VKTRY Gold Insoles

Hands-on review: VKTRY Gold Insoles

Image credit: VKTRY

High-tech trainer inserts put a spring in your step in situations where even a small boost can give you a competitive edge.

Athletes and sportspeople, both amateur and professional, will do a lot to boost their performance. You can spend many hours training to shave off milliseconds or add millimetres. And while you can’t buy elite performance... $200 is not much if it truly gives you an edge.

These carbon-fibre sports insoles replace the factory-fitted insoles in your trainers. They’re designed to return the energy an athlete generates as explosive power, speed and agility. They also give more support, stability and shock absorption than the stock insoles found in most trainers, reducing sports injuries.

The baseplate is 100 per cent aerospace-grade carbon fibre, with flexibility customised based on age, gender, body weight and sport. The top is also customised (3, 5 or 7mm thick) to suit the sport and shoe type. The insoles promise: “Faster sprint times, more explosive movement, less injuries”. (We muttered “fewer injuries” under our breath.)

VKTRY Gold Insoles Against Fence

Image credit: VKTRY

The Gold aren’t VKTRY’s only insoles. Silver are more affordable and less tailored to the wearer. Platinum, VKTRY’s latest, are a $500 custom orthotic version of the Gold, tailored to your personal foot impressions. These are possible, but less practical, outside the US because you need to receive an impression kit and return it in the mail.

Viral videos show off the VKTRY Gold’s springiness by flipping trainers and you can try this at home. Take a pair of trainers and swap just one insole over, then try the same trick with both: curl an empty trainer up, so the toe touches the top of the trainer’s rear (where your ankle would be). Then watch what it does when you let go and allow it to unfurl. The shoe with the stock insole flops, the shoe with the VKTRY flies.

Of course, a force that can make a lightweight trainer fly will only move a heavier human a tiny bit extra, but it’s still a performance edge.

We enlisted a basketball-playing teen to test the VKTRY Gold in real life, in size UK13 (US14). He’s 6ft3in (190cm), yet still seeks to increase his vertical because that extra can only help hooping. Could a little more spring help him slam dunk?

The Gold is claimed to add 1.6in (4cm) to vertical jumps by absorbing energy as you hit the ground and returning it to you as you jump. Meanwhile, VKTRY claims improved alignment and stability means fewer knee and ankle injuries.

Packaging is minimal and clever. Unboxing, the 'Warning! Highly explosive!' marketing inside the box looked good – and it’s prudent not to write it on the outside. The insole is stiff and flexes in one direction only. You can feel the springiness: it flicks back into shape in your hands. But how much of a difference can that make to moving the weight of a person?

Our teenage tester used it for weeks, mostly for basketball, in Nike Precision 6 trainers. The stock insoles we swapped them for were floppy foam but then the trainers cost just under half as much as the VKTRY insoles and you get what you pay for.

Then we did a repeated test of his vertical jumps. On average, his vertical with stock insoles was 12in and with VKTRY Gold was 14in, so it did indeed add two inches. (We’re told that verticals in basketball are always measured in inches, thanks to the American dominance of the game.)

They wore well and he also felt that he was suffering fewer injuries thanks to the insoles. That’s harder to prove, but very welcome.

Jumping Hurdles With VKTRY Gold Insoles

Image credit: VKTRY

If you’re more gadgeteer than sportsperson – more digital than duathlon – think of VKTRY insoles like buying an external DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) for music from your phone or laptop. By using high-spec chips, instead of a basic component, you can get an instant sonic upgrade. You’re basically strengthening the weakest link. The same goes for the cheap-and-cheerful stock insoles in most trainers. That floppy foam was doing nothing for his jump.

Our basketball-mad teenage tester was delighted at his improved vertical performance: VKTRY Gold put him two inches closer to a slam dunk. The same extra power would help runners and other athletes. These game-changing insoles literally put a spring in your step. If you’re serious about sports, they’re money well spent.

Approx £149 vktrygear.com 


Profeet Sports Specific Custom Insoles

Visit this London shop for custom-made insoles while you wait, tailored to various sports. You get comprehensive biomechanical analysis, not just a foot impression. Who knew you could get special insoles for skiing, golf and more? These guys, apparently.

£219.90 profeet.co.uk 

VKTRY Silver Insoles

A budget alternative to the VKTRY Gold insoles that work well for most casual athletes and sportspeople but are not recommended for cleats. The baseplate is carbon fibre composite, the top cover is 5mm thick.

Approx £80 vktrygear.com 

SuperFeet Carbon

An affordable upgrade that puts carbon fibre under your heel and the middle of your foot, but teams it with ultralight foam for the rest. Because the carbon doesn’t go right to the edges, you can trim it to fit like a regular insole.

£45 superfeet.com 

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