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Insole Brands Explained

August 30th, 2012

Replacement insoles are an excellent option for runners looking to add cushioning, structure, or both to their shoes. Though significantly improved over the past 5 to 10 years, stock sockliners that come in running shoes today still offer limited cushioning and support. Custom orthotics, though specifically made to meet the user’s need, can be very expensive. So what’s a runner to do? Replacement insoles can meet the needs of many runners without breaking the bank.

We offer a full selection of insoles. There are a lot to choose from, and every insole offers a little something different. Here’s some info to help you spot the notable features of the insole brands we carry.

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Superfeet insoles use a plastic shell that contours the heel and arch for rigid support. This brand’s philosophy focuses on creating an ideal foot position so that the foot can serve as the foundation for optimal body alignment. A thin foam layer rests atop the insole for comfort, though these insoles offer little to no additional cushioning over a stock sockliner.

  • Green: The most popular model we sell, Superfeet Green insoles are best for runners with a medium to high arch structure seeking maximum support. These provide no additional cushioning over a stock insole. They are available in a wide version to fit 3E to 6E widths.
  • Orange/Berry: Best for those with medium-high arches, these insoles feature softer foam as well as an additional thin foam layer under the forefoot to provide slight cushioning. Orange is designed for men, Berry is for women.
  • Blue: Best for runners with medium to low arch structures. The lower profile works well in shoes with a tighter fit. These insoles provide no additional cushioning over a stock insole.
  • Black: A lightweight and low profile design makes Superfeet Black insoles ideal for runners looking to add a bit of support to racing shoes with removable sockliners.



Powerstep replacement insoles provide semi-rigid arch support through a plastic shell that spans from the heel to the arch, with a thin foam layer on top to provide comfort. These insoles offer some heel support, and little to no additional cushioning depending on the model.

  • Pinnacle: The more popular Powerstep model, this insole is ideal for runners who have medium to high arches and want maximum support. The foam lining offers minimal additional cushioning over stock insoles.
  • Original: A good choice for runners with medium to high arches who need no additional cushioning over that of a stock insole.

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Custom insoles by SOLE are heat moldable, offering rigid arch support and some heel structure based on the profile of your foot. Just put them in the oven for a few minutes, throw them in your shoes, lace up, and you’re left with an insole closely shaped to your foot, without the hassle or expense of custom orthotics. Depending on the model, SOLE inserts offer either no cushioning or light cushioning.

  • Thin Sport: With no foam layer atop the support shell, the Thin Sport heat moldable insoles are just about structure with no additional cushioning over a stock insole. The low profile makes this option best for low volume shoes.
  • Softec Response: The middle child of the SOLE family, Softec Response heat moldable insoles provide minimal foam cushioning over a stock insole.
  • Softec Ultra: Softec Ultra heat moldable insoles deliver the most foam cushioning in SOLE’s lineup.

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Spenco insoles provide a range of choices for runners looking for support and padding.

  • RX Full Orthotic Arch Support: These insoles are heat moldable, allowing them to provide rigid arch support for a variety of arch profiles. A foam lining supplies a minimal amount of cushioning over stock insoles.
  • Polysorb Total Support: Featuring a plastic cradle that cups the heel and arch, the Polysorb Total Support insoles provide semi-rigid arch and heel support that best suits runners with medium arches. Pads under the heel and midfoot provide cushioning, though cushioning in the forefoot is minimal.
  • RX Full Arch Cushion: These insoles provide some cushioning over that of a conventional sockliner, and a soft arch pad provides a small amount of arch support. They’re a great choice for runners with a high arch.
  • Polysorb Walker/Runner: This model offers moderate supplemental cushioning over a stock insole, featuring forefoot and heel cushioning pads. They offer no support over that of a conventional sockliner.

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Not to be confused with SOLE, Sof Sole inserts come in four models that come in varied levels of both cushioning and support.

  • Athlete: Gel pads in the heel and forefoot make these insoles ideal for the runner looking to add a moderate amount of cushioning to their shoes. These insoles do not provide heel or arch support.
  • Airr: These insoles feature a gel pad in the forefoot and an air chamber in the heel for maximum additional cushioning. Like the Sof Sole Athlete, these inserts offer no heel or arch support. These insoles are on the thick side, and work best in a higher volume shoe. Also available in a women’s specific design.
  • Airr Orthotic: A gel pad in the forefoot along with an air chamber in the heel offer plenty of cushion, while a flexible plastic shell provides light support around the heel and arch. Best for runners with medium arches.  Due to their thickness, these insoles are best used in a higher volume shoe. Also available in a women’s specific design.
  • ¾ Orthotic Performance: These insoles provide semi-rigid arch support and are best suited for runners with medium to low arch structures. A compact ¾ length fits a variety of shoes. These insoles provide no additional cushioning over a stock sockliner.

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  • Frank

    Note that Sof Sole has changed the design of its “Airr” insole, reducing the its thickness (and therefore its cushioning/shock absorption) by about half! Much less comfortable now.

  • Emma

    Running insoles really do help to prevent injury and aid recovery!