Fit vs. Style - Comfort Triumphs Over Aesthetics in Footwear

Sep 23, 2020

If a stunning pair of shoes makes you go “ouch”, it isn’t right for you. While aesthetics have always been a major factor to drive the shoe-shopping decision among both men and women, over time, people have realized why they shouldn’t lose sight of FIT and COMFORT. This is the reason why shoes that pinch toes or make heels ache are gradually losing favor even with the most fashion-conscious crowd. However, many forward-thinking footwear brands are rising to the occasion by experimenting with technologies to craft shoes that fit you perfectly and ensure hours of comfort. They know that in the long run, the right fit and comfort will be as important as good looks, bringing them more customers and boosting their loyalty base.

So, how are footwear brands giving customers hope?

The hope comes in the form of Fit Analytics. It is a concept that has been redefining the idea about well-fitting shoes for the last 3 to 4 years. And today, apart from athletes, more and more people are looking for shoes that are fashionable and offer personalized comfort.


No wonder, the world-famous footwear brand Nike launched Nike Fit recently, to take the guesswork out of finding the right shoe size. This smart innovation will help you understand if you are wearing a wrong size and what your ideal size should be. Quite a few other brands like Asics, New Balance, Clarks and Crocs are coming up with shoes that are powered up with comfort and fit, apart from style.


Now, let’s find out how a wrong fit can affect the health and lifestyle of the wearer.

What happens when you wear ill-fitting shoes?

Shoes that don’t fit you well or are worn out or not comfy can lead to calluses, blisters, or pain in the heels, shins or arches. They tend to provide little stability and won’t be able to absorb movement-related shocks efficiently, causing stress. A wrong fit can also cause these issues:


· They can make you lose balance and injure your feet or ankles.

· Small shoes can cramp your feet or make the toenails black if you wear them for long. A tight fit can make your feet extra sweaty and lead to Athlete’s Foot and other fungal infections too.

· If long-distance runners don’t wear the right shoes (those that are not long enough), they might stumble and get hurt.

· If your shoes don’t fit your feet like gloves while working out in the gym, they might cause strain or injuries or falls.

· Those who suffer from diabetes, arthritis or are pregnant will feel pain and discomfort in ill-fitting shoes.


So, brands that are aware of changing consumer needs in the footwear industry are trying to understand the foot better and make fit and comfort a priority.

Why understanding the foot anatomy matters

Many footwear brands realize today that they need to address their customers’ pain points (literally) to design shoes that fit without a single glitch and provide oodles of comfort. The correct fit is not only crucial for those who are on their feet for most part of the day (like hospitality professionals, doctors, nurses, teachers and sports professionals), but also those who like taking leisurely walks, shop for groceries, walk to their office or take the stairs every day.


This is why brands are focusing closely on the foot anatomy to understand how they can make their shoes better. It helps to understand the position of various bones, muscles, nerves and arches present in the foot. Also, since our feet bear most of our body weight, comfort cannot be a secondary consideration.

Orthopedic shoes are not the only option for fit and comfort

There was a time when orthopedic shoes were your best bet when it came to ensuring fit and comfort or addressing any structural irregularity. However, things have come a long way from there. Many brands are focusing on the following aspects and investing in technology (for example, Nike Fit) to make their shoes healthier, more comfortable, more supportive, and yet visually appealing:


· Light and breathable materials are being used to prevent sweating, odors, fungal infection etc. Some brands like Nike are even working on biodegradable and sustainable materials (non-leather) that will fit your feet snugly and not harm the environment.

· Brands are introducing soles that are flexible, light and equipped with extra cushioning.

· They are ensuring good arch support to minimize pain drastically and make it easy to walk for miles.

· You will find shoes with extra depth and a wide toe box too, so that you can breathe, wiggle your toes and relax. This way, neither air nor your blood circulation will be hampered.

· The heels of many shoes are being crafted to reduce pressure on your ankles, shins and knees. So, now, it’s time to take a look at the footwear brands that are striving to make your shoe-shopping experience satisfying in all ways.

Footwear brands using technology for the perfect fit

There was a time when orthopedic shoes were your best bet when it came to ensuring fit and comfort or addressing any structural irregularity. However, things have come a long way from there. Many brands are focusing on the following aspects and investing in technology (for example, Nike Fit) to make their shoes healthier, more comfortable, more supportive, and yet visually appealing:


· Light and breathable materials are being used to prevent sweating, odors, fungal infection etc. Some brands like Nike are even working on biodegradable and sustainable materials (non-leather) that will fit your feet snugly and not harm the environment.

· Brands are introducing soles that are flexible, light and equipped with extra cushioning.

· They are ensuring good arch support to minimize pain drastically and make it easy to walk for miles.

· You will find shoes with extra depth and a wide toe box too, so that you can breathe, wiggle your toes and relax. This way, neither air nor your blood circulation will be hampered.

· The heels of many shoes are being crafted to reduce pressure on your ankles, shins and knees. So, now, it’s time to take a look at the footwear brands that are striving to make your shoe-shopping experience satisfying in all ways.

To wrap up (but not too tightly)

So, it is easy to see why Fit Analytics is here to stay, as FIT and COMFORT are emerging as game-changers in the shoe-shopping world. Increasingly, footwear brands are adopting advanced scanning, printing and data capture technologies to give customers a memorable experience and earn their loyalty. So, let us know if you have recently come across any brand that is using Fit Analytics to make your feet happier!

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