Adidas will offer runners gait analysis with shoe-worn sensors at its retail stores

Next Story

Europe is poised to give Silicon Valley a run for its money, argues a new report

On Thursday, Adidas will open a new flagship retail location on the outskirts of Times Square. It’s the largest of German shoe giant’s stores – and the first in a string of upscale brick and mortar shops soon to include a sizable location opening up soon in London. The company is currently giving some private tours of the space, and it’s all pretty nuts – multiple stories, bleacher-style seating for watching sports events, a cold press juice bar. And lots and lots of shoes.

There’s also a station for designing custom kicks, and in keeping with the whole reclaimed Parley for the Oceans theme, several elements, including the clothing hangers are made from recycled ocean plastic.

img_0227

The basement houses a training area, where visitor can get free analysis from in-house trainers – well, free with the inevitable upsell into a new pair of Adidas running shoes, naturally. You’re not obligated to buy a pair, but well, they’re going to try really hard to make sure you don’t leave the place without a something.

img_0216

Central to all that is Run Genie, a system developed in-house that quantifies runners’ gaits. It’s similar to the camera system offered up in other athletic shoe stores, but relies on a pair of wearable sensors that clip onto the laces of each shoe, offering up a more precise metric that relying on video. The system is designed for beginning and intermediate runners – collecting everything it needs in about 40 steps per foot.

img_0210

The Genie will determine whether a runner is pronating or supinating and where their foot is striking when it lands via the action of the built-in accelerometers. That info is emailed to a user (though not stored on a central server as per user privacy concerns) and, naturally, the appropriate footwear to help correct those issues is recommended.

The company has rolled the technology out to a few of its German locations and is bringing it to the US for the first time with the grand opening of the New York store later this week.