#GearReview – Tread Labs (@treadlabs)

It seems no matter what brand sneaker or hiking shoes I buy, while they are comfortable, in time the support I need is not always there. In the past I have had to use store bought insoles to support my arches and heel.

Like many others, I’m one of those who suffer from a sore back, knees and achilles if I spend most of my day standing and walking. After a long days hike I typically wake up with stiff sore muscles and before strapping on my pack and hitting the trail a series of stretched and exercises are needed to relieve the pain and stiffness.

Recently I received and order from Tread Labs, a company specializing in insoles that provide and individual fit. Rather then settle for generic insoles Tread Labs focuses on manufacturing insoles that are matched to the arch contours of your feet.

Tread Labs started in the 1970’s with Shoestring Cobblers. In the 1990’s they opened another business called Chaco, a rugged sport sandal with aggressive arch contours. They sold Chaco in 2009 and Tread Labs was born.

The ordering process on Tread Labs starts with their “Find you Fit” link. It takes you through a series of 5 questions designed to find you the right insole fit.


The day my Tread Labs insoles arrived I had a five mile group hike planned with Element Church’s college group. The trail we were guiding them on, Mountain View Trail, Blue Knob, is there most difficult trail to hike. Rocky and steep at time this trail would be the perfect testing ground for my new Tread Labs insoles.

After a few hours of hiking, standing and climbing I returned to my car ready to head home. Usually after a difficult hike I’m not that eager to get into my car especially if I have a good distance to drive before getting home. Stiffness and soreness are on the menu once I get out of my car and stand up. But after returning from this hike I felt no pain and the only sore muscles I felt were the ones normally to be expected after a rigorous hike and work out.

I had no pain in my heels, knees or lower back.

Finally, there was no need to take vitamin I (Ibuprofen) to relief the pain from improper support. The added feature of Tread Lab insoles, they are fitted not only for my hiking shoes, but also my sneakers. Part of the ordering process is choosing the shoes you wear. I chose sneakers which are also interchangeable into my hiking shoes. Bonus for me; I plan on using my Tread Labs insoles everyday.

If you suffer from sore ankles, heels, knees, lower back and even sore arches I highly recommend giving Tread Labs a try. The generic brands in the store simple don’t hold up to the quality of Tread Labs.

It’s only been a week since I’ve had them and I plan on giving them the full 30 day try, but I’m sure I’ll have no complaints.

Medical Grade Support

Like an office chair or bedroom mattress, comfort comes from support, not soft cushioning foam. Tread labs insoles feature medical-grade support, similar to the support found in custom orthotics. We offer a higher level of support and unmatched durability. The spring-like nature of the molded arch supports has several advantages:

  • Just like your feet, they flex as you walk. The support is gentle but firm, preventing the fatigue that comes from over-pronation.
  • Deep heel cups improve your foot’s natural shock-absorbing ability and stabilize each step.
  • They never wear out. Unlike cheaper alternatives, the molded arch supports will last forever. Guaranteed.
  • Your doctor would approve. Podiatrists recommend firm support to improve alignment, control pronation, and deliver long term comfort.

When you order from Tread Labs your insoles come with a 30 day money back guarantee. They also come with their Sure Footed Warranty.  Tread Labs’ molded arch supports are unconditionally guaranteed. If they crack, break, or lose shape, we will replace them at no charge. Forever. Top covers are made of high quality polyurethane foam. When they eventually wear out, they can be replaced for $15.

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