Are custom fit running shoes the key? bra

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When Brooke Torres first took up running, she made what she calls a “rookie mistake”: She wore new, broken-in shoes during her first half marathon.

“I got a blister about the size of a golf ball on my arch,” Torres said. “I just ruined my leg.”

But experience helped him realize. Maybe we were thinking about running shoe sizes completely wrong. The way Torres came to this revelation was by considering a different garment: the bra. She thinks that bras and shoes *should* have a lot in common.

“The bra is really a performance product, and we size them in a way that takes into account that multiple measurements are important,” says Torres. “But there’s only this one fit model in running shoes, basically.”

Brooke Torres
Photo: W+G Creative

Flash forward to the present, and now Torres is the founder and CEO of a new running shoe company, Hilma, based on giving customers a personalized-fit shoe. So custom that when it launches this fall (starting with a women’s fit), the shoe style will come in 45 different sizes.

How do customers find the right shoes? Hilma has developed fit prediction technology, and shopping will include an online consultation that takes into account your personal preferences and your foot size. Like a bra, there will be multiple measurements that matter, which Torres hopes will meet her ultimate goal of allowing those who want to run to go and have fun.

Torres joins us Good + Good podcasts To discuss his running journey from novice to ultra-marathoner and his professional journey from start-up worker to company founder. This episode is part of our month-long celebration of runners, called United States of Running, featuring 5K and 10K training plans that almost anyone can do. Learn more about why your shoes are a feminist issue by listening to the full episode.

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