Superfeet’s Yellow insole is a low volume, cut-to-fit footbed designed for cycling. With a deep heel cup and angled mid-sole support, Superfeet claims its insoles help to stabilise the foot and maximise power transfer.
Aftermarket footbeds are an often-overlooked part of bike kit, frequently assumed to be part of the shoe. The hard plastic arch support does well to combat pronation which can potentially misalign ankles, knees, and hips, causing more serious problems down the road. With the foot properly supported, energy is devoted to spinning the cranks and not stabilising the leg.
The plastic heel cup and arch support do take up a little bit of space in a shoe: the plastic heel cup and arch support do take up a little bit of space in a shoe Colin Levitch / Future Publishing
The insoles come in two-and-a-half shoe size intervals, meaning we had to cut them to the correct size and shape before putting them in our shoes. The process is quite simple, but we did find it stressful with just one shot to get it right.
To achieve the proper fit we used the stock footbeds from our Mavic shoes as a guide – tracing around the edge to get the right size and shape before cutting.
Once in our shoes we immediately felt the difference over the stock footbeds. The insoles felt supportive but quite hard; it took more than a month of daily riding before they began to break in. On a few of our initial long rides it felt as if we were standing on planks of wood.
That long break-in period may have something to do with Superfeet’s reputation for durability. We have seen photos of insoles people are still using in ski boots from 1994 – well worn but still in serviceable condition.
Supports underneath the heel keep the insole from moving around in the shoe, while a deep heel cup keeps your foot planted in the back of the shoe. Despite being a low profile insole, the Yellow footbeds do take up a bit of space, so those with snug fitting shoes may find they take up too much room.
The yellow insole’s plastic arch support and heel cup: the yellow insole’s plastic arch support and heel cup Colin Levitch / Future Publishing
The holes underneath the forefoot are an attempt by Superfeet to preserve the undersole ventilation that’s common in cycling shoes. Airflow is, however, negated if the vents don’t line up.
Our tester has issues with knee cap alignment and so it’s particularly important that everything tracks correctly. When his knees are not tracking correctly he experiences a lot of pain and is forced to take time off the bike. While using the Superfeet insoles he experienced no knee pain, and felt his legs were tracking much straighter than without them.
After the initial break-in period the Superfeet insoles ‘disappear’ under your feet – which is the sign of a good footbed. Superfeet’s Yellow insoles offer a simple and comfortable solution to an often forgotten, but important factor in comfortable pedaling.