There are a number of insole products on the market that can be heated in your oven and molded to the contours of your foot. In theory this makes a lot of sense. An insole that perfectly matches your foot would seem to be the best way to get optimum support. Here’s how they work:
The new shape closely matches the bottom contour of your foot. Perhaps it sounds great in theory, but in practice it’s a completely different story.
There are 2 fundamental problems.
99% of the footwear sold today offers very little support. Thus almost everyone feels more comfortable after adding any bit of arch support, including that offered by heat-moldable insoles. If you are looking for better-than-nothing, most over-the-counter, arch-supporting insoles (see our guide to insoles and orthotics) will feel better than nothing. If you are looking for the best support at a great value - check out Tread Labs Stride insoles.
If firm support is the ticket, why don't more companies offer it? Because firm support has to fit properly for it to work. Firm support that is too high will feel like you’re walking on a golf ball. Firm support that is too low will do nothing for your comfort. The perfect solution is firm support and a perfect fit. That’s a challenge. A perfect fit can only be achieved by offering a wide array of sizes.
Great fit can only come from multiple sizes and arch heights. This is where Tread Labs shines. We offer multiple lengths, 4 arch heights, carefully graded in 3mm increments. In other words, our new Stride insoles provide the same level of support as a custom orthotic in enough sizes to fit nearly everyone. Arch supports are molded in polypropylene, and they are indestructible. Guaranteed for life. When the top covers eventually wears out, they can be replaced. Cheap.
The downsides. There are two.
Will heat-moldable inserts make your shoes more comfortable? In most cases the answer is yes. However, the more important question is: do you want better-than-nothing? Or do you want the best? We think your feet deserve the best. You depend on them completely. Take the time to get it right. Find the support that will deliver long-term comfort. Invest in quality.
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