Feetz is a ‘Digital Cobbler’ that specializes in creating sustainable custom fit footwear using 3D printing technology.
Would you like to wear bespoke shoes that were designed specifically for your feet? Are you tired of developing blisters on your feet or having to break shoes in? Feetz presents a perfect solution through their stylish custom fit footwear and 3D printing plays a huge role in making this possible.
Recently, Feetz announced its strategic partnership with DSW Inc., a leading shoe retailer that is popularly known for offering a wide variety of designer dresses, athletic footwear and accessories for men, women and kids. DSW currently operates 481 stores and supplies Footwear to at least 385 locations within the US.
According to the grapevine, the two companies are planning on leveraging Feetz 3D printing expertise and the retail experience DSW has to deliver 3D printed shoes to the masses.
Their partnership seems timely considering the latest trend that has seen several footwear companies adopting 3D printing in their new designs. For example, Nike is in the process of sewing up its own 3D Printed Sneakers after teaming up with HP and New Balance a few months ago released the 3D Printed Zante Generate. Now through Feetz partnership with DSW, there is no doubt that 3D printed shoes are going mainstream.
Although Feetz is a mere startup compared to most of the other companies travelling in this space like Nike, it’s obvious that they are onto something and given the stunning footwear that they are offering and the definite retail advantage they now have thanks to winning the backing of DSW. It may only be a matter of time before they claim a huge market share.
Frugal Rates for Personalized Shoes
Lucy Beard, the found and CEO of Feetz, says that she came up with the idea of starting a company that made recyclable, customized and comfortable shoes because she just couldn’t find perfectly fitting footwear.
This is what inspired her to start 3D printing her own shoes. She was thereafter fortunate to raise $1.25 million last year in seeding funding that plunged her into making Feetz a fully fledged shoe company. By partnering with DSW, Lucy will now be able to fulfill her vision of enabling every person to enjoy wearing the best custom fit 3D printed shoes.
The best part is Feetz will enable DSW to provide personalized shoes at a highly affordable rate compared to what was traditionally possible. A single pair costs only $199. Simon Nankervis, Chief Commercial Officer at DSW, said:
“DSW is excited at the possibility of bringing Feetz’s innovative technology to our customers. The Feetz model will allow our customers to purchase true custom fit shoes at a fraction of what traditional bespoke shoes cost. We believe that giving customers the ability to purchase on-demand, affordable, custom-fit shoes has the potential to disrupt the footwear market as we know it today.”
As part of the partnership, DSW Inc. played a significant role in leading Feetz’s Series A funding which included the active participation of their existing investors: Khosla Ventures and The Jump Fund. Furthermore, Erin Kelly who is the Senior Director of Innovation at DSW Inc. will be joining Vijit Sabnis of Khosla Ventures and Uli Becker (previously the CEO of Reebok) on the Feetz board.
Feetz ‘Size Me’ Fitting System
In order to provide their customers with perfectly tailored and cozy shoes, Feetz has come up with a unique ‘Size Me’ fitting system that is designed to help any buyer out there to have their own customized 3D printed shoes made.
To get your custom made shoes, you will first be required to fill in a sign-up form. This is important because due to the fact that the company makes Personalized Footwear, every order is inimitable in its own way and signing up helps to keep your order on queue awaiting delivery. When signing up you will be asked to share a little about yourself and this information will all go into enabling Feetz to design shoes that are 100% tailored to fit you as well as fulfilling your design preferences.
Once you are done signing up, the next step will be to download the Feetz app which is available on iOS and Android in about 10 countries presently. Through the app you can take and send to the company three quick pictures of each of your feet. Finally, you simply choose your shoe style and colors and place your order.
Feetz is able to cinch the best fit possible because each pair is available in 22 dimensions of fit and using the ‘Size Me’ fitting system; you will get to determine the special size that suits your feet. In addition, the Feetz app can scan feet up to around 2mm of accuracy from the three photos you send within a minute.
The scan produces a 3-dimensional virtual image of your feet. Depending on this virtual image, the app then resizes designs to reach a customized fit. This process is so meticulous that the midsole is rightly matched to the arch of your foot.
What’s more, there’s a range of sole styles and upper shoe designs and colors that customers can choose from to ensure that the pair you order is entirely customized to match your tastes. Generally, the upper part of the shoes is made through Feetz’s FlexKnit pattern technology which produces a textured knitted fabric using 3D printers.
Early this month Beard said:
“We’ve been amazed with the demand and the positive feedback we’ve received from our early Feetz customers. We’ve been perfecting and protecting our technology for the last 18 months so every customer gets what they deserve – a shoe that fits. Our new 3D printing manufacturing facility in San Diego, the first of its kind, will fulfill thousands of orders per month. DSW’s impressive reach and customer centricity makes them the perfect partner for Feetz.”
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