Shoe fits for Qinetiq

Clarks Shoes has awarded a £4.6 million contract to Qinetiq for 3D foot gauges which Clarks will install in a number of its leading stores.


Clarks Shoes has awarded a £4.6 million contract to Qinetiq for 3D foot gauges which Clarks will install in a number of its leading stores.



The foot gauge, which uses six 3D camera systems, will be rolled out into 50 Clarks stores this month to meet the “Back To School” season. The company then intends to install foot gauges in all of its UK and Ireland shops during the next eighteen months.



The 3D foot gauge, already successfully trialled in two Clarks stores, will be used to measure children’s feet quickly and accurately, providing highly detailed length, girth and shape data and helping to ensure the best fit possible. The recorded 3D data will also enable trend analysis, assisting future footwear design and improving stock control and the efficiency of in-store service.



The foot gauge is based on 3D optical ranging technology developed and patented by Qinetiq. The origins of the technology can be traced back to work done for the Ministry of Defence on the detection of unexploded ordnance. The foot gauge captures data very rapidly and both feet can be scanned simultaneously, allowing store staff to decide quickly on best fit.



Hal Kruth, Group Managing Director of Qinetiq’s commercial sector, said, “The Clarks deal represents a great commercial success for Qinetiq. By developing a keen understanding of our customer’s requirements and of how our existing 3D ranging technology could be applied to meet those needs, we have been able to transfer a technology developed for military purposes successfully and quickly into a purely commercial product.”



Bob Hardy, Clarks’ Foot Fitting Manager said, “By bringing the benefits of 3D foot measurement to our customers Clarks is leading the way in ensuring we can provide the best shoe fit possible. A good fit is hugely important to the health of our children’s feet and Qinetiq’s foot gauge will allow us to deliver the most accurate measurements.”



Qinetiq’s contract includes the development, assessment, manufacture and supply of the 3D foot gauges. A manufacturing sub-contract has been placed with Plexus, the global electronics manufacturer.