Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Runtopia opts for crowd funding to bring smart running shoes to market

Steve Rogerson
November 21, 2017



An Indiegogo campaign by Chinese company Runtopia aims to bring to market smart running shoes that, as well as being comfortable, provide insightful data and real-time coaching.
 
Runtopia is the company behind the namesake GPS-based running app that serves more than one million users.
 
The Runtopia Reach shoes are said to provide comfort, style and durability along with smart sensors to improve form and prevent injury. Additionally, the shoes are connected to the Runtopia app, which provides customised training plans and other coaching functions.
 
"The Runtopia team had a vision to bring smart shoes to the world so that runners of all levels would have the tools they needed to improve their runs, at a fraction of the cost of a live-personal trainer," said James Si, Runtopia co-founder. "At Runtopia, we are committed to elevating the running experience not only by creating products and services, but by creating an engaged network of enthusiasts and promoting a sports-centric lifestyle. With Runtopia Reach we are making each step smarter and safer."
 
The shoes include a real-time audio coach that analyses running forms based on the individual and provides audio feedback to prevent injury and help runners understand factors affecting their runs, such as ground force, correct running posture and pace.
 
The smart tracking chip collects and analyses data on the app, including cadence, stride length, foot strike and gait ratio to provide real-time tracking and feedback.
 
Runners can manage personalised fitness goals for weight management, daily calorie intake and more through an exclusive training plan for safe progression towards their goals, whether it may be marathon training, weight loss or strength training.
 
The data tracker lets users track and transfer running data directly from their shoes. Runtopia Reach sneakers function independently, so users can run without their phones and manually sync their data later. For the complete audio experience runners will need to bring their phone with them.
 
The high-grip soles and breathable materials improve foot stability and ankle support to avoid twists, sprains and other injuries, while lightweight, high-elasticity foam improves grip to make running easier and safer across all terrains. Further, antibacterial mesh and elastic insoles provide a cool and comfortable run.
 
The high-visibility reflective heel design makes it safer to run in the dark. The shoes are built to fit the foot, improving comfort, while their colours provide a vibrant or sleek style.
 
Runtopia was created through a collaboration between self-proclaimed sports loving and sneaker obsessed runtopians – engineers, designers, marketers and managers – to create a lifestyle of sport. The company's vision is to bring smart sports to the world, to provide anyone with a complete smart sports experience.
 
Runtopia is a GPS-based running app that lets users track their own runs at any occasion, with customised training plans for races, weight loss, general fitness and other high-level coaching functions.