How tall should a running shoe be? Rise of the “SuperStack”

In the past decade running shoes have been getting taller, providing new amounts of cushioning and performance for runners and non-runners. With the men’s winner of Ironman Hawaii wearing an unreleased shoe with impressive height, brands are asking Heeluxe, “What is the optimum stack height for a running shoe?” Here we’ll go into the Pros…

Designing Shoes for Insulation

Entering into the cold winter months means that feet are going to need insulation to stay comfortable and warm. Since 2015 Heeluxe has tested how boots keep feet warm in freezing environments, and we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to design the best insulation in footwear. There are two main ways that feet get…

Designing for Optimal Heel Fit

Heel fit is often overlooked in many shoes tested at Heeluxe. Bad heel fit reduces comfort, increases the likelihood of blisters, and causes early breakdown of a shoe. Our lab data on shoe fit reveals a few simple solutions for improving heel fit. Many brands don’t put much attention to it until they get complaints…

Heeluxe’s Biggest Failures

Not every shoe is going to perform well in the marketplace. At Heeluxe we’ve tested 1000s of prototype shoes. Here’s a list of the biggest failures to come out of our lab and what you can do to avoid a similar fate. Shoe Failure #1: This is the Most Popular Last This failure has happened…

Finding the Most Comfortable Insole

Insoles are often overlooked and underappreciated in footwear. But they’re also an easy way to improve the comfort and durability of your shoes. Let’s cover the best ways to find the most comfortable insoles for any shoe you’re working on. Success Strategy #1: Determine the “Good/Better/Best” insoles for each shoe category. One insole won’t work…

Modernizing Dress Shoe Fit and Comfort

Dress Shoes are BACK! 2022 is showing a large number of consumers returning to buying dress shoes for work, weddings, and walking around town. After 2+ years of wearing cozy shoes at home, making the “same old” dress and fashion shoes won’t feel great to your customers. Here’s how you can WOW your customers with…

Shoe Durability 2.0

Your customers expect certain levels of performance from your shoes. People are not happy when shoes fall apart earlier than they expect. How can you predict durability of a new shoe sample before it gets on the feet of your customers? The first major durability problem we heard about at Heeluxe as a show that…

Customer Expectations for Shoe Fit in 2022

Early in the COVID pandemic a post discussed how more time at home was changing your customer’s expectations of shoe comfort. Now that we are returning to social activities, working from an office, and travelling, what are your customers looking for in shoe fit? Fashion/Dress: After years of less testing of high heels, dress flats,…

Ultimate Shoe Cushioning in 2022

In the last few years, the number of cushioning materials used in footwear has exploded. As footwear brands continue to innovate with new foam compounds, molding techniques, and constructions, the consumer has access to more ways to optimize their cushioning experience. This blog discusses how to move away from a “one size fits all” model…

Should you change your sample size?

Working with hundreds of footwear brands from around the world provides Heeluxe a lot of data on the sample sizes that brands are using. Between 2010 and 2020 the sample sizes were very consistent across brands: almost everyone used a M9 US for Men’s, W7 US for Women’s casual and athletic, and W6 for Women’s…

SmartLast Success Story: Product Developers

“How are other brands using SmartLast for footwear development?” is one of the most commonly asked questions from brands when they see SmartLast for the first time. This post shares the details on how you can use the fast and accurate shoe fit feedback from SmartLast to improve your own product development. During product development…

SmartLast Success Story: Consistency

  Quality footwear requires consistency, and footwear brands make major efforts to improve consistency in their production lines, branding, and even online experience. But how consistent is your fit testing? If you gave your fit testers the same shoe every month for a year and asked for their feedback, would they always provide the exact…

Did COVID19 Change Shoe Comfort Expectations?

Shoes did not get more comfortable during the COVID19 pandemic. Your customer’s perception of what is comfortable did change. Brands that quickly adapted to this change in customer comfort are positioned to thrive. Here’s three things that you need to know about shoe comfort post-pandemic. – Socks? We Don’t Need Socks! While the trend of…

The Challenges of Shoe Traction Testing

Back in 2016, a group of frustrated restaurant and hospital CEOs came to Heeluxe to complain about their distrust of current shoe traction tests. They wanted a test that could accurately predict if a shoe would reduce slip and fall injuries in their unique office environment. The Heeluxe scientists are always into a challenge, especially…

“Smart” Ways to Measure Shoe Fit

How do YOU measure shoe fit? There are a lot of different answers to this question, but one common thread in every response: There needs to be a better way to measure shoe fit that is fast and accurate. SmartLast is the better way to measure shoe fit. Heeluxe pioneered sensor-based shoe fit testing in…

Case Study: Successful Launch of 3D Printed Shoe

Many brands and customers are wondering if 3D printed shoes will really exist following the shutdown of multiple high-profile 3D printing factories. Customization of shoes using 3D printed parts is possible and can provide an elevated experience to the customer. In this post Heeluxe shares the keys to a successful 3D printed shoe. Between 2015-2018…

Using AI to Predict Fit Shoe

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are intimidating terms—but they shouldn’t be! Heeluxe is using AI to change the footwear testing landscape and the benefits will soon be realized by all footwear brands. Here’s a sample of how AI is being used to predict shoe fit. Many footwear innovators had their first introduction to the concept…

The Secret Ingredient for Step In Comfort at Retail

Every shoe brand wants a potential customer to think their shoe is comfortable when they first try it on in a store or after an online purchase. After all, comfort is second only to style when it comes to influencing purchases. While cushioning, fit, and features like arch support are important for comfort, most brands…

5 Findings From A Time Machine

Heeluxe’s Time Machine rapid durability test recently celebrated its 30 millionth step. To celebrate the occasion, here’s a list of the 5 most valuable things we have learned from testing the durability of 100’s of shoes.    Upper Durability is as important as outsole/midsole durability. In the last 5 years we’ve seen uppers made out…

Heeluxe’s Best Fitting Men’s Shoes of 2019

“What’s the best shoe?” is one of the most common questions footwear brands ask. In this post you’ll learn what are the best fitting shoes tested at Heeluxe in 2019. It is an elite group of shoes that you’ll want to consider when setting fit goals for your product. Criteria for what makes a shoe…

Why Energy Return is a Myth

Energy Return is a hot topic in athletic footwear and has even impacted occupational, fashion, and casual shoes. Current foam materials like Boost and EverRun and carbon fiber technologies like the VaporFly 4% and VKTRY insoles promote improved energy return, but is there any science to back this up? Let’s find the truth about energy…

3 Tips for Sustainable Shoes in 2020

Many footwear brands are working to “reduce their footprint” by making more sustainable shoes and/or reducing waste in 2020. Not all sustainability initiatives are commercially successful, and Heeluxe’s test experience shows 3 features that top selling and top-rated sustainable shoes have in common. In this post we’ll give you the 3 tips followed by real…

Setting Shoe Comfort Goals in 2020

Comfort is mandatory in 2020 and most footwear brands lack a strategy for how to increase comfort. The best brands use a consistent approach to improve one area of comfort every year and see benefits of increased sales, less returns, and higher online ratings. This post outlines the three steps for improving comfort in 2020…

Heeluxe’s best fitting Women’s shoes of 2019

“What’s the best shoe?” is one of the most common questions footwear brands ask. In this post you’ll learn what are the best fitting shoes tested at Heeluxe in 2019. It is an elite group of shoes that you’ll want to consider when setting fit goals for your product. Criteria for what makes a shoe…

How Socks Impact Shoe Fit

Socks have a major impact on how shoes fit yet rarely do footwear brands recommend a specific sock to their customers for an optimal experience (MISSED OPPORTUNITY ALERT!). In this short blog Heeluxe helps you select the best socks to improve your shoe testing and customer’s experience at retail. If you’ve been reading Heeluxe’s Better…

Does Insole Material Matter?

Back in 2010 a prominent shoe exec told me insoles don’t matter. After 10 years of footwear testing, we have data to show that they were very wrong for almost every shoe style and pricepoint. Here’s the science behind insoles and how to pick the best one for your shoes: First, let’s review Heeluxe’s keys…

Marketing Shoes with Test Results

While the best use of testing is to improve your product, sometimes you want to tell your customers “My Shoe is XX% better”. Here’s how you can use scientific testing to make marketing claims that give your product a competitive advantage in a crowded and competitive shoe category. A marketing claim should tell the customer…

How Heeluxe Measures Shoe Fit

Want to improve your footwear testing? Scientists and shoe brands alike want to know how Heeluxe sensor based system analyzes shoe fit. Here are the details of the system to help you integrate it into your own footwear testing. First—why did Heeluxe create an objective fit test? Honestly, it wasn’t our idea. We listened to…

The Memory Foam Myth

We all love the “ahh” factor when we first put on a pair of shoes. What could be better than a shoe that’s cushioned with the same material as our new bed? Turns out, just about anything is better! It makes sense that customers are drawn to the phrase “Memory Foam”. And there is some…

Shoe Testing Increases Revenue

However you measure shoe sales, an advanced testing system can help you improve them. Heeluxe’s testing helps many brands increase their sales each year and this post details one brand’s sales success after working with us. All brands can see benefits by following these steps. One of the biggest challenges we see brands facing is…