The present invention teaches a method of conducting retail and Internet business including making and delivering a custom article of footwear. The article of footwear taught in the present invention includes a spring element that can provide improved cushioning, stability, and running economy. Unlike the conventional foam materials presently being used by the footwear industry, a preferred spring element is not substantially subject to compression set degradation and can provide a relatively long service life. The components of the article of footwear including the upper, insole, heel counter, spring element, and sole can be selected from a range of options, and can be easily removed and replaced, as desired. Accordingly, the present invention also teaches a method of making a custom article of footwear.