Until now, finding the right fit in a running shoe, in the worst case scenario has been due to a huge stroke of good luck, and in the best case has been thanks to the help of an exceptionally experienced “fit specialist” who could observe the structure of the foot and recommend a shoe that fits all the necessary parameters. Obviously, that left a lot of room in the middle of the two extremes for some not so great fitting shoes and the chance of developing bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more.
Now there is a way to take a great deal of guesswork out of finding the right pair of shoes. Fleet Feet Sports has introduced fit id, a 3D scanning tool that digitally traces the exterior of the foot. It provides a full scan of your feet in five seconds, measuring all sides of the outside surface of the foot to help determine which shoe offers the best fit for your foot shape, size and needs. Fleet Feet Sports in Jackson, MS has had this state-of-the-art 3D scanning capability since October of 2017, according to Peter Davis, Fleet Feet Sales Director and Fit Trainer.
“The greatest thing about having the 3D scanner as an additional tool for evaluating the shape and size of the foot is the assurance it offers our customers,” Davis notes. “It makes the process so much more interactive and precise. We can actually manipulate the 3D images to view the exterior of the foot from all perspectives and review it with the customer. (The scan actually produces more than 200 different images of each foot.) In addition to the scan itself, the application shows the foot size, heel to toe length, ball width, arch height, instep height, heel width, and more. Based on the results we can narrow down the options of shoes for the customer to try out.”
The fit id data is saved for future reference and is emailed to the customer. Davis recommends that customers have new scans approximately every 3 to 5 years unless there is a reason the dimensions and structure have changed, such as an accident, significant weight loss or gain, or pregnancy. The structure of the foot also naturally changes with age.
“We are excited to be able to offer our customers this advanced tool for finding the best footwear for their needs and the scan doesn’t cost them a thing. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from the precision that the 3D scan offers in finding the right fit,” adds Davis.
3D scanning is just one more way technology is playing a greater role in helping serious athletes, and sports and fitness enthusiasts perform at their best. But we can’t forget what it can mean to everyone else who just wants a shoe that will help them feel better, function better and be more comfortable on their feet longer.