Shnap + Laces lets you run your race without falling on your face

Stopping an exercise routine, or even stopping in the middle of a race, in order to tie one’s shoes can be extremely inconvenient and frustrating. For that matter, stopping to tie one’s shoes even during the middle of the day can be an annoyance.

Shnap + Laces aims to resolve that. The product works by attaching a button to the end of each shoelace and subsequently inserting a ball stud in the upper eyelets of one’s shoe. Next, a retainer clip locks the ball stud into place. Conveniently, the laces then snap into place and remain out of your way for the duration of the day. The product presents a nice alternative for those who don’t want to fuss with double knotting their shoestrings.

Notably, Shnap + Laces isn’t just limited to shoes. It also works with drawstring shorts and pants. What’s more, it can even be mounted to a wall and used to help keep track of any item on a lanyard or keychain.

The campaign seeks to raise $9000 by March 28, 2015. Early bird backers get one pair for $10 with an expected delivery window of April 2015.

Lastly, users interested in Shnap & Laces might also want to check out Powerlace. And for an artsy storage solution for large shoe collections, Sole Stacks is certainly an option worth exploring.


Powerlace laces shoes for you, saves time and bunny ears method

When prompted to think about the amount of time spent in a lifetime tying up footwear, most people would shudder. It takes a thought like that to really understand how much time these seemingly insignificant actions take, but it takes innovations like the PowerLacing system invented by the Powerteam to truly do something about it.

The Powerlace auto-lacing sneakers take advantage of this technology. The slim-profiled sneakers feature a heel presser attached to a lacing system connected to the tongue. As a user presses down on the heel, the high-quality laces lock into place and ensure a snug fit every time, and are rated to be good for over 200,000 lacing cycles. To disengage the laces, a small lever on the back of each sneaker is pressed down. True innovation is found within the Powerlaces as there isn’t a single battery, motor, spring, or gear to be found, minimizing the risk of malfunction. In addition, the sneakers are breathable, waterproof, and washable, and also come in grey, orange, green or blue. A pair of Powerlaces costs $175 CAD (~$154), and provided the campaign reaches their $650,000 (~$571,700) goal, backers should expect their own by May 2015.

The Powerlace auto-lacing sneakers are the result of extremely smart thinking. Without a single moving part, the technology manages to do such a simple task effectively to the marvel of people everywhere. It’s surprising another more established company hasn’t thought of this first, but after this gains attention, they sure will.


SteriShoe 2.0 zaps the noisome from your Nikes

Shoes are rarely cleaned, even though we spend all day in them. There’s no real way to disinfect them. Most will either wash their insoles, risk ruining the shoes in the wash or simply throw them away when they become too smelly. There’s a ton of gross bacteria that can build up in our shoes and we pretty much have no way of fight them. Introducing the SteriShoe 2.0. This updated version of the SteriShoe uses UVC lights to disinfect shoes. The product is shoe, shaped, obviously, and has two metal prongs that sit in the shoe. It also features a fan to dry the shoes since lots fungi thrives in dark wet environments. One of these sterilizing footwear products will cost backers a $99 donation or only $89 if they’re early enough. Estimated delivery is set for December 2014. SteriShoe 2.0 has a campaign goal of $60,000 on Kickstarter.

The new SteriShoe 2.0 improves upon the old model’s controller and prong shape. SteriShoe 2.0 is a great solution for shoe ickiness problems. It would be nice if the campaign provided a little more data on the product’s effectiveness in fighting germs. Still if it at least eliminates odor then it’s a worthy investment, especially since it’s not a disposable product like most shoe fixes seem to be. Going off of the first SteriShoe model’s Amazon reviews, it looks like the one complaint was that the shape was not ideal for high heels, but still works great for loafers and sneakers. All in all, a good way to fight smell and bacteria in a simple way.

Running Wearables

Universole steps up to measuring pressure tracking in your shoes

For most readers of this site, it will have been decades since learning to walk, and most would probably consider it a skill that they’ve mastered. UniverSole is a smart shoe insole that houses several pressure sensors to point out the ways in which one can improve their walking, running, or sitting to prevent strains or injuries. The sensors in UniverSole are paper-thin, and the feel of the insole is comfortable and familiar, preventing users from walking differently while using the product. Also because the design is so thin, UniverSole fits virtually every kind of shoe available for sale.

By acting as the point of contact for tracking, UniverSole offers more accurate data than a wrist-worn activity tracker, while also not advertising to the world that you use a gadget for fitness. With a Bluetooth 4.0 module built right in, data about weight balance, stride, and distance are all tracked and transmitted immediately to any smartphone or tablet.

UniverSole is looking to collect $75,000 in donations to finalize moldings and start production. Backers can run out and get a pair for $200 in November 2015. It’s a great way to discreetly track fitness data, and is a great addition to the new wave of sole trackers we’ve seen recently, joining similar products like the runScribe that tracks while you go.

Running Sensors/IoT Wearables

runScribe takes all the running data you need in stride

The Premise. Runners and joggers love to run and jog all the time. The only problem with this high-impact sport is the injuries that it can cause. These injuries tend to knock athletes off of their feet and they are unable to run for a period of time. It is unclear where these injuries come from and why they occur so frequently.

The Product. RunScribe is a small portable device that attaches to the back of your shoe via a cradle that works with all different kinds of sneakers. This device is worn during a run and, at the end, automatically uploads its data to your computer. Using its 9-axis kinematic sensor, the product measures 13 points of data including impact Gs, braking Gs, pronation velocity, pace, contact time and footstrike type. It runs on battery and uses Bluetooth to connect to the iOS and Android app as well as the computer. RunScribe is small and only about the size of pedometer.

The Pitch. RunScribe’s campaign video shows its creator discussing the drawbacks of running-induced injuries. He explains that with the metrics his product provides, a runner will be able to compare their stats with that of the average runner through the app. For example, he found that he was hitting the ground much harder than the average. In addition, he discusses the value of using runScribe to compare different types of sneakers. RunScribe is hoping to raise $50,000 in a month on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $99, backers will receive the runScribe with limited metrics. At the $119 tier, backers get the runScribe and complete set of metrics at an early price as compared to the regular price of $139. Reward tiers reach up to $2,500 with estimated delivery set in November and December 2014. 

The Potential. Fitness devices are everywhere right now. Not literally, they’re not lying around in the streets, but there are a ton of options to choose from for any athlete looking for metrics about their performance. Most are more overarching like the Arcus ring, but runScribe offers a service that’s unique to runners. It lives on the foot instead of the wrist or finger to get the data that runners need. In addition, it provides baseline statistics on what other runners are experiencing. All in all, runScribe is an excellent option for runners who want to prevent injury and improve their stride.