Drop everything and download: Wanna Kicks

A perfect AR app for shoegazers – in a rather literal sense

Apple’s thinking behind AR largely aligns with lofty goals: helping people find their way in the wilderness; immersive entertainment; delving into a virtual cadaver, on your path to becoming a world-famous surgeon. Wanna Kicks is having none of that.

Instead, it reckons what people mostly want to do with AR is try on shoes. Because dealing with real shoes requires you fiddle around with laces, and pull the things on to your feet, Wanna Kicks does away with such hassles, taking footwear into the realm of the blissfully virtual.

What is it, then?

The app includes options from the likes of Nike, Asics and Adidas. Tap a style and the app entertainingly asks: “Show me your feet”. Obey and shoes are mapped on to your size tens – or, as it turns out, any other size. During testing, Stuff had fun putting tiny versions of trainers on to a four-year-old’s dinky feet.

Move about and the shoes follow, even if you get smart and start skateboarding, like the people in the Wanna Kicks promo clip. Shoes you like can be flagged as favourites, and you can nip off and buy a pair by way of a handy Find in Store link.

Any downsides?

This is AR, and so the mapping can leave something to be desired. You’ll find these shoes a tad flickery, and there will be times where bits of your real-world feet stick out in a mildly worrying and unconvincing manner.

Also, remember at some point that you’re not actually trying on real shoes. “These look good” is a pretty long way from “these actually fit me”. Similarly, probably don’t head out with your flashy AR shoes, showing them off to all and sundry, or everyone else will think you’ve gone mad. Again.

Where can I get it?

Wanna Kicks is a free download from the App Store, and is currently only available for iOS.