We’re always saying how pretty much everything these days is “smart,” and if something isn’t connected to your phone – well, it pretty soon will be. That’s even more evident now with the release of the Puma Fi – a self-lacing smart shoe.
No idea what a smart shoe is? We didn’t either, but apparently, it’s a shoe that can adjust itself to the size and shape of your foot, in order to achieve the perfect fit. No, really; instead of actual laces, the Fi has a small block that contains a micromotor inside.
When you need to tighten the shoe, you swipe your finger up on the control panel; a smart sensor embedded throughout the shoe sense the size and shape of your foot and power the motor, which tightens the cable system “laces” running throughout the shoe and calibrate it to give you a perfect fit. To loosen it, just swipe down, and the laces relax.
Of course, this is all connectable to a smartphone app, which allows you to adjust and fine-tune how tight the shoes fit. Connect through your Apple watch and you can even control it while in motion – which is how most runners and athletes are going to be using it, anyway.
Looks cool, right? Puma isn’t the first brand to jump on the self-lacing smarts shoe bandwagon – Nike did that a couple years ago. Nor is the Fi the first real “smart shoe.” But they were the first to create laceless shoes, all the way back in 1968, when Velcro straps were first cool. The Fi is also the follow-up to the Autodisc, which came out a couple years ago.
If you want to give them a try, Puma is currently looking beta-testers, who can give it a shot before the final launch next year; download the Pumatrac app and sign up, and they’ll hook you up with some smart shoes to try out.