Introducing Open Air’s New Remote Services

Over the summer we’ve developed more online content, and introduced remote services, such as our remote footwear fitting service, to benefit those who can’t make it into our Cambridge store, or prefer not to, for whatever reason. Our customer services heroes are still here to answer your emails and live chats, and take your calls, but we’re getting ever busier with more in-depth enquiries, so we’ve introduced these services to give more time to respond to those. We aim to give you a taste of our in-store experience, and let you benefit from our knowledge and expertise, without having to leave the comfort of your own home. You can speak with one of our experts at a time to suit you, to discuss any of your outdoor gear needs, whether footwear clothing, or equipment. This blog post is designed to help you understand a bit more about the process and explain how it might be useful to you.

Finding the right footwear online can be especially challenging, and we want to improve your chances of finding the right boots or shoes for you. By offering this service, we aim to give you more confidence in buying.

Who is it for?

Anyone who needs more detailed advice but can’t come into the shop. During lockdown, that’s everyone, of course – once lockdown is over, maybe you’re self-isolating or worried about Covid, or maybe you’re just not local to Cambridge. If you’ve got a quick query, then just contact our customer services team as usual and they’ll be delighted to help.

Why are you offering these services?

We are passionate about the outdoors and want to help you enjoy the outdoors more too. Shopping online doesn’t always give the exact same information or experience you’d find in store, but we want to give all our customers the benefit of our knowledge and expertise. We hope you’ve found the guides on our blog to be useful if you need general advice – check them out here. Our new remote services are designed to complement those by providing more specific advice when you need it.

How do I book?

You can book an appointment here. You will receive a confirmation email once the booking has been confirmed by us. You can also call us to book.

How does it work?

Once you’ve made a booking, we will call you at the appointed time. This may be done over the telephone, or we may invite you to a video meeting, in which case you will receive a link to the meeting in advance.

Which services do you offer remotely?

Almost anything outdoors-related, where you just need a bit more of an in-depth discussion: This could apply to footwear; clothing; Leki trekking and Nordic walking poles; or camping and other equipment. For shorter enquiries, please contact our customer services team as normal.

What do I need to do before the appointment?

For footwear enquiries, it is often helpful if you take some measurements beforehand. We will direct you as to what and how to measure (see below).

For other enquiries, there is no need to do anything in advance.

Which footwear measurements do I need to take?

Left and right feet often differ, so it is important to provide measurements for each foot. It’s best to wear the socks you’d normally wear inside your walking boots/shoes, and it can be helpful to stand with your heels touching a wall, on a piece of A4 paper. You can then mark the paper to make it easier to measure, especially if you don’t have someone on hand to help you. We will provide more detail ahead of your appointment, but the main measurements we normally ask for are:

  • length (back of heel to end of longest toe)
  • heel-to-ball length (from back of heel to the middle of the ball joint behind your big toe)
  • width (straight across, measuring the widest part)
  • whether you big toe or second toe is your longest toe
  • how far back your little toe is, compared to your big toe
  • the circumference of your foot, going under the back of the arch and over the top of your foot (near the base of your shin)
  • the circumference of your foot, going around the ball joint and across near your little toe
We will input your measurements on to our Brannock measuring devices

What if I order boots, but they still don’t fit?

If you buy the size and model of boots or shoes we’ve recommended to you following a remote footwear fitting, you can return the boots for free – provided they’re still as new and haven’t been worn outside. Contact us and we’ll send you a pre-paid returns label.

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