The Basics of Heat-Moldable Insoles
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:
- Heat the insoles in the oven - usually to 175 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to burn them. Some have indicators on them to tell you when they are at the right temperature for molding.
- Carefully put them in your shoes. Make sure they have not bunched up in the front of your shoes. Put the shoes on and stand up straight for a few minutes. They will cool and take the shape of your feet.
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.
Do Heat-Moldable Insoles Work?
There are 2 fundamental problems.
- Most people have less-than-optimal biomechanics. That is why they bought arch-support insoles in the first place. When standing, their feet are in an overpronated position. When insoles are molded to these feet, the overpronation is built into the insoles, ensuring a poor level of support.
- Materials that are soft enough to be molded by heat are not firm enough to provide support. If you take a pair of these heat-moldable inserts and push down on the arches, you will see how easily they deflect. Remember, firm support correctly aligns the foot for a comfortable stride. Look at a pair of custom orthotics made by a professional podiatrist or pedorthist. They may be made from a variety of materials, but they will always offer a firm level of support.
So Why Do Heat-Moldable Insoles Get Good Reviews?
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.
Insoles With Firm Support Deliver More Comfort
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.
- Coming in at $75 a pair, Tread Labs insoles cost more than most over-the-counter insoles. You get what you pay for. More sizes and better materials cost more.
- To get the right fit, you may need to try a couple of pairs to find the perfect match for your arches. Luckily, we make that process easy and risk free. Our 30-day fit guarantee ensures a risk-free experience. Try any insoles for 30 days. If the insoles don't improve your comfort and stability, we’ll send you a prepaid label to sent them back and refund your purchase.
How Good Can You Stand It?
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.