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Ensuring footwear fit and comfort

Introducing the SATRA team that assists members to produce comfortable and well-fitting shoes.

Fit and comfort are vital characteristics of a successful item of footwear – attributes that can go a long way to developing a loyal customer who will return to buy a particular brand time and again. Many companies within the footwear supply chain – including material developers, component suppliers, manufacturers and retailers – have a vested interest in the fit and comfort of the products they make or sell.


Fitting and Comfort Team leader Mike Wilson

SATRA is the recognised expert on footwear fitting, fit and comfort after more than 95 years’ research on the relationship between feet and footwear. Our technologists have researched, developed and tested all types of footwear – such as shoes for everyday wear, fashion footwear, safety boots, sports shoes (including studded boots used in football and rugby) and active outdoor footwear. SATRA even developed the boots worn by the British Expedition that climbed to the top of Mount Everest in 1953.

Simply put, comfort is the absence of discomfort. Although comfort is dependent on a complex range of factors and is highly subjective, SATRA provides a range of services to quantify the comfort of products and assess how specific materials and constructions enhance comfort.


Ladislav Chymcak (left), Sally Edmonds and Lee Wilson

SATRA can help

SATRA’s Fitting and Comfort Team of highly-skilled experts – Mike Wilson, Lee Wilson, Ladislav Chymcak and Sally Edmonds – can assist member companies in the targeting of consumer markets, the generation of brand loyalty through quality and performance, and in the encouragement of repeat purchases.
The team’s experience and knowledge can be utilised to assess the dimensions and suitability of lasts for their intended market, and undertake footwear fitting trials on new ranges. SATRA can also help to develop footwear products to fit specific population segments, develop footwear fitting aids for use at retail, undertake dimensional surveys of feet and advise on footwear sizing systems and conversions.

Fitting problems can be identified before a product is put on the market, thus enhancing comfort which can lead to increased sales.


SATRA offers training in footwear fitting and comfort assessment

A variety of tools are available to assess footwear comfort. These include pressure-mapping for underfoot comfort, thermography (to monitor heat build up) and the SATRA Endofoot, which is used to assess thermo-physiological properties. SATRA also has an environmental chamber to determine properties under extremes of temperature (from -40°C to +50°C) and humidity. Tests for specific attributes of comfort include footwear flexibility, ground insulation, shock absorption and thermal insulation.


SATRA can also provide training courses for member companies in all aspects of footwear fitting and comfort assessment to ensure that relevant members of staff are competent. Technologists can be trained to carry out footwear fitting trials on new footwear ranges and to undertake the SATRA Comfort Index assessment. We can also train retail staff to fit footwear.

How can we help?

Please email for further information on SATRA’s footwear fitting and comfort services.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 16 of the December 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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