Free app helps people find the perfect sized shoes for their feet
TORONTO -- Online shopping in Canada more than doubled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but one item people love to buy but can’t seem to get the right fit is shoes.
Normally when you buy shoes, you go to a store and try on several pairs trying to find a comfortable fit. Now, due to the pandemic retailers are closed and people are buying shoes online.
Many shoppers are currently ordering several pairs at once, seeing what fits and sending the ones that don't back.
Toronto resident James McVicar told CTV News Toronto that’s what he does.
“I normally order either a size 9 or 9 1/2 or if there are no half sizes I order a size 9 and 10 and return whichever one doesn't fit," McVicar said.
It’s a hassle for the customer and the store and so a Toronto start-up company created an app called the Xesto Fit which is helping online shoppers get the perfect fit every time.
CEO and co-founder Sophie Howe says the app started as a research project at the faculty of applied science and engineering at the University of Toronto three years ago and launched as an app in November of last year.
“The shopper will take five photos of both of their feet and create a 3D model of their foot," Howe said.
The Xesto Fit app uses an IPhone's true depth camera to accurately measure the size of your feet. With an iPhone 10, 11 or 12 you take photos from various angles and it calculates the proper size within one and a half millimeters.
There is a data base of 150 shoe brands it compares your foot to and it can make a size recommendation.
The app is free for consumers and the company is working with shoe retailers and hopes to incorporate the app into their websites.
Howe says if a customer uses the technology to get the correct size online, the retailer would pay Xesto Fit a small fee. It could be worth it for retailers who would then have to deal with fewer returns.
“What we are doing is incorporating it into a companies website and charging them on a recommendation basis. It will always be free for consumers" said Howe.
The Xesto Fit app is already being downloaded and used around the world and 10,000 people have tried it to get the correct size of their feet and a comfortable pair of shoes.
McVicar said he tried the app and had success getting the right sizes for two pairs of shoes.
“I ordered a pair of Asics running shoes size 9 ½ and they fit perfectly no issues. I then got a pair of Birkenstocks and I had to order a size down based on the recommendation of the app," McVicar said.