Problem: You can't try on shoes when you shop online. Solution? Shoefitr of Pittsburgh, Pa., makes a three-dimensional scan of the shoe and produces a color-coded image showing where the shoe runs shorter, longer, wider, narrower, tighter, and/or looser than the shoes you typically wear.
I've fitted hundreds of hiking boots and running shoes over the years and am perpetually amazed at the multitude of foot shapes, sizes, and dimension. And let me tell you: Finding footwear that best fits your own unique foot shape is by far the most important thing to consider. Period.
The best option is always to try shoes on before you buy, but if you can't drag yourself away from the online world, Shoefitr offers some of the best virtual fit information you can get.
Here's an example of the information you get from REI's online store,
which added Shoefitr information to most of its footwear selections late
Shoefitr has partnered with dozens of other retailers and brands, and was also recently featured prominently in Backpacker Magazine's 2015 Gear Guide. Its distinctive fit profiles are poised to become a much more common element of your online shopping experience.
Support your Northeast gear companies! This post is part of an ongoing
(though recently dormant) series on Northeast-based gear companies. Here
are the 26 companies I've profiled to date: