Fleet Feet is looking to add a whole new element to the in-store outfitting experience by measuring shoppers’ feet for not only the shoe itself, but the insole as well.
In partnership with premium insole brand Superfeet and Volumental, the footwear technology company behind the retailer’s in-store 3D Fit ID foot scanner, Fleet Feet is now integrating dynamic pressure mapping to offer individualized footwear insoles that are both personalized off of biometric data captured in store and can account for differences between the left and right foot.
The dynamic pressure mapping platform measures the unique foot path and weight distribution of each foot as an individual walks across a 3.5-foot-long force plate. Within seconds, Fleet Feet outfitters can capture and share that data with the customer using an iPad.
This feature is a major add-on to Fleet Feet’s Fit ID in-store platform, which since 2017 has generated 3D scans of users’ feet in approximately five seconds, creating a profile that associates could then match with a recommended shoe.
Paired with the 12 data points the platform already captures relative to size and shape, the dynamic pressure mapping enables Fleet Feet to offer Superfeet’s ME3D line of personalized insoles to the customer. Superfeet uses the 3D and pressure mapping data to print each ME3D insole in its U.S. manufacturing facility in Ferndale, Wash., before shipping it out to the customer. The facility has prototyping materials, 3D printers and machines with the flexibility to manufacture a single custom pair of shoes, up to thousands.
Superfeet has partnered with HP to help create its Fitstation platform, which functions slightly differently than Fit ID, with more of a focus on analyzing gait, pressure points, propulsion and knee placement. The company also personalizes its insole production at its facility with HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printers.
“We are thrilled and proud to bring our ME3D line of personalized insoles and footwear to Fleet Feet customers throughout the country,” Matt Gooch, director of product and innovation at Superfeet, said in a statement. “The collaboration is a step forward in our mission to utilize technology that enables Superfeet products to make a positive difference in people’s lives by delivering the best underfoot experience possible. Together, we are changing what people expect from their running and recovery experience.”
The upgraded Fit ID comes at a time when shoppers might still be hesitant to shop in stores, or try on shoes due to exposure fears. Now with most stores reopened, the technology can offer Fleet Feet an option that could reduce the level of contact between store associates and customers, which is extremely important in an era when social distancing remains vital within the physical store environment.
Dynamic pressure mapping will launch in phases at Fleet Feet locations across the country beginning in September. In addition to insoles, Fleet Feet will offer Superfeet ME3D custom Aftersport recovery slides using the same data and process as the insoles. Customers will be able to order slides through Fleet Feet later this year.
“Our partnerships with both Superfeet and Volumental have allowed us to provide the best customer-centric experiences, products, and footwear solutions, and today marks another huge step forward in continuing to do so,” says Joey Pointer, CEO and president of Fleet Feet. “That said, this huge step would not be possible if we didn’t have the most passionate and professional outfitters working at Fleet Feet. Our outfitters work tirelessly to serve our customers and continue to do so while adjusting to all that has changed about retail over the past several months. They have been invaluable in providing feedback and insight to make this integration retail-ready, customer-centric and ready for launch across the brand.”