There are two different products on the market today that attempt to address the consumer demand for intelligent shoes.

Maybe you didn’t realize it but your feet apparently filled out a user survey online saying I want smarter shoes, and inventors and engineers are beginning to step up to the challenge.

Make a Better Shoe for Running
Thus far it appears that two different groups are coming at this demand from two different directions. Addidas has attempted to address the question of how to make a better shoe with a computing or intelligence capability. They’ve developed a product that is supposed to detect your movements, running speeds etc and make adjustments in the shoe to decrease impact. Kind of like handling sensors in a car. The shoe is referred to as Addidas 1 and of course its already got an upgrade so its now Adidas 1 1.1. The shoe comes with a Microprocessor and ‘motor driven cable system’. Combined these are supposed to provide an optimum level of cushioning.
see shopadidas or if very patient w/ flash see Adidas_1 site

Make a Shoe that Does Everything – Convergence
Dada has taken the approach of attempting to converge the need to keep pesky MP3 players, altimeters, and cell phones out of our hands while we are exercising, playing basket ball, or hiking.

Personally, I hate it when I’m playing basketball, racing down the court, leaping through the air to slam dunk the ball, and have to pause to check my altimeter to get a reading on just how high up in the air I really am. Let’s face it, carrying gadgets on the court can be a nuisance!

Enter Dada’s new MP3 player CODE M System basketball shoes. The shoes come with a built in MP3 player, wireless headphones, and actual speakers built into the side of the shoe. Future versions could come with a GPS (verify whether or not you were out of bounds) and access to “other data”.

I think this could offer up a novelty buy to consumers that are into gadgets, music and sports, but on a scale of 1-10, 10 being practical and 1 being ridiculous. I’d give this a 2.5.

If I juxtapose the image of someone playing basketball with an MP3 player, I don’t come up with speakers in the shoes. Would a player have to stretch down and grab their ankles to get that stereo sound pumping? What about the rest of the team? Should they sync up and all it play at the same time?

As a parent and former teenager, kids, teenagers etc wear through shoes pretty quickly even when the style consciousness hasn’t kicked into overdrive. Where’s the practicality in buying shoes with an MP3 player that will get tossed out, when they become worn or their outgrown?

What happens if you step in a mud puddle or get kicked or stepped on? Convergence in shoes hasn’t seen the envelope pushed this far since “I’m gonna get you sucka” came out, with a pimp wearing platform shoes with gold fish swimming in the heals.

Written by: Brett Bumeter, llm