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.
Ales Jurca presented Volumental's analysis of one million 3D foot scans from across the world - unique in its geographical scope and scale - in October at the 9th annual 3dbody.tech conference in Lugano. Contact marketing at volumental.com for a copy of the presentation.
To learn more about what surprising insights the foot scans revealed about the differences in human feet between different parts of the world and how this can help footwear brands design better shoes, check out Ales' blog post.
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 research was a fundamental stepping stone to the Volumental Fit Engine, the recommendation engine that matches foot shape to shoe features, based on specific foot measurements, rather than just a rough size estimate, effectively eliminating this discrepancy. This research shows very clearly how shoes deform differently with different pairs of feet. Based on the results of this research, Volumental made a conscious decision to recommend shoes based on which shoes have fit other customers with similarly shaped feet, thus eliminating the need to measure shoes.
Ales Jurca, VP Footwear Research
Having a perfect 3D scan of the foot is only half the battle - the key to the 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 size of shoe, dependent on brand.
How Volumental applies it:
With the Fit Engine, we can match foot shape to shoe features, based on specific measurements, rather than just a rough size estimate, effectively eliminating this discrepancy.
FOOT DIMENSIONS - IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST LENGTH
Most shoe shoppers know their length, but knowing this is insufficient to guarantee a good fit.
Every pair of feet in the world is unique - actually, as right and left feet differ, 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 of an educational conversation between sales associate and shopper about the shopper’s 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 the same.
How Volumental applies it: The Volumental software interface is designed to be intuitively easy to understand. A store clerk or shopper can zoom into and rotate around the 3D representation of the foot, making learning about their feet accessible to all.
In addition, the software compares a customer’s foot shape to the population average, further showing customers 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 looser fits and some prefer tighter fits.
Here are the foot silhouettes of a group of customers that prefer the exact same shoe size in a specific model. Notice the difference between the longest and shortest foot length. As you can see having the same foot size is not at all the same as having the same shoe size.
How Volumental applies it: The Volumental Fit Engine does not return 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 customer’s internal sizing charts, thus adapting the Volumental 3D scanning software to each customer’s brand profile.