Wearable tech for runners is moving away from your wrist, and down to your feet… Makes perfect sense.
Wearable tech is quickly moving into a wide variety of sports, but running is the sport that’s longest been associated with consumer-level wearables.
Typically, gadgets to track your runs are worn on the wrist, but as our feet are the interface with ground, and smart running shoes about to hit mainstream, things are about to change..
The Best Smart Running Shoes
TUNE by Kinematix takes consumer-level run tracking to the next level.
TUNE’s high-tech insoles and hub is used with your regular running shoes, and fits all sizes. TUNE’s smart insoles are placed underneath your regular insoles. Sensors embedded into the insoles transmit your running performance and technique data to lightweight, water-resistant hubs that attach to the outside of your shoes.
Tune closely monitors both feet and is capable of detecting asymmetry in real-time by measuring your ground contact time, and heel contact time. These features provide an insight on how run more efficiently, with more balance and less injuries.
As well as tracking your technique, TUNE pulls data from the GPS on your smartphone or smartwatch to deliver all the essential running metrics, such as speed, pace and distance – all in real-time.
The TUNE app features 8 exercise groups, and Kinematix will provide personalized training programs to help increase your power, form, speed, and prevent injuries.
TUNE includes a platform for professional coaches which allows data to shared and compared with other pros.
10 hours of running time. Charging time: Around 90 minutes.
TUNE syncs wirelessly to devices running iOS 8.4 + / Android 4.3 + / Android Wear Smartwatches.
Around $199 USD.
Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini 2 Record-Equipped
Untethered running, as coined by Under Armour is no doubt the future of athletic footwear. The UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped ring all the qualities of non-connected UA gear, such as precision fit, low foot fatigue, and sharp aesthetics.
With the UA smart running shoes you can head out without your smartphone and keep track of your performance thanks to a coin-sized chip with built-in sensors embedded in the shoe. It provides metrics such as cadence, duration, distance, calories burned, and splits. When you finish your run just sync to your phone over Bluetooth to review your stats in the UA app.
If you want to add GPS tracking and get even more running data, such as real-time pace, stride cadence and routes, you can do this using the SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE and the UA MapMyRun app. As well as monitoring your outdoor runs, your indoor treadmill runs are also tracked.
The SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE has an Auto Start feature which automatically recognises when you start running, and begins tracking once you exceed a speed of 11 minutes per mile.
The shoes are smart enough to know when you’re not running, this ensures optimal battery life – which is longer than the life of the shoe itself. There is a feature that alerts you when you’ve run 400 miles and advises you to replace the shoes – cool if you’ve got the doh to blow..
Up to 3 years depending on usage (never needs charging).
The UA Speedform Gemini 2 RE sync wirelessly to devices running iOS 8.0 + / Android 4.4 +.
Around $149 USD.
Lechal makes any footwear smart. The Lechal pods can either be slipped into the trim-to-fit insoles and worn with any shoes, or worn on your laces with the dedicated buckle.
Lechal don’t offer the same level of advanced running metrics, like Tune (above), instead they bring GPS navigation into the mix by way of haptic feedback. This means you can set your route and your smart shoes will guide you with left and right foot vibrations and patterns. What’s more, the pods also work offline.
The Lechal pods track your steps taken, calories burned and distance covered. They also record your activities and play nicely with Apple Health and Google Fit. Logically, the best place for monitoring steps is from the feet, hence these smart insoles offer a more accurate step count than wrist-worn trackers.
Around 15 days. 2.5 hours charging time.
Lechal syncs wirelessly to devices running iOS 8.0 + / Android 4.1 +.
Around $120 USD.
Best Smart Running Shoes Coming Soon
The iFit powered Altra-IQ give you an all-in-one solution for tracking all the important aspects of your runs.
Each shoe contains razor-thin sensors embedded into the insoles. Altra-IQ act as your own digital running coach, generating live feedback and tips while you’re on the move.
The real-time feedback by Altra-IQ to your compatible smartphone, smartwatch or fitness tracker, is designed to get you running faster and longer, while helping you understand how to reduce the chances of injury.
The advanced injury prevention and technique enhancement features include: ground contact time, landing zone, and impact rate – balance left vs right. The award-winning shoes also take care of the essential running metrics, including: pace, cadence, distance and duration.
Around 600 miles of running.
The Altra-IQ smart running shoes sync wirelessly to devices running iOS / Android.
Around $200 USD. Find out more by visiting Altrarunning.com
ARION by ATO-GEAR impressed us a great deal at London’s Wearable Technology Show back in March.
The impressive run tracking technology is designed to get you track to running faster, better and safer. Arion consists of smart insoles with embedded biometric sensors, a corresponding wrist-band, and a feature-rich app.
ARION’s smart insoles are placed underneath the regular insoles in your running shoes. The biomechanical data collected by the insoles is sent to a foot pod (hub) attaches to the sides of your shoes.
ARION monitors both feet and can detect imbalance in your running technique in real-time. They also track, ground contact time, striking index, vertical oscillation, impact, speed, distance, and a handy feature allows you to set your foot landing target zone assisted by a real-time animated graphic.
Arion’s online cloud-based dashboard allows you to come back later and review your data and get specific exercises depending on the goal you want to reach.
Around 7 hours of running time.
The Arion smart running shoes sync wirelessly to devices running iOS / Android.
ATO-Gear have already started shipping their connected kicks to early adopters. They say pre-orders will be opening soon – I’m not exactly when that may be.
€130 Euros – €300 Euros depending on the package – basic or premium.
Check back for more information about the ATO-GEAR Arion.
Stepp is a performance tracking wearable that can be attached to any shoes.
With its cutting-edge motion sensors, Stepp can map out your entire lower limb movement. In addition to the modules that attach to your shoes, the package includes a waist clip that’s capable of monitoring hip tilt and vertical movement.
The high-tech running wearable tracks the essential metrics, such as speed and cadence; but also offers advanced metrics including foot contact time and contact angle, foot strike type, swing speed, pronation, impact force on knees, stride length, and balance.
Stepp features a live digital coach that offers actionable insights and performance data in real-time when you hook up a pair of headphones to the smartphone app. Stepp aims to have you running more efficiently and safely with live fatigue alerts, form correction and more.
Around 6 hours of running time.
The Stepp smart running shoes sync wirelessly to devices running iOS / Android.
Kickstarter backers should start receiving their smart kicks in June – July 2017.
Stepp will be retailing for $199 USD. Early bird prices with a 40% discount are still available over at Kickstarter (at the time of writing).
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