When buying shoes, finding the perfect fit can be a hassle at times. Danish shoe manufacturer Ecco hopes to change all of that.
The firm is getting ready to create custom 3D printed silicone midsoles for customers by utilizing 3D scanning and printing technologies. The project, dubbed Quant-U, aims to produce a midsole to your foot's exact dimensions.
Oh, and the company wants to do this in the store. That's right, walk in, get scanned and a few hours later walk out on custom-made midsoles to go with a selected Ecco shoe. A perfect fit.
According to Ecco's website, Quant-U utilizes a combination of scan and sensor data to build a "unique digital footprint in only 30 seconds." 3D scanners determine the orthotic fit while wearable sensors attempt to build an accurate representation of how you move in your environment. From there, the firm utilizes the data to create a custom midsole using a machine learning and structural simulations.
Ecco said that two years of research shows replacing a standard polyurethane midsole with 3D printed silicone can tune its inherent properties, viscoelasticity, durability and temperature stability.
The project seems to be gaining momentum. It officially launched in Japan on Feb. 1, then came to Paris for a limited time only (Feb. 23 through April 22). On Sept. 1, Ecco said Quant-U returned to Japan to launch its first collection for women.
Hopefully one day it will make its way to the U.S.
Chris Sweeney rarely finds the shoe he wants in the right size. Follow him on Twitter @CSweeneyRPN.