Insoles don’t just provide comfort when wearing shoes. They also provide pain relief and support for a variety of foot conditions.
If you’re experiencing pain from shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles pain, and knee pain, to mention a few, insoles can help.
Reasons to Use an Insole
Wearing insoles can help align the feet into a natural and healthy position while you run or walk. With the unique ability to absorb impact and foot pressure, they can also help to prevent the development of foot disorders if you don’t have any already.
If the shoes that you’re wearing don’t provide enough cushioning, then you can get home with your legs and feet feeling fatigued.
Insoles provide extra support in stability shoes and additional comfort, which you’ll notice after a long day of being on your feet.
In this article, we’ll review two popular insole brands: Superfeet and Prolatus. We’ll look at how they are similar and different – and hopefully help you decide which is a better insert for you.
Protalus vs Superfeet
A father’s love drove the founding of Protalus in 2014, after he saw his son experiencing pain in his back and legs.
Christopher Buck’s son was given custom plastic orthotics that cost $800. Buck—the CEO of Protalus— knew there had to be a better way to help not just his son, but countless others who were experiencing pain from foot-related conditions.
Christopher reached out to experts across the world, and using the experience that the experts had gained, as well as his own research, he developed a product that solved his son’s mobility needs. That was when the first Protalus insole was created.
With more than 133 internationally patented solutions that are driven by technology, Protalus has created a unique approach with their insoles to improve the comfort and alignment of the feet and body.
For the last 40 years, Superfeet has been driven to provide superior comfort and support with their insoles.
By combining technology with podiatric science, they have been shaping insoles since the company was started out of a local podiatry office.
After seeing countless patients come in with a variety of shoe-related foot problems, Superfeet realized that there was no one-size-fits-all solution. They started designing and shaping insoles that catered to running shoes, work shoes, ski boots, and casual shoes.
Using the research and feedback they received from clients, they started to develop a variety of insoles that would provide people with relief from experiencing foot pain.
Today, Superfeet is 100% employee-owned and dedicated to providing only the highest quality products to suit your foot needs.
Difference Between Protalus vs Superfeet
At first glance, the companies don’t appear to have that many differences. But they do have their subtle differences.
Superfeet has a large range of insoles, and you can find them in a variety of styles and sizes.
Protalus doesn’t have as big a product range, but they incorporate their Tri-planar technology in every insole. This technology is used to treat a number of foot conditions and provide pain relief.
Protalus is also known for its insoles providing arch support and helping to align your entire body.
Superfeet provides both arch and heel support and enhances the natural way your feet move. They help to disperse impact and decrease strain on the body, which is why Superfeet sculpt the insole to conform to the shape of your foot.
This unique Superfeet shape helps to keep feet and legs feeling fresh all day long.
Best-selling Superfeet Insole
These high-volume insoles are Superfeet’s bestsellers, and for good reason. They are both comfortable under the foot and supportive, especially for those who need more arch support.
The high-volume gives them a high-profile. High-volume means they take up a bit of space in your shoe – these aren’t very thin insoles. High-profile means that they have quite a bit of shape underfoot, so your arch will be well supported.
A built-in stabilizer cap under the heel supports the heel and adds stability and durability to the insole. It’s not just a piece of foam – there’s some sturdiness to it as well. On top of the stabilizer cap is the high-density foam layer, which is soft and cushioned but supportive at the same time.
For even more stability, the heel cup is deep and helps with impact absorption, protecting your joints. It is sculpted to lock the heel in place and keep it from moving around in the shoe, keeping your gait correct and your heel cushioned.
These insoles are full-length and are meant to be trimmed at the toe to fit inside your shoe. Some people may find the heel cup to be slightly narrow, but ordering a size up could help as you can just trim more foam away to fit the toe area inside your shoe.
- Deep heel cup
- Stabilizer cap for stability
- Superfeet Shape arch support
- High-density foam layer
- Some may find the heel cup to be a bit narrow
Best-selling Protalus Insole
These unique-looking insoles use some interesting technology to make sure your feet stay comfortable and well-supported whether you’re walking or running.
They are great for preventing overpronation by aligning your ankles to your body’s natural gait. M100s are also known for their arch support.
Unlike most insoles, these are made of five different parts. The top layer, which your foot rests on, is a soft, antibacterial moisture-wicking liner that won’t aggravate your skin. Underneath that is a full-length foam cushion that is nicely padded and absorbs the shock of impact when you run.
Below the heel, you will find a molded shank to provide firm support under the softness of the cushion. Two more small sections of cushion, one under the heel and one under the forefoot, make these some of the most shock-absorbing insoles around.
They utilize a patented Tri-Planar (TPS) technology for safety and effectiveness. It’s designed to prevent your range of motion from becoming unsafe, using force and counterforce to keep your ankle and heel properly aligned to reduce the chance of injury.
They also have anti-slip ridges on the bottom of the insole to help them grip to the bottom of your shoe. You won’t feel like you have something extra inside your shoe. These feel like they are part of your shoe, and made for your feet.
- Tri-Planar Alignment System
- Patented, molded heel cup
- Anti-slip ridges
- Anti-bacterial liner
- Some may find that this insole doesn’t provide enough arch support
Top Superfeet for Runners
3. RUN Comfort
These Superfeet insoles fit the needs of runners, with a medium-to-high arch support that can help prevent overpronation. Men’s and women’s models are available, which are slightly differently-shaped to accommodate the differing shapes of the male and female foot.
The women’s insole has all the same technology as the men’s, but has a slightly narrower heel and a bit of a shorter arch. They’re made to fit a woman’s foot. It’s unusual to find an insole that has differently shaped models for men and women.
Regardless of male/female distinctions, both are constructed the same way. The MoistureWick top layer has odor control to keep your feet fresh.
Underneath, the heel-to-toe Aerospring foam provides lightly firm softness and impressive rebound, improving both your comfort and your performance.
A deep heel cup is supportive and shock-neutralizing, and it has extra help from two pieces of technology. The Evolyte carbon fiber stabilizer cap runs from the midfoot to the heel, and has a HIT (Heel Impact Technology) pod in the heel for extra shock-absorption. It disperses force over a wider surface area, stopping the jarring of joints.
Because these insoles work to correct overpronation, some runners who have a neutral arch may find that their foot feels uncomfortable or even painful with these insoles.
- Heel impact technology pod
- Aerospring rebound dual comfort foam
- Evolyte stabilizer cap
- Medium to high arch support
- Runners with a neutral foot might find that these insoles cause them arch pain
Top Protalus for Runners
The Protalus T-series is thinner than the M-series. They are perfect for shoes with less volume or less space inside. So whichever shoes you wear for running, these won’t feel clunky or add much weight.
The T insoles have the same technology as the M-series, just in a lighter and thinner package that’s more suitable for runners. An EVA foam cushion is springy and easy on the feet. The durable and sturdy nylon outer sole provides rigidity to keep the heel stable.
A moisture-wicking, antimicrobial lining on the top of the foam core is soft and anti-friction, so there should be no chafing. There’s extra cushioning on the heel and forefoot, which is placed below the EVA foam.
T-series insoles also use Tri-Planar technology, which keeps the heel and ankle aligned as you move, helping you to keep your gait and form correct. Some people may find this to be painful in the beginning, as your body is used to a different way of walking.
- Thinner design for lightweight support
- Conforming heel cup
- EVA foam molded body
- Patented Tri-Planar technology
- Some may find these insoles cause pain in the beginning as they align the feet
Best Superfeet for Dress Shoes
5. EVERYDAY Slim Fit
If you run with insoles, you may find that the same insoles don’t work as well in your dress shoes. This could be because when you run, the impact is different on your feet, and therefore on the insoles.
When you’re wearing dress shoes, you most likely won’t be running in them. There will be less impact and pressure on your feet, but you still want them to be comfortable enough for you to spend a day on your feet at work, or a night on your feet dancing.
The first thing you’ll notice about these insoles is that they are three-quarter length. They end just before they reach the forefoot, which means there’s no cutting required to fit them into your shoes.
They have a slimmer than shape than others. With it, they fit comfortably inside dress shoes, business shoes, and just about any other footwear. The men’s version and women’s version differ only slightly, with the women’s having a thinner heel and a slimmer arch length.
These EVERYDAY Slim Fit insoles are in the medium profile category. The arch is firm and should suit runners with a neutral to overpronating foot. This slightly higher arch makes the heel cup feel deep and stable, which gives a sense of stability.
You may find that the partial foot design makes you feel like your heel is elevated more than you’re used to. They also run a bit on the narrow side, so it may be a good idea to buy one size or half a size bigger.
Superfeet insoles are said to keep their shape for 12 months or 500 miles, whichever one you hit first.
- Auralux brushed microsuede
- Slimmer heel and arch
- Deep heel cup
- Signature Superfeet shape
- These insoles run on the narrow side
Best Protalus for Dress Shoes
These insoles are part of the Protalus Extra-Thin Series. They look quite different than the ones above, but they are designed for everyday use, rather than exercising. Like the Superfeet equivalent, they’re not a full-length insole, ending just after the arch.
Protalus designed the ET-75 for narrower shoes that you may not be able to get a full-length, high-volume insole into. Even though it is half the size of the others, it still improves your foot’s alignment and disperse shock across the foot, reducing the impact on joints and the chance of pain or injury.
There’s not as much padding in the heel as running insoles have. But these are meant to be used in business shoes or dress shoes, so you shouldn’t be putting your feet down as hard as when you’re running.
The combination of a soft, antibacterial top cloth, comfortable EVA foam mid-layer, and nylon shank, offers all you need in terms of both comfort and support. Anti-slip ridges help to keep the insole stable while your foot is in the shoe, so you can feel strong and sturdy on your feet, whether you’re pacing up and down the office or twirling on the dance floor.
- Designed to fit narrow shoes
- Signature Protalus footbed
- Patented rigid heel cup
- Moisture-wicking and antibacterial
- Some users may find the three-quarter length to be uncomfortable