Tread Labs

How to Determine Your Arch Height

All feet are not created equal.

The sizes and shapes of our feet are uniquely our own. For this reason, Tread labs offers medical grade, semi-custom insoles. Medical grade components provide firm support while our semi-custom fit offers 4 different arch heights to precisely match your individual needs.

Tread Labs is the only company to offer this level of support and fit. We offer much of the functionality of custom orthotics without the cost or risk associated with them. While there are a small percentage of people who truly benefit from custom devices, semi-custom is often a better value.

To make the most of the Tread Labs system, select insoles with the arch height that best matches your feet. There are 2 factors that influence your choice.

  1. Weighted arch height - Using the wet test (below), the shape of your footprint will give a good indication of your weighted arch height.
  2. Foot Flexibility - This is important for people with Low Arches. If your wet test shows low arches and your feet are rigid, our low arch height will be most comfortable. If your wet test shows low arches and you have highly flexible feet, you will probably find a medium (or in rare instances) a high arch height best. 

The Wet Test

An easy way to see the height of your arch in a weight bearing situation is to do a "Wet Test".

  1. Place a piece of corrugated cardboard on the floor next to your shower mat.
  2. From the shower step your left foot onto the mat, then take a step onto the cardboard with your right foot.
  3. Repeat, stepping out with the right foot first.
  4. Observe the shape of the footprint and use it in the table below. Always default to the foot with the lower arch.

Arch heights - A simple guide

Footprint Description
Low Arches Low Arch Foot Low arches are more challenging to fit. Using the test below, determine the flexibility of your feet. More flexibility = higher arched insoles.
Medium Arches Medium Arch height foot The most common arch height, about 40% of our customers are most happy with medium height insoles.
High Arches High Arch Height foot A close 2nd to medium in sales, high arch heights indicate a healthy arch. 
Extra High Arches Extra High arch height foot Few have arches this high. Many people with extra-high arches have less flexible feet and benefit from arch support that spreads weight over a larger area.

With a little effort, you can achieve a level of comfort and support that rivals custom orthotics. 

Flat feet? Discover your foot flexibility.

If your wet test shows low arches, determine the flexibility of your feet with the tests below:

  1. Sit with one leg over the opposite knee. Look at the area of your foot where your arch should be. If you are surprised to see that your foot looks more arched than your wet test, you have flexible feet. This means that your low arch condition is brought on by weight bearing. A medium arch insole from Tread Labs should be your first choice. If your non-weight bearing arch is quite high may want to order a medium and a high and try both.
  2. Stand on tip toes. Have a friend look at the area of your foot where your arch should be. Like the example above, if your arches show themselves, your feet are flexible.
  3. If your arches do not present in the sitting or standing test, you have rigid, low arches and will be best served with Tread Labs low arch insoles.

How should my new insoles feel?

If you have worn insoles before, you have some idea of what to expect. You may find that Tread Labs offers a higher level of support.

If you have never worn supportive insoles, break them in slowly over a few days. This is how your new insoles should feel:

  • Comfortable - Your foot should feel consistent contact through all parts of your arch. There should be no uncomfortable pressure points or hot spots.
  • Supportive - Initially, a supportive orthotic may feel aggressive. After a few days, it should feel like it has always been there, supporting your every step.
  • Functional - Unlike soft, foam insoles, Tread Labs insoles support the bones of your feet, aligning your ankles, knees and hips for a more efficient stride and improved biomechanics.

Tread Labs Fit Guarantee

Know that any purchase you make with us is risk free. Try Our insoles for a month. Feel the difference they make in comfort, alignment and endurance. Discover what exceptional support does for the health of your feet and the quality of your life. If you are not completely satisfied, send them back for a full refund. We'll pay the shipping.

While most customers initially purchase 1 pair of insoles, some purchase 2 pairs and keep the pair that is most comfortable. If you are on the fence about size or arch height, this is a great option and guarantees an optimum fit. Remember - return shipping is free.

If you have questions, please email us or call (781) 425-0662. We're here to help.

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