Have you splurged on a pair of shoes based on their gorgeous good looks alone? Perhaps they felt comfortable enough out of the box, but after a few hours of wear you reluctantly realized that you made a bad decision and now returns are out of the question. Arches aching, you place them back in the box and into the closet. I’m going to offer a two word solution: Tread Labs.
Tread Labs are orthotic insoles available in four arch heights from low to extra high. Comprised of a medical-grade molded arch support and replaceable top foam cover, Tread Labs insoles control pronation, improve alignment and reduce discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. My husband and I welcomed the opportunity to try the Stride full-length insole earlier this year–see our Tread Labs review here. Now I’m back to review their newest addition: the Stride Short–a 2/3 length orthotic insole for lower profile shoes such as flats and dress casual footwear without removable insoles.
I have a pair of boots that I love for various reasons, but arch support is not one. They feel great on my bunions, accommodate hammertoes, fit like a glove and happen to be water-resistant–plus they’re incredibly versatile. When Tread Labs sent me a pair of their Stride Short orthotic insoles, I crossed my fingers as I placed them in my Bussola boots. Voila! I have new boots.
Since the Tread Labs Stride Short is shorter and thinner than the regular Stride, it can be placed directly on top of a manufacturer insole. However, I chose to slip it under the removable insole in my boots to secure it well. At first I was concerned that the Stride Short would take up too much volume in my boots affecting the overall fit, but because of its slim profile and 2/3 length, this was not a problem.
I took the dog for a walk in my newly upgraded boots and enjoyed every step. Over the years, my high arches have lowered due to age and changes in my feet from rheumatoid arthritis. They’re not collapsed, but crave good arch support–the kind that Tread Labs orthotic insoles provide. The medium height arch support is a perfect fit for my feet. I plan on using both my Stride regular length and Stride Short orthotic insoles in my winter boots once the snow flies!
I tried the Stride Short in a pair of ballet flats, but my foot sat too high and my heel slipped out while walking. I prefer wearing my Stride Shorts in more enclosed footwear: ankle boots, tall boots, oxfords, fashion sneakers. I’ve experienced the Goldilocks effect with other insoles and orthotics: too hard and rigid; too soft and flimsy–but my Tread Labs are a “just-right” combination of firm yet resilient support.
As you consider a pair of Tread Labs, know that the company offers a 30-day fit guarantee. Wear them for a month, and if you’re not satisfied, send them back for a full refund–Tread Labs covers the return shipping. And if you love your new Tread Labs (as I think you will), the arch supports are guaranteed for life under their Sure-footed warranty: everything Tread Labs sells has a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship. Molded arch supports are unconditionally guaranteed for life. When top covers eventually wear out they can be replaced for $10 ($1 for full-length insoles).
The Tread Labs Stride Short is available in four arch heights, women’s sizes 5-10.5 and men’s sizes 8-13.5.
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