From the moment Marty McFly slipped on those self-lacing shoes in Back to the Future Part II, the smart shoes race was on.
But while Marty’s fancy Nikes only boosted street cred, the futuristic footwear of today is all about improving performance. The sensor-packed Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3 is part of a range of connected running shoes that monitor your every move and coach you to run better in real time.
They look – and perform – like regular running shoes, but motion sensors in the soles track running stats, including distance and pace. There are detailed metrics such as cadence, contact time, strike angle (where your foot hits the floor at the front, mid or heel) and stride length.
All your data is then fired by Bluetooth to the MapMyRun app, where you get virtual coaching tips on how to improve your technique and hopefully stave off injury. Men’s Health laced up the Sonics to test their fitness-enhancing potential.
- 9%: Shoe-wearers who plug into the Form Coaching insights run faster and an average of 9% further than users of the regular MapMyRun app.
- 300-500: The tracking lifetime in hours of your connected shoes. All that tech on board is built to last as long as your footwear, and it never needs charging.
- 400+: The number of data points that the smart shoes track every second, to generate the running mechanics and efficiency insights that inform the real-time coaching as you run.
- 8g: How much the sensors add to the weight of your shoes, with the lightest kicks – the Velociti 2 – coming in at 255g overall.
- 6: The number of different connected shoe styles, from the versatile Sonic 3 and the speed-chasing Machina to the Guardian 2 stability shoe. Under Armour is the first brand to make all of its running shoes smart.
More Cardio Tech to Try
Take full advantage of the latest cardio tech and unleash your inner athlete with these add-ons:
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