Fitness trackers and heart rate monitors have come to be associated with fitness bands wrapped around the wrists or the chest. But wouldn’t feet be the most logical place to monitor steps, distance and other associated metrics? With the community of runners increasing by the day, there are several who are prone to get some injury or the other.
The advantage of purchasing trackers that are located on your feet are that these devices improve not just how far and how fast you run, but also how well you run. They do this through parameters related to your running form, such as your foot landing, cadence and time on the ground- metrics which you cannot get from wrist based trackers.
Here are the few players that have come out with intelligent trackers for your feet:
Sensoria Sock 2.0
The previous pressure-sensing sock by Sensoria had a bulky ankle cuff that transmitted landing zone and cadence to a smartphone app. The Sensoria Sock 2.0 is an improved version, with a thinner athletic sock and a chip the size of a postage stamp that reads info from flexible textile sensors on the bottom of the sock. The removable chip can be connected to smart apparel like a sports bra or workout shirt, but soon can be implemented to footwear, too. Sensoria has also partnered with Vivobarefoot to build a smart running shoe. $199, amazon.com
Altra Torin IQ
The unique feature of the Torin IQ is it’s thin ribbon of sensors embedded into the top of its midsole, which keeps tabs on your running form in real time. The sensors measure your landing zone and impact rate, plus helpful metrics like ground contact time and cadence. It comes with a companion iFit app which gives on-the-run coaching cues. The app is great because it shows the percentage of time you land on your heels, toes, or midfoot, and the impact rates they have. $220, amazon.com
Much like the Altra shoe here, Arion monitors foot strike, impact forces, and other stride metrics, but unlike the Altra it’s built into a removable insole that can be used in the shoe of your choice. The data is relayed to your smartphone via a small foot-pod that has in-built GPS, so you can run hands free by leaving the phone behind. From $150, getarion.com
Under Armour Speedform Gemini 3 RE
This second smart version Gemini tracks your cadence, distance, and pace but also includes a new feature which tests your “jump test”, which aims to measure muscular fatigue. Pair the shoe with your phone and launch the MapMyRun app for a 20-second assessment to see if you’re ready for an interval workout. The idea behind this is to deduce whether you are in good enough shape for putting in for a big run. $160, amazon.com
Image Courtesy: Runnersworld.com