The Art of Shoe-Fitting: Past to Present

May 7, 2015 Updated: May 7, 2015

The search for a comfortable pair of shoes isn’t new. The first detailed shoe-sizing system was introduced in 1688 in England and then in 1880 in America.

By the 1920s, the much-talked about shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were introduced to shoe stores to help determine fit. The customer would place his or her feet in the opening of the fluoroscope while remaining in a standing position. They then were able to look through a viewing porthole at the top of the device down at the x-ray view of their feet and shoes. The bones of the feet were clearly visible, as was the outline of the shoe.

However, the shoe-fitting fluoroscope did have its disadvantages, because the fit of a shoe is also very dependent on the flesh size of the foot. Unfortunately a two-dimensional device cannot fit a three-dimensional foot. For centuries, shoe fitters have sat on fitting stools and palpated the foot. They understood that their attention to the customer’s foot and gait would guide them to the supportive needs of each individual’s foot.

Everyone knows that children’s feet change in size and shape over time, but few realise that an adult’s feet do, too.

Fifty years ago, there was not a shoe store in town that customers could walk into and pick a shoe off the shelf and walk out. All shoe stores had fit experts to help guide customers every step of the way.

Today fitted shoes are a lost art, as people pay little attention to their evolving feet, and many order online. Everyone knows that children’s feet change in size and shape over time, but few realise that an adult’s feet do, too. You may be unaware that the cells in your feet completely replace themselves every five years. Change is inevitable, so don’t keep squeezing into the same size you’ve worn for 20 years; take a realistic look at the tangible facts and seek expert advice for your body’s valuable foundation.

At Foot Solutions, we make feet happy through state-of-the-art customized solutions along with extensive customer service. When was the last time you had your feet measured? If you haven’t been through the Foot Solutions Experience, give it a try! All of our customers receive a complimentary in-depth foot and gait analysis by one of our pedorthists (foot specialists). Each professional will take your history to better understand your lifestyle, activity level, and concerns you may have about your feet, knees, hips, and even back.

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