A New, Customizable Shoe is Coming. Are You In?

The ShopTool takes a scan of a shopper's foot shapeAs so many women already know, variations in foot shape or problems like flat feet and bunions can make it tough to find an attractive, fashionable, well-fitted shoe.

To combat this problem, far too many women squeeze their feet into shoes that are too small, causing even more issues; or purchase a roomier size that forces their feet to grip down or leaves them vulnerable to blisters as they slip and slide in the too-large shoe.

An even worse idea? Too many people are turning to so-called “Cinderalla” procedures—elective foot surgeries performed for the sole purpose of fitting into fashionable heels (a terrible idea, by the way!)

But now, there’s new hope on the horizon. Several European companies are working together to create InstantShoe, a ‘customizable shoe’ that would allow women to properly fit their kicks to their shape of foot in a few easy, in-store steps.

First, the salesperson would obtain a woman’s foot measurements using the ‘Shoptool’ a scanner that can easily be placed in any shoe store.  With the scans obtained, the shoe uppers (made of a ‘memory shape’ composite of leather and Nitinol) would be modified to fit the customer’s foot. If the shopper decides not to buy that pair of shoes,  it can be restored to its original, generic shape by a simple heating process. This also means that if your foot changes shape after purchase, you should be able to alter the shoe so it still fits your foot comfortably. The shoe is expected to be available for purchase by the end of the year.

Of course, cost is bound to be a factor, as the developers admit they are targeting a high-end clientele, but all-in-all, this Houston podiatrist is still on board. Think about how much money we throw out on shoes that don’t fit and end up unworn because they hurt our feet? Why not invest in one or two pairs that really fit well and save yourselves tons of problems down the road!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.