Monthly Archives: July 2013

Nike introduces Nike+ Challenges to let out your inner Rocky

Nike has this week released a new update to its Nike+ Running app for iOS. Dubbed Nike+ Challenges, The app update, version 4.3, introduces social challenges into the mix, enabling runners to invite their fellow Nike+ enabled friends to run and compete in an old-fashioned race.

Challenges also lets runners communicate with each other mid-race via group chats. This is a great way for racing runners to trash talk a little or alternatively deliver some words of encouragement and inspiration.

Challenge your friends and race to the top of the leaderboard

To start a challenge, simply set a distance, a duration and invite your friends. Each time you triumph, you’ll earn a medal, which can then, like Nike+ Fuel, be logged on the app.

Naturally, the feature monitors everyone’s progress and encourages friendly competition through leaderboards and medals. Users can put together one-off races or see who can hit 100 miles the quickest.

The update is out to download now – so get racing with your friends!

[Via Engadget]

A stitch in time saves Adidas’ virtual design process over one million material samples

Adidas has announced that the use of virtual technology in its product design process has saved the company more than one million material samples, as it looks to ramp up 3D modelling across its operations throughout the world.

The company launched its Virtualization programme back in 2004 as a way of not only injecting greater innovation into its designs, but to reduce its environmental footprint. Virtualization allows Adidas to engineer out waste and other resource impacts by fundamentally rethinking its product design strategies. 

“During the product creation phase, an area where we can make a difference is to use virtual technology to share designs and sell in our products. This can save energy, materials, and waste too,” said Renate Eder, Adidas’ team leader for creation technologies apparel.

Shoes such as the Springblade were designed through Adidas’ Virtualization program

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Nike unveils new Free Flyknit trainers

Earlier this week, Nike released a whole lot of information about its next running shoe – the Nike Free Flyknit, which offers something pretty unique.

To put it crudely, it’s basically a sock with the sole of a running shoe attached to the bottom of it. The shoes are designed for a near-barefoot style, making it the next step along in Nike’s current Free Run range, combining Flyknit technology with Nike’s hugely popular Nike Free+ 5.0 midsole.

Stretch to fit – the new Nike Free Flyknit

The new running shoes are the product of a new design ethos Nike is calling ‘nature amplified’, the concept of using data driven advanced sports science to strip away all but the essentials for optimum performance.

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Sensoria Fitness Tracker ushers in a whole new era…the era of smart socks

Yes, you read that right – smart socks. Perhaps inspired by the growing presence of wearable monitoring products on the moment right now, Sensoria have spotted a gap in the market and introduced the Sensoria Smart Sock Fitness Tracker.

It involves a smart, washable sock (available in four colours  – black, white, pink and light blue, so you can match your outfit and the colour of your shoes), plus an anklet that magnetically snaps on the cuff of the sock, and then it all comes together with a mobile app for iPhone or Android that monitors and guides you with audio cues. And if you prefer to run without a phone you can still access your data from home thanks to the app’s dashboard.

Just clip and run…the Smart Sock is available in four colours

Going beyond the typical data you get from fitness trackers like how far and how fast you’re going, the Sensoria actually tells you how well you’re exercising, which then allows it to recommend specific workouts based on your abilities and your goals.

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Grin and bear it? Researchers find barefoot running and even high heels ‘better for your knees’ than running shoes

As someone plagued with dodgy knees, I’ve always been interested in finding the most comfortable footwear for my running. But forget all the news around breathable fabrics and mouldable soles, as scientists in the U.S may have a better idea (although I’m guessing it’ll only be appropriate for half of the population…)

Researchers from JKM Technologies LLC in Charlottesville, Virginia, observed the running motions of 68 active young adult runners, including 37 women, in treadmill and video studies. The team found that wearing athletic shoes caused excessive strain on hip, knee and ankle joints with 38 per cent more ankle twisting than when running barefoot.

The next big running trend? (Image via China People’s Daily)

“Remarkably, the effect of running shoes on knee joint torques (twisting) during running that the authors observed here is even greater than the effect that was reported earlier of high-heeled shoes during walking,” said study leader D. Casey Kerrigan.

Barefoot shoes have become increasingly popular over the last few years, boosted by the ever-growing appeal of testimonies such as those seen in bestseller “Born to Run” by Christopher McDouggall.

But whilst the study leaders certainly aren’t suggesting that runners should suddenly ditch their athletic shoes for high heels or FiveFingers, they do advocate getting as close to barefoot as possible.

“Reducing joint torques with footwear completely, to that of barefoot running, while providing meaningful footwear functions, especially compliance, should be the goal of new footwear designs,” said Kerrigan.

[Via Yahoo! Shine]

Under Armour Speedform is a bra-nd new type of snugly fitting shoes

When you think of Under Armour, you typically think of underlayer clothing. Although the company has recently moved into the football sector by providing the kit for Liverpool FC, primarily they’re known for clothing that fits snugly around your contours, for performance sake – tight, elasticated, long sleeve roll-necks, sports vests, running apparel, that sort of thing.

But much like Skechers  has recently done with their Go Run line of running shoes, Under Armour now seems like they are making a move toward producing legitimate performance running shoes with the SpeedForm – taglined “A running shoe that actually fits”.

The Speedforms are certainly a colourful bunch (image courtesy of Gizmodo)

Now, TR checked out quite a few reviews by other sites in writing this article, and not one seems to be unable to not link these shoes to bras – so we may as well join the party. And this is because, instead of working out how to make a new shoe using conventional methods, Under Armour went a bit left field, and went to a bra factory.

But there is method to this madness. Citing undergarment manufacturer Playtex’s involvement in designed the Apollo lunar landing’s space suits, Under Armour realised that bra companies know everything there is to know about getting a comfortable fit. They moved their manufacturing and design there and came up with something unique – the Speedform.

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Feeling hot under the collar? New Reebok U-Form + allow you to give your shoes the hairdryer treatment

As any runner knows, breaking in new shoes can be a real pain. You may think you’ve got a well-fitted, comfy pair of shoes, but that first run in the rain or extreme heat can make you think again.

But all this could be about to change, thanks to a rather nifty idea from Reebok. They are introducing the U-Form +, featuring new, heatable, mouldable technology which makes this literally the hottest running shoe on the market, designed to shrink-to-fit using heat from your hairdryer.

Heat to fit – mould the Reebok U-Form + with an everyday hairdryer

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Adidas opens up its archive for a trip down memory lane

Some things are just too good to be hidden away and forgotten, and Adidas has shown that it’s no stranger to a bit of nostalgia recently with the launch of the Adidas Archive.

Spin and cycle your way through decades of Adidas history

An online version of the collection at the German home of company founder Adi Dassler, the archive showcases thousands of items from Adidas’ storied history, which obviously attracts a tremendous amount of interest. And since the company can’t let everyone view the preserved stockpile, Adidas’ History Management team developed an excellent solution: the interactive online archive.

This visualization of the sport giant’s heritage includes super historic relics like football boots worn in the 1920s, and modern items such as Adidas’ recent collaborations with Jeremy Scott and Madonna. Swoon at the images, read about the designs and learn about the people who made these things happen.

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Make mine a king-size – new UK-developed running shoes utilise state-of-the-art mattress technology

Following the unveiling of Adidas’ new Springblade range last week, it seems that spring-filled shoes are suddenly all the rage. But a new offering from Yorkshire is also introducing bouncing technology in their kit – although in a slightly less hi-tech fashion

Say hello to the Preston – not exactly the most snappy name, (makes us think of Wallace and Gromit or the Ordinary Boys) but with some seriously British ingenuity behind it.

Making the most of the fly-tippers worst enemy – the Preston has tiny mattress springs inside

Named after the University of Central Lancashire where the shoe was designed, the Preston features miniature mattress pocket springs in the soles – unsurprising as it is the brainchild of a Yorkshire-based mattress company (yes really), and a biomechanics professor, who hope their product will significantly reduce the risk of injury from running.

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