Photo: Milestone

I have a confession to make: I’m a runner, and I have no idea how many miles I’ve put on my sneakers. (I know.) To help prevent injuries from running in worn-out shoes, a new device called MilestonePod may be the answer. The pod tracks the amount of miles people run in their shoes so that they can be replaced at the right time.

What It Is
Photo: Milestone

The MilestonePod is a small gadget that counts and tracks the mileage of running shoes. It acts as personal ID tag too — the device, which clips right on your shoelace, also has a USB that can store personal and emergency contact information. Users can input how many miles they want to run in a given pair of kicks, and the Pod will alert the runner when it’s time to retire them for a new pair. The tracking device can also be swiped clean, so when a runner slips on a new pair of shoes, the mileage goes back to zero.

So how the heck does it work? The device uses fancy sensors and accelerometers that measure the position of the foot 100 times per second (whoa). It combines that data with basic information on running motion to create an algorithm that can track mileage.

Why It Matters

Runners should typically replace their sneakers every 400-600 miles. Injury risk is heightened once that number is exceeded, with aches and pains generally targeting the knees, hips, and anklesDefective running shoes as a contributing factor in plantar fasciitis in a triathlete. Wilk, B.R., Fisher, K.L., Gutierrez, W. Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists, Miami, FL. Journal of Orthopedic Sports and Physical Therapy, 2000 Jan;30(1):21-8; discussion 29-31.Preventing running injuries. Practical approach for family doctors. Johnston, C.A., Taunton, J.E., Lloyd-Smith, D.R., et al. Canadian Family Physician, 2003 Sep;49:1101-9.. But keeping count of every mile can be a pain, and people often forget to keep track when they’re walking, warming up, or cooling down. (Besides, why record how many miles you’ve run when you can just look down at your laces?)

While many runners track their mileage with journals and GPS watches, if you’re rotating shoes, it becomes much more challenging to know how many miles are going into eachpair, though wearers will have to use common sense about ideal mileage-per-shoe. Using the Pod also eliminates the need for wearing a personal ID bracelet, since the two-in-one feature allows runners to input their personal data.

If you want to get involved and see this device hit the shelves, MilestonePod is running a campaign on Indiegogo where people can pre-order their own. While the Pod may not be the first of it’s kind, it’s could be another interesting way to run safer.

Would you use a MilestonePod? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech.