View Full Version : Superfeet insole Disclaimer

02-10-2010, 17:41
I wish I could put my hands on it right now, but I was reading the information packet which comes with Superfeet orthotic insoles and noticed that it mentioned that they could damage footwear made with Gore-tex. It was not very specific, but I assume that the stiffness and hardness of the plastic base of the orthotic could cause pressure and friction which would damage the Gore membrane (most, if not all shoes and boots use a Gore "sock" which is not visible because it is hidden beneath the shoe's inner liner).
If you use them, read the information packet.
Btw: I used the orthotics in my Columbia Gore-tex lined boots in Georgia in 2006 and they began leaking shortly thereafter. Now I have a pair of cushy, supportive, slightly heavy, sweaty and LEAKY boots which I only wear to work anymore.

02-10-2010, 18:03
The warning does not apply to green or orange/berry insoles with the flat bottoms. The issue is with blue or black inserts. These have sharp ridges as they are designed to go into shoes which do not have removable insoles. Therefore, they are thinner and have ridges to bite into the factory insoles.

If you were to pull the factory insole from a GTX-lined boot, then place a blue or black set of Superfeet insoles inside, they would very likely perforate the liner. However, this is NOT the case with the green or orange footbeds usually preferred for athletic footwear.

02-10-2010, 19:35
Well done, Bearpaw. This thread concerned me for a moment.

02-10-2010, 19:50
Well done, Bearpaw. This thread concerned me for a moment.

I've been working for REI in footwear since 2001. This was a training item from early on.

If you use the blue insoles in GTX footwear, Superfeet recommends placing duct tape over the ridges. Even then, they say they can't guarantee no puncturing. But it's better than nothing.

Black superfeet are designed for low-volume dress shoes. The only time I've seen them in performance shoes is soccer cleats.

02-10-2010, 20:45
FAQ from the Superfeet website:

Q: Why can't I use Blue with Gore-Tex / How can I wear Blue in my Gore-Tex boots?

A: The support ridges in the bottom of the Blue cap can grind into the Gore-Tex boot lining. It is recommended that Superfeet be trimmed so they move 2mm inside the shoe, and this friction eventually makes the ridges slice through the lining. It doesn't happen every time, but it happens often enough for us to make a note in our literature. There is a shoe accessory called a 5-iron that corrects this problem. A 5-iron is a 1/8 inch thick insole-shaped flat sheet of foam/rubber. It comes in two sizes: small and large. Superfeet size B-D are small and E-G are large. We do not make the material that 5-irons are made of, but we do cut them from a flat sheet of material. The material comes from a company in Salem, MA and is an EVA Foam and SBR Rubber blend. You should place it between the bottom of the insole and the shoe, and it will keep the ridges from making direct contact with the Gore-Tex.
Another option to consider is going with a product from our custom line. They are a bit more expensive, but the underside is made of Gore-Tex friendly Kork, and they are a superior product. To have a pair of custom insoles fabricated for you, you need to go to a store that has a custom fit center. The insoles are heated in an oven to make them malleable and placed against your feet in a neutral, non-weight bearing position. The result is a true custom orthotic with a shape that intimately conforms to your foot.
It is not as common, but any orthotic or Superfeet Premium Insole can have contact with the Gore-Tex lining and create a pressure point on the side or the bottom of the boot which could possibly wear a hole. If you choose to use Superfeet with the Gore-Tex lined boot, inspect your boots often, making sure that there is no sand or grit between the orthotic and the bottom of the boot.

02-11-2010, 10:00
Verbatim Gore-tex Disclaimer (I found the user guide).
Most orthotic devices will conform to the heel shape of all types of footwear, and over time imbed themselves into the lining of the footwear. Superfeet offers no guarantee against this resulting side effect in Gore-tex lined footwear.
(From page 3 Superfeet User's Guide - product purchased in fall of 2009).
As I stated in the original post, it is very vague, and is intended, apparantly, to remove liability from the company in the event (likely or not) that any of their products damages a Gore footwear liner.
My Gore-tex boots leaked after hiking approx. 80 miles using Superfeet (an old green insole). Hopefully you will not have a similar experience.
Happy hiking.