As the world’s leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, Bauer made a fundamental change in how it sizes and markets its popular skates, founded on an all-new Performance Fit System. The system, created with the analysis of more than one million player foot scans, moves beyond simply choosing a skate by how it fits to emphasize selection by skater style and characteristics.
Prior to the development of this new fit system, skaters would purchase skates based on what they felt fit their feet best. The three available Bauer lines were Vapor (low-volume skate, designed for agility and quickness), Supreme (medium fit, designed for power) and Nexus (high-volume skate, designed for ultimate control).
The challenge was that players had to choose their skates based on the shape of their feet rather than on how they played the sport. For example, an agile and quick player with wide feet could not wear Vapor skates since they were too narrow for the player’s feet, but they were the only skate designed for the player’s skating style. This approach minimized the performance benefits that each model could offer players to support how they skated and their style of play. Bauer decided to flip this equation on its head by letting a skater’s game dictate which skate is best suited for them, based on the specific benefits that each model offers players.
Building New Performance Skate System
The foot scan data behind Bauer’s new fit system was provided by Volumental, the global leader in footwear fit technology, spanning more than one million hockey players. The foot scans were generated by customers at performance footwear retail locations around the globe.
Bauer analyzed this data to transform its entire approach to sizing skates, creating the Bauer Performance Skate Fit System to help skaters match their skating styles and performance goals with the skate that best meets their needs. Volumental helped them with their knowledge and expertise in foot shape analysis and footwear fit.
Volumental’s innovative FitTech platform, powered by an AI-driven Fit Engine™, is used by hundreds of retailers and brands globally. The scanner located in footwear stores takes precise measurements of a shopper’s foot length, width and arch height in less than five seconds. Volumental works with hundreds of leading retailers and brands globally.
Benefits-Driven Skate Collections
Bauer is now focusing on its Vapor and Supreme collections, while dropping its Nexus line. The Vapor line is designed for skaters looking for fast starts, great structural support, quick stops and turns, and unpredictable movements. It is considered the brand’s quick and agile skate option.
Bauer’s Supreme line is tailored for players looking to maximize their stride length, increase their straight-line power and optimize their range of motion. Supreme is considered Bauer’s power and control skate option. Bauer is getting rid of the Nexus line but feels that its Nexus users will welcome the many tech upgrades to the Vapor and Supreme lines.
Creating Distinct Fit Options
After analyzing the foot scan data of more than one million customers that Volumental provided, Bauer designers and product engineers developed three distinct fit choices for each of the two lines, so that every foot shape could be covered. Here are details on each fit option:
Fit 1 Option
Fit 1 is designed for a low-profile fit, as it has a low-volume boot with narrow forefoot width.
Fit 2 Option
Fit 2 is designed for skaters with a mid-profile foot, those with a medium volume foot and forefoot width.
Fit 3 Option
Fit 3 aims for players that require the most foot volume. These skaters have a high-volume foot with a wide forefoot width.