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 Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:13 am
The New York Times has a story on the Adidas 1, the world's first computerized running shoe. The shoe has a 20 MHz computer chip and a tiny motor built into the heel, enabling the runner to adjust the shoe's cushioning at the touch of a button. Do we really need this?

While the technology is impressive, it's hard to see how the Adidas 1 is anything more than a gimmick. According to the Times article, the on-the-fly adjustments essentially amount to changing a cushioned shoe into a stability shoe and vice-versa. But who needs to do that? Unless you share your shoes with a friend, you generally only need one type of shoe. It's a whole lot simpler and cheaper to just buy a well-fitting shoe of the type you need.

The Adidas 1 does offer a hint of more interesting things to come, however. Much more useful would be a shoe that could change its characteristics while you were running. Perhaps it might raise the heel slightly while running up hills, or change cushioning levels depending on the type of running surface you were on at that moment. Techno-runners will just have to wait a few more years to see what features Adidas dreams up next.



Pretender
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:26 am 

I read about it elsewhere so I'm going on memory, but it seems that the main thing was idealized cushioning. I think they said that people prefer between 30 and 50% cushioning (whatever that means), but it varies obviously by weight and how you run etc. This shoe is supposed to take those variables and dial it back into the preferred zone. I think it's just a gimmick, but if I were rich and had money to waste, I would buy a pair. In the meantime you can find some nice deals on Kayano IX's since they are now 2 versions back. :o)

runnerswife


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 33

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:11 pm 

Didn't the Reebok Pump (remember that?!?) also allow wearers to adjust cushioning at the touch of a button? :-)

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:01 pm 

That's true... now that you mention it, I don't see how the Adidas 1 is any different from the Reebok Pump really. If it is, they're certainly doing a poor job of explaining it.

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:38 pm 

I though I saw somewhere that these shoes retail for $250. It's not worth it at the price...not when I go through about 4 pair of shoes a year.

Though, I suppose if you are a heavy first time runner trying to lose a good deal of weight the customize cushioning might be useful since you could adjust it as you lost weight.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:18 am 

I truly believe that this is (yet another) attempt to try to create something else for runners to purchase. I mean, our required equipment is fairly simple: Shoes, shorts, shirt, road. They're banking on new runners trying their product and being stuck with it, not unlike those who never use their gym memberships.

Just a thought.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:43 pm 

You might be right. I think there is also a technology-loving segment of the market that will buy any cool gadget regardless of how useful it actually is. People like to have something cool to show their friends, even if it isn't all that practical. And there are also those people that just have to have the top of the line everything, who won't be able to resist this shoe.

jab


Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 8

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:06 am 

As a shoe breaks down with use the amount of support from the shoe
changes, right? This one might give a more consistant amount of support
and cushioning over the lifetime of the shoe. Might even help people
replace the shoe at the right time rather than risk shin splints.

Of course the fun thing would be adjusting the motor every stride to give
a little boost when you push off. If there was a switch that would change
the shoe settings from "slow" (try to actively absorb energy from the stride)
to "fast" (try to actively add energy from the stride) and the difference was
noticible, maybe some people would buy it. Probably the same people who buy
stuff like this:

http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20020607S0077


Pretender
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Adidas 1 Computerized Running Shoe Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:31 pm 

Did the Reebok Pump pump air under your foot? I don't remember it doing that. But I only had the basketball shoes. That was a ways back. Remember Kaepa's? :o)

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