Picking up our story! After I retired from my position at the NCAA for medical reasons in 2007, I set out to learn more about the insoles that had performed such a transformation for Dr. Sylvester (in recovery, I had a lot of time on my hands). My first discovery was that the primary weighting
material in Sylvester’s insoles was lead. Several years before, the EPA had banned the material in clothing such as footwear. That meant big changes needed to be made before it could be viable. So, that took me back to the starting gate.
I then set out to find other safer compounds that could provide the density, weight and the flexibility Ken had in his original insoles. After speaking with an outstanding chemist at the Akron Rubber Company, we began to experiment with various chemical compounds to meet my requirements for weight, flexibility, and thickness. After identifying the ideal compound, I sought out insole experts in the footwear industry and got very favorable advice from the head of Dynamic Foam Products (DFP). They are a leader in quality insole manufacturing. DFP was one of the Official Outfitter for the U.S. Ski Team, and has manufactured insole products for such clients as Superfeet, Merrell, Jalas, Oakley, Shock Doctor, and Salomon. StrataSoles® are now available in 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz. models, though the 8 oz. is by far the most popular.
With the DFP relationship came innovative safety and comfort features that began to shape the new insole into something that could change the areas of fitness and performance training worldwide. From this, StrataSoles®, and eventually WeightSoles™ was born. By responding to the feedback that athletes training with the insoles provided, I added a pair of non-weighted insoles to ease the transition from the feel and comfort of the fully supported weighted sole to a thinner and less supported sock liner. This led me to develop the StrataSoles® Training System which features a pair of weighted “training” insoles and a pair of non-weighted “leisure” insoles for relaxation and everyday use. StrataSoles® continues to improve its designs and materials to keep up with the demands of the fitness and healthcare marketplaces.
In 2014, StrataSoles® became available in India and is distributed there through Qualia.Life and Rachana Rubber. Summer 2016 will usher in the availability of StrataSoles® in Sweden and Norway, with other parts of Europe to follow during the years to come. The product will be sold under the name WeightSoles™ throughout Europe and will be represented by innovative brand distributor, Active Brands Group, se. We hope this will give the people of Europe the chance to benefit from a walk or a workout using the “Invisible Trainer”, WeightSoles™.