Product Testing in the REAL World
As a former high-tech engineer, this shoe elf sometimes longingly remembers the days of fancy testing equipment. First on my wish list would be a heavy duty shoe "walker" that could put 100,000,000 steps on our new models overnight to give us quick feedback on durability of materials (kind oflike the bionic kid). Of course, then I wouldn't get the benefit of new prototype shoes to test! Today I tested new T-Rex material (supposedly stronger, tougher, softer) by dragging and shuffling my feet across town to get my lunch. You get a lot of funny looks as you slide down the sidewalk, stop to scrape your feet in gravel and do the twist on glass shards... next time I'll just wear a big sign that says "TESTING IN PROGRESS". I have to keep this up for the next couple months:-).
Of course our best testers are our kids. My husband refers to baby Cruz as Soft Star Tester #5 (after Corina, Violet, Tivi and Kahlil) and the above pair is what he will start sporting this week... YUP... two different shoes so we can get good first-hand comparison of what it is like to have an adjustable toggle cord closure vs. a designer elastic ankle. Our elves are used to wearing different soles on each foot to compare soling materials, different colors on each foot to assess color transfer/dirt resistance, different closures on each shoe to test ease/performance, etc..etc... All of which keeps us in a lot of shoes and interesting grocery store line conversations. It's great, unless you are in a hurry for scientific feedback - back to shuffling around for me!