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Introducing Find shoes that fit

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
Hi, everybody!

I'm looking for some help. You may know that it's a bit of a problem buying shoes when you had no chance to try them on, first.

I'm in the situation rather often -- for example, there are no so many shops where you can get Allen Edmonds here in Germany --, so I tried to find a solution. Here's what I came up with...

It's a website called and it's supposed to help shoe buyers find the right shoe size (or a shoe made on a good fitting last). Here's a small peek how it's going to work:

First, a user will have to take the measurements of his feet (both of them). This looks roughly like this:

Second, the user's feet measurements will be compared to the feet measurements of other members. Together with a fit rating of shoes -- I'll describe this in a second -- an estimate is calculated that indicates what shoes (ie. what lasts including size and width) are most likely to fit. This looks roughly like this:

Third, a user should add the shoes he already owns (or had already tried) and rate their fit. These ratings are used to calculate the fit for other members, depending on their respective foot measurements. This looks roughly like this:

It may be a bit intimidating, at first, but I think I'll be able to decrease the number of fields.

The technology behind the method is similar to Amazon's 'People who bought this also bought...' I've already tested it with some artificial data. It works, basically. With real data and some optimizations, the system should perform quite well.

I've also presented the idea to a German shoe and style forum where I'm an active member and the initial reactions were rather positive.

When the site runs as expected, there are some advantages to current methods:

  • Convenient: No more need to search Styleforum or other message boards for fitting information. It's all in one place.
  • Available: The interface is specifically designed to find fitting information. It's not covered in hundreds of other threads and there's no risk others may overlook your question (or your previous answers).
  • Anonymous: No need to post lists of your shoes in public places for everybody to see. You just need a valid and working email address to register, which can be one of those many free ones. Unless the site gets hacked, all your information will be safe and hidden.
  • International: There's going to be translations, provided a sufficient number of people like the service. Thus, you'll get better information about foreign shoe brands and sizing systems.

Of course, this is what it should become one day. Today, the software is in alpha status -- that means, it's not completely functional yet. There are bugs and the estimation procedure needs a fine tune.

To find bugs and get some initial real data, I'm now looking for testers. It would be awesome if some of you guys could help me get this started!

And if you're around US 8.5 / UK 7.5 / EU 41.5 that would be really amazing!

Of course, any feedback is welcome. If you have questions, please just ask.
post #2 of 95
I love the idea and the potential. some people will tell you need to try the shoe on, and of course that's ideal, but not always possible.

I am a US 8.5 or 9 and am happy to help. want to send me some samples to try?
post #3 of 95
post #4 of 95
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by makewayhomer View Post
want to send me some samples to try?

He, he!

Sorry, no samples.
post #5 of 95
Neat idea. You mention that the memberships are free, but does that mean you are going to charge in the future? I think it would make more sense to make your money from ads than from users.
post #6 of 95
^^^ yeah, never limit the number of users (paid membership) since the heart of what you do depends on having many of them... sounds cool, I'll check it out
post #7 of 95
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Kent Wang View Post
Neat idea.

You mention that the memberships are free, but does that mean you are going to charge in the future?.


To be honest, the probability that I need to charge money one day is really, really low. I would prefer not to. But in the end, it depends on the costs and whether advertising can cover it. Thus, the rather tentative formulation.

Btw, I *love* your products. My "stuff-I-want" list has serveral items.
post #8 of 95
This sounds really great. I can't wait to use it.
post #9 of 95
I like the idea. You could reach out to the shoemakers and sell them add space on your site with hotlinks to their website. If they have a certain last or style that is on sale or clearance, this would be a great way to sell that shoe.
post #10 of 95
And.. we're back.
post #11 of 95
Great idea!
post #12 of 95
Great idea! I think you should also have a step by step measuring process as well for some people who are less comfortable with the full schematics.
post #13 of 95
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind reactions!

Of course, size recommendations will be rather odd in the beginning, due to the low number of members. This will improve over time, the more people participate (theoretically, at least).

A measurement guide is on the TODO list.
post #14 of 95
this is a great idea. i am a US 8.5 and would be happy to help out.
post #15 of 95
I like the idea. Funny the same thing has been suggested as a simple post and the universal response was "feet and shoes vary too much."
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