Popcush vs Comfycush: Which Is Better in 2023?

The Popcush is an upgraded cushioning solution for Vans shoes from the pre-existing “Ultracush” technology, but with more impact protection.

Comfycush, on the other hand, are with liberal use of memory foam, added arch support, and related features that emphasize comfort for walking in Vans.

So, the major difference between these two cushioning innovations in Van’s shoes is that Popcush is integrated into Pro Vans styles as they are slightly thinner towards the forefoot to maximize the board feel.

At the same time, Comfycush is designed with more emphasis on comfort for users who spend most of their day on foot.

Popcush vs Comfycush

These two soles’ construction seems to be quite similar across numerous viewpoints. 

However, for anyone looking to choose between Popcush and Comfycush, there is more to what is seen on the surface. 

Read on to learn more about the differences between Popcush and Comfycush in shoes, their distinctive benefits, and downsides, and other specifications to know which is better and is a good fit for you.

What you should know about Popcush 

Cushioning is vital in every shoe, and Vans sneakers take this to heart. The popular Popcush insole is an update to the previous Ultracush insole, which was eventually released after any indications made by the brand to improve their soles.

Vans shoes with Ultracush are thick enough to provide support, comfort, and impact protection, but what made it require improvement is the insole which was so soft and squishy that it underperformed and made vans shoes look “less qualified.”

The brand describes Popcush cushioning sole construction as a “snaps back and won’t pack. A new Pro Skate impact protection and energy return foam for less fatigue to skate longer.”

So the insole was made not only to replace Ultracush but also to eliminate the foot pain, bad lower back problems, and inconsistent impact protection experienced by skateboarders who use Vans shoes. 

Vans styles with the Popcush insoles are designed for great traction and connection with the board feel and are ideal for pro styles. With Popcush, the insole is significantly more firm, and they can be inserted into shoes that will be worn all day.

Popcush is an innovative blend of Vans’ highest level of impact cushioning with a custom-tuned energy return specifically for snowboarding, skateboarding, or BMX.

The foamed PopCush soles are preshaped. The heel part of the insole is elevated with more material to ensure enough cushioning for the bounce-back effect.

The material of the insole is slightly thinner towards the insole forefoot. This is to improve once grasp on board while wearing Vans with this cushioning construction.

What you should know about ComfyCush

Based on thorough observation, the main idea behind the ComfyCush integrated into some Vans collections is to eliminate the seams that usually rub on the feet, especially experienced in classic, original silhouettes.

ComfyCush cushioning solution emphasizes comfort for Vans shoes that are used for walking around as they bring into these shoes the right foam midsoles, padded insoles with added arch support, and one-piece interiors.

ComfyCush innovation is not seen in all Vans shoe lineup. Only selected models like the Authentics, Eras, Old Skools, and Slip-Ons are designed with this cushioning construction.

Other models like Sk8-His and Zushi SFs have been re-engineered with Comfycush and are an alternative to the offerings of original Vans shoes. 

Speaking on differences, it is good that all the upgrades and comfort improvements did not take away the overall aesthetics of these Vans shoes they are being integrated into. Rather they bring more value.

The typical Vans shoes feature hard rubber soles, but those with ComfyCush midsoles are more cushioned and softer to the touch to allow long hours of use without foot pains. 

Comfycush outsoles are also designed with the same waffle pattern. Still, it’s layered on the visible ComfyCush sole to make the shoe lighter and more flexible instead of a solid vulcanized rubber outsole.

Most of the Vans models that feature Comfycush are also designed with canvas interior ankle collars instead of leather in the originals and one-piece interior construction.

What similarities do both cushioning construction share?

While they may have unique features to suit a particular activity better, Popcush and Comfycush cushioning systems do share some similarities.

  1. To begin with, there is the signature of Vans, so it won’t be a hard decision to choose any one of them, especially if you are a Vans geek (except for those fans who are specific with what they want in a particular type of vans cushioning)


  1. Also, both insoles are inserted into Vans shoes for the same plan; to provide comfort and cushioning. The only thing that sets them apart in this viewpoint is that one delivers more comfort and cushioning than the other due to its construction,


  1. Suppose you observe the marketing campaign trend of Vans shoes with either Popcush or ComfyCush. In that case, you will realize they both cushioning construction as presented as an upgrade to existing ones – to solve complaints lodged by customers about Vans shoes.


  1. While the Popcush is an upgrade from the Ultracush, the ComfyCush is an alternatively better option for comfort features from the classic original Vans styles.


  1. They both have the waffle tread pattern underneath the material to improve traction.


  1. Fore ball area feels identical. Popcush is supposed to appear thinner, but every new formula the manufacturers put in there isn’t felt in the feet. So the similarity in the football area remains.


  1. They are among the ‘best in class regarding [modern] Vans Pro offerings in footbeds.


  1. The superpower of both insoles lies in the inside of the shoe. On the outside, Vans shoes with either Popcush or Comfy footbeds look like any other Era, Old Skool, and Slip-On. For Vans shoes with these footbeds systems, nothing was done to it aesthetic-wise (only a change in color-blocking theme.)


  1. Another similarity in these insoles is that they cannot be washed to give up their shape. Polyurethane: These insoles are similar to compression molded into the foot, which is used by running shoe manufacturers because it provides some protection and cushioning.


  1. They both offer excellent walking experiences.


  1. Lastly, there is a similarity in the uppers of Vans shoes that are integrated with either Popcush or Comfycush. These uppers are made from a ruggedly smooth canvas and reinforced with cotton or leather.

Comparison between Popcush and Comfycush 

The comparison between Popcush and Comfycush footbeds in Vans’ shoes spans seven important qualities. The decision-making on which is better for you is within the confines of these considerations.

Which can be removed?

Popcush insoles in Vans are Removable, while Comfycush ones are not removable, except in pro styles.

When you purchase Vans styles that have the signature Popcush footbed, you can wear other Vans alternatives for skating without letting go of the cushioning since you can remove the insoles and insert them into the other shoes.

Number of layering 

The Popcush insole comprises three layers: a foam layer, an air bladder, and a fabric cover. The air bladder provides the cushioning while the foam layer ensures that it does not compress over time.

Unlike Popcush insoles, ComfyCush insoles are made from only two layers: an air bladder and a fabric cover.

This means that they are less expensive than Popcushes, but they do not provide as much cushioning and durability needed for skateboarding.

Use of memory foam and bounce-back feel

The ComfyCush makes liberal use of memory foam – as used in pillows and lumbar support, only that these in Vans have been repurposed and utilized into making a footwear footbed.

This makes vans with a Comfycush curve to your feet, supports the arc without compromise, and gives enough cushion. And unlike Popcush, this gives enough rebound to not feel bouncy like the Ultraboost and other footbed solutions.

So, as an improved version of the Ultracush, Popcush has a more bounce-back cushion feel than vans shoes with Comfycush.

Impact protection

Popcush has sock liners that deliver superior cushioning and impact protection than Comfycush. 

And some vans models with Popcush, like this Men’s Kyle Pro 2 Shoes, have DURACAP reinforcement rubber underlays in high wear areas for unrivaled durability.

Narrow toe design

Narrowing down to shape, Popcush has a quite narrow toe compared to classics and even Comfycush. This is why some people opt to swap them with alternatives like insoles of DC Impact-S.

Skating suitability

The insole, footbed, and sock liner of Vans skate shoes can have a huge impact on the comfort and success of any skateboarding activity. 

The Popcush insole is concentrated on increased cushioning, support, and impact protection. Compared to Comfycush Vans, Popcush features stronger arch and heel cup materials to ensure your arches do not collapse.

Although Comfycush Vans shoes also keep the feet, ankles, and legs ergonomically aligned, the structure of Popcush is that of great rigidity that ensures the bones and tissues in your feet do not flex and extend out of your body’s normal range and alignment while you go about skateboarding.

Colour options

The ComfyCush is considered more attractive than Vans with Popcush innovation, and this is partly due to the wide range of color options compared to the limited for the latter.

The majority of ComfyCush fans love them because of the wide variety of colors and patterns, especially those with the checker designs.

You will find the color of most vans, with Popcush being black. Still, the ComfyCush comes in original colorways, including Black, Red, and Blue, and other variations like stripe, checkerboard print, and multicolored prints.

Which should you buy and why?

If you’ve been following hook, line, and sinker to this point of the article, you will agree that the answer to this is rather simple – it depends on the purpose of buying your next Vans shoes and what you expect from them Comfort/cushion-wise.

Popcush Vans are the perfect choice for people who want to stand out and be different, especially a skateboarder.

Taking a closer look at the construction of the footbed, you will see that it has more material at the heel that gives it a decent elevation and then thinner in the toe area. 

This is essential for balance and weight distribution to allow the skateboarder to gain maximum control on the board.

Vans with Popcush footbeds echo the maxim that his foot is the connection between a skateboarder and the board.

On the other hand, Comfycush is considered a big contribution to street fashion and sports culture as it brings in enhanced comfort for versatility.

ComfyCush is a great option for those looking for a cushy and comfortable feel in their next Vans shoes. They are also extremely fashionable and depend more on style than performance.

On price points, Vans shoes with Popcush footbeds seem to be slightly more expensive than those with Comfycush.

But the cost variation is not a huge gap. You are probably spending a few more dollars on getting Popcush which is worth every penny. Again, it depends on your expectation from their respective area of strength.

Which shoes have Popcush?

As mentioned earlier, Vans Popcush is seen in its Pro styles. However, most of these pro models have Ultracush footbed with the description of being “upgraded” While this may insinuate that they have Popcush, there are just of few that clearly outline that.

When it comes to the Popcush cushioning system, I can vouch for Vans models like:

Which shoes have Comfycush?

It is erroneously believed that the real Comfycush of vans is limited to their slip-on. A wide variety of styles integrate the Comfycush design as an upgrade to the original classics.

I can only speak of some of the Comfycush vans I have used in the past that delivers just right.

If you are looking for Vans with real Comfycush that will not underperform in terms of comfort, you should consider any of these:

Final thoughts

If you place some of the recommended Popcush Vans shoe sides by the side with those of Comfycush, you will realize that the latter’s shoes have more color options, are more stylish, and are not emphasizing the use for skateboarding.

Meanwhile, there is a marginal but notable difference in their prices as Vans with Comfycush are relatively more affordable than Vans with Popcush.


This page may contain affiliate links.

To support the content and the knowledge I share here, I earn from qualifying purchases from Amazon at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Comment