by | Dec 19, 2022 | Product Design


The idea of custom footwear might seem a bit out-of-reach, or something reserved for very specific brands and their consumers. However, in this post, we’ll explain how brands can deliver a custom footwear experience by making one adjustment – the type of insole. 

When an item is categorized as “generic” or “standard”, it is just that – designed to work for many different individuals with no specific characteristics. And insoles in these categories certainly don’t deliver a custom footwear experience for end consumers. 

We know footwear designers and developers have a tough job –creating footwear that can be worn by a multitude of people with very different foot shapes, gait patterns, and activity levels. 

But there are risks associated with using standard insoles – the overarching risk being a poor user experience. A “standard” solution may be the easiest and most affordable, but from a consumer standpoint, it’s probably not the best. 

A Custom Footwear Experience is a Consumer Expectation

We know that a single negative product experience can ruin a consumer’s relationship with a brand. In fact, recent research by Propel Software found that 54% of consumers would stop using a brand and switch to a competitor after one bad experience. 

Losing customers is one risk – the other is continued fallout from that negative experience that drives other potential customers away from your brand before a first interaction. 

Consumer expectations for product experiences are evolving for 2023 as well, and delivering on those expectations has become a top priority for brands as well. A recent Metrigy study found that 65% of businesses are planning to increase consumer experience spending in the new year by an average of 24%. 

While these stats aren’t specific to the footwear industry, they are specific to consumer sentiment in general, which is a bellwether for how companies must respond. When you have the opportunity to provide a better customer experience, you should take it. 

Footwear Development Should Include a Customized Insole

Even the trendiest shoe design can miss the mark if it’s using a standard insole that’s uncomfortable for your customers. Instead of putting your customers in a position to seek out an aftermarket insole to make their shoe wearable, give them an insole that delivers that comfort right out of the box. 

And don’t be put off by the term “customized”. When an insole is designed using data from more than 120,000 footscans combined with extensive biomechanical testing, it’s easy to provide an insole that fits the majority of wearers.

Incorporating a data-driven, ergonomic insole into your footwear design and development process will deliver the comfort, performance, and support your customers expect from your brand.

For your brand’s part, the process isn’t complicated or costly either. INSITE’s custom ergonomic insoles are designed using a 3D scan of the midsole or last, which generates a 3D insole rendering that combines the contours of your midsole with ergonomic shaping. 

Using the best selection of materials, including sustainable, plant-based foams, we create a customized sample that is then rigorously tested to meet industry-standard performance, safety, and bio-content levels. 

A Custom Footwear Fit for Your Customers

A data-driven, ergonomic insole and your footwear outsole will together provide an exceptional experience for your customers. 

Key customer experience attributes, such as overall fit, comfort, quality, performance, support, durability, and hand-feel of materials, will be met, including extra advantages such as increased energy and reduced fatigue levels during activity. 

Now, you’ve shifted away from the risks of delivering a poor insole experience to the benefits of providing ergonomic, data-driven footwear insoles that are as close to custom as a single insole can get.

It’s important for footwear brands to understand how their footwear design and the insole inside work together and the experience they will deliver for end users. The insole is often overlooked – but not by your customers. 

Provide an exceptional experience out of the box and keep your customers coming back. 


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