Years ago, I developed a sport sandal with a pronounced footbed contour and a simple, functional design (Chaco Z/1). Originally built for river guides, it developed a cult-like following. The SUV of sandals, it featured aggressive arch support, bomber construction and top shelf materials. The supportive nature of the footbeds alleviated many foot problems – many customers became advocates. Decades later, the original Z/1 design is still selling well.
Fast forward to 2014. Working to develop footbeds for a new line of shoes, I came up with something even better than Z/1. The one problem with Z/1 was an arch support in just one height. Great if your arches are fairly high. If not, you’re out of luck. The Tread Labs system delivers that same “can’t live without them” feeling, with sizing to fit all kinds of feet. A spring-like insole supports the foot, boosting comfort and stability for all kinds of activities.
Not all feet are made equal, so it’s great to see that they offer dozens of sizes and arch heights. Choose your pair by:
- Size – For men (7-13) and women (5-10)
- Width – 2 widths
- Arch Heights – 4 color coded options
I like this description:
With insoles in dozens of sizes and arch heights, you are guaranteed a perfect fit. It’s not hard to understand. You don’t buy pants in small, medium or large. You’re glasses or contacts don’t come weak, medium or strong.
The insoles are made of three layers:
- Arch Support – The arches are a molded polypropylene – which provides the foundation. As a result, it is likely much firmer than other insoles you may have tried before. They describe it as mimicking the support that a custom-made orthotic gives and they stand behind this stronger support as benefitting appropriate foot alignment.
- Foam layer – This is on top of the arch support and provides the comfort. It is “a hi-rebound, hybrid, closed cell, EVA foam. This means it retains its ability to absorb shock (hi-rebound) and won’t absorb moisture or stink (closed cell).” There is between 1.5 and 3mm of the foam depending on the style you select.
- Fabric – A polyester fabric, perfect for fast drying, is placed on top. It is made with a Engineered with a low friction surface to reduce heat buildup.
Now this isn’t just a standard online store where you go on, select a pair, and then hope and pray they fit. Tread Labs will send you a selection of insoles to try – risk free based on the length and width of your arch. Test those insoles out and if they don’t quite work, send them back and try another. Once you find the one that works for you, pay for the pair you keep. No buyer’s remorse.
The insoles will run $75, which is likely more than most similar insoles. But where they stand out is their top of the line materials and lifetime warranty. The arch support is guaranteed forever, and if you need a replacement of the top fabric (the only part that will wear out), the top decks can be replaced out for only $20. I recommend trying their insoles. Remember – their trial won’t cost you anything. So give it a shot in your road and trail running shoes, hiking boots, work Oxfords, or wherever else you need the support. There is no obligation, so what do you have to lose (besides that pain in your feet)?
Check them out on Facebook. They have a variety of giveaways going on all summer!