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Forget Smartphones -- Your Shoes Are Becoming More Technologically Advanced

Forget Smartphones -- Your Shoes Are Becoming More Technologically Advanced

With the new GPS shoes and the Lebron X sneakers, it seems our feet have seen the future

September 22nd, 2012 by Daryl Nelson of ConsumerAffairs in News

Over the years footwear has really come a long way, especially in the area of sneakers.

From the Reebok Pump in the 1990s, that supposedly inflated and gave you additional support by pressing the shoe's tongue, to other sneakers that light up with each step, it's been a long time since shoes were just worn for utility purposes.

In fact, shoes aren't really worn these days, they're sported, and some companies are now making them with some very impressive extras and doodads.

Take the Nike LeBron X sneakers for instance that come with what manufacturers call a "Sports Kit," which is a technological component that records how high your vertical leap is while playing.

Apparently, Nike is moving toward the recent trend of consumers having the ability to document statistical information during their workout regimen by simply wearing a watch, electronic belt, or pairs of shoes.

Users can then look up the results from an app or home computer, but of course this added feature isn't going to make the sneakers less expensive, it's going to drive up the cost considerably.

Pretty pricey

The LeBron sneaker is reportedly going for $270 which has spawned a pretty decent debate among the online community.

"Who would dare spend this amount on a pair of sneakers?" some say. "These kids are insane for wanting anything so darn costly, especially when the shoes are made so inexpensively," a few complained.

It seems that people are offended by the cost of the shoe and truly bothered that consumers want to own them. You would think it was Nike that created people's desire for expensive things.

OK, but explain this: If designer high heels, handbags and overpriced watches -- which can easily reach the $1000 range -- are fine for people to want and own, why is it that but I guess young adults shouldn't desire anything that costs more than $50 or $100?

It's pretty easy to determine that neither age nor the amount of money one makes determines what items they'll want to purchase. I mean, forget baseball, its product consumption that's America's favorite pastime and a desire to play this ancient sport doesn't limit itself to a particular age group or financial bracket.

Nike says the LeBron shoes will be officially released on September 29, and those interested can expect to wait on corner-bending lines for hours to own them, even though the shoes are more gimmicky than anything.

GPS shoes

But if you really want something that combines technology and footwear you don't have to look beyond what's known as the GPS shoe.

The "No Place Like Home GPS Shoe" -- its full name -- was dreamed up by British designer Dominic Wilcox, and it has the ability to navigate your feet back to your house if you're lost or stuck in a foreign neighborhood.  And by the lengthy name of the shoes, it's not hard to tell that Wilcox used the Wizard of Oz's Dorothy for the design inspiration.

"I decided to make a pair of shoes that can navigate you home where ever you are," he said on the company's website. "I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how Dorothy could click her shoes together to go home.  After uploading your required destination to the shoes via a piece of custom made mapping software and a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heel, is activated by a heel click," explains Wilcox.

At the start of your trek towards home, a red light appears at the toe of the shoe, while other lights lead and direct you to your house. Once you've arrived, the red light turns green.

The actual shoes, made in a throwback Stacy Adams style, surprisingly look pretty good. It has the appearance of a normal shoe that you would wear to work or to a casually dressed social gathering.

As far as the lights on the shoe's toe, they're really not that noticeable, but I'm sure they'll attract at least small bits of attention from people wondering why your shoes are lighting up with tiny green and red dots.

The GPS shoes also have a small red tag coming out of the back of the upper heel area that serves as the satellite antenna.

Wilcox says the shoes will work anywhere in the world, which is ideal for those on vacation or in an unfamiliar area, as the shoes will be able to get folks back to their hotel in pedestrian friendly cities, that are hard to navigate with or without a map.