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.
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.
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:
- The deep heel cups hold your heels securely. This, combined with the rigid arch support gives excellent stabilization and shock-absorption.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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 TreadLabs.com.