What does your current running routine look like? Maybe strapping on your fave pair of running shoes, cueing up an app on your smartphone, or tapping "go" on your fitness tracker. If you start having aches and pains, you probably tough it out and turn to Dr. Google post-run or consult the resident running expert in your social circle. (Mom ran a marathon 20 years ago, so she's got to know what she's talking about, right?)
Well, whether you're a serious racer or a recreational runner, this shoe is about to change everything. The Altra Torin IQ powered by iFit—the world's first running shoe of its kind—uses razor-thin footbed sensors and Bluetooth technology to send real-time run data to your smartphone. And we're not just talking about speed, split times, and distance—the full-foot sensors can tell you everything from landing zone and impact rate to contact time and cadence—and because there's one in each shoe, you get data on each foot individually. (Yep, that is why your right knee hurts but your left one is A-OK.) These metrics can shed light on how your individual pace, stride, energy level, and injuries are affecting your running form, making this like your own personal running coach that's there with you *literally* every step of the way. (Speaking of genius sneaks—have you seen these self-lacing Nike shoes?!)
And you don't have to wait until the end of your run to see what you might be doing wrong; the shoe provides live stride coaching during your run both audibly and on-screen in the app. Let's say you're getting tired towards the end of a long run, and your form starts to slip. The in-app coach can cue you to tweak your posture, arms, or cadence in order to maintain a low-impact (read: safe) landing to power through your training injury-free. (Example: this one tweak that can totally eliminate knee pain while running.)
"Many running injuries can be prevented by learning efficient, low-impact running form," says Altra founder Golden Harper in a release. "However, it can be really hard to analyze running form on yourself. This shoe is designed to help make runners more efficient and to extend the running career of road and trail warriors out there." (Here's more on preventing the most common running injuries.)
One of Altra's elite athletes, Zach Bitter, has logged hundreds of miles testing the shoe, and swears by the live coaching: "It's quick and accurate workout feedback that can be applied right on the spot, with coaching tips that help correct problems rather than just telling you that you're doing something wrong," he says in the release. "As a high-mileage runner, I think one of the coolest aspects is the information I learn about how my stride is affected over distance, through injury, sore muscles and such."
But a high-tech shoe is only worth it if it's comfortable, right? Not to worry—the new Torin IQ is built on the same shoe pattern as the Altra Torin, the brand's top-selling road shoe, and the hardware inside weighs less than half an ounce and is guaranteed to last about 600 miles. Even more great news: these sneaks are available starting today on the Altra site for $220. Winced a little at the price tag? Just think of is as paying for a run coach, a pair of sneakers, and a new GPS watch—all in one. Total steal, right?