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In Your Shoes (Android)

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How do you know you're living in the future When your shoes have technical problems. Owners on Google Play and CNET report that Nike's Android companion app for the self-lacing Adapt BB has some teething troubles, most notably a buggy firmware update process. In some cases, the updates have bricked people's shoes -- yes, that's something we just said. You can still wear the shoes and force-restart them, but that's not really something you should worry about with a $350 pair of kicks.

There's a good chance Nike can address this before long. All the same, it illustrates a growing problem with the rise of connected devices: you can run into technical headaches with footwear and other goods that you wouldn't have thought twice about in the past. Self-lacing connected shoes can be beautiful when they work, but particularly frustrating when they don't.

The chip, once installed into a regular shoe, generates electricity when you step on it, and can be harvested in one of two ways. You can either charge a phone while in motion through a thin extension cable running from your shoe to your pocket, or, you can choose to store the electric energy and charge your phone after you have stopped walking or running, after taking your shoes off.

The app tracks distance, calories burned, and displays the route on the map. If you upgrade to the premium, you can also schedule exercises, set goals, and get feedback from an audio coach. The training plans vary, so you can choose what works best for you. For example, you may want to run further or faster. Whichever you choose, the app will customize a plan for you by starting at your fitness level. If you wear a heart rate monitor, you will get data on your heart rate as well. For the premium users, you can see how much time you spent in different heart rate zones, which is important for those looking to advance their training.

Once you pick an activity, the coach will guide you through it and then analyze your performance metrics once you are complete. The app is basically a virtual accountability partner that offers deep insights into your progress and helps you reach your goals.

Do you not have a GPS watch but still want to track your data Runkeeper is an app that does not require a wearable. However, it can be used with Garmin watches, Android Wear, and other Bluetooth wearables if you already own one. The app is simple and straightforward to use. Some training plans are free but others require payment. The premium version offers more detailed data, personalized training plans, as well as more insights on progress.

The training plans are designed by fitness professionals. You can choose certain goals and the app will create a plan based on what you need. Goals can include losing weight, running a half-marathon, or running certain distances. As you go along, the app adjusts workouts to suit your fitness level and mood.

iSmoothRun has lots of details and features without being a cluttered app. It tracks speed, pace, distance, cadence, time, maximum heart rate, climb, interval stats, and splits. From your data, you can see graphs of your heart rate, altitude, cadence, etc. The app itself was created by runners and used by coaches and runners alike. If you are a serious runner, this app is a good option.

Besides running, the app logs cycling, hiking, walking, and other fitness activities. It works well with the Apple Watch and your data can be exported to just about any platform. The data can be shared on social media as well.

Training plans are available on the app and come with audio cues for coaching. If you prefer, you can use a footpod instead of a GPS watch, but both will work with this app as long as it is running off iOS. Shoe mileage can also be tracked with this app which is nice so you know when it is time for a new pair of running shoes.

Interval workouts can be customized and the app features a metronome as well. This is helpful if you want to set your cadence and work on your over


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