Meet Matt Morgan of Active Feet in Camberwell Junction
Article posted: June 27, 2022
A focus on educating customers and going the extra mile to find the perfect fit is what sets Active Feet apart from other footwear stores.
As a speciality shoe store, Active Feet offers a range of footwear for physical activities including running, walking and cross-training, as well as general daywear and school shoes for children.
Active Feet will mark its 20th birthday later this year, while the Camberwell Junction store has been servicing locals for more than 15 years.
Owner Matt Morgan has been with the business since the beginning and has fitted countless pairs of shoes.
He said Active Feet has origins in podiatry, and his team applies that same expert clinical knowledge to fitting shoes for customers.
“When it comes to our fitting process, we ask customers about their recent history, such as their physical activity and any injuries, then we give them a quick education about foot and lower leg biomechanics before we give them a run-down of features of the shoes,” Mr Morgan said.
“Then we start showing them their own bare feet and biomechanics – on a treadmill, using a camera and tv screen, we show them in real time so they can see their foot in motion. We show them how their feet work better in a shoe that is suited to their feet.”
Active Feet also stands by the motto that they do more than just fit shoes; they offer complete footwear solutions.
Their fitting process, which features an industry-leading video gait analysis, is complemented by the store’s extensive range of shoe brands on offer including orthotic friendly, sports-specific, varied widths, and speciality styles, as well as accessories.
Catering to a more discerning customer
Over the years that Mr Morgan has been working at Active Feet, he has noticed that customers have become more interested in finding good-fitting shoes to support their lifestyles.
“The brands have been building shoes to match as many biomechanics as possible – but in the past people bought based on price, brand or colour,” Mr Morgan said.
“We have always sold shoes to match the biomechanics of a person, which is different for everyone. Now, people are increasingly trying to find the right shoe for them, which is great. And, of course, that is mixed in with a healthy dose of fashion.”
Compared to when Active Feet began almost two decades ago, Mr Morgan said customers were now more focused on the technical aspects of shoes.
“The customers are more knowledgeable now to ask for specific things in shoes. In general, people are starting to understand that it’s better for them to buy something they need rather than simply what they want,” he said.
Preventing pain and injury with the right fit
Part of Active Feet’s unique shoe fitting process involves assessing a person’s past or current injury and aiming to prevent future injury through finding the right fit.
“The reality is, if we hit the ground with 10,000 steps a day, that’s 10,000 impacts with the ground each day. That’s something to take into account when it comes to selecting support or cushioning in shoes, for example. Most injuries are an accumulation of load over time,” Mr Morgan said.
The importance of a good fitting shoe cannot be underestimated, he adds, as a pair that fits well can help people to avoid pain, discomfort, and injury.
“If we put the foot and body in a less supportive structure, we’re telling the body to endure more discomfort and pain than it needs to,” Mr Morgan said.
“Foot pain is not very well understood, and people feel like they have to put up with it. But we don’t have to put up with those things. We want people to find the right shoes and experience the relief that comes with that. And we want them to stay symptom-free.”
Mr Morgan puts it simply: shoes that work better biomechanically will feel more natural and more efficient when you wear them.
Empowering customers through education
Part of the experience of going to a store like Active Feet is the education people will receive about their feet.
From the detailed fitting process to the computer motion analysis of a person’s feet to the expertise passed on by the staff, customers can feel confident that they’ll walk out of the store with more knowledge about their feet than when they walked in.
“We help our customers find solutions through education,” Mr Morgan said.
“People come here because they want the advice or expertise we can offer. Our job is to make what seems like a complex biomechanics story something simple. And we want to help them make better decisions.”
This focus on a high-service, high-solution experience for its customers, which is all built on education, is at the core of Active Feet.
“That’s the rewarding part of the job and why I have stayed in it for 20+ years. The fact that we get to help people every day is really rewarding,” he said.
“We want to help people live an active life so they can do what they want to do every day.”