Nike's plan for better-fitting kicks: Show us your feet

Nike officials demonstrate the company's foot-scanning tool on its app that will measure and remember the length, width and other dimensions of customers' feet after they point a smartphone camera to their toes, Wednesday April 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Nike says it will launch a foot-scanning tool on its app this summer that will measure and remember the length, width and other dimensions of customers' feet after pointing a smartphone camera to their toes.

NEW YORK — Nike wants to meet your feet.

The sneaker seller will add a foot-scanning tool on its app this summer that will measure the length, width and other dimensions of customers' feet after they point a smartphone camera to their toes. The app will then tell shoppers what size to buy each of its shoes in, which Nike hopes will get you in the right fit and cut down on costly returns as it seeks to sell more of its goods through its websites and apps.

But Nike will also get something it has never had before: a flood of data on the feet of regular people, a potential goldmine for the shoe maker, which says it will use the information to improve the design of its shoes. Nike mainly relies on the feet of star athletes to build its kicks.

"Nikes will become better and better fitting shoes for you and everyone else," says Michael Martin, who oversees Nike's websites and apps.

Nike won't sell or share the data to other companies, Martin says. And he says shoppers don't have to save the foot scans to their Nike accounts. But if they do, they'll only have to scan their feet once and Nike's apps, websites and stores will know your dimensions every time you need to buy sneakers. Workers at Nike stores will also be equipped with iPods to do the scanning, replacing those metal sizing contraptions.

The challenging part for Nike is convincing people they need to measure their feet in the first place. Most think they already know what their shoe size is, says Brad Eckhart, who was an executive at shoe store chain Finish Line and is now a principal at retail consultancy Columbus Consulting,

But Nike says it gets half a million complaints a year from customers related to fit and sizing. And it admits what many shoppers have already suspected: Each of its shoe styles fit differently, even if they are in the same size. A leather sneaker may be tighter and require a bigger size. Knit ones may be more forgiving. And shoelaces can throw everything off.

Shoe size is "effectively a lie," says Martin. "And it's a lie that we've perpetuated."

Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., says the tool might be most valuable for people want to run or play basketball in their sneakers, since the wrong fit can cause injury. But Powell says most people buy sneakers just to walk around in.

Still, finding the right size is a problem for shoppers: "There really is no industry standard for what is a size 10," Powell says.

____

Contact Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisani

Related News

Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk

Aug 17, 2016

Hawaii authorities are urging diners to be aware of the risks of eating raw and undercooked food after they traced a hepatitis A outbreak to frozen scallops served raw at a sushi restaurant chain

Are France's burkini bans sexist, or liberating?

Aug 17, 2016

Male officials are dictating what women can wear on French beaches _ and people across a wide swath of French society say that's a good thing

Target cuts outlook as it sees fewer customers in stores

Aug 17, 2016

Target cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook amid stiffer competition and its own stumbles in areas like groceries

Broaden News

Travel Stylo is an independent online travel website started by a group of friends who love traveling together. With Travel Stylo, you can travel with style.

Contact us: sales[at]travelstylo.com