There were some great comments and suggestions in that original post and we explored all of them. In the end, because we hoped it might be simplest for our customers and quick for us to set up, we decided to test having people measure their feet with a tape measure. We've run one beta test and are in the middle of a second one and the results so far haven't been great.
For the first test we wanted to develop the simplest possible method to measure your feet with a tape measure. We experimented and came up with a method we thought might work. I measured everyone's feet using that method and our supplier determined sizes from my measurements. 12/16 shoes fit first time = 75% success rate. Not brilliant, but ok and I'm sure we could improve from there - so the measuring method works, but that's with one person measuring everyone's feet.
For the second test we wanted to see if customers could be taught to measure their feet accurately using the same method. We created the instruction video below and put together a document explaining how to measure your feet.
24 people measured their own feet following these instructions. Jodie or I then measured their feet to compare measurements. Unfortunately only 4 people got the same measurements as Jodie and I. Those 4 people each took about 20 minutes to follow the instructions really carefully, so the method works if people do that, but we can't expect everyone to take the time to do this, so the failure rate is likely to be too high if we have people take measurements of their feet with a tape measure.
Still, all is far from lost, the plan from here is:
1. We're going to set up a market stall in Sydney, ideally at the Bondi markets, where we have sample shoes for people to try on for sizing. Once sized up, people can order online through the website (we'll have computers with internet access at the stall). This will let us start selling shoes and give us the opportunity to keep testing alternate sizing methods.
2. Our supplier likes the idea of people posting us a closed in shoe that fits really well. We can use that to get sizing right and ship the shoe back with the customer's order. We're still thinking this through, but we're likely to run a third beta test trialling this method.
We're still very open to other possibilities that came from the comments in our original sizing post, like an iPhone app (check out RulerPhone) that helps you measure your feet (thanks Ben) or a way to take a foot mold at home (thanks Cameron).
As always we'd love to hear your thoughts. Would you visit us at the Bondi markets in Sydney to get sized up? Would you be willing to post us a shoe that fits you really well?