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Fleet Feet Designed a Sneaker Based On 3D Scans of 100,000 Runners' Feet

Imagine a world where you stroll into a running shoe store, have your foot 3D scanned, and walk out with a freshly crafted bespoke pair of sneaks—every millimeter of which is designed specifically for you. No in-between-sizes issues, hours spent trying on pair after pair, or awkward laps around the shoe store to see how they feel under your feet. 

The latest innovation from Fleet Feet proves that custom sneakers actually could be the future of running footwear. They teamed up with Finnish sneaker brand Karhu to develop the Ikoni, the first running shoe constructed from the data points of 100,000 real customers' 3D foot scans. (Speaking of cool sneaker tech: These smart sneakers are like having a running coach in your shoe.)

In 2017, Fleet Feet teamed up with tech company Volumental to launch in-store 3D scanners called fit id, which analyze your foot shape and size to help you find the best running shoe for your feet. Karhu (which is exclusively sold at Fleet Feet in the U.S.) used 100,000 of those foot scans to inform how they built the Ikoni's "shoe last" (a 3D mold that serves as the basis for shoe construction and accounts for the set dimensions of every part of the shoe). The result: a training sneaker with the craftsmanship of a 100-year-old sneaker company, but newly designed to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes and sizes. (Though you may need to take some more things into consideration if you have flat feet.) 

"We saw an opportunity to focus on seven out of 12 data points from the fit id scans: heel width, width of the ball of the foot, instep height, forefoot height, girth of the ball of the foot, heel girth, and instep girth," says Victor Ornelas, director of brand management at Fleet Feet. "The data allowed Karhu to make adjustments down to the millimeter—which, in a running shoe, can create a big difference in terms of comfort and performance."

The shoe last served as a form for the mesh upper—which is entirely seamless and features 3D-printed overlays to guarantee no painful hotspots. The upper sits on top of an Aerofoam midsole and an 8mm heel-to-toe drop. While the shoe isn't really light enough to, say, take the place of a pro distance runner's go-to sneaker, initial testers praised the Ikoni's smooth ride and super-responsive cushioning—making it suitable for many average runners. (Related: I Own 80+ Pairs of Sneakers But Wear These Almost Every Day)

The Ikoni is available now for $130 at Fleet Feet stores and online at fleetfeet.com.

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