Understanding Footwear Fit
Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Currently, the customer can't tell why certain footwear fit and others do not, only that the footwear hurts or slips off. Most retailers also lack a true understanding of fit. The footwear manufacturer provides a line of lasts from which the retailers shoes are made. In the US, only a fraction of the public can wear the proper footwear from what is being produced. To truly satisfy the customer, manufacturers need to evolve and offer mass customization, which can involve 3D imaging. Until then, customers will continue to suffer ill-fitting footwear.
The definition of fit for the customer should ideally include the shape of the foot, the flexibility of the foot, and the sensitivity of the customer's foot. An enhanced understanding of fit is necessary for the shoe industry to evolve to meet the next level of customer satisfaction. This will require the use of tools related to processing data and digitizing personalized last production. Fit tools should eventually involve artificial intelligence (AI) to model customer data and fit preferences.