Are All Insoles the Same?

Footbalance side view

At The Running Event in Austin last month, there were a number of insole companies there trying to sell their insoles to retail shops throughout the country.

I met several different brands that I was either familiar with or unfamiliar with. I appreciated them taking the time out of the show and showing me what they had.


Aetrex insoles

I was originally introduced to this brand at Runner’s Edge in Huntington. The brand has a scanner. It scans your feet and then tells you what insoles to buy and also what sneakers would work for you.

Unfortunately, I did not try out Aetrex but tried another brand that I loved. So at The Running Event, I had an opportunity to get insoles from Aetrex.

Aetrex makes a number of different insoles depending on need. I told them I wanted them for running sneakers and they provided me with L700.

side view Aetrex

Aetrex Speed Orthotics are designed for runners that want to enhance their competitive edge. This orthotic features their signature Aetrex Arch Support to help biomechanically align your body & help prevent common foot pain such as Plantar Fasciitis, Arch Pain, and Metatarsalgia. They are best for running shoes, athletic sneakers, and tennis shoes.
Retail price: $64.95

PowerStep Pulse

Powerstep Insoles

What I noticed immediately about the PowerStep Pulse was that it had a nice deep bed for the heel. It also had solid arch support. What id didn’t have was some sort of toe or ball of foot supports on the running insoles. The insoles feature ShockAbsorb™ Premium Foam that provides bounce back with each step and enhanced comfort from heel to toe while absorbing shock at impact to reduce stress on the feet, ankles, joints, and tendons. It’s also moveable from shoe to shoe with no trimming required.

Powerstep side view

Retail price: $49.95


Footbalance insoles

Footbalance is sold in all Roadrunner sports stores. They were at the TRE in hopes of getting into more running stores. I experienced their insoles a few years back when I bought my first pair at Roadrunners Sports in Berkeley, CA. Since then, I have purchased several pairs and have even gone out of my way to New Jersey to buy a pair.

What I like about this company is that they know how to sell insoles that are custom-made for your foot.

At first, they scan you and then pick out the insoles that work for you. Then, they are heated and you stand on them for 10 seconds. Within moments, you have a pair of custom insoles.

Footbalance side view

Mine have a deep heel bed, arch support, and toe support. As a matter of fact, I was asked if I have any pain in the ball of my feet. I have a bit of a numbness issue and Footbalance reps put in a little lift for my toe issue. None of the other brands addressed that.

Retail price: $44.95

Are all insoles the same?

I don’t believe they are. I find that my foot likes some better than others. I tried Upstep, which is a semi-custom insole a while back and used them for a little while during testing. Then, I stopped. Recently I found them again and tried them out and I found them to be uncomfortable and recently threw them out.

Although all of the insoles that I tested from TRE were good, I preferred the Footbalance ones. They addressed my needs immediately.