Need more information about BioPods®? Get answers to your questions about why BioPods are different, how they work, how to choose the right model, and the results you can expect.
BioPods Stimsoles offer a new direction in the treatment of foot-related pathologies that challenges traditional and conventional approaches. They go well beyond insoles and orthotics that are now available in the market by optimizing your innate body intelligence: the natural protective reflexes that keep our bodies safe.
Physically, Stimsoles are distiguished by their unique variable reflex technology (VRT™) Pods. Each Pod is positioned in the center of a flexible insole body to deliver direct non-static stimulus to the arch area of the foot. Stimsoles are designed to be worn like regular insoles within a wide range of footwear:
- full length within shoes that have removable insoles
- 3/4 length within shoes that do not have removable insoles (by cutting along the embedded Trim Line on the underside of each Stimsole body)
The Pods in each pair of BioPods Stimsoles are springy and textured to create multiple and varied stimulation points across their surface. As your body shifts over your feet, the Pods actively stimulate—rather than passively support—your arches. Pods are designed to retain their volume and springiness, while the bodies of the Stimsoles compact slightly around them, to cause a gentle increase in stimulus intensity as you begin using them. It is important to avoid over-tightening your lacing when using BioPods. They work best in flexible footwear that allows room for raising the toes.
Each package of BioPods Stimsoles includes a yellow Lacing Guide to ensure that your laces or straps are not fastened too tightly over the arch areas of your feet. Place the guide under your laces before tying them. Tie the laces over the Lacing Guide and then pull it out for the right degree of pressure over the arches to enjoy optimal foot flexion and comfort when wearing your BioPods Stimsoles.
The Pods in BioPods Stimsoles are made from proprietary thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material that creates an extremely springy and durable point of contact with the arch apex of the foot.
The regular variable stimulus delivered by the Pods is made possible by our proprietary Variable Reflex Technology (VRT™). The honeycomb design of each Pod provides numerous points of contact that continually change as the feet move. This is a comfortable and unique way to restore direct stimulation to the arch areas of the feet within the otherwise dampened and restrictive footwear environment.
Traditional insoles and orthotics are designed to cushion and support your feet—treating the symptoms, not the cause of pain, which often leads to dependence on the artificial support. BioPods Stimsoles work like an exercise program in your shoes, delivering a springy, varied stimulus directly to your arches that revitalizes protective reflex function throughout your feet, legs hips, and back. Over time, as these areas continually adapt, they become more optimally aligned, stronger, and more flexible.
BioPods Stimsoles can be washed in warm, soapy water. An old toothbrush can be used to lightly scrub the top sheets if needed. Rinse well and allow the Stimsoles to air dry. They will be ready to pop back into your footwear in the morning. Never wash or dry BioPods Stimsoles in a machine. A dusting of foot powder will not harm the top sheets.
Choosing the Right BioPods For You
There is a BioPods Stimsole model that’s ideal for any lifestyle. Each Stimsole model provides one of three different stimulus intensity Pods (soft, moderate, more intense) to suit your foot type and activity.
All Purpose Stimsoles: Ideal for everyday use, if you are light on your feet, and if you stand for long periods and/or wear tight-fitting shoes, such as dress shoes and boots without removable insoles. Works very well when trimmed to 3/4 length for maximum toe room in this type of footwear.
Performance Stimsoles: Designed for walkers, hard impact movements (running and cutting movement), loose-fitting shoes, and for fitness and performance wear in athletic shoes. This type of footwear typically featiures removable generic insoles that should be pulled out and replaced with the full length BioPods Stimsoles.
BioPods Stimsoles are available in size “ranges” that encompass half a size per size range. (For example, one size range is US men’s 10-10.5 and the next size up is men’s 11-11.5.) For the best fit, choose your usual shoe size. However, if you are between sizes (10.5 – 11, for example), we recommend that you select the smaller of the two sizes.
Moving the BioPods Stimsoles from shoe to shoe is fine, particularly if the Stimsoles have been trimmed to 3/4 length. We recommend that you leave any full length Stimsoles in the footwear they were originally purchased for.
When trimmed to 3/4 length, BioPods Stimsoles are ideal for shoes that do not have removable generic insoles, such as dress shoes and casual shoes or boots. Simply tuck the 3/4 length Stimsole body back against the heel pocket of your shoe and slip your foot in over it. In most cases, your body’s weight will keep the 3/4 length insoles in place but, if your shoes have an exceptionally slippery surface, we recommend using Velcro® tabs to secure the Stimsoles in place.
Results You Can Expect
The good news is that virtually everyone can regain healthy protective reflex function, often much more quickly than you’d expect.
As with any muscle training, you’ll experience a phase of soft tissue adjustment that may continue for 6-8 weeks as your protective reflexes retrain to work more efficiently and your musculoskeletal system realigns. During this period, it is normal to experience intermittent twinges or tightness in some areas as your body adjusts and, if there is any pre-existing scar tissue or fibrosis, you may experience some soreness in those areas. Biopods does not treat already damaged tissue such as scar tissue or fibrosis that has been caused by trauma or historical or degenerative stresses resulting from poor foot mechanics. If required, damaged tissues can be treated by a medical professional with complementary “mobilization” therapies such as, but not limited to, ultrsound, deep tissue massage, A.R.T. (Active Release Technique), and Graston Technique.
By retraining your protective reflexes, BioPods help your body adapt to healthier function and relieve the painful symptoms of many conditions—from Achilles tendonitis to shin splints. For details about the many conditions that can be improved by BioPods, visit the Where Does It Hurt? (click on top bar) of the BioPods home page.
BioPods Stimsoles are recommended for as long as you wear enclosed footwear. As you stand, walk, or run, the materials and design of enclosed footwear insulates the feet from sensory input that the brain requires for adequate anticipation of each new step. It is widely recognized that long-term cushioning and support are not advised for any part of the body, yet these features are not only designed into contemporary footwear, but also continue to underpin conventional insole and orthotic product design. Until now there was no alternative option. Combining today’s cutting edge design and manufacturing capabilities, BioPods has found a way to re-introduce stimulus to the shod foot that is in line with the principles and fundamental laws of human physiology.
When you first start using the BioPods Stimsoles, two things happen:
- During initial use, the stimulus delivered by the Pods gradually increases as the Stimsole bodies naturally compact around the springy Pods.
- Your body will experience a four to six week period of soft tissue adjustment. This is a time when the muscles of the feet retrain to function in a healthier manner. As muscle function improves, mobility at the joints increases and the bones realign to more efficiently manage increased loads. You may experience “new” aches or pain in muscles and joints that shift from location to location at different times, which is normal. However, if discomfort persists in any one area longer than two weeks, it may be from underlying scar tissue or fibrosis that is related to footwear use or prior injury. In this way, BioPods Stimsoles function as a disgnostic tool to help you and your healthcare professional address the underlying cause of your foot-related problem.
Effective rehabilitative treatments include, but are not limited to, Active Release Technique, ultrasound, or therapeutic massage.
The Science of BioPods
Nearly all conventional footwear interferes with healthy natural foot function to some degree—especially footwear that hampers your ability to raise your toes or that provides extra support and cushioning. Over time, your feet mal-adapt to chronic restrictiveness and lack of sensory stimulus and this maladaptation is the cause of most foot-related problems.
Proprioception is our ability to sense stimuli inside our body that informs awareness of our body’s position in its environment. Our protective reflexes—the unconscious activations of our neuromuscular system triggered by stimuli that is perceived as a threat to our bodies—involve proprioception. They play an important role any time we walk, run or engage in any strenuous activity. When a foot is on the ground, these reflexes use sensory information about the terrain to trigger “protective” muscle activations through the other foot, leg and hip in anticipation of the contact of the other foot with the ground. This is repeated, step after step.
BioPods are designed to encourage healthy protective reflex function and work in harmony with the natural dynamic movement of the feet. With the regular variable stimulus they provide, Stimsoles challenge our body’s natural protective reflex mechanisms and cause them to adapt toward healthier function. Even though the stimulus is under the soles of the feet, it affects and improves proprioceptive and reflex function up through the feet, legs, hips, and back.