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These shoes will tell you when it’s time for a new pair

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 3:14pm
Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor

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 Apple has a lot of great products: iPhones, iPads, computers, laptops, Apple TV and the potential for many more. (Note the lack of iPad mini on this list because it is a dumb product, but I digress.)

It seems the company might be expanding into shoewear with a sensor that will track your steps and tell you when it’s time for a new pair of kicks. According to a patent submitted by Apple, the shoes will have a sensor either in the heel or in a thin layer of material added to the footwear. The sensor will track the repetitive movements associated with taking a step and feed the information to a processor, which will determine when the shoes are no longer functioning correctly.  

When the shoe is ready to be tossed, the sensor will alert the user via a text message or a noise indicating the end of the road for this pair.

At first I thought this was a silly piece of technology, until I — somewhat reluctantly — admitted that it could have saved me from a bout of shin splints caused by running. You’re supposed to buy new running shoes every 400 to 600 miles, but it's hard to track unless you’re really paying attention and that's a pretty big range. Usually, by the time I figured it out, I was 2 miles into a run and in serious pain. The point is that a little reminder to buy new shoes wouldn’t have gone amiss. I’m sure critics will say you could simply look at your shoes and avoid this, but sometimes it’s not as obvious as you might think.

Shoes serve to protect our feet from the dirt/grime/glass/gum of everyday life, but they also support the foot and correct gaits to prevent injury. If the shoe isn’t functioning correctly, you can do serious damage to your foot. This is just in the beginning stages, but I can’t wait to see what Apple does with their new iShoe.

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