Tread Labs Insoles – A Review

Tread Labs Insoles - deep heel cup

Tread Labs Insoles – deep heel cup

A while back I was sent a pair of Tread Labs insoles to try. Their Stride Orthotic Insoles offer the medical grade support of an orthotic with a strong deep heel cup giving biomechanical support, and a cushioned open cell polyurethane foam top for comfort. The combination arch supports and interchangeable cushioned foam tops combine for a high-quality insole that will last for miles and hold up under repeated uses.

The Stride Insoles have a 4mm cushioned top while the Stride Thin has a cushioned foam top that’s 2mm thick. The Stride Short is a half-length style designed for footwear without removable insoles and has a 2mm top.

Tread Labs cushioned foam tops

Tread Labs cushioned foam tops

The tops fit nicely into the molded hard plastic heel support, adhering to the Velcro in the support. It’s easy to remove the tops, either to substitute a different thickness top or replace a worn pair. The low-friction tops keep your feet cooler and reduce the chance of blisters. In addition, the open cell polyurethane foam lasts 5X longer than the more commonly used EVA foam in other insoles. As an added bonus, the polyester top covers feature PURE antimicrobial technology to kill 99.9% of the bacteria found on our feet. The tops can be purchased independently for when the top covers eventually wear out or you want a different thickness.

Tread Labs heel and arch support

Tread Labs heel and arch support

Going to the Tread-Labs website to look at their product line takes me to a page where I select the type of insole I am interested in: cycling, golf, hiking, running, skiing, tennis, and trail running. Each page describes a bit about why orthotics/insoles are important for that activity. Sizes for both men and women are in similar increments of 1.5-size range (i.e., 10-11.5, etc.). There are four arch heights: low, medium, high and extra high, with explanation of each type. They offer individualized help and will even send two pair – keep the one that fits and return the other.

Finding your fit involves five steps: male or female, foot size, arch height, what kinds of shoes they will be used in, and whether the shoes have a removable insole. You are then shown the best insole for your needs.

Tread Labs’ design gives users the ability to custom choose their arch type and size, and the thickness of the cushioned top.

I like these insoles for many reasons:

Tread Labs rigid deep heel cup

Tread Labs rigid deep heel cup

  1. The deep heel cups hold your heels securely. This, combined with the rigid arch support gives excellent stabilization and shock-absorption.
  2. The ability to replace just the cushioned top will save you money over the long run instead of having to purchase a whole new pair of insoles.
  3. The ability to interchange the 2mm and 4mm cushioned tops is a great benefit for athletes. As an example, in the summer, use the 4mm top with lighter weight socks and in the colder winters, change to the thinner 2mm tops to accommodate thicker warmer socks or two pair of socks. You may also want more cushion later in a long race or hike or different cushion for different running surfaces.
  4. The 2mm and 4mm tops are flat until put into the arch support. This means you could use one of these under the full insole to fill more volume in the shoe, important for multi-day races or hikes where you initially need more volume in the shoes – but later need less as your feet swell or you change to different thicknesses of socks.
  5. The four arch heights will ensure you’ll find the right one for your feet. With their customized support, you can call for help and get their advice, and even two pair to make sure you get the best one (sending the other one back).
  6. Using these insoles and holding them in my hands, I can see and feel the high quality in their design and construction.

Tread Labs orthotic insoles are guaranteed in two ways:

  • 30-day fit guarantee – Try the insoles in any of your shoes for 30 days. If they don’t improve your comfort and alignment, send them back for a full refund. Return shipping included.
  • Sure-footed warranty – Everything they sell has a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship. Molded arch supports are unconditionally guaranteed. Forever.

These are very unique insoles and I like them a lot. Wearing Tread Labs insoles in my running shoes showed me how comfortable they are and how much support they gave in comparison to the regular flimsy stock insoles found in many of today’s shoes.

Check them out at


February 19, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Most athletes buy shoes or boots and use the standard insoles that come with the footwear. Some may know these as inserts rather than insoles. Either word is Ok. Unless there is some reason, the insole is often never removed.
     I recently started an interesting experiment. It is unscientific, but it is relatively straightforward. I was sent two pairs of replacement insoles to try. The one pair is made for people who stand for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces. The other pair is made for general use. The insoles were from MEGAComfort.
     My stock of insoles includes SuperFeet, Spenco, Montrail, ShockDoctor, and more. Last November I started playing golf. My wife and I usually play 18 holes each weekend—walking, with a pushcart. Each time I play, I wear different insoles, and sometimes use different insoles in each shoe. So far, I have used three different insoles. I have found the insoles often feel quite different. In the weeks ahead, I will continue this little experiment and report on my findings.
     I will give you a heads up, in case you are still using the insoles that came with your shoes, there can be a huge difference in how insoles feel.

Insoles and Orthotics

October 18, 2006 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Sports, Travel 

Most of us take our shoes out of the closet and put them on, without a second thought.  For a large percentage of us, that works. Other though, need more that their insoles offers. No matter what shoes they wear, their feet hurt. They constantly have problems with blisters, arch pain, forefoot pain, and more. What can they, and you, do?
Xactive_r     Shoes and boots come with a removable insole. These insoles are getting better—many are more supportive than those of a few years ago. An easy way to tell is to remove the insole and see how easily it bends. If it bends like cardboard, toss it out and invest in a good replacement.
     Replacement insoles, like those made by Spenco, Sof Sole, ShockDoctor (shown here), ShockBlocker, and Superfeet, are commonly found at your local running and outdoors store. For most of us, these will work wonders and help our feet work effectively.
     Some people need more then the typical insole offers. They need an orthotic. Foot, knee and shin pain can be eased by orthotics. A good orthotic will distribute weight evenly, off weight certain parts of the foot, or re-align the foot. Here is where a podiatrist or certified pedorthists can help. They will listen to your history, make a mold of your feet, watch you walk and/or run, and make a custom orthotic.
     Next time we will look at different types of orthotics and how to make wise choices when buying them.

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