SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Altra Running introduces the patent pending Altra IQ™ powered by iFit® — the world’s first shoe-able — at the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. A running shoe that’s able to collect data about your stride as you run, making you better informed about your own personal biomechanics. A razor-thin, multi-sensor system embedded in the shoe’s midsole tracks a range of running intelligence, such as exactly where you’re striking on your foot. Then, using Bluetooth technology, the Altra IQ shoes transmit your data to an iFit app or watch, which will provide individual analysis and real-time coaching on the run. Like all Altra shoes, the Altra IQ features the brand’s signature FootShape™ toe box, Zero Drop™ sole and proprietary A-Bound™ cushioning.
“For too long, ‘How far?’ and ‘How fast?’ have been the only two metrics used to analyze your run,” said Altra’s VP of Sales, co-founder and ultra runner Brian Beckstead. “The Altra IQ gathers intelligence on a full range of running biomechanics. For example, you’ll learn right away if you are landing harder on one foot, and which could easily turn out to be the reason your knee hurts. Then with individual data collected from your running form, we’ll provide personal critiques, just like a coach, to improve your run, every time you run.”
“Many running injuries can be prevented by learning efficient, low impact running form. However, it’s really, really hard to analyze running form on yourself,” said Altra founder Golden Harper. “This shoe is designed to make runners more efficient and to extend the running career of road warriors out there pounding the pavement. Much of this impact can be avoided with the elements of proper running technique, like high cadence and a soft landing. Intelligence is power, and Altra IQ can help like nothing else.”
“A watch can’t do this. An insole can’t do this,” Beckstead continued. “The new Altra IQ shoe with iFit sensor technology is the very first of its kind – a ‘shoe-able’ — in the world.”
How it works: Each Altra IQ shoe will have a flexible multi-sensor system that runs the length of its midsole, embedded (along with a transmitter) in a hollowed out groove. The technology doesn’t alter the shape or the feel of the foot bed – it’s designed to be invisible and totally imperceptible by the runner.
Altra’s proprietary algorithm measures the comparative position of multiple sensors, and calculates the position and movement of each foot through space. The Altra IQ works with iFit technology to delivery running form intelligence:
- Running cadence (with a target of 172-180 foot strikes per minute)
- Ground contact time
- Foot strike zone (heel vs. midfoot vs. forefoot)
- Left foot vs. right foot favoring (ground force calculation)
- Foot-specific pressure
Each shoe’s sensor system will convey the Altra IQ’s running form intelligence via Bluetooth BLE to the app or to an iFit watch, sold separately. The app will be free and available for Android and iPhones. Data will also be hosted at the innovative running and fitness site iFit.com, so runners can monitor their improvements over time.
The screen on the Altra IQ app will show each of the various metrics collected. Specific recommendations for improving individual aspects of your running form will be both visible and audible via your smartphone and/or iFit GPS watch, sold separately. A select team of running experts, coaches and exercise physiologists created the analytics and feedback suggestions.
There are devices in the market that measure a few of these metrics, said Altra founder Golden Harper.
“However, nobody has something that will tell runners ‘You are over-striding. Try pumping your elbows back and not letting them swing forward past your hips,'” Harper said, as an example. “The Altra IQ shoes are a running coach in a shoe: observing running form, analyzing, and suggesting real-time corrections to help the runner dial in their form as they run.”
The Altra IQ shoe powered by iFit is built on the same last as Altra’s new Impulse shoe.
Product highlights include:
- 360-degree reflectivity from the “circuit board” design welded into the upper
- Multi-sensor/transmitter/battery packet weighs less than half an ounce and is powered by replaceable CR2032 coin cell batteries, common in heart rate monitors and car key fobs. The batteries are dormant when the shoe is not in motion, to maximize battery life
- The durability of the flexible electronics packet has been tested in an ISO 9000-rated laboratory and is rated for 1 million+ cycles of bending, or about 600 miles.
- Designed and built for rain, puddles and normal outdoor running. Recommended hand wash, air dry instead of machine wash.
- A full length sockliner for premium seamless, slip-on comfort
- 23-mm stack height
- Weight: 8.6 ounces/243 grams (men’s)
- Altra’s signature FootShape™ toebox, which allows toes to relax and splay naturally with each footfall and toe-off
- Altra’s groundbreaking Zero Drop™ sole, with balanced, level cushioning at the heel and forefoot
- Altra’s A-Bound cushioning, a proprietary energy-return compound that sits directly beneath the foot to reduce ground impact and add spring to each step
- Altra’s guaranteed replacement if the sensor system fails before the life of the shoe
- MSRP of $199.99
- Available Spring 2016 at specialty running shoe retailers and AltraRunning.com
Altra founder Golden Harper has led hundreds of Altra’s Run Better clinics at races and specialty footwear retailers around the world. The sessions focus on running form analysis and coaching. He said even the most experienced runners learn something new from the Altra IQ, because good runners are always looking to improve.
For that reason, Harper sees the Altra IQ shoes for runners of all levels and abilities.
“My vision for starting Altra was to design shoes that literally help people run better — faster, longer and with less injury,” Harper said. “The IQ™ takes that vision to another level. It’s a natural evolution for us.”
Altra Footwear is now the 9th largest running shoe brand sold in the run specialty channel, after impressive growth from its founding in 2011, according to data from NPD.
Altra’s running shoe innovations are born from long hard runs in the Wasatch Mountains, just minutes from Altra’s Utah headquarters. Founder Golden Harper invented a cushioned Zero Drop shoe and a foot-shaped toe box, features that are now found on every Altra shoe. Harper is a former All-American runner who loves to trail race and run to the top of difficult mountain summits. Co-founder and VP of Sales Brian Beckstead finished a respectable 145th at Ultra Trail Mount Fuji last year, and plans to run 4 ultra-marathons in 2015, including the UTMB, Ultra-Trail Mount Blanc and Wasatch 100.
Altra® Footwear and iFit® technology are registered trademarks of ICON Health & Fitness, the world’s leading health & fitness innovator, based in Logan, Utah. Follow @AltraRunning on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and #EmbraceTheSpace and #ZeroLimits.