Tread Labs Stride Insoles Review
Great company that has a unique solution for those with low volume shoes or high volume shoes. Two types of insoles offered;
- STRIDE (RED): for running
- STRIDE THIN (BLUE): for cycling
- $75 complete insoles (per pair red or blue)
- $15 replacement top covers (per pair red or blue)
US Sizes Offered:
- Men’s: 8-13.5
- Women’s: 5-10.5
- Insoles come in 4 arch heights; low, med, high and extra high
- Replaceable top covers
How obtained: Samples from company
- RED has double thickness padding compared to BLUE.
- BLUE is specifically designed for low volume cycling shoes.
- Well thought out design – Hard plastic foundation supports the heel, arch, outer foot, and forefoot.
- Velcro attached to the top of this plastic support allows easy changing from BLUE to RED and back.
- EVA foam layer is comfortable without sacrificing performance.
- Heel cup ensures the foot stays planted.
- Large metatarsal bumps are available but optional. Installation and placement are user-defined. IMHO, the met pads should be built into the insole.
User Review( votes)
NEW CYCLING INSOLES OFFER UNIQUE DESIGN
Tread Labs contacted me to ask if I would test and review their cycling insoles. They had read my previous review of cycling-specific insoles and said they have a solution as well. Tread Labs offers two different insoles, both use the same plastic arch support.
TOP COVERS: polyurethane foam + polyester fabric
• The RED version is a 4mm thick top cover best suited for running shoes, hiking, or ski boots.
• The BLUE version is a 2mm thick top cover best suited for low volume cycling shoes.
For this decision, you will need to determine (a) arch height and (b) shoe size. Tread Labs uses the standard “wet the bottom of your feet and stand on some dry cement” approach. Very simple and effective. Match the impression with this diagram to determine your arch height. This is a critical step since every insole company measures their arch heights differently. For example, Icebug’s Medium is between Tread Lab’s High and Extra High.
Once these two measurements are determined, you can choose either the RED top cover model or the BLUE. Or, order an extra pair of top covers for $15.
What I learned about choosing a length, if you are in-between sizes, choose the smaller size. Tread Lab uses a very long arch support and the trick here is to make sure that the front of the arch support ends at the rear of your first metatarsal – see photo. You can always trim the top cover but the plastic arch support is tough to cut.
While checking the arch support length, I also double-checked the arch support height. Look at the picture below for correct arch support height. The arch support perfectly conforms to the arch of my foot.
After trimming the insoles to fit my cycling shoes, I went for a ride. I again had the same problem as every other insole that didn’t have a metatarsal (met) pad…my feet started going numb. I called the company and they said that they can send me some a couple samples of their upcoming metatarsal pads. There will be 2 sizes available, large purple -2.0” (51mm) wide X 2.5” (63.5mm) tall X 0.5” (12.7mm) thick, and small beige – 1.75 (44.45mm) wide X 2.0” (51mm) tall X 0.375” (9.525mm) thick. But first, I needed to measure where to install these pads. The following is a guide for how to install metatarsal pads onto any insole.
At $75, they might seem a little expensive. But think about it, the plastic arch support – the foundation for these insoles will never wear out. Then, for $15 you can purchase new top covers and have a new set of insoles. Then, when these top covers wear out, $15 for another set of top covers.
These insoles are very comfortable, good heel cup support and very well designed and implemented arch support.
I recommend the beige met pads for smaller/narrower feet and the purples for larger/wider feet. Since you need to mount them upside down, you might need to trim a little off the top. Use some sandpaper or a file.
For the runners, I have tried the REDs in my running and work shoes. They really support my feet well and are among the best insoles I have used for running shoes.
They make great cycling insoles as well but most of us need met pads and this is where you will need to play with them a little. Hence, my only complaint, for a true cycling insole, the met pads should be built into the met pads. But, on the positive side, after many long talks with Tread Labs, I can tell you that they are very passionate about keeping your feet healthy.
All-in-all, I highly recommend these insoles.
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I continue to test prototype products for companies and publish only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.