FAQs

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.

About BioPods

What exactly is a Stimsole®?

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 varable 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 insole body)

How do BioPods® work?

The Pods in each pair of BioPods Stimsoles feature a special design that makes it possible to create multiple and varied stimulation points across their surface. As your body shifts over the arches of your feet, the springy Pods stimulate—rather than support—your arches. Pods are designed to retain their volume and springiness, while the bodies of the Stimsoles compact slightly around them, causing a gentle increase in stimulus intensity as you begin using them. Over time, this regular variable stimulus helps reflexes in your feet, legs, hips, and back comfortably adapt to healthier function.

What material is used to make a Pod?

The Pods in BioPods Stimsoles are made from our proprietary thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials that are extremely springy and durable.

What does BioPods® Variable Reflex Technology® do?

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.

What makes BioPods® Stimsoles® different from conventional insoles?

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.

Are BioPods® washable?

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. 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

Which BioPods® Stimsole® model is right for me?

There’s 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 the activity or sport for which you’ll use it.

All Purpose Stimsoles are ideal for everyday use, if you are light on your feet, and especially if you stand for long periods and/or wear tight-fitting shoes.

Performance Stimsoles are designed for heavier wear, for loose-fitting shoes, and for activities such as walking or running for fitness and performance.

What size BioPods® should I buy?

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 shoe size. However, if you are between sizes (10.5 – 11, for example), we recommend that you choose the smaller of the two sizes.

For the full range of sizes, visit the Shop BioPods page.

Does my lifestyle make a difference?

Even though the BioPods’ design is based on principles used by sports medicine, BioPods models are ideal for any lifestyle.

All Purpose Model Stimsoles are marginally thinner than the Performance Model, and, therefore, are ideal for dress shoes and boots. All BioPods Stimsoles feature Trim Lines on their undersides to enable you to easily convert them to 3/4 length for any shoes that do not have removable insoles. Simply tuck the 3/4 length version 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.

Performance Model Stimsoles are ideal for heavier compressive force and more active wear in looser fitting shoes. They feature reinforcement pads at the heel and forefoot areas for added durability to withstand demanding activities. They can also be easily trimmed to 3/4 length for footwear that does not feature removable insoles, such as some work boots and sport-specific footwear.

Results You Can Expect

How long does it take for BioPods to work?

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.

What are some of the conditions that can be improved by BioPods?

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? section of the BioPods website.

The Science of BioPods

What causes most foot-related problems?

Nearly all conventional footwear actually interferes with healthy natural foot function to some degree—especially shoes that hamper your ability to raise your toes or shoes that are designed to provide extra support and cushioning. Over time, your feet don’t adjust in a healthy way to these conditions. This maladaptation is the cause of most foot-related problems.

Why does extra support and cushioning cause problems?

Most of us have been led to believe that our feet should be supported and cushioned to prevent problems. In reality, long periods of artificial support and lack of stimulation actually cause maladaptation, reduce strength and flexibility, increase stiffness and pain, and lead to dependence on that extra support and cushioning.

BioPods are not designed to provide artificial support, cushion, and control. Instead, they provide a neutral platform that is thin and flexible to allow your feet to flex adequately within your (ideally loose-laced) shoes. The variable stimulus that you experience under your arches continually engages and optimizes protective reflexes in your feet, legs, hips, and back when you are walking, running, or during any other weight bearing movement.

How do our protective reflexes help prevent stress and strain on our feet, legs, and hips?

Proprioception is our ability to sense stimuli inside our body that help our awareness of our body’s position in our environment. Our protective reflexes—the unconscious activations of our neuromuscular system that are triggered by stimuli that are perceived as threats 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, they challenge our body’s natural protective reflex mechanisms and causes them to adapt toward healthier function. Even though the stimulus is under the soles of your feet, it affects and improves proprioceptive and reflex function up through your feet, legs, hips, and back.