The idea of putting sensors into running shoes isn’t something new. Nike launched a smart shoe – the Nike+ Training Shoe back in 2012 and it was capable of reading a range of foot-based data which includes the number of times your feet hit in the ground and more. Since then, we’ve witnessed brands like Under Armour and Asics attempting to popularise form and performance-tracking running shoes with all sorts of machines and techie stuff.

So, is putting sensors in shoes too much of a technical challenge? The market is ready for true technological advances when it comes to running footwear. We’ve been looking at what the future holds for our running shoes and one thing is for sure – they are getting connected more than ever.

Google’s sister company Verily announced its plans to make a smart shoe that tracks weight and falls. Samsung also made some astonishing announcements about the two designs for its smart running shoe patent during the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 – the running shoe will be equipped with a sensor on the external side of the heel counter.

For something you can already find in the market, the latest HOVR spring/summer 2019 “Connected Fitness” collection by Under Armour allows you to track essential statistics such as running distance, pace and splits, cadence and stride length during your run. The shoes are connected to the MapMyRun app that helps track and analyse your running data – there’s no need now to carry extra devices or strap your smartphone on your arm while you run.

Performance sportswear is also going through a paradigm shift in functionality and design – catering to both fitness and lifestyle. Sports shoes and trainers are no longer used in the gym or for running in the park; they are now stylish footwear melding seamlessly with the athleisure trend.

Here’s our pick of these smart shoes that are both fascinating and fashion-forward.

Engineered mesh upper is extremely lightweight and breathable, with strategic support where you need it. (Credit: Under Armour)
Strategically placed, carbon rubber traction pods under the heel of the outsole deliver greater traction and durability at high-impact strike zones. (Credit: Under Armour)

Under Armour HOVR Infinite

As part of the all-new line of the Under Armour HOVR SS19 “Connected Fitness”, the latest HOVR Infinite features a neutral cushioned model with 29mm heel and 21mm forefoot – giving a 360 coverage for enhanced comfort and performance. You are required to pair your shoes just once to the MapMyRun app and the shoes will do all the tracking for you. Besides functioning perfectly for long runs and marathons, the HOVR Infinite is also a stylish addition to your shoe collection.

The Puma RS-Computer has to be plugged to a USB charger to power up the battery. (Credit: Puma)

Puma RS-Computer

Before wearable tech was a thing, Puma already had its hands in this innovative technology. The brand revives its 1986 smart shoe that now helps you track your fitness stats, measure calorie burn, distance and step counts. Information is sent via Bluetooth to an Android or iOS app. But you still need to insert a cable to the USB connection to charge the shoe’s lithium-polymer battery. The shoes, released on 13th December 2018, are only available online or in selected stores in Berlin, London and Tokyo – and limited to 86 pairs worldwide.

It took a team of Japanese scientists and designers two years to develop the Metaride collection with the Guidesole technology. (Credit: Asics)

Asics Metaride

Have you heard of energy-saving shoes? That’s right, Asics has recently introduced a new pair of running shoes that help reduce energy loss at the ankle to boost running efficiency and endurance thanks to the advanced Guidesole technology. It is scientifically proven to offer a total reduction of energy loss at the ankle joint by almost one fifth, allowing runners and athletes to achieve their full potential. Put the Metaride to the test with your long-distance runs while being connected to the Runkeeper app.

Cole Haan introduces its first performance shoes, the ZeroGrand All Day Trainer (Credit: Cole Haan)

Cole Haan ZeroGrand All-Day Trainer

Combining style you expect from a dress shoe and performance you need from an athletic trainer, the ZeroGrand All-Day Trainer is Cole Haan’s first venture into performance-first athletic shoe. The trainers feature Cole Haan’s proprietary leather heel chassis, which provides 360-degree heel support that cradles the back of the foot when the feet strike the ground. There’s also the Grand.ØS Energy foam integrated throughout the shoe, allowing for a high rebound and lightweight cushioning that complement the natural running gait cycle of the foot. The shoes come in a variety of colourways.

The Nike Adapt BB ensures perfect fit but doesn’t collect data. (Credit: Nike)

Nike Adapt BB

The new Nike Adapt BB basketball shoe is the brand’s most advanced fit solution to date. Nike Adapt is a platform that creates a truly custom fit by combining an advanced power-lacing system, an app and continually updated firmware, featured in the new shoe. You are now able to lock down your fit of the shoe with the touch of the button on the sole or via the app using the phone. The upper’s outer black shell is made of high tenacity Flyknit with an inner white shell of QuadFit mesh for a comfortable snug fit.

 

Martin Teo
Content Editor
Martin loves traveling the world to see ancient ruins and classical architecture. He enjoys the culinary experience of various cities but (still) refuses to eat anything insect-like. On a daily basis, he finds time hitting the gym to compensate for the amount of food he needs to eat just to write an article.