Altra IQ has announced this morning global availability of its smart shoe, the Alta Torin IQ. The connected footware has sensors in both feet and dishes out running intelligence and coaching feedback, all in real-time.
Running is a popular fitness activity because of its health benefits, affordability and convenience. However the sport can cause injuries, often due to overtraining and people doing too much, too soon. Overuse injuries can occur from training errors such as running frequency, speed, lack of leg strength and flexibility – alongside many other factors.
The advantage of purchasing trackers that are located on your feet are that these devices track not just how far and how fast you run, but can also tell how well you run. They do this through parameters related to your running form such as foot landing, cadence and time on the ground – metrics which you cannot get from wrist based trackers.
Essential reading: Smart shoes – tracking fitness through your feet
Running shoe manufacturer Altra teamed up with iFit, a company that specializes in fitness wearables and associated software, to produce the IQ, a smarter version of their best-selling road shoe – the Torin. These are the only shoes on the market with a multi-sensored system within the length of the midsole of each shoe. This means they can provide detailed data for each foot individually.
Using Bluetooth technology, the shoe communicates directly with the Altra IQ iFit app on the runner’s smartphone to continuously transmit data in four key areas: landing zone, impact rate, contact time and cadence. The app also tracks pace, distance and time.
The shoe has a lot of features, but it’s really about tracking your form. And you don’t have to wait until the end of your run to see what you might be doing wrong. The app provides real-time suggestions on how to adjust your form, increase performance, and cut down the chances of picking up an injury. For example, it can tell you whether you are landing harder on one foot and whether impact concentrates on your heel rather than the mid foot or toes.
“For too long, the two main metrics to measure your run have been ‘how far?’ and ‘how fast?'” said Altra president and co-founder Brian Beckstead.
“With Altra Torin IQ shoes, you get a much richer picture of your run with real-time coaching. We analyze the problems in real time, and provide you with proactive suggestions so you can correct and improve right away. Running has never been smarter.”
During the run, Altra Torin IQ serves as a stride coach, relaying real-time feedback in two way both through the app, and headphones. This is all customisable through the app.
“Many running injuries can be prevented by learning efficient, low-impact running form. However, it can be really hard to analyze running form on yourself,” said Altra founder Golden Harper.
“This shoe is designed to help make runners more efficient and to extend the running career of road and trail warriors out there. Intelligence is power, and Altra Torin IQ can provide insights like nothing else.”