The hardest thing about buying online is getting your size right. In a world where US10 can mean whatever it wants, as well as the concept of “medium”, one is often reliant upon other people’s risks in order to feel somewhat safe when it comes to making the right decision for an online clothing purchase. The best sites have a lot of customers that give fit feedback and are easily able to display that info on the product page. But not all sites/brands have that many clients or capabilities in their site to list 100 comments on fit. So, the customer is left to only email the company. The issue with that is that in order to give good size advice you have to have something to compare to. And that only comes when you know the fit of other brands too. And this is where Grayle comes into place.
Grayle is a new concept that aggregates sizing in one place, brand by brand, allowing one to compare their sizes not only against the brand in question but also the Brannock and every other shoe they have. And the brilliance of this is the fact that fit is really an idea. It is so much more than what a Brannock tells you with regards to length and width, but also depth, girth, comfort in snugness/looseness, external issues such as bunions, narrow ankles, etc. There are a lot of factors to it. And so the more people that can share this information the more that a smart algorithm can use that info to create that story that helps other’s make informed decisions and mitigate that risk of a potential return/exchange.
When someone emails me to try to get size advice on my shoes and just tells me a Brannock measurement or asks if I need a drawing or numbers of length/width, I tell them that this really does not tell me much. I need a story. I need to know how you fit in every shoe you own, be it dress shoes, Nike, Timberland, Converse, Merrell, Red Wing, and the like. A guy can measure US10 and wear US9 because his foot is so shallow that a US10 would cause his foot to swim around inside. On the contrary, can measure US10 and have a foot with girth and need a US11. And sometimes a US10 is just a US10, across the board. But you cannot know that until you hear all of their shoes, brand + size. Every new shoe provided tends to secure the idea of how their feet are getting closer to that 100% accuracy in the recommendation.
The industry has been needing a site like this to be created. And finally, someone did it. Now, all we need is for people to go on there, create an account, and start inputting their shoes and sizes. And while this might seem like a lot to do, not only is it for the greater good of the industry but also for your future use as unless you have truly owned most brands in the shoe industry, there could be a brand you need advice on and it is there for your use after their existing clients have input their experiences. It really is a ‘the more we work together, the more we help each other’ type of site. And hopefully, with enough aggregate information, the algorithm can work so well that it pinpoints exact size recommendations that are close to being 100% accurate. That would be something and not only good for the brands, but also for the consumers.
And most important is that it is free to consumers. You just need to create an account and add your details. The brands will be the ones that fund this.
I have partnered up with Grayle, as I believe in this concept and its ability to help the industry on the whole. I hope that you see it too and that the shoe snob community can assist in getting this where it needs to be in order to make a positive difference in the welted shoe industry.