Comfort, Supercharged: A Look at Supercritical Foam

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Science and Technology

How Supercritical Foam Insoles Boost Performance without Adding Weight 

Footwear trends have been shifting rapidly in recent years. An industry that was once clad with chunky sneakers and “dad shoes” is now changing course to keep up with new demands for lightweight footwear. 

As brands race to develop the next lightweight design, insole materials are evolving. Among these materials, supercritical foam has emerged as a front-runner for brands looking to reduce the weight of their shoes. 

In this blog, we’ll explain how supercritical foam is made and how it creates more comfortable insoles.  

What is Supercritical Foam? 

Supercritical foam is a type of foam created when a polymer (typically EVA or polyurethane) is combined with a supercritical fluid. 

The polymer is placed in a high-pressure chamber along with a fluid such as CO2 or Nitrogen. Under specific temperature and pressure conditions, this fluid reaches its supercritical point. In this state, the fluid behaves as both a gas and a liquid. 

As the supercritical fluid enters the polymer, it forms bubbles and pockets within the material. This process gives the foam the light, airy structure it is known for. 

Supercritical Foams for Insoles 

When it comes to insole materials, supercritical foam offers several unique benefits. 

First, supercritical foam insoles carry excellent cushioning and energy return properties. By combining supercritical fluid with already resilient foams, supercritical foams are able to deliver exceptional rebound, making them a favorite for running, walking, and athletic shoes. 

Second, supercritical foam insoles offer improved breathability and moisture management compared to traditional materials. The structure of the foam helps to circulate air freely around the underfoot, helping to regulate temperature and prevent the buildup of sweat. This feature is particularly beneficial for athletes and anyone who spends extended periods on their feet. As a result, supercritical foam is an excellent option for high-performance athletic footwear, where comfort and support are non-negotiable. 

Finally, supercritical foam allows brands to build their shoes with the comfort and support they need without the extra weight. The airy structure reduces the weight and density of the foam without affecting performance. 

INSITE® Pulsion® Supercritical Foam for Insoles 

INSITE Pulsion supercritical foam for insoles is an EVA formula engineered to provide athletic footwear with the cushioning, energy return, and shock absorption that athletes need to stay on top of their game. INSITE Pulsion foam uses a supercritical foaming process to enhance durability, rebound, and comfort. The result is a lightweight athletic insole foam that helps your footwear achieve maximum performance.  

All INSITE® foams are optimized through our ProvenComfort™ academic-grade biomechanics testing, helping our insoles achieve data-driven comfort benefits. 

The Next Generation of Insole Materials 

Supercritical foam technology has transformed the design and functionality of shoe insoles, offering unmatched cushioning, support, and performance benefits. By leveraging this scientific process, footwear brands can create shoes that cater to the diverse needs of consumers across various activities and lifestyles. 

At INSITE, we’re no strangers to innovation. If your brand is ready to take advantage of the next generation of insole materials, we’re here to help.  

Request a sample of INSITE Pulsion supercritical foam and launch your footwear into the future.  


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