When your feet are in pain, there’s no time to waste researching different insole options. You just want to know which ones will get you moving again. If you're deciding between the Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx and Tread Labs Pace insoles to help your foot pain, this comparison will help you choose.
There are two types of over-the-counter insoles - accommodative and functional:
Accommodative insoles – Made of 100% foam or softer plastics, accommodative insoles provide an added layer of cushioning in your shoes. While the cushioning can provide comfort in the short-term, the lack of firm support limits their benefits to your feet as these insoles won't correct your alignment or help with pain in your knees, hips or back. This type of insoles are inexpensive and available at your local drugstore.
"In order to work properly, functional orthotics generally need to be able to make full contact with the entire sole - from heel to toes - and be made from a more rigid or semi-rigid material, like plastic," says Joel D. Foster, DPM. He continues, "that’s not to say there can’t be some cushioning, too, but the device needs to be firm to provide the necessary correction."
Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx insoles and Tread Labs Pace insoles are both functional insoles, and have a number of similarities:
While these insoles have these things in common, they also have plenty of differences.
With information gathered from both company websites, let's compare these insoles side by side.
|Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx||Tread Labs Pace|
|Company History||In 1991, podiatrist and runner Dr. Les Appel founded Powerstep as an affordable over-the-counter orthotic for people struggling with foot pain. Dr. Appel combined his knowledge of foot anatomy, along with his passion for running, to create the first PowerStep insoles.||Tread Labs was started in 2015 by Mark Paigen, founder of Chaco sandals. Building on the biomechanical concepts that Chaco customers loved, he created Tread Labs 2-part system and four arch heights to fit every foot.|
|Product Description||Pinnacle Maxx Full Length has an angled heel platform and firm shell. Made for casual, athletic, and work shoes, it's designed to prevent and alleviate pain associated with moderate over-pronation, plantar fasciitis, heel or arch pain and discomfort.||Firm support from Pace insoles limits pronation, reduces stress on your plantar fascia and promotes proper body alignment. Made for plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions. Ideal for running shoes, hiking boots and other footwear with full-length removable inserts.|
(whole sizes, unisex sizing)
|Men’s 4-13 Women's 5-14 (whole sizes, unisex sizing)|
The Pinnacle Maxx provides firmer support than Tread Labs Pace and uses a sandwich method which consists of EVA on the bottom of the insole, a plastic arch support in the middle, and foam on top.
|Tread Labs Pace uses open cell polyurethane foam which has good resiliency and is noticeably softer, but is not as easy to slide into your shoes. Forefoot thickness is 5mm.|
|Durability||Materials appear to be durable. Powerstep recommends replacing your Pinnacle Maxx every 6 months, with serious runners needing to replace them as often as every 3 months.||Tread Labs guarantees their molded arch supports forever. The top covers can be replaced inexpensively as needed but typically last 6-12 months with average use.|
|Company Fit Guarantee||30-day Satisfaction Guarantee, customer must pay for return shipping.||90-day Satisfaction Guarantee. Tread Labs pays return shipping.|
|Odor Control||Polyester fabric top cover with anti-microbial protection||Polyester fabric top cover with anti-microbial protection|
|Shipping Cost (When ordered from company site)||
Free Shipping via UPS
(1-5 Business Days)
Free Shipping via USPS
|URL||Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx||Tread Labs Pace|
When it comes down to it, the things that matter most when you're buying an insole are how closely the arch support matches the contours of your feet, how they feel under your feet, how they fit, and how much you'll pay in the short and long-term.
Tread Labs offers 4 arch heights - low, medium, high, and extra high. Based on the measurements of the arch, the Pinnacle Maxx most closely measures a Tread Labs medium arch.
According to Powerstep, “the Pinnacle Maxx full-length shoe insole is our popular Pinnacle style with a firmer shell and angled heel platform for greater foot control and arch support.”
Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx sizing runs from men's 3 to 16+ and is offered in whole sizes. Powerstep does advise that trimming is typically needed to properly fit inside shoes.
Tread Labs offers a slightly smaller range of sizes, running from a men's 4 to 13 and are available in four arch heights. Tread Labs insoles do not typically require trimming to fit your shoes.
Tread Labs foam is noticeably softer than the foam Powerstep uses. The Pinnacle Maxx provides firmer support than Tread Labs Pace and uses a sandwich method which consists of EVA on the bottom of the insole, a plastic arch support in the middle, and foam on top.
One big difference between the two insoles is the height of the heel cup. A higher heel cup adds more support and helps to keep the ankle in place. Tread Labs heel cup measures 14mm while Pinnacle Maxx measures 8mm.
Durability, comfort, and price all contribute to the overall value of an insole. Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx is less expensive in the short-term, especially if don’t have to pay shipping, however the long-term cost adds up.
If you’re an active user who puts 500 miles on your insoles in 6 months, the chart below shows your insole-related expenses over the course of two years if you buy Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx versus Tread Labs Pace.
|Initial Purchase||6 Months||
|18 Months||24 Months|
|Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx||$44.95||$89.90||$134.85||$179.80||$224.75|
|Tread Labs Pace||$65.00||$81.00||$97.00||$113.00||$129.00|
The 2-part system of Tread Labs Pace allows you to replace just the top cover when it wears out, rather than the entire insole. That can add up to big savings over time.
If you are light on your feet or modest in your activities, your replacement frequency will be less and your overall savings will be different, but the long-term cost of your insoles is an important factor to consider.
While we believe Tread Labs are the best insoles you can buy, there's no doubt that Powerstep offers a wide variety of options that work well for many people. They offer a durable product in sizes made to fit just about any foot.
Whether you choose Tread Labs Pace or the Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx, it will be leaps and bounds above any factory shoe insert. Just make sure you give the insole time to work its magic. Tread Labs offers a 90-day fit guarantee, which is 60 days longer than the Powerstep fit guarantee, so you can take your time making sure it works for you.
Questions? Drop us a line at email@example.com. We're here to help.
Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.
by Mark Paigen 6 min read