When customers walk into Sole Solutions, the staff doesn't ask them what size they wear. Instead, a foot doctor-trained shoe expert digitally scans their feet to gather precise sizing data. They might even set up the treadmill to perform a comprehensive gait analysis, which is ideal for runners and anyone who prefers silly-walking to regular walking. Once he's assessed walking styles, foot quirks such as high arches, or reported aches and pains, the staff member can crunch the data to produce a particular brand or model of comfortable, foot-friendly shoes.
In order to grace the shelves of the store, every pair of shoes must earn the approval of a foot doctor, who judges them based on fit, durability, support, and a 1,200-word personal essay before giving them the nod. Consistent winners include pairs by Brooks, Dansko, Naot, Aravon, KEEN, Finn Comfort, and more. The shoes toe the line between trendy and classic designs, with popular styles including platform sandals, clogs, and running shoes.