Tread Labs and Superfeet both make great insoles for a variety of purposes and activities. In this article, we explore the differences between them to see if one brand is better for you than the other.
Mark Paigen has 32 years of experience in the footwear industry, as he started Chaco Sandals in 1989. In 2015, he founded Tread Labs, where he applied decades’ worth of knowledge and research to the design of insoles.
Using knowledge he had acquired, he designed a two-part insole that features a replaceable top cover that can be removed from a molded arch support. With sustainability in mind, these insoles allow customers to choose which would be the best insert for their needs. Once the cover has worn out, they need only replace the top cover, and not the entire insole.
Superfeet is a 100% employee-owned company that combines podiatric science with technology to develop their insoles. Superfeet was started in the back of the podiatry office over 40 years ago, after they saw patients who had a variety of shoe-related foot problems.
Using the feedback and research that they got from their clients, they started designing insoles that catered to a variety of footwear like work shoes, casual shoes, and running shoes.
Differences Between Superfeet and Tread Labs
At first glance, the companies appear to be fairly similar. But they do have their subtle differences.
Tread Labs currently has three types of insoles you can choose from, and four arch heights. Depending on the arch support that your foot needs, you can choose from low, medium, high, or extra high.
The two-part system of Tread Labs means that you only have to replace the top cover and not the entire insole. Basically, the foam top of the insert separates from the bottom molded plastic.
Unlike other inserts where you have to throw away the entire thing, with Tread Labs, you can keep the plastic part and just replace the foam half. More environmentally-friendly – and more economical!
Superfeet has a wider range of insoles than Tread Labs. They come in a range of sizes and styles, but all of them provide arch and heel support. The degree of support depends on the one you choose.
They’re designed to promote natural foot movement and disperse impact, reducing strain and pressure on the feet and legs. Superfeet insoles are made to mold to the shape of your feet.
6 Best Tread Labs and Superfeet Inserts
Best-Selling Superfeet Insole
The GREEN insoles are Superfeet’s best sellers, and they’re a high-quality insole that you can get in women’s, men’s, and even kids’ sizes.
They’re high-profile insoles, which means they take up quite a bit of space in your shoe. But it also means they provide a fair amount of cushion underfoot.
The top layer is made up of high-density closed-cell foam, which is comfortable and soft on the feet. Under the heel is a stabilizer cap that offers firm support and keeps the insole anchored in the right place in the shoe. The deep heel cup stabilizes the foot and offers natural shock absorption on every step.
The Orange is another one of Superfeet’s high volume, high profile insoles but it’s slightly more cushioned in the toe area than the green. If you’re a forefoot striker, you may benefit from that, but most people will find that the GREEN offers just the right amount of cushion and support.
It may take a little while to break these insoles in when you first get them. The molded plastic stabilizer cap may feel too firm under the feet while you’re still breaking them in, but they should settle in the more you wear them.
You can cut the foam layer to fit into the toe box of your shoe, but be aware that if you cut it too short it may be uncomfortable.
- Deep heel cup
- Stabilizer cap
- High-density closed-cell foam layer
- Unisex design
- Some people may find the rigid molded stabilizer cap hurts their feet while breaking them in
Best-Selling Tread Labs Insole
2. Ramble Insoles
Tread Labs’ best selling insole is the Ramble. They’re made using a 2-part system, which Tread Labs has become known for.
The great thing about these insoles is how easily you can customize them to your own feet. They come with a molded arch support piece and a top foam layer. When buying, you can choose if you want the molded arch support for low, medium, high, or extra-high arches.
Ramble insoles are 5mm thick and made from one of the softer foams in Tread Labs’ collection. They’re made for comfort, whether you’re in the office, walking the aisles in the store, or taking a jog.
Once you’ve bought the arch support piece that’s right for your feet, it’s guaranteed for life, also called Tread Labs’ Million Mile Guarantee. If it breaks, Tread Labs will replace it, no questions asked. If you look after it properly, all you’ll need to do is replace the top foam cover when it wears out.
It may take a few days for your feet to get used to the insoles as you’re breaking them in. Your feet may hurt a little in the beginning, especially if you choose the wrong arch size, but they should wear in after a few days.
- Made with a 2-part system
- Molded arch support
- PURE antimicrobial treatment
- Million Mile Guarantee
- The insoles may take some time to wear in and may cause some discomfort in the beginning
Top Superfeet for Runners
3. RUN Comfort
The Superfeet RUN Comfort insole is made specifically for runners, and offers a mix of comfort and responsiveness. It’s made of a carbon fiber blend that’s so light you may even forget that it’s in your shoe.
Under the heel is an EVOLyte carbon fiber stabilizer cap to provide a solid and supportive foundation. The top foam layer is a heel-to-toe padded cushion, made of Aerospring Rebound Dual Comfort foam. This adds some extra shock-absorbing properties on top of what your shoes offer.
The deep heel cup keeps your foot in place and doesn’t allow for any unnecessary rearfoot movement. Underneath the heel you’ll find a gel Heel Impact Technology (H.I.T.) pod that disperses impact and softens the force on the heel, which is helpful for heel strikers.
This insole comes in different designs for men and women. The women-specific design sports a narrower heel and an extended arch to suit a women’s foot.
- EVOLyte carbon fiber cap
- Full heel-to-toe cushioning
- Heel Impact Technology Pod
- Men’s and women’s designs
- Some people may find these insoles to be a bit too rigid
Top Tread Labs for Runners
4. Dash Insoles
Tread Labs’ best running insole is the Dash, which they call “maximum strength, minimum volume.” That means you’ll be getting the most supportive insoles available without taking up too much space in your shoe.
These also work on Tread Labs’ unique 2-part system. Once you’ve selected your ideal arch support height, you’ll get the firm carbon fiber Dash support piece, plus a 5mm-thick polyurethane top cover with a polyester cover. They’re treated with a PURE antimicrobial treatment so your feet stay fresh all day.
These insoles are the perfect mix of support and cushion to protect runners’ feet on long and short runs. Some may feel that they’re a little too firm and might prefer something a bit more padded.
- Carbon fiber arch support
- 5mm thick top cover
- PURE antimicrobial treatment
- Promotes proper body alignment
- Some may feel that these insoles are too firm
Best Superfeet for Dress Shoes
5. EVERYDAY Slim Fit
Insoles don’t only have to be for everyday casual shoes or sports footwear. If you spend a lot of time in dress shoes that don’t offer a lot of support, the right pair of insoles can make a big difference to your comfort levels.
These insoles look different to the others because they’re only half-length. Part of the reason behind this is because dress shoes are often lower in depth than other shoes, so these insoles are made to be low volume while offering premium support.
An EVOLyte carbon fiber stabilizer cap forms the base of this insole, and it’s lightweight and provides some responsiveness on every step. The top cover is made of brushed microsuede and also uses Moisturewick antimicrobial technology to prevent odor.
A deep heel cup keeps your foot from moving inside the shoe and anchors the insole in place to prevent it from sliding forward.
You can get these insoles in men’s and women’s designs. The women’s features a slim heel and a longer arch length that’s more specific to a woman’s foot shape.
- Signature Superfeet shape
- Deep heel cup
- EVOLyte carbon fiber stabilizer cup
- AURALUXE brushed microsuede top cover
- Some may feel that the lack of forefoot support increases the heel-to-toe drop too much
Best Tread Labs for Dress Shoes
6. Pace Short Insoles
The Pace Short insole is made to reduce foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis and other conditions. Like the rest of Tread Labs’ insoles, the Pace is a 2-part system, consisting of a moldable arch support piece, which in this case is firmly supportive of the arch.
The top cover is 3mm thick and half-length, designed to provide cushion and stability to the midfoot and rearfoot. The design keeps the feet properly aligned and supported while in shoes that usually don’t offer the best stability.
Both the arch support piece and the top cover are thinner than average to be able to fit comfortably into low-volume shoes like dress shoes.
- 3mm thick top covers
- Made with a 2-part system
- Molded arch support
- 3D molded, open cell polyurethane foam
- Those with wide feet may find that the insoles are too narrow for their shoes