Surveys by Publications:
Footwear Insight Textile Insight Outdoor Insight
Consumer Survey
Consumer Q&A 1
Consumer Q&A 2

What Consumers Think of Foot Scanners

People WANT more information about themselves — AND they’re open to the technology that gives it to them. That’s the takeaway from our survey with MESH01 about the consumer’s openness to the new generation of foot scanning systems that have been rolling out in the past several years. A long way from the shoe-fitting fluoroscope X-ray machines of the mid-20th century, the scanners being installed today from brands like Aetrex and Superfeet, promise accurate measurement of size and width as well as a host of other features such as instep, arch height, and even gait characteristics and likely shoe fit by brand.And the results from our survey of 115 men and women ages 18 to 65 is clear: Consumers are intrigued, and they feel positively about the scanners and their accuracy. While most shoppers have never encountered a scanner —only 16 percent of respondents had had their feet scanned, versus the 58 percent of respondents who have their feet measured at least sometimes in store —  responses to “If you saw a foot scanner in a store, what would you think?” indicated that the sizable majority would be open to trying it. But what was also clear was that consumers didn’t want the information in a vacuum. Time and again, respondents made clear that they would want a store to provide context for the results of the scan, what it means in terms of the needs they have and the products they should consider. And those positive feelings they have about the scanners transfer to the stores that carry them: 73 percent of consumers polled said they would think more positively of a store that offered a scan as part of its fit process, and 63 percent said having a scan on file with a store would make them more likely to shop there. The panel consisted of 115 men and women ages 18 to 65.
The Importance of Eco-Friendly Products
When you visit a shoe store, do you have your feet measured?
TAKE AWAY: A notable amount of customers aren’t regularly being measured and assessed.
Have you ever had your feet assessed with an in-store foot scanner?
TAKE AWAY: Despite the interest in scanning technology, a wide majority of shoppers have never encountered one.
Would you think more or less positively of a store that incorporated a foot scanner in the fit proccess?
It would 100 percent make me come back.

I think it would help me know what my perfect fit would be.

The store is more in tune with customer needs and has a genuine desire to fulfill them accurately.

Shows the retailer is progressive and wants to get the best fitting shoes for their clients.

Good for the average consumer as long as it is a free service and it is accurate and reliable.

I wouldn’t want to pay much extra for a scan. Once I had a scan done I wouldn’t expect to need a scan each time I bought shoes.

Reliable store, committed to true fit.

Some stores have scanners, but have sales associates who aren’t able to apply the information. Other stores that do not have scanners, but have knowledgeable sales associates, are superior.
How accurate, in your opinion, are phone apps that let you take a picture of your foot and send it for analysis?
TAKE AWAY: Consumers see a difference in quality and accuracy with a scan done of their actual foot, and online versions that claim to provide the same data from self-submitted info. The bottom line: They want to come in-store to have this done.
What sort of information would you be interested in knowing from a scan? (Selected all that applied).
TAKE AWAY: While the majority of shoppers are interested in knowing more about their feet and its characteristics, almost as many are interested in connecting the dots, and having that information translated into footwear options that fit their foot profile.
What category of footwear would you be most likely to pursue scan data for?
TAKE AWAY: Interest in their feet’s characteristics and how they work isn’t limited to shoppers looking for performance styles — it’s data they see as relevant across all categories of footwear.

If you saw a foot scanner in a store, what would you think?

The 58% who answered YES to having their feet measured when they visit a store think:
The 58% who answered YES to having their feet measured when they visit a store think:

Same amount of exploitation here, but regulation appears to be more strict and effective in the USA compared to typical production areas abroad.

Because of all the rules and regulations that we have in the U.S. and having traveled overseas I have seen that all they are worried about is making money as cheap as possible with no concerns for the environment.

The USA has specific laws related to what is acceptable and some other countries do not have any rules.

Most things that are made in other countries are usually the cheapest way to be made, not most eco-friendly!

I believe they [USA Made] are more eco-friendly simply because of the reduced cost/use of fuel due to of transportation needs.

If it was taken the time to be made in the USA then they probably put more care into it.

I have more trust that U.S. brands would be able to prove it.

Because we have so many organizations who support things like recycling and the environment and how to keep it safe.

It’s easier to find out how they were made.

There is a perception to me if it is made in the USA and carries sustainable or eco-friendly labels, the manufacturer and the brand have made a conscious effort to promote and utilize these resources and they want to make it available to those consumers who believe it is important to own; because I was told at one time to advertise these eco-friendly certifications you have to go through a process to be eligible to advertise.

The 42% who answered NO to having their feet measured when they visit a store think:

I would wonder how accurate it was.

One - that the store is keeping up with the newest technology; two - the service and shoes will cost more money than traditionally; and three - new is not always better.

I’d be curious about it for sure - particularly if it could tell me things beyond size, or could tell me best fit by brand.

High-tech store.

I would think it was appealing as a foot scanner could accurately tell me what size shoe I should purchase for that
particular brand.

How cool is that, and immediately scan my feet.

That I should use the foot scanner to make sure I get the correct size.

I would try it out. If it was easy to use and quick (I have two small children, things have to work quickly).

I would think nothing of it unless someone talked to me about it.

I’d think, hmmm, what is this for? Then I would try to test it out.

I’m not sure. I’d be interested if the scanner recommendations are shown to decrease injuries or increase running times.

I’d give it a try.

I think it would be great to tell size and width of your foot. I also think it would be easier to use.

I’m not sure what I would think. I try on my shoes to make sure they fit right.


In general, would you consider the results of a foot scan more trustworthy, as trustworthy or less trustworthy than an assessment made by a store associate using other methods?

58% More Trustworthy

I would trust the scanner more as long as it is able to make recommendations across brands like a sales associate can.

Store associates are always in a rush to get you out. They have no care or feelings for your purchase or needs.

I think a scan would offer more precise and detailed measurements such as width.

I believe they can do more then just the metal sizer.

This is not a reflection of the trustworthiness or professionalism on the part of the fitter, but presumably the scanner allows for consistency. Therefore I believe it would be more reliable as a result of having that consistency.

It all depends on the salesperson but probably the machine would be more trustworthy.

Using data is always going to be more on point than eyeballing an adjustment.

It seems like technology would provide a good result, but you need an associate (or some other trustworthy information) to know how a particular shoes meets the results of the scan. For example, I have a wide forefoot and a narrow heel. A scanner might confirm this, but how do I know which shoe has these same characteristics?

37% As Trustworthy

It is as trustworthy as a store associate using other methods.

I wouldn’t be so sure yet since a lot of scanners can be defective. At the same time, a store associate can be wrong too.

Can’t be any worse? Probably a smaller margin for error?

Technology should augment the deep knowledge the associate has about the brands and my needs.

It really depends on the associate. At a running specialty store I’d expect more from the associate, though a scanner might be good backup for them. But at a big box store, bring on the scanners. I’d definitely trust it more.  

It should give additional information and be used by an experienced shoe associate. It would be less reliable by itself, I believe.

Depends on the knowledge of the store associate. Also important - trust in your own ability to assess what is right for yourself.

TAKE AWAY: Shoppers are curious, and they like the idea of getting personalized information about their feet. But many aren’t sure what exactly a foot scanner is and what information it can give them.
5% Less Trustworthy
There are some cases that do not fit in a basic set of information. The machines can only spit out so much information. Depends on the unit and if it is a trusted reputable brand.
TAKE AWAY: Consumers have a high level of confidence of the accuracy of the scans, and a belief that a scan would provide richer information that they typically get at the store. That being said, they want the interpretative element and the deep, first-hand product knowledge of an associate to help them translate that information into the right purchase for them.