Was Lebron James “Cheap” in Removing His Insoles Before Donating Them? Probably Not.
Lebron James was recently seen removing his game shoes and donating them to a child after a game. Prior to giving the shoes away, he removed the insoles. Some online have noticed this and began calling him cheap and asking why remove the insoles?
Watching the video, it appears as if these insoles are custom made. They are multi-colored on the bottom. They appear to have an uneven edge at the ¾ length and multicolored on the rest. This is usually indicative of multiple materials combined and ground (filed) to fit. They are probably made of materials not only specifically for his sport but specifically for his feet.
Custom made inserts not only can be costly to some (probably not him) but most importantly, can be vital to his play as they are designed to stabilize his feet, provide support and help align his biomechanics.
Shoe manufactures are trying to mimic orthotics by adding pillars or pods in certain sole areas, adding gels, guideposts, angling the inside arch etc. However, shoes are still flat on most of the inside and they are symmetrical. Feet are usually not symmetrical. So wearing symmetrical shoes requires having an insole or liner that conforms to ones feet to make up this difference. Researchers may argue some of these points, but to Mr. James, he obviously feels he needs them. Otherwise, he would have donated the inserts as well. Replacing these is not always easy, especially when one has them adjusted just right.
John Salley, a former Detroit Piston NBA Champion, once had his shoes stolen during the playoffs. He was seen on the news telling that the scoundrel can keep the shoes but just please return the orthotic insoles. Must have been a Piston fan as guess what, the orthotics reappeared.
Custom orthotics have been clinically proven to help some with their game as well as prevent pain, not only of the feet but also of the entire musculoskeletal structure. Important for Lebron.