Training in worn-out shoes is one of the most common causes of running-related injuries. Cushioning and stability lessens as miles accumulate on a pair of shoes, increasing the stress and impact per step that can lead to joint pain, muscle fatigue, shin splints and more.
Offering runners a digital log of a shoe’s wear and tear, the MilestonePod registers how far a shoe has traveled, and displays in real-time on a digital screen that clips to the wearer’s laces.
To take the odometer-like reading, MilestonePod sensors measure foot positioning around 100 times a second, interpreted by an algorithm that estimates running and walking movements.
The lifespan of the average running shoe is estimated to be in the 300 to 600 mile range. Smaller runners, runners who are light on their feet, and trail runners tend to wear out shoes on the high end of the range, whereas larger runners, runners with a heavy step, and pavement runners wear out shoes in less miles.
Lacking a shoe odometer, runners are advised to keep a training log that tracks shoe mileage, early signs of discomfort and midsole breakdown. When mileage limits are approached, industry advice is to rotate in a new pair of shoes, phasing out the old pair as the new one is broken in.
With MilestonePod, runners can skip tedious log practices and, instead, automatically note shoe mileage every time they lace up. When it’s time for a new pair, the device wipes clean when plugged into a USB port.
Where shoe lifespan is a function of shoe design and the quantity and quality of miles accumulated, a small, low cost mileage monitor provides helpful information that can prevent injury and discomfort. Design solutions that additionally indicate the physical condition of running shoes would further optimize training and reduce injury risk. Toothbrush bristles and color strips on razors, for example, are two instances where fading color is used to let people know it’s time to replace old items for new ones.
Expected to retail near the $15 mark, the MilestonePod is currently seeking funding on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The device weighs 6 grams and doubles as an emergency medical tag.