My name is Cameron Kippen and I am an anthroplogist/sociologist who studies the human foot in health and disease (podologist). I am also a shoe historian and practising podiatrist. My main academic interest is in the psycho-social aspects of shoe design and I am very much looking forward to lurking on this list.
i personally always have trouble looking for the right shoe because my feet are slightly flat(I don’t know how severe mine are since I’ve never compared them to anyone else’s). So for me, buying shoes is all about finding the right fit, and therefore the style really becomes the secondary or tertiary objective. Often, I can’t find the exactly fit, and have to settle with an uncomfortable pair, then hope that I can find a suitable inner sole to counter the problem.
I really hope something like the moldable mouth piece will be made for in-soles.
There are in fact solutions out there for customized fit. I just did a soccer shoe with a special heat moldable insole that provides a custom fit. 100 degrees C, 2 mintues, and a special layer of heat reactive foam in the insole takes the shape of your foot. similar concept to the orthotics that cost $$$ but is provided with the product as a fit value feature for no more at retail than a normal boot.