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Footwear fit and comfort

Comfortable footwear generates brand loyalty and encourages repeat sales. Although comfort is dependent on a complex range of factors and is highly subjective, SATRA provides a range of services, including research, to quantify the comfort of products and assess how specific materials and constructions enhance comfort.

SATRA’s unique Comfort Index provides a meaningful way of quantifying footwear comfort under controlled laboratory conditions such that a number can be assigned to define the overall level of footwear comfort. The Comfort Index also highlights which aspects of comfort add to or detract from the overall comfort.

A variety of tools help to assess footwear comfort: pressure mapping for underfoot comfort; thermography to monitor heat build up; SATRA Endofoot to assess thermo-physiological properties; environmental chamber to determine properties under extremes of temperature (from -40°C to +50°C) and humidity; tests for specific attributes of comfort including footwear flexibility, ground insulation, shock absorption and thermal insulation.

We also offer a lasts and fitting service based on 100 years' research on the relationship between feet and footwear and global dimensional surveys. We can assess the dimensions and suitability of lasts for their intended market, undertake footwear fitting trials on new ranges and help to develop footwear products to fit specific population segments. Last assessment at SATRA can be manual, digital or both according to the needs of the brand or manufacturer. Digital last assessment is a simple, fast, accurate and cost-effective way to assess 3D CAD files of men's, women's or children's lasts. As an extra service, the digital information can be compared with SATRA's foot dimensions database to produce a percentage population coverage value for specific demographics. SATRA also develops footwear fitting aids for use at retail and advises on footwear sizing systems and conversions.

SATRA can provide training courses for member companies in all aspects of footwear fitting and comfort assessment to ensure relevant staff are competent. We will train technologists 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.