Amazon's AR try-ons can show how shoes look, but not how they fit

The feature can still help you shop without leaving home.


Amazon already uses augmented reality to help you try hair colors and makeup, and now it's extending that technology to your feet. The company has launched a Virtual Try-On for Shoes feature in its mobile app that helps you visualize footwear. Tap a button on the product page, point your phone camera toward your feet and you'll see how the shoes would look in a more realistic setting. You can switch colors for a given style without having to leave the AR mode, and share images with friends to see if they like your choices.

The feature is initially available only for iOS users (Android is coming "soon") in the US and Canada. The early selection is limited to runners and other casual shoes from several major brands, including Adidas, Asics, Lacoste, New Balance, Puma, Reebok, Saucony and Superga. Nike is conspicuously absent. And no, you can't yet use this for dress shoes — this won't help you find a perfect set of heels.

The new Virtual Try-On won't tell you whether or not shoes are comfortable, which might put you off. What's the point of finding a sweet style if it pinches your toes? With that said, the tool could still be useful for online shopping expeditions. If you know your shoe preferences, you might just find your ideal pair without visiting a host of local stores or putting all your trust in product photos.

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