Running with Wearables: Top 5 Connected Shoes of 2018

We need your consent to enable the rating function!

This feature is only available when corresponding consent is given. Please read the details and accept the service to enable rating function.


Smart shoes are here to take your running to the next level. Innovative wearable companies are focused on incorporating technology into the realm of fitness. From measuring athletic performance to charging portable devices, smart shoes represent convenience, elegance and comfort for your feet. We´ve collected 5 of the hottest smart shoes on the market today. Read on…

Wearables make your running shoes more intelligent.
Unleash your full potential with shoes tracking your running metrics

HOVR connected shoes by Under Armour have built-in sensors to track your pace, cadence, distance, stride and, steps – all the metrics that are important to runners. The batteries and the sensors in the shoes are self-contained. According to the company, the Record chip will outlast the life of the smart shoes themselves, so longevity depends on how you use it. Under Armour said it is confident that you won’t ever have to worry about running out of power.

The shoe’s Map My Run app is compatible with iOS and Android and can be easily installed within a few minutes. Under Armour is an American company based in Baltimore, Maryland. It also has offices in Asia and Europe. The company claims its HOVR shoes have been designed to give you a zero gravity feel and great energy return. The shoes have added cushioning that absorbs and eliminates impact. The microthread upper dries quickly and gives you a breathable, compression-like fit and great comfort.

Track your workouts and boost your performance

No stranger to the connected wearable market, Xiaomi has developed Mijia shoes that have built-in MI smart chips to detect movement and store data including distance covered, speed, calories and more. With a sporty look, the shoe has an excellent design. It has a breathable front, meaning you have to be careful when it rains. On the other hand, the breathable front keeps your feet nice and cool. The battery can last for months. The shoe connects to Xaiomi’s MiFit app, allowing you to connect your shoes to your smartphone or Xiaomi Mi Band.

The app displays information such as distance walked, steps taken, hours slept and your weight. It’ll also tell you how many calories you’ve burned and how many gallons of gas you’ve saved by walking. The app also lets you do several outdoor activities like treadmill, walking, outdoor running, and outdoor cycling. Connecting the smart shoes is very easy; all you have to do is place the battery and shake the shoes. Once you’ve walked for miles and want to synchronize the shoes, just shake the shoes and synchronizing will start.

Haptic footwear for visually impaired people

Lechal haptic footwear was launched by Indian company Ducere Technologies which was founded in 2011. Lechal (pronounced lay-ch-al, meaning “take me there” in Hindi), uses vibrations in your feet to allow you to navigate. The company said its main target is the visually impaired people, which according to the World Health Organization, estimated to be around 285 million globally with majority being in India. It took a team of 100 people 5 years, 15 prototypes and countless hours to produce these shoes.

An interactive, haptic based navigational system allows wearers to be invisibly guided to their destination through gentle vibrations in the smart shoes. The destination would be set on their phone by the user. The shoes use phone’s GPS to calculate the location data and convey directions. Once the user synchs the shoes to the Lechal app through Bluetooth, haptics goes into action to show the wearer the way. If the wearer needs to turn left, the vibration would be sensed on the left foot and similarly the right foot would get the vibrations when the wearer needs to turn right.

Visualize and analyze your dance moves

E-Traces is a pair of ballet pointe shoes that transmits a dancer's movements to an accompanying app in a smartphone. The shoes use Lilypad Arduinos technology to record pressure and movement whenever they touch the ground. The dancer can use the app to visualize their dance moves or compare them to others’. The brains behind these shoes is Lesia Trubat, a designer who graduated from ELISAVA design school in Barcelona, Spain.

Trubat hopes the methods applied in the shoes can be of use for other dance disciplines, and that they can also help in dance classes. Lilypad Arduino technology is designed for sewing into wearables. There are three force sensitive resistors that work as analog pressure sensors. They measure the force applied on the ground by the wearer’s feet. The acceleration of the feet is measured by a Lilypad Accelerometer.

Integrated sensors providing precise running intelligence

The Altra Torin IQ shoes have dual footbed sensors to provide runners precise running intelligence in 4 critical areas and live coaching feedback during every run. It is the only shoe in the market to feature razor-thin, featherweight sensors and transmitters embedded in the midsole of each shoe – giving runners live data for each foot individually.

The shoes use Bluetooth technology to communicate directly with the Altra IQ iFit app on a smartphone. It transmits data in 4 critical areas: impact rate, landing zone, contact time and cadence. Distance, pace and time are also tracked by the app. Altra Torin IQ plays the role of a stride coach during every run, relaying feedback in real-time via the app screen and audible coaching. Runners can customize how often they want to receive live coaching based on their preferences.

Topics in this article