Smart shoes have many cool features. They can track your activity levels and even monitor your location using geolocation systems, such as GPS. A lot goes into making a smart shoe for such in-depth monitoring capabilities. For example, these shoes have pressure sensors that detect your current weight and when you have them on. These pressure sensors are being used to develop self-tying shoes that do themselves up once they detect your foot pressing down on them.
Smart shoes can be fitted with environmental sensors that detect the atmosphere around you. These sensors monitor light, sound, altitude, and more. In addition to monitoring your surroundings, they also have an internal battery that monitors the shoe’s remaining life. If you forget to charge them before heading out on a long trip, you won’t be stuck without any way to communicate with your partner or teammates while playing soccer (or whatever sport you play).
The concept of smart shoes have come a long way ever since they were first introduced. Back in 2012, the Nike+ Training Shoe was introduced by Nike that was capable of measuring the no. of times the feet touched the ground, how long the foot was off the ground, and the place of contact. However, in recent years, many companies worldwide have launched smart shoes with advanced functionalities aimed at capitalizing on the huge opportunity in the market.
Moreover, technological advancements is another prominent factor leading to the smart shoes market growth. For instance, Nike spent 11 years of research and development in order to develop its self-lacing shoe, the HyperAdapt 1.0. The shoe was an instant hit in the market, and Nike has plans to launch a newer version of the shoe soon. Furthermore, improving the standard of living is another important factor spurring the smart shoes market growth. With rising disposable income in countries such as China, India and Brazil, people are in a better position to invest in smart technologies, including smart shoes.
Strategic partnerships between shoes manufacturers and tech companies is one of the common trends witnessed in the market. This strategy helps the shoe manufacturers leverage the tech companies’ technological expertise. For instance, Li-Ning, a leading China-based sportswear company, recently launched a smart shoe in collaboration with Xiaomi. Similarly, in 2016, Lenovo in collaboration with outsole maker Vibram developed a smart shoe capable of tracking the calories burnt and counting the steps. This strategy further helps smart shoe manufacturers to develop shoes with varied features. Therefore, the demand for smart shoes is expected to rise in the coming years with the emergence of such advanced features.
Covid 19 Impact
The COVID-19 pandemic, which struck the world when potential industries were on the verge of massive growth, similarly hindered the smart shoe industry. In fact, during certain periods of social distancing and lockdowns in several countries, people were confined to their homes or apartments. Despite this situation, the pandemic could not impact the smart shoe industry globally. Since it has hit major countries in the world, the economy stagnated during periods of lockdowns; many countries have observed a lowering of per capita expenditure. In addition, people were spending less on luxury items—which is why some instant hits also occurred on that market. But after initial recovery, growth returned to previous levels again.
Growing concern for fitness is one of the most prominent factors complimenting the adoption of smart shoes. Smart shoes offer various advantages, such as improving upon how fast/far someone runs and also how well someone runs. Various parameters, including foot landing, time on the ground, and cadence, are considered to measure the performance. The opportunity present in the smart shoe market can be understood from the fact that alone in the U.S., over 60% of the 36 million active runners suffer some kind of injury each year. Smart shoes in this regard can help to reduce such injuries.
Global Smart Shoes Market is segmented into the following categories:
- By Shoe Type
- Fitness Tracking Shoes
- Navigation Shoes
- Self-tightening Shoes
- By End-user
- By Sales-channel
- Online Platforms
- Offline Platforms
- By Geography
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World (RoW)
Key Players Identified in the Smart Shoes Market include but are not limited to:
Boltt Sports, Nike, Inc., Under Armour, Inc., Li Ning Company Limited, Digitsole, Shanghai Runmi Technology Co. Ltd., Xiaomi, Inc, Adidas AG and Sensoria, Inc. among others.