We pride ourselves on our commitment to research and advancing the footwear industry with the latest artificial intelligence methods and fitting science. Below you'll find a selection of our insights, based on the research of our in-house team led by Ales Jurca.
At the 9th annual 3dbody.tech conference in Lugano, Ales Jurca presented Volumental's analysis of one million 3D foot scans from across the world - a study unique in its geographical scope and scale. Contact marketing at volumental.com for a copy of the presentation.
Check out Ales' blog post to learn more about what surprising insights the foot scans revealed about the differences in human feet across the world, and how this can help footwear brands design better shoes.
Click here to read about the research project Ales was an essential part of, scanning more than 10,000 people to understand the diversity of foot shapes and dimensions.
How Volumental applies it:
This study was a fundamental stepping stone in creating the Volumental Fit Engine, our AI-powered footwear recommendation system. The research shows very clearly how shoes deform differently with different pairs of feet. Based on these results, Volumental made a conscious decision to build a solution that would recommend shoes based on the footwear chosen by those with similarly shaped feet, eliminating the need to measure shoes.
Ales Jurca, VP Footwear Research
Creating an accurate 3D scan of the foot is only half the battle - the key to a perfect fit is matching that scan with the ideal shoe. Volumental found that there can be up to four size differences between the same stated shoe size, depending on the brand.
How Volumental applies it:
With the Fit Engine, we match foot shape to shoe features based on specific measurements, rather than just rough size estimates, effectively eliminating this discrepancy.
FOOT DIMENSIONS - IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST LENGTH
Most shoe shoppers know their foot length, but that is insufficient to guarantee a good fit.
Every pair of feet in the world is unique - in fact, since the right and left differ between one another, every foot in the world is unique.
How Volumental applies it: The Volumental 3D scanning software interface extracts ten default measurements from a shopper’s foot, forming the basis for an educational conversation with the sales associate about their feet and appropriate footwear.
In addition, the Volumental Cloud Platform allows customers to download complete 3D files of an individual’s foot, which can be applied to building bespoke shoes or custom insoles.
FOOT SHAPE - FOOTPRINTS AS UNIQUE AS FINGERPRINTS
Different foot dimensions - length, width, height, girth - combine to give a particular identity to each foot. Add in toe shapes and the bumps and irregularities that come with age or injury, and even if feet are similar, no two foot shapes are exactly alike.
How Volumental applies it: The Volumental software interface is designed to be intuitive. A store clerk or shopper can zoom into and rotate around the 3D representation of the foot, making it easy to learn about their feet.
In addition, the software compares a customer’s foot shape to the population average, further demonstrating how their particular foot is unique.
PERSONAL PREFERENCE - THE SHOPPER KNOWS BEST
Footwear fitting is not only a science, but also an art. Different customers have different preferences - some people prefer a looser fit and some prefer a tighter fit.
Here are the foot silhouettes of a group of customers that prefer the exact same shoe size for a specific model. Notice the difference between the longest and shortest foot length. As you can see, having the same foot size does not necessarily mean having the same shoe size.
How Volumental applies it: The Volumental Fit Engine does not suggest a singular size as the perfect fit, but shows the share of customers with similar feet dimensions who have purchased a given size. This leaves room for personal preference in purchase decisions.
In addition, Volumental calibrates the transformation of the millimeter-accurate 3D foot scans into the ten foot dimension measurements according to each brand’s internal sizing charts, thus adapting the Volumental 3D scanning software to each brand profile.