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Tread Labs Orthotic Insoles in 4 Arch Heights [Review]

A few months ago, Mark Paigen of Tread Labs reached out to see if I’d be interested in trying out a pair or two of his new arch-specific orthotic insoles. I receive requests like this weekly, so almost let the opportunity pass. But something caught my eye in his initial email that made me pause and reconsider. Mark is the founder of Chaco: the most supportive sport sandal on the market today (diehard Chaco fans swear by the aggressive arch support, adjustability, overall durability…and of course, the cool Z-strap tan lines). We scheduled a phone call, and I realized I was talking to a comfort footwear rockstar.

Tread Labs is Mark’s newest venture: orthotic insoles with medical grade support that come in four arch heights. Brilliant! Each Tread Labs insole feature a two part system: a molded arch support and a replaceable foam top cover. The molded arch support is guaranteed for life–if they crack or break, Tread Labs will replace them for no charge. If the top covers wear down, you can replace them for $15 (they have super-nifty velcro adhesive that attaches to the arch support). Tread Labs stands by their product: you have 30 days to wear them around and if you’re not completely satisfied, you can send them back for a full refund!  Hop on over to the Tread Labs site to read more about what makes their orthotic insoles so unique.

Tread Labs

Tread Labs Orthotic Insoles in 4 Arch Heights

I’ve been battling a bout of plantar fasciitis in my left heel for about a half year. I visited a well-respected podiatrist in the area and he gave me stretches to do, a prescription of Voltaren and recommended soaking my feet in warm then cold water nightly. I appreciate his conservative treatment, but I decided to add a few steps to the doctor’s orders.

Tread Labs

Tread Labs “Stride” Orthotic Insole

I added a pair of Tread Labs “Stride” high arch orthotic insoles to my three-year old Asics (after removing the generic insole it came with). I’ve tried other insoles in these exact shoes, but nothing fit as well and felt as good as Tread Labs. I like how the deep heel cup cradles and centers my heel while the molded arch support helps my natural medium to high arches support and distribute my weight as I exercise. These are a winning combination of structure and cushioning (the top cover features open cell polyurethane foam lasts five time longer than common EVA foam).

After three weeks of doing the work the podiatrist ordered and wearing my Tread Labs Stride insoles, I started to notice some relief in my left heel. When I wasn’t wearing my Asics with added Tread Labs, I wore an unlikely combo of Physix Gear Sport plantar fasciitis socks in hot pink with my blue Birkenstocks around the house. I truly think this crazy combination of stretches, occasional pain reliever, nightly soaks, correct insoles, socks and Birks is healing my PF. I even put my new Tread Labs into a pair of ballet flats to give them a little more support–see here! 

Mark was kind enough to send my flat-footed husband a pair of Tread Labs to try. He chose the low arch option and replaced the beat-up insole in his favorite pair of Merrell slip-ons. Here’s Chris’s review:

In the winter months, my five-year old Merrell clogs (similar style) become a staple for me in and around the house. The nicely worn brown leather and black fleece lining provides comfort, warmth and convenience. So when the clogs started feeling their age and no longer supported my flat feet and over-pronation, I needed a solution if I was going to still keep them around. When I initially placed the Tread Labs insoles into my shoes, I was skeptical. But they settled in right away, fit like a charm, and now provide the support I need. What do you know? I even bought some brown shoe polish to shine up the old Merrells and give them new life.

Because of my foot condition, the Stride Men’s 10-11.5 Low were the perfect match. Unlike other cheaper alternatives, I can tell these supports are solid and feel right at home in my old clogs.

Thanks, Chris! So readers, if you’re interested in trying a pair of Tread Labs for yourself, take their “Find your Fit” five-question quiz to see which Tread Labs orthotic insole will serve you best. You can follow Tread Labs on their Facebook page and Twitter page.

I’m interested in hearing from you, readers. While we mainly talk footwear here at the Barking Dog, orthotics can breathe new life into our shoes. Which insoles and orthotics do you like? How have they helped you? Leave a comment and help the Barking Dog community!


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14 Responses to Tread Labs Orthotic Insoles in 4 Arch Heights [Review]

  1. Jenny says:

    As someone with extra-high arches, I absolutely love this idea. My one hesitation is that these don’t seem to offer an option with metatarsal support. My doctor recommended that I have metatarsal support. I wonder if they have a reason for not including that as an option, or if perhaps they would add that option eventually?

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      I love that idea. I suppose you could add a metatarsal pad but it’s not the same as having the support built-in. I’ll be sure to mention it to them, if they don’t see your comment already 🙂

  2. cedar says:

    I like the idea. I do have a couple pair of superfeet insoles and wonder if these are very different?
    I’d like to try a pair, and just did the 5 question test, but I have a question: if my street shoe size is 8, and my “sneaker,” is usually 9, which size do I choose? I seem to be right at the cutoff between sizes. My arch is low.
    They’re pricey, but if worth it, could be heaven sent. Thank you!

  3. Fran says:

    My foot is wider than average where the toes are but narrow enough at the heel that many shoes that fit my toes are loose at the heel. An insole with a cushioned heel cup lifts my heel up enough that usually the back of my foot slides out of the shoe. The arch supports I’m using are the Flexo model made by Dr. Scholl’s and discontinued over 10 years ago. When mine finally fell apart, I was able to find a pair on ebay that someone had been given as a gift (from her mother) and were still new. It would be nice to find something that is just an arch support that is not made of gel (I haven’t had any luck with gel shoe accessories sticking to anything very long) and does not have the stretchy band that goes over the foot.

  4. Amy says:

    I purchased a pair of Chaco boots with removable insoles and planned to replace them with my custom orthotics. The arch support in the Chaco insoles was so similar to my orthotics that I have never needed to make the switch. If these are similar I think it’s a great idea. ( I get lots of compliments on the boots, too. They are great!)

  5. RA says:

    I love my Aetrex Lynco orthotics, but sometimes I find the heel section lifts my foot too high so my foot slides out at the heel. By chance can you compare how these Chaco insoles compare with Lynco?

  6. MG says:

    No option for women’s 11-12. I call it “The Bigfoot Conspiracy”. Yes, we can size up to a men’s, but they’re always too wide 🙁 Bring on some love for larger-footed ladies!

    • Evelyn says:

      Well, this old broad has broad feet…so I use men’s inserts from Dr. Sh…. when they allow room for my feet, often they are too tight! I was using the blue ones for heel pain..PF….

  7. Kirsten says:

    I am ready to jump on the Tread Labs train, but just like their shoes, they don’t make the insoles in my size (12AA).

  8. Rhonda says:

    Any superfeet users out there? I am trying out the green and the blue.

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