Find your sole mate with Amazon AR shoe-shopping via iPhone


Turns out you can try on shoes with your iPhone.
Turns out you can try on shoes with your iPhone.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon already had a try-before-you-buy program for Prime members, where you can send an article of clothing back after trying it at home. On Thursday it added Virtual Try-On, an augmented reality (AR) experience where you can try on shoes without ever touching them via iOS.

All you need it the Amazon app and an iPhone to see how a pair of kicks will look on your feet.

Amazon adds Virtual Try-On for shoe shoppers with iPhones to see how footwear looks on their feet

Amazon’s new Virtual Try-On feature for shoes is available for iPhone users in the United States and Canada.

“Amazon Fashion’s goal is to create innovative experiences that make shopping for fashion online easier and more delightful for customers,” said Muge Erdirik Dogan, president of Amazon Fashion.

“We’re excited to introduce Virtual Try-On for Shoes, so customers can try on thousands of styles from brands they know and love at their convenience, wherever they are,” he added.

Easy to use

To use the feature, open up the Amazon app on your iPhone, select a pair of shoes and look for the Virtual Try-On button under the product image.

If it’s there, tap the button and point your iPhone’s camera at your feet. After a moment of loading, the shoes will appear as if they’re on your feet. More or less.

You can change shoe colors from the same screen while looking your feet on the iPhone’s screen, which is a nice feature.

But Virtual Try-On isn’t perfect. Moving my feet around, my shin ran into the top of the sneaker at times, I found. The shoes popped off my feet for a second here and there, too.

But you can get a decent look from different angles. You may find the experience marginally better than simply looking at the selection of photos and the “View in 3D” option.

Thousands of shoes, but not nearly all of them

You can choose from “thousands of sneaker styles” set up with this digital fitting process from brands like New Balance, Adidas and Reebok, Amazon said in a statement. And it plans to add more.

Even so, for some major brands, like Nike, Virtual Try-On is not available. And I clicked through on quite a few athletic shoes from several brands and found no Virtual Try-On button.

And it’s worth noting, of course, that trying on shoes virtually doesn’t help you with some crucial factors when it comes to choosing new shoes — namely, fit and comfort. But it gives you a little bit more of a visual sense of the shoe.

Clues to Apple’s AR/VR future

The feature is available exclusively on iOS. That seems to support the chatter around WWDC22 that iOS 16 is loaded with clues to Apple’s AR/VR future.

While Amazon’s new feature is about shoe shopping, the retail behemoth and Apple started bolstering shopping experiences with AR back in 2017.

The Amazon app lets you use AR to get a better sense of clothes, furniture and beauty products, to name some examples.

AR shopping appears to have a bright future as a win-win for consumers and retailers. It’s available around the clock, requires no interaction with store employees and extend shoppers’ reach to endless products.

And it’s all in your iPhone, or soon will be.


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