The Cozy Insoles Corner: Powerstep vs Superfeet
Even after semi-retiring from our digital nomad lifestyle, we still travel a lot. I’ve always had somewhat of…sturdy, I guess, feet.
I can also attribute at least some of my foot comfort to my Hawkins Traveller shoes. This brand seems to be virtually unknown in the US, but when we roamed around Japan it seemed to be quite big:
But I digress a bit. Kate’s soles, contrary to mine, are pretty sensitive. She definitely needs some additional cushioning to make things work.
Yes, even with Hawkins or other good brands. You might find yourself in the same situation.
How do they differ? Is one better than the other?
Relax, you’ll get some in-depth answers from us, the well-seasoned travellers 🙂
Superfeet vs Powerstep in a nutshell
(and an important reminder)
Needless to say, those two share lots of common points in terms of durability, comfort and intelligent design.
There’s one fundamental difference between them:
Superfeet generally go for a more rigid support, while Powerstep lean towards being semi-rigid.
But – and that’s a big but! I think you don’t have to consider this as a purely Powerstep or Superfeet issue.
Because both brands have different product lines that address different footwear needs. Superfeet’s Orange line will have more cushioning and a narrower heel than the Green, for example.
What you’re probably interested is:
Which insoles offer pain relief, not only comfort?
What about the thickness?
Heel design: wide or narrow?
Arch support: low, medium, or high?
So as a better idea, let’s briefly look at all Superfeet and Powerstep insoles – and how their design differences might concern you.
Pinnacle vs Original
Powerstep’s main product lines are the Pinnacle and Original.
Pinnacle is definitely a darling among footwear gurus, and more specifically – runners. Serious runners, that is. You can also easily see this when reading the thousand of reviews on Amazon:
This line is great if you want maximum support, and you are also the proud owner of medium or high arches. There’s additional cushioning as this is Powerstep’s take on an insole that should help alleviate foot pain.
Pinnacle also focuses more on heat/friction reduction compared to the Original. As you can guess, this also fits the target audience profile: highly active people hooked on outdoor activities.
Its Superfeet competitor would be the Orange insole as both target high-impact activities.
Powerstep Original is significantly thinner, with less (read: moderate) cushioning. It isn’t as good if you’re a runner and your activity level is higher than usual.
For casual use like roaming around the city or your daily commute, though…The Original is more than enough and makes more sense.
What to make out of their color scheme?
Superfeet insoles can get a bit more confusing, because there are a lot of colors.
Don’t be misled: these colors aren’t just for looks. They hint at different insole types for different situations.
Superfeet Green: Definitely the brand’s top seller. Professional-grade orthotic support, the best cushioning and a wider, deeper heel cup design.
Actually quite similar to the Orange, but the latter are softer towards the front. Hence the Green being great for everyday use, the Orange – for intensive running.
Superfeet Orange: Designed with deeper and narrower heel cup and comes with additional shock-absorbing capacity.
As I said, if you do a lot of high-impact outdoor activities, this is for you. The additional foam for extra cushioning makes it a top choice.
Superfeet Black: Low-arched, lightweight and diverse. The thinnest Superfeet insole I know of.
It’s designed in a special shape so it can accommodate a wide range of shoes and stay cozy at all times. Less cushioning than the Orange, but more than plenty if you’re looking for casual, everyday insoles.
Superfeet Blue: This one is medium-arched and designed to be thinner than Orange or Green. You also get middle support here, aimed at giving you just enough cushioning to go through your day.
If it’s about pain relief, go back to the Orange. If you simply want comfort and are keen on lightweight insoles, the Blue is just right.
Superfeet Berry: Pretty similar to the Orange, just tailored specifically for women. Thick, shock-resistant insole aimed at helping you with pain relief. Lots of cushioning and softness to accommodate your foot.
Perfect to use with medium/high-volume footwear.
But what about the quality? Are they comparable to each other?
Absolutely yes. Both brands manufacture top class insoles that will simply make things easier (and comfier) for you.
Their construction seems basic at a glance: just a plastic shell that wraps your heel and arch in a cozy environment, providing them with just enough support and cushioning.
Depending on the product line, they also feature little (a.k.a almost stock-level) foam layers, or some seriously fluffy extra foaming.
If you’re worried about sweaty feet, relax. Both brands coat their insoles with all natural layer that kills off any bacteria that would cause unpleasant odors. As you can guess, this helps with wicking moisture away too.
They can also help with brand new leather shoes or chukka boots. Given the popularity of the latter, many people forget some chukkas have too bouncy of a sole which can lead to some initial discomfort until your foot gets used to that.
A bit of Superfeet praise:
And a bit of Powerstep Pinnacle vs Pinnacle Maxxx discussion: