Amazon’s new feature lets you 'try on' shoes virtually
Try before you buy with Amazon’s augmented reality tool.
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Despite the convenience of online shopping, it’s often hard to predict what pieces will look like in real life. But thanks to Amazon’s new Virtual Try-On for Shoes feature (or should we say feeture?), you can now try out shoes without so much as setting, er, foot inside a store.
The shoe shopping tool is the latest of Amazon’s customizable shopping experiences, which also include made-for-you shirts and similar virtual try-on options for select sunglasses and T-shirts. If you’re hoping to use the new footwear feature, here are the steps (pun intended) for taking popular shoe styles for a digital test run.
What is Amazon’s Virtual Try-On for Shoes?
The Virtual Try-On program, an augmented reality (AR) experience, allows you to use your smartphone's camera to “try on” designs and visualize them from all angles. (Think of it as the virtual version of evaluating new kicks in a store mirror.) The program launched with thousands of styles in June 2022, with a focus on sneakers from buzzworthy brands like New Balance, Reebok, Puma, Superga, and Saucony.
How does Amazon’s Virtual Try-On for Shoes work?
As of now, only iPhone users have access to this feature, and you’ll need the Amazon Shopping iOS app to try the try-on tool. (It’s coming soon for Android.) While it’s easiest to access the feature by searching “virtual try-on” in the app’s search bar, you can also load the site on your computer then scan a QR code with your iPhone to switch to mobile. Once it's up and running in the app, scroll through available styles and click “Virtual Try-On” from each product page to launch the phone’s camera. From there, point your phone at your feet to see a live-action image on the screen of realistic-looking shoes superimposed. To see the same style in different shades, you can swap between colors without exiting the AR screen.
I tried the experience to see how I’d look in the Adidas Stan Smiths which I’ve been considering adding to my cart for quite some time. I found the app responsive to movement, and I was able to walk, twist my feet to the side, and so on to see the shoes from every angle.
One thing the Virtual Try-On doesn’t determine, however? What size you should buy. While the digital experience can help you figure out if the shoes fit your personal style, the megaretailer suggests that you instead go by “fit information on the product detail page” to find the right fit size-wise.
What shoes can you try with Amazon’s Virtual Try-On?
Amazon’s Virtual Try-On for shoes is currently focused on sneakers, ranging from athletic shoes to casual, trendy designs. You can digitally slip-on bestselling styles including the Reebok Club C 85, which our reviewer calls “a cut above other heritage models.” For a minimal, canvas option, the try-on section also includes Superga, a brand beloved by celebrities including Kate Middleton.
Whichever designs you prefer, you’ll have fun scrolling the thousands of options to stage your own at-home footwear fashion show. And who knows? This high-tech addition might be the last push you need to “Add to Cart”—or at least to figure out which color to buy.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.