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BEAVERTON, Ore. — Nike is about to change the way you shop for shoes — at least when you're shopping its brands.
The sneaker maker is launching a service called Nike Fit in North America in July, and it thinks it will be eye-opening for consumers.
Most people don't realize they have a fit problem. At any given time, 60% of consumers are wearing the wrong shoe size, industry research shows. And, other than the obvious discomfort, poor sizing can lead to foot injuries that put you on the sidelines.
"This is going to make a lot of lives easier," said Heidi O'Neill, head of Nike Direct, Nike's direct-to-consumer business unit. "It's going to have a virtuous impact on [our] business as well. ... We think this is a problem people have been trying to solve for a long time."
Nike Fit will be available within Nike's existing mobile app and at its stores. Customers will scan their feet (using a smartphone at home) and receive purchase recommendations based on the morphology of their feet, down to a millimeter preciseness. Being a user of Nike Fit, you might learn you wear an 8.5 women's in a Jordan shoe, but a 7.5 in Nike's Pegasus running shoe, because those are completely different styles for different use cases.
"We are going to have to educate consumers," said Michael Martin, global head of Nike's Digital Products division. "We need adults to realize their sizing ... continues to change as you are an adult. Most people think that once you hit age 17 you never touch [a Brannock measuring device] again."
But your feet will change if you're a runner and as you're running more and more, Martin said. And then kids' feet are constantly morphing into bigger sizes, he added. For parents, "Nike Fit is game changer."
Ultimately, O'Neill and Martin said Nike aims to use the data gathered from all of these Nike Fit scans to create shoes that fit feet better. The information will also help it stock a better mix of sizes at its stores, which means better choices for shoppers.
Here's how Nike Fit is going to work.