The entire shoe sizing experience for consumers and retailers has been ripe for reinvention for a long time.
For hundreds of years, the four traditional shoe sizing systems used in the footwear industry have relied on Brannock Device’s length and width to measure feet. But length and width measurements alone are insufficient to deliver accurate shoe sizing. The degree of width, girth, height of instep and material of the shoe all help determine the right fit. Someone with wider than average foot width and a higher instep will need a larger shoe to accommodate the extra width and volume.
A recent industry study reinforces this size fitting dilemma. The study matched 90,000 3D foot scans to purchase data for a specific shoe size among more than 800 different models of women’s running shoes. The study revealed that a surprising 40 percent of these shoe styles did not fit true to the labeled size.
Retail Fit Technology on Rise
Fortunately, recent advances in retail fit technology offer a breakthrough in improving the shoe shopping experience. This has given rise to numerous footwear applications, all intended to solve shoe sizing.
The problem is that many of these apps are simply digitizing outmoded sizing methods without addressing the core challenge of fit sizing. Other apps scan the inside of an empty shoe, whose dimensions and shape are different when someone’s foot is in the shoe. Different shoe styles of identical sizes simply don’t fit the same. When you layer in the multiple variations in foot shape (e.g. length, width, instep, height), you get a sense of how elusive finding the perfect fit can be.
We Don’t Scan Shoes
At Volumental, we take a very different approach. We don’t scan shoes or insoles. We believe the most accurate ‘devices’ to measure the fit of shoes are the feet of shoppers who purchased a specific shoe style and size. By analyzing the foot scans of all the shoppers who bought the same shoe, our system learns how that shoe actually fits. If most of the shoppers of a shoe have wide feet, then the shoe obviously fits to wide feet. No other measurement device or approach can provide such detailed fit data.
As a world leader in footwear fit technology, Volumental offers a unique FitTech™ platform that uses a retail 3D foot scanner to measure all aspects of a shopper’s feet in as little as five seconds. The platform combines 3D computer vision, purchasing data from millions of footwear shoppers and AI capabilities to ensure the best possible fit options, in-store and through our mobile app. Volumental has scanned more than 34 million feet at more than 3,000 stores across multiple footwear categories.
Whether you’re a retailer or a shopper, Volumental gives you the resources, capabilities and information to get the best possible footwear fit and most fulfilling shopper experience.