There are many ways to stay safe while out running at night, but most involve an additional accessory or at the very least some extra effort. Soon, it could be possible to have remote controlled LED lights built right into your shoes – shoes that may even be able to detect environmental hazards as well.
Vibram‘s Smart Concept Sole wasn’t created with recreational runners in mind, it was actually designed to meet more tactical needs such as military operations, law enforcement and firefighting. The fact it can meet such high-intensity needs however, means that it could more than likely handle the task of a keeping a runner safe with ease.
It also includes a built-in electronic board for controlling integrated hardware, along with a small remote control that may be replaced with a smartphone app depending on personal preference.
The built-in LEDs that project light on the ground ahead can be switched between three brightness settings, and include a flashing red tail light for even greater visibility.
Some of the more advanced options for the shoe would include a variety of sensors that act as a warning system. A gas sensor would monitor for hazardous gases, a proximity sensor would detect upcoming obstacles at night, or in unfamiliar territory, and a temperature sensor would warn of extreme heat or cold.
Vibram have no plans to manufacture this particular concept, but if any emergency services or third-parties were to show enough interest, it could quite easily become one of the most advanced shoes out there.