PERFORMANCE INSOLES?
That’ll be it for today’s post, thanks a bunch for staying to the end!
Once again, be sure to check my list of the best performance insoles for basketball right here!
I know having flat feet is not the only issue that’s common – I am myself a wide footer, and choosing shoes gets way more difficult than normal. This is why I encourage you to check my list of the best basketball shoes wide footers if you’re experiencing the same.
I’d love to know your opinion on this – do you wear extra insoles in your performance sneakers, or you prefer to keep with vanilla with shoes only?
Perhaps there are some people who are experiencing plantar fasciitis and can share their experience of the insoles that helped them the most?