Footwear

Customize Your Footwear With This Versatile Insole Kit

The Tread Labs Pace Insole Kit let us dial in our fit no matter what pair we were wearing.

Swapping out your shoes’ thin stock insoles for something with more support can reduce foot fatigue and help you stride more efficiently, but outfitting all of your footwear with matching insoles gets pricey, especially as they wear out. The Pace Insole Kit from Tread Labs solves that problem: By breaking its insoles into two parts—an arch support and a soft foam top cover—it allows hikers to use one pair in everything from trail running shoes to ski boots. The kit comes with four components: A molded plastic arch support (choose from four different arch heights) and three different open-cell foam top covers (5-millimeter- and 3-millimeter-thick, plus a half-length cover that just covers the arch support for use in tight-fitting shoes). Uppers stick to the arch thanks to two hook-and-loop patches; we didn’t notice any slippage. “The thick top cover was squishy enough that my feet stayed happy under a 20-pound pack load, but thin enough that I kept my balance on the icy trail,” said one tester who stuck the insoles into his hiking boots and shouldered his toddler for a family dayhike in Lincoln, Nebraska’s Wilderness Park. When a record snowstorm dumped 18 inches of powder on the trails a week later, he just swapped the thick top for a thin one, trimmed it to size, and used the Pace Insole in his Nordic boots instead. Bonus: When the top cover wears out, Tread Labs sells replacements for $16 each; we expect to get years of use out of our samples. $85; m’s 4-13.5, w’s 5-12.5; Buy Now