Idea of the Day - IoT Smart shoe mileage tracker. So many use cases for smart shoes


As an ultra distance athlete it’s a pain in the butt to track the mileage on my shoes. It’s recommended a runner retire his/her shoes every 300-500 miles. If you use a separate app or an activity tracking app like Strava, there’s an overall lack of direct integration with your shoes. I own three pairs of the exact same road running shoe and three more pairs of trail running specific shoes. When I go out for a run, it’s a manual process to track mileage on each shoe, so I simply don’t do it and end up keeping these shoes in rotation far longer than they should be.

In cycling, power meters operate for hundreds of hours on a coin cell battery. When you start a cycling activity your power meter syncs immediately to your bike. A running shoe could embed a basic Bluetooth Low Energy step counter and tie it to the dozens of apps that track running activities such as strava, garmin, etc.

It would sleep to save battery when the shoes do not move for 5 minutes, which means a single coin cell battery would easily last 300-500 miles worth of running. This same sleep function would allow the shoes to ship from the factor with the step counter installed, which means the end user wouldn’t be paying a serious premium for the shoes and the running shoe company would be able to provide notifications when a users shoes exceed the recommended mileage. A win for users running health and a win for Nike, Adidas, Asics and other shoe manufactures that want to sell more shoes!

As always, these ideas are posted for feedback on which to put my time into. Your feedback is what drives me to execute an idea.

**UPDATE 3/11/2019

I’ve revisited this idea after a run yesterday and realized every piece of sports equipment should be connected. From baseball bats to bicycle frames. Here’s an example of a smart bicycle tire pressure sensor that could go farther in its “smart” capacity. Every component should be connected. If there’s a piece of sports equipment in your closet that isn’t “smart”, then it’s old and ripe for rebuild.

Specifically, hardware projects seem to be the most difficult and costly to build a profitable business from. My thinking is if I could start from an already built pedometer, white label it and write the software connects to the myriad of sports apps, I have a fast path to a business. With the idea that everything should be smart I went to google to search for a btle pedometer and low and behold i found a demo design out of a manufacturer in china . That means, my hardware design, build, and supply chain issues are already completed.

For my shoe retirement tracker product - There is no counter numbers that will be displayed on the hardware. I wold only have a green, yellow, and red light that signals the age of the shoes. This is for those that want a quick glance at there shoes to see when they need replacement. Otherwise, they can check their sports app such as Strava or Garmin to look at the lifetime mileage of the shoes.

Alternate Uses:

Can you imagine when a person goes to resell a pair of collectible Air Jordan shoe’s and needs to prove they were only worn for one night? Or never worn? Or worn for only one hour? With a built in smart shoe tracker this device could prove the life of the shoe..

Heck Nike, could use this built in shoe tracker to build a virtual “shoe closet”, where Nike shoe collector aficionados could advertise and prove to their friends that they owned the real deal shoes without having to actually wear the shoes out.