Best volleyball insoles: the good, bad and ugly

A lot of shoes have replaceable insoles. It can be a great idea to use new ones as soles have to deal with a lot of sweat and wear and tear. Players use other insoles if they feel that their current ones don’t offer enough support or dampening. You have to make sure that you get the right ones as not all insoles are meant to be used in sporting shoes. You shouldn’t expect miracles from insoles though. In some instances, it can also indicate that it is just time to replace your shoes. This is more expensive than buying new insoles but can be worth it if they start breaking down.

Are insoles good or bad?

Most shoes come with insoles that can be replaced. The goal of these insoles is to provide some additional support and dampening. The insoles can move in the shoes and this makes it more comfortable to wear shoes.

Insoles also absorb sweat and moisture. You can take them out after a match or training to let them dry. This is an easy way to clean your shoes and reduce the smell.

Insoles are made out of foams. These foams can last a long time and are specially designed for this purpose. Each brand uses another formulation but in general, there is a big overlap between what different brands use. The main difference between models of shoes is found in the sole instead of in the insole. For this reason, it is not needed to buy the same brand of insoles like the ones that came with your shoes. Granted, some insoles can offer a bouncy feeling and can be more comfortable than others but the difference is quite minimal and will disappear quite fast.

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If you need more help, you can always contact an orthopedist to see what can help you out. These people are specialized in these issues and can offer great solutions. 

Players that have flat feet need more support and thicker insoles can help with this as they make it easier to tie the shoes really well.

Do insoles make shoes tighter?

Insoles take up some space in shoes and can therefore make them tighter. Most shoes already come with replaceable insoles and you might have to take them out as placing two insoles on top of each other is a bad idea (see below). You have to cut insoles to your desired size or can get new ones from the brand that has produced your shoes. Because you are taking out an insole and replacing it with another one, the shoes shouldn’t get tighter over time. You can try to buy thicker insoles if you really want to make your shoes tighter. Don’t expect miracles from this as insoles are flexible and move the whole time.

Some shoes come with insoles that are stitched inside the shoes. In this instance, it can be an idea to add insoles to make the shoes tighter.

It is often better to buy a smaller size if you feel that your shoes are too big for you. Shoes often expand after you have worn them for a while. They might feel too tight and after a few training sessions, they might feel perfect. Picking the right size of shoes can be difficult and sometimes you have to work with a professional.

For running shoes, they use software to see what feet would work best for you based on your running patterns. This can provide input for volleyball players as well. They track several steps and can see the pattern that you follow. Based on this they can select the best shoes for you. This is often better than trying to buy shoes that are too big and trying to fix them by inserting insoles. Everyone has unique needs and some people are specialized in finding the right shoes for you. Use their expertise and you won’t have to deal with shoes that feel too wide or big.

Is wearing two insoles bad?

In most instances wearing two insoles is a bad idea. Some people do this as their shoes are a size too big and the additional sole will reduce the size of the shoes and make them fit better. Another reason to wear two insoles is to have more cushioning when you play volleyball. Both instances indicate that you got the wrong shoes.

It is often better to buy new shoes. Volleyball shoes are quite affordable and it is better to buy new ones than to risk an injury. These two soles are going to move on top of each other and this can lead to cuts in your feet. The sweat will also accumulate, making your shoes moist and smelly. Insoles are also not designed to be stacked on top of each other so they lose their main function. It is better to look into thicker or bigger insoles if you feel that your current ones don’t suffice.

There are rare exceptions such as having very narrow feet that can justify wearing two insoles but always check with a professional.

For the discussed reasons, it might not be a great idea to wear insoles and you shouldn’t do it. Just get better shoes so that you don’t need to have two soles in your shoes. I have never heard a volleyball player mention that they are wearing two insoles at the same time so it is not very common to do this.

Are insoles worth replacing?

Yes, it can be interesting to replace insoles from time to time. They have to absorb a lot of moisture and after a while, they can start to smell. Especially after you have washed your shoes, it can be a good idea to insert new insoles to improve the smell of the shoes. They can also lose their form after a while due to all the wear and tear. In general, you can change the insoles once but after a while, it is better to buy new shoes.

Insoles are quite cheap. It just takes some time to cut it to size and make sure that they fit well. Therefore it can be a good idea to replace insoles from time to time.

Best volleyball insoles (for vertical jump)

Don’t expect miracles for insoles. They can help somewhat. You will have to work on your jumping technique to jump higher. This can take several weeks. Some drills are discussed below:

In volleyball, it is really important that your shoes fit well as you have to jump around, run and leap. If your shoes are just slightly too big, it can be hard to play with them. Therefore it can be interesting to add other insoles. Another reason is that you might want to have more dampening or to replace worn-out insoles. Some shoes have removable insoles whereas others don’t so this is something that you have to take into account when you buy shoes. It is better to wear soles that have been designed for sports as these are better able to deal with sweat. Normal insoles are not designed for heavy-duty usage such as playing volleyball. These sports insoles cost slightly more but due to their higher quality, they are worth it. Some manufacturers make wild claims such as being able to really improve your performance. They can help some but they are not a magic bullet that will suddenly improve your game beyond recognition. 

Sport insoles often use foam to make you feel more comfortable in your shoes. You can trim them to make sure that they fit in your shoes. Overall this product is quite cheap so you might as well give it a try if you think that they can help you. I haven’t played with other insoles than the ones that were included in my shoes that much but some of my team members really enjoy using them. This can replace the worn-out insoles of your shoes but at that point, you might start thinking about replacing the whole shoe instead of just the insole as invisible cracks can start to affect your shoes. It is always best to change shoes at the very least every year, especially if you play a lot of volleyball. 

The following insoles have a lot of good reviews so you might want to take a look. They are specifically designed to offer more support while you are running and have gel in them to reduce the impact of a jump. You have other brands but this one is the gold standard and they have a great reputation.

To conclude, we can state that insoles have a positive effect on your balance and comfort. For this reason, they are almost always included in sporting shoes. You can replace them after a while once they start smelling or lose their structure.

We have discussed what other gear you have to bring for a volleyball camp and training. All of these items can up and make volleyball rather expensive to play.