Shoefitr: Perfect Fit for Online Shoe Shopping?

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Buying shoes over the web is rather like running your first marathon: painful.

The problem with buying shoes (or any kind of clothing) online is that you can’t be certain that they will fit.

The result is a lot of trial-and-error, and millions of dollars spent every year shipping returned goods (and their replacements) between buyer and seller. There has to be a better way, and there is. It’s called Shoefitr.

Like so many good ideas, the basic concept behind this new web platform is simple. To help you choose the right new shoes, Shoefitr asks you about your old shoes. With some help from a 3D scanner, Shoefitr has a database of the interior measurements of hundreds of running shoes.

Using it is simple: You tell Shoefitr what shoes you have already, and what size they are. If you can’t remember the particular shoe, and if the label has been worn off by running, the service will help you by offering suggestions. Once you’ve narrowed it down, Shoefitr recommends a replacement shoe that it is confident will fit you the first time.

The service is already in use at the Running Warehouse, but its three founders, all keen runners, have big ambitions.

They see Shoefitr as a platform, something that can be plugged into thousands of online stores, and extended to millions of different products. Not just running shoes. Not even just shoes. The Startup Foundry thinks Amazon should buy Shoefitr immediately, but a smarter move might be to sign up Amazon as a customer. Just one of many.