Whether you’re looking for insoles to relieve your foot pain, improve your athletic performance, or to bring back energy to your tired feet, it can be hard to know where to start. There are a lot of different types of insole products from many different brands.
One brand you’ve likely seen while shopping online or in the store is Superfeet. They’ve been around for decades and have been dominant in the industry. So, how does Superfeet GREEN, their best-selling insole, compare to Tread Labs bestseller, the Pace insole?
The Basics ---
- Before you start searching for your perfect pair of insoles, you should know there are two types; accommodative insoles that are just an added layer of cushioning and supportive insoles, which provide firm structure that supports your arches and improves your alignment.
- Superfeet and Tread Labs are two brands that make supportive insoles. Superfeet Green insoles are the best selling Superfeet arch support. Tread Labs best-selling supportive insole is the Pace. While they have some similar features, they are some big differences too.
- The key differences between Superfeet Green and Tread Labs Pace are the placement and shape of the arch support on the insole, the cushioning of the foam layer, and the long-term value.
What You Need To Know ---
Before we dig into the details, there are some insole basics you should know. When it comes to custom orthotics vs. over-the-counter insoles, Health Magazine says many podiatrists recommend trying off-the-shelf insoles first.
"An over-the-counter device is sometimes used as a trial prior to using a prescription insole, similar to using readers before getting prescription glasses," says Grace Torres-Hodges, DPM, a podiatrist based in Pensacola, Florida. The fact is, very few people actually need custom orthotics. For the vast majority, over-the-counter insoles address their needs perfectly and are much more economical.
What Types of Insoles Are There?
There are two main types of over-the-counter shoe insoles:
- Accommodative insoles – Made of 100% foam, these provide an added layer of cushioning in your shoes. They can help with a minimum amount of shock absorption but they do not change the way you walk or stand and ultimately have very limited benefit to your feet. Found at your local pharmacy and sometimes at sport stores, accommodative insoles are inexpensive.
- Supportive insoles – With a firm structure (usually plastic) made to support your arches and improve your alignment, supportive insoles cost more than accommodative insoles, but they can drastically improve the way you feel at the end of the day. They have a deep heel cup that helps with shock absorption and stability.
Superfeet Green insoles and Tread Labs Pace insoles both fall into the supportive insole category. And while they have some major differences, they are similar in a few ways. Both have:
- A contoured heel cup that helps concentrate the body’s natural cushioning under the heel.
- Molded plastic arch supports covered with foam.
- Arch support to limit pronation. Over-pronation is the cause of many foot ailments.
Among supportive insoles, there are different styles that are used for different types of footwear. A long insole like Superfeet Green and Tread Labs Pace is meant for shoes that have a full-length removable insert. That insert is replaced by the supportive insole. Casual shoes you probably wear everyday, like sneakers and boots, will typically have a removeable factory insert.
What Are The Differences Between Superfeet Green Insoles and Tread Labs Pace Insoles?
This chart puts Superfeet Green insoles (left) head-to-head with Tread Labs Pace (right). It’s based on information taken from each company’s website and direct observation.
|Superfeet Green Insoles||Tread Labs Pace Insoles|
|Company History||Superfeet was created by Dennis Brown and Chris Smith. They founded Superfeet Worldwide in 1977 as the Sports Medicine division of Northwest Podiatric Laboratory. They began with a simple mission: to design and manufacture affordable professional-grade orthotics with as much medical knowledge as they could pack into them at a fraction of the price of custom-crafted orthotics.||Tread Labs was started in 2015 by Mark Paigen, founder of Chaco sandals. Building on the biomechanical concepts that made Chaco customers raving brand advocates, he developed the 2-part system and Million Mile Guarantee.|
Product Description (from websites)
|Superfeet GREEN offer affordable, professional-grade orthotic support, performance and comfort for anyone who wants their footwear to fit and feel better.||If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, are a severe overpronator or you’re especially heavy on your feet, Pace insoles are your pick. Podiatrist-recommended extra firm support combined with precision fit arch support and a deep heel cup decrease impact, improve stability and balance, and reduce pain with every step. 5mm-thick top covers make Pace insoles ideal for running shoes, work or hiking boots, and other footwear with full-length removable inserts.|
|Arch Support/Shape||Arch support is concentrated towards the back of the arch.||Arch support comes further forward to support the entire arch.|
|Fit/Sizing||8 sizes ranging from kids 13.5 to men’s 12.5+. Unisex sizing. Each size covers 2 full shoe sizes. Insoles are designed to be trimmed to fit your shoes. Superfeet GREEN insoles are available in a separate style for wide feet.||10 sizes cover men’s 4 to men’s 13. Unisex sizing. Each size covers 1 full shoe size. Insoles generally do not need to be trimmed. Each size is available in 4 arch heights to accurately match the contours of your feet.|
|Cushioning||Closed-cell polyethylene foam feels firm and slides into shoes easily. Thickness at the forefoot is 3mm.||Open cell polyurethane foam has good resiliency. Not as easy to slide into your shoes. Thickness at the forefoot is 5mm. The foam is noticeably softer than SuperFeet GREEN.|
|Durability||Materials appear to have good durability. Durable plastic and closed-cell foam. Superfeet claims a lifespan of 12 months or 500 miles – whichever comes first.||Tread Labs offers a unique 2-part system. The molded arch supports are guaranteed. Forever. The interchangeable foam top covers can be replaced inexpensively as necessary. Tread Labs claims top covers last 6-12 months.|
|Company Fit Guarantee||SuperFeet offers a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee. Customer pays return shipping.||Tread Labs offers a 90-day money back satisfaction guarantee. Return shipping is free.|
|Odor Control||Organic, odor controlling coating. All-natural coating eliminates odor-causing bacteria.||PURE™ silver ion treatment will not wash out or degrade.|
|Shipping Costs (when ordered from company website)||FedEx Ground Shipping (5-7 days) = $7.00||USPS First Class Shipping (2-3 Days) = Free|
Should I Buy Superfeet Green Arch Supports or Tread Labs Pace Arch Supports?
Both Tread Labs Pace insoles and Superfeet Green insoles are full-length insoles that offer firm support. They're head and shoulders above the flat, foam inserts at your local drugstore. Remember, cushioning alone doesn’t lead to long-term comfort. Your feet need arch support to keep you moving comfortably and efficiently.
The placement and shape of the arch support on insoles is the key to pronation control, which is most effective when it comes from support at the rear of the arch. On all of Superfeet arch support insoles, the arch support is further back than on Tread Labs insoles.
As Superfeet says on their site, “Some Superfeet insoles may feel different than you expected. This design is intentional — the contours of each insole are positioned to have maximum impact on the way your foot functions as you move. However, your comfort is key — if the insole feels uncomfortable to you, try a different Superfeet style.”
Tread Labs insoles do provide support at the rear of the arch like Superfeet, but they also extend the support forward along the entire length of your arch to support more of the foot. Some people find this more comfortable. Generally, it's a personal preference as to where you like the insole arch to hit your natural arch.
In addition to the difference in the arch shape, Tread Labs insoles are available in 4 arch heights to give a custom-like fit. Superfeet Green most closely match the Tread Labs Pace medium arch, so if you have a high arch or an extra high arch, Green insoles aren't going to have enough support for you.
There are other Superfeet insoles for high arches you'll want to consider, while Tread Labs range of arch heights helps ensure that all arch heights, from very low to very high arches, can get a semi-custom fit.
Fit and Sizing
Superfeet orthotics are available in fewer sizes, but a wider size range overall. This is a definite advantage for very small feet or very large feet. Each insole size covers two whole sizes, which means you’ll likely have to trim your insoles. Superfeet Green does offer a wide version for people with very wide feet.
Tread Labs offers more sizes in small increments between sizes for a more precise fit. This means you likely won’t have to trim your insoles to fit your shoes. Also, you can choose from 4 arch heights in every shoe size.
When comparing Green insoles to Tread Labs Pace insoles, you can feel a big difference in the cushion of the foam layer. Tread Labs Pace foam is softer and more resilient than the closed-cell foam Superfeet Green uses.
Both insoles maximize the natural cushioning of the fatty pad beneath your heel but cupping it.
The fabric used on top of both Superfeet Green insoles and Tread Labs Pace insoles appears to be the same with the Superfeet orthotics in green and Pace insoles in blue. The foam used in Superfeet Green looks quite firm and durable. Superfeet says it has a 12 month or 500 mile lifetime. Once the fabric or foam wears out, you’ll need to replace the insole.
While Tread Labs top covers should last from 6 to 12 months, their insoles are novel in that the top cover is easily replaceable when it wears out. The arch support base has a lifetime guarantee so that if they ever crack or lose shape, you can just reach out to Tread Labs customer service to get a replacement.
Durability, comfort, and price all contribute to the overall value of an insole. Superfeet Green insoles are less expensive to purchase, especially if you don’t have to pay shipping on your order. However, replaceable top covers from Tread Labs offer a great long-term value.
Say 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 time.
|6 months||12 months||18 months||24 months|
|Tread Labs Pace||$75.00||$92.50||$110.00||$127.50||$145.00|
When you wear out the fabric or foam of your Superfeet Green insoles, you will need to put a whole new pair of insoles on your shopping list. With Tread Labs, you can just replace the top cover.
Certainly, 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.
The Bottom Line
While we believe Tread Labs are the best insoles available, we do owe a huge debt of gratitude to Superfeet orthotics Green and every other color. They created a groundbreaking design more than 40 years ago and, in turn, have educated so many people about the benefits of insoles and arch support. We are proud to be in the same industry.
Whether you go with Superfeet Green insoles, Tread Labs Pace insoles, or another high-quality insole, you can change the way your feet communicate with the ground and improve your mobility dramatically.
Questions? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help.