Arguably phone technology has changed more rapidly in the shortest amount of time than most other technologies. This change has been revolutionary. The cell phone has only been around for about 20 years. The Smartphone is only a decade old. Yet almost everyone in America owns one – many more than people with a home phone.
In less than four decades, we went from rotary phones to cordless phones to cell phones to Smart phones. But the way that shoes are made hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years despite fashion often changing from season to season.
Shoemaking Needs a Technology Revolution
When you consider the speed at which technology continues to advance, the shoe manufacturing process is still very conservative – and very time consuming. It takes a year to a year and a half to bring a shoe from design to production.
Along that journey, shoe manufacturers will often have to change factories mid-stream as they go from low volume to high volume shoe production. The goal of utilizing technology is not to improve shoe design but rather to get more shoes produced for bigger profits in shorter amounts of time.
3D Shoe Printing Falls Short
Case in point, major shoe brand Adidas is experimenting with 3D printing in order to accelerate production while giving customers the option of creating shoes on demand. Again, the goal is not improving shoe design but rather making shoes faster while saving manufacturers money on inventory.
Still, this technology is only for printing the midsole. The rest of the shoe is then attached after the midsole has been printed. Experiments with on demand 3D printing are largely aimed at speeding up same day delivery. As yet, 3D shoe printing has not reached mass production scale and it is still too expensive.
Add to this the fact that 3D shoes are not made out of fine Italian leather. They are made using plastic compounds and although Salvatore Ferragamo is experimenting with using rubber to 3D print shoes, no one has been able to 3D print fine Italian leather – and it may not be possible in the near future.
Using Technology to Get Shoe Sizing Right
Instead of focusing on mass production as the end goal for using technology in shoe manufacturing, at Kira Bani, we believe that it is possible to reduce the time it takes to get shoes to market if the sizing and fit is correct. Shoe sizing is one of the main reasons why it takes so long to get shoes from design to market.
It can take several attempts and multiple shoe samples produced just to get the size right. Many brands don’t even bother to follow standard shoe sizing which is why sizes can differ from brand to brand.
However, getting the shoe sizing wrong results in higher returns for retailers, and bad experiences for customers. We know how important it is to get the size and fit right for women’s overall foot health. It starts with measuring the foot correctly.
We use technology to collect data about the most common measurements and sizes based on today’s consumers – not sizes from 100 years ago! To this day most manufacturers and shoe stores use a device to measure foot size that was created a hundred years ago – the Brannock Device.
Kira Bani Uses Technology to Make Better High-End Shoes for Women
Our FIT-ANY technology is designed to measure women’s feet the right way using a better, more advanced sizing system that is extremely accurate. FIT-ANY technology uses sensors to measure a person’s whole foot – including the circumference and not relying simply on a flat measurement of length.
It works with other retailers too, using algorithms that are able to match the true size of a person’s foot with other vendor’s shoes, creating a unique FIT-Any ID for each online customer.
Our goal is to truly engineer the best fitting shoes for today’s women. Leveraging advancing technology as a means to revolutionize shoe design enables us to create shoes that are comfortable without sacrificing style.