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Benefits of Orthotics for Basketball Players

By Dr. Pooja Gajare
Joel Taylor
Reviewed by Joel Taylor

Published October 29, 2021.

Basketball shoes with orthotics inside

Basketball is an extremely high-impact sport that puts a lot of pressure and stress on the legs and feet.

Although, playing basketball has many benefits, such as improving the endurance, strength, flexibility, agility, and coordination of the player. Promoting the cardiorespiratory system's function and amplifying overall health positively affects body weight along with physical and mental fitness.

However, with the benefits comes the risk, and just like many other high-impact sports, there is always a risk of injuries involved, especially that of the lower body.

Do NBA Players Wear Orthotics?

Many athletes often opt for orthotics since the high impact of professional sport may lead to injuries, and this is especially true for basketball. If you don’t wear proper footwear in basketball, it can commonly cause issues such as compromised stability. In turn, this can create several additional risks, such as:

  • Ankle and foot injuries This can be anything from ankle sprains, ligament tears, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and more.
  • Knee injuries Common knee-related basketball issues include a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), meniscus, or broken patella.
  • Deep thigh injuries and bruises
  • Head and face injuries Less stability can cause players to run the risk of slipping and falling, which could result in painful impact injuries. This can lead to bruising and even concussions. 

Good stability is vital as it will reduce the risk of all the above injuries, thus instilling confidence in the basketball players and improving the quality of their game. Proper basketball shoes don't necessarily make you jump higher on their own, but they might provide the confidence required to try.

How Can Orthotics Help Basketball Players?

Custom basketball insoles have several substantial benefits, such as:

  1. Shock absorption from jumping and hard braking.
  2. Support and comfort.
  3. Reduced pressure and stress applied to the feet and legs.
  4. Reduced risk of injuries to the lower body.
  5. Enhanced performance and confidence
  6. Improvements in generating good foot stability, thus preventing slipping on the glossy floor.
  7. Eased symptoms of foot and leg conditions.
  8. Prevention from any future injuries of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips.
  9. Reduced chances of basketball heel or foot pain after playing basketball.

What Orthotics Should Basketball Players Use?

Custom orthotics for basketball players should be made of materials like a high-quality CNC made up of copolymer EVAs and polypropylene, both of which offer the ultimate comfort without compromising support and protection. On the other hand, softer materials such as neoprene are also used. The best orthotic for you depends mainly on your current situation and what you need the orthotics for (support, stability, comfort, etc.). For instance, basketball insoles for flat feet will not necessarily be the same as those for plantar fasciitis.

However, over-the-counter (OTC) insoles are generally not alright for basketball players as they do not fit the unique foot shape of each player and may not give the required protection, comfort, support, and stability. Therefore, the best option is to buy custom-made orthotics.

It is recommended to buy Upstep's Basketball Orthotics as they are designed to be lightweight and minimize energy return by using your unique foot shape and specific designs for basketball. They are made to work with your foot by combining design expertise and material excellence in order to reduce the extreme impact forces on the feet associated with basketball while still maintaining durability and a moisture-absorbent top layer.

Are Basketball Orthotics Necessary?

The risk of injury without basketball orthotics doubles due to the nature of the game and its high demand placed on the athlete's body. While this might not necessarily be true for all sports, basketball places unusually high impact stress on the lower body.

As such, using orthotics is a necessity in the prevention of future injuries that may put the player off the floor for a long time. If your feet hurt after playing basketball, it's a major red flag and you should consider purchasing a pair of custom orthotics immediately.

It is best to play the game and enjoy it with the utmost comfort, confidence, and protection rather than risking the health and wellbeing of your body.

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