Technology 3 min read

Mixed Reviews -- Are Smart Shoes Useful or a Gimmick?

A number of major footwear companies are pushing forward with newly designed smart shoes. But, are they worth the investment?

Smart shoes are becoming more popular by the day. But, are they just gimmick? | Image By Maridav | Shutterstock.com

Smart shoes are becoming more popular by the day. But, are they just gimmick? | Image By Maridav | Shutterstock.com

Sneaker companies now depend entirely on technology to create better products.

Earlier this year, Nike released a self-lacing shoe called the Adapt BB. Using a system known as FitAdapt, the shoes depend on an app, a motor, and wires that draw the shoes tight or unlace it. Here is how it works.

When you put the Adapt BB on, the shoes’ sensors calculate the tension required to keep your foot snug and the motor automatically makes necessary adjustments. Also, with Nike’s Adapt app, users can modify the precise snugness of the shoes. Yes, it seems too much for a pair of footwear, but the technology offers an advantage.

Nike is pushing forward with the smart shoes revolution. Why is Adidas choosing to stay behind? | Image via Ebuyer

According to an independent study at the University of Denver, the Adapt BB reduces foot’s movement inside shoes by 40 percent. And as a result, athletes can run faster for longer.

Also, if you want, your shoes can send collected data to Nike. In response, the company can wirelessly update your sneaker’s firmware to make it work better for you.

Under Armour’s HOVER shoes also contain various sensors to track your running. The thickest part of the shoe’s sole includes an accelerometer that automatically detects when you start running.

So far, the shoes have gotten mixed reactions. While some believe it’s a massive leap for wearable gadgets, others see it as a gimmick.

Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told Yahoo FinanceWe believe the real impact of tech will not be on the product itself, but instead around the product — how you engage with consumers,

…the data you can get out of sensors in a product you can’t put to really good usage. Until the killer app comes, putting sensors in the products will do very little for the athlete,” said the CEO

So instead of creating sneakers with sensors that’ll pair with your smartphones, Adidas is focusing on 3D-printed shoes made from recycled plastic.

Adidas already makes its shoes and apparel out of recycled materials. With a commitment to increase its eco-friendly effort, the company announced that it would create 10 million sneakers from recycled plastic this year. That’s twice the amount of eco-friendly shoes it made in 2018.

Based on Rorsted’s thoughts about smart shoes, it’s safe to say that Adidas won’t be making one any time soon.

Read More: Why Solar Powered Watches are the Next Step in Smartwear

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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