Road Runner Sports, a leading retailer of running and fitness products launched their innovative FIT FINDER 3D foot scanning technology across 46 stores in April 2023. This cutting-edge technology, developed in partnership with FootBalance, is designed to provide customers with a unique and personalized in-store shoe fitting experience.
The FIT FINDER technology integrates the Perfect Fit Zone system into one cohesive unit, offering an exclusive service available only at Road Runner Sports retail locations nationwide. The technology is designed to quickly and efficiently find the perfect fit for shoes, socks, and custom insoles for both runners and walkers in under 10 minutes.
Road Runner Sports President, Mike Gotfredson Jr., expressed his excitement about the new technology, stating that it offers a unique customer experience. “In less than 10 minutes, our Fit Specialists can provide customers with a comprehensive health-based foot analysis as well as personalized shoe and gear recommendations, including our own award-winning custom insoles. With the new FIT FINDER scanner each customer’s previous fit zone results, including purchase history, can now be accessed across all stores providing a more seamless experience.”
The FIT FINDER technology combines static (standing) and dynamic (running) video-based foot analysis to support multi-product-category recommendations. These include footwear, custom insoles, socks, injury prevention products, and apparel, all based on the customer’s preferences and foot analysis. The technology also allows footwear customization to match the unique contours of the customer’s feet with R-GEAR Insoles. Any discomforts or pain points, such as foot or knee pain or blisters, are addressed with personalized product recommendations.
The Perfect Fitting? How it works
Highly-trained Fit Experts guide the FIT FINDER experience and includes a six-step system. This begins with a meet and greet where Fit Experts get to know the customer’s fitness activities, goals, shoe fit preferences, and any current aches and pains. Customers then step onto the 3D foot scanner to generate an accurate three-dimensional scan of their feet. This captures six critical foot measurements, including foot size, length, width, arch height, instep, heel width, and a balance and pressure points map.
Following the scan, customers undergo a slow-motion video and biomechanical analysis while walking or jogging on a treadmill. This measures foot flexibility, gait, and stride. Fit Experts then guide customers through their results and customize a plan to help them achieve a more comfortable run or walk.
Customers are also molded for custom insoles to create ultimate foot comfort and support. Finally, Fit Experts guide customers through the try-on experience, sharing shoe and sock recommendations to help find their perfect fit in under 10 minutes.
“As a practitioner, I work long hours on my feet and have been experiencing foot pain for months. I was told by a Sports MD that l have plantar fasciitis; therefore, l needed to wear proper shoes that fit my high arc. Also, l enjoy a daily run, so l needed to find something that fits my arc. The FITFINDER helped me navigate to the correct shoe, size and type l needed. I ordered HOKA and Brooks,” said Sam Ohemeng, Nurse Practitioner.
In addition to the in-store experience, an online version called Virtual FIT FINDER is also available when shopping on the website, which involves answering a series of questions to recommend the best footwear for you, available for purchase on Road Runner Sports, including brands such as Hoka, ASICS, Brooks and more.
We had the pleasure of trying out the latter of the two and were recommended four pairs of shoes each; we further narrowed it down to our top two picks for both women and men as follows:
The Women’s HOKA Bondi 8 running shoes are a blend of style and comfort, promising to transform your running experience. The new foam is softer and lighter, which, when combined with the rear crash pad, provides an incredibly plush and balanced ride from heel strike to forefoot. The extended heel geometry offers a more aerodynamic stride, making these shoes ideal for long training runs.
“These shoes definetly have maximum cushioning for a soft and smooth feel with every step I take, it’s perfect for long distance road runners like myself,” said Jeanel Alvarado, Retail Editor at Footwear Magazine.
The Bondi 8 also features a partially gusseted tongue that keeps your feet securely in place, allowing you to focus on the miles ahead. The Durabrasion Rubber Outsole ensures longer-lasting sole durability, while the zonal rubber placement allows for weight savings, enabling you to glide through each step and stride with ease and comfort.
The Women’s ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25 is a running shoe that has been designed with the latest technology to help runners achieve their personal bests. This shoe is perfect for neutral runners with medium to high arches, offering mid-level cushioning that ensures every step feels both cushioned and springy.
One of the standout features of this shoe is its midsole, which is filled with new Pure Gel®. This provides ultimate cushioned support, making it ideal for long runs or mid-distance workouts. In addition, the shoe also includes FF Blast Plush, which gives your feet a softer, energized toe-off, making it feel like you can run forever.
“The most lightweight runners I own but are so comfortable and cozy! I’ve gotten alot of compliments with these shoes, they were great on the golf course as well, said Jeanel Alvarado, Retail Editor at Footwear Magazine.
ASICS has also incorporated its trusty Ahar® outsole rubber into the design of the GEL-Cumulus 25. This material is stronger than other materials on the market and has been strategically placed on high wear zones of the shoe to ensure longevity. In terms of sustainability, approximately 90% of the materials used in the shoe are recycled. The shoe also features reflective accents to enhance visibility in low light conditions.
The Men’s HOKA Bondi 8 running shoe has been re-engineered to enhance your running experience, promising to transform your run and improve your times. The shoe boasts a lightweight, resilient foam for durability and a Durabrasion Rubber Outsole for longer-lasting sole durability. The zonal rubber placement further enhances the shoe’s weight savings, allowing you to glide through each step and stride easily and comfortably.
One of the standout features of the Bondi 8 is its brand new foam. This foam is softer and lighter than previous versions, which, when combined with the rear crash pad, provides an incredibly plush and balanced ride from heel strike to forefoot. This ensures maximum comfort throughout your run, regardless of the distance covered.
“Switching to HOKA running shoes has been a different ball game on my feet. l, feel like l am walking on clouds ( soft, light and extremely comfortable),” said Sam Ohemeng, Nurse Pracitioner.
Another feature is the extended heel geometry. This new design offers a more aerodynamic stride, making it ideal for long training runs where durable comfort is essential. In terms of sustainability, the Bondi 8 continues HOKA’s legacy of using vegan-friendly materials and recycled mesh in the shoe’s upper part. This makes the shoe environmentally conscious and allows your feet to breathe and move comfortably during your run.
The Men’s Brooks Glycerin 20 offers unparalleled comfort and durability for long-distance runners. This shoe has been re-engineered with a new cushioning system and sole, providing the smoothest ride yet. The shoe’s standout feature is its lightweight, Nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 foam, which enhances the shoe’s durability, responsiveness, and comfort.
A key feature is it’s wider platform designed for the midsole and outsole, ensuring balanced transitions from heel to toe, adding an extra layer of smoothness to each step. This shoe is perfect for neutral runners who don’t require additional support, as it offers maximum cushioning for a plush feel with every stride.
“After switching to Brooks, my foot pain is almost gone, and I am feeling much better. Good shoes go a long way. I can’t wait to get started with my daily runs,” said Sam Ohemeng, Nurse Practitioner.
Lastly, the shoe features an Engineered Mesh Upper for foot-hugging comfort and a nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 midsole for incredibly soft and smooth turnover. The redesigned midsole and outsole offer a widened platform, providing reliable traction for confident strides.