Your Kicks Are Following You on Twitter: Five Web-Equipped Shoes

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Here’s a trend we suppose was inevitable: web-equipped shoes. As mobile technology becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous and social media continues to Skynet our lives away, it was only a matter of time before our shoes — which, at one point, were a groundbreaking technology because they made it not hurt when we stepped on sharp rocks — became Internet beacons.

After the jump, five shoes that will ensure that you can never, ever escape the Internet, even when you are jogging or walking to the grocery store:

1. Nike+

Probably the most mainstream of the techie shoes, Nike+ has been around for a while. Its earliest incarnations were all about iPod connectivity, but the latest generation of Nike+ — of which the Nike Zoom Vomero+ 4 (above) is a happy poster boy — not only tracks your fitness data once a Nike+ sensor is inserted, but can automatically make Facebook updates and Tweet your status out. It even has its own social network. The shoes cost $135; a standalone sensor costs $19. (h/t RWW)

2. GTX Ambulator

A much more niche product than the mass-market Nike+, the GTX Ambulator nevertheless serves a valuable purpose: It allows the families of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers, who often get lost in potentially life-threatening ways, to track their locations using GPS. According to the head of GTX, the Ambulator “tracks the location and movement history of its wearer, relaying the information to a monitoring center through cellular networks.” From there, it lets families receive e-mail alerts and sign into a website to keep track of their locations. According to the Washington Post, he Ambulator will be available for purchase in the spring for between $200 and $300.

3. Isaac Daniel Blue GPS Shoes

From the guy who brought you the original GPS shoes way back in 2006 comes a Bluetooth-equipped “social networking shoe” that allows runners to be tracked by cell phone alert and by Facebook. It also has a panic button for emergencies. The shoes retail for $150, but are currently only available in Latin America.

4. RS800CX (not itself a shoe, but: bear with us)

One of the many smart watches that are increasingly muscling their ways into the realm of fitness, the RS800CX allows runners, cyclists, and other athletes to track their performance. It has a GPS sensor that you can configure to map routes and sync up with Google Earth, and — shoe-related thing that sorta warrants its presence in this post — it has a shoelace sense that allows you to track a whole slew of stats, including cadence, pace, and stride length. It costs $469, though, so: ouch.

5. Rambler Shoes (h/t Presurfer)

More of a conceptual project than a consumer product, Rambler Shoes are Bluetooth-equipped to send out tweets in conjunction with a mobile phone and broadcast every step you take. That’s right: every step you take is Tweeted out, virtually guaranteeing that everyone you know will stop following you.

From the designer’s website:

Everyone that uses the microblog service notice the massive amount of useless information that is spread over there. This project intent to criticize this by posting literally every step you take in real life.

A sensor embedded under the sole detects when the wearer is walking.  This information is sent via blooetooth to a mobile phone that makes the postings on Twitter.

When the sensor detects a certain amount of pressure, the word “step” is posted. For the other moments the “.” symbol is posted. Following these postings one can know if the wearer is walking or not and also predict his speed.

These aren’t yet (ever?) available for purchase, but expect them to sell like hotcakes.

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