Rolled out this year, the Under Armour (UA) Speedform Gemini 2 RE will track your activity similar to a wristband, but without the added weight bouncing on your arm. RE stands for Record Equipped, but it means so much more.
These are the first standalone shoes for tracking fitness. They track every second of every move you make, without requiring you to carry your cellphone.
If the goal of wearables if to be invisible, then UA is due for some kind of prize. The Speedform Gemini 2 RE, not to be confused with the shoe by the same name sans the “RE,” is going to change how we consider shoes.
The RE, as we’ll call it to keep things simple, looks nearly identical to its less-technical cousin. For $20 over the no-tech version, you get a whole lot without weighing down your run.
The RE not only tracks your every move for a steal, it does it without your phone, without being charged. It will even tell you when it needs to be replaced.
RE Means No Phone
Because many of today’s fitness trackers, even the best, have no GPS option, you have to run with your phone to collect map data. The wristband version of fitness trackers may soon catch up, but it may be for naught if users already have a functioning tracker like a pair of REs.
With the RE, you can track and store workout data like time, cadence, duration, distance, splits.
When you get back to your favorite device, phone or tablet, the RE connects to UA’s MapMyRun application to capture GPS info and deliver accurate data. On Itunes, UA’s proprietary app, MapMyRun, remains a five-star app.
Of course, if you want immediate feedback or plan use your phone for pumping your workouts, then you won’t mind carting your phone as a display. This may be helpful for runners who want to address variances in their stride in real time.
RE Means No Charging
Despite cramming in GPS, an accelerometer, and Bluetooth, the RE still packs enough charge to last for three years.
The last thing you want to think about when you come home from a workout is where is that charging cord? You want to take off those kicks, jump in the shower, then do whatever you do next.
Unless you count the Garmin Vivofit 2, the best fitness tracker technology out there will charge for ten days at the most. Even UA’s own wristband doesn’t last more than a few days.
You’ll wear out the souls of your RE’s before you run out of power.
It Means No Worries
Call it hakuna matata if you prefer. These kicks are designed to cover everything.
When you purchase your first pair of REs, the nice folks at Under Armour will give you the first year of using their app for free. That’s like handing you $30. Hakuna matata.
Of course, after that year, they’ll have you hooked, but by then you’ll know if it’s worth it or not. Hardcore runners will be through those shoes long before that year is out.
Indoor runner? The RE’s will also work on the treadmill if that’s where you prefer to get your run on. Hakuna matata.
Because the shoes are constantly logging your miles, they’ll also tally the count so you know how far you’ve come. Not only that, but they’ll tell you how many miles you have left in your shoes. At 400 miles, the RE’s will recommend replacement.
What’s even more, you won’t lose any of your data when you get the next version. That’s a whole bunch of hakuna matata carrying you through your runs.
Despite the current lot of questionable technology and crowd-funded vaporware, initial reviews from Runner’s World indicate that the product works as promised, with few hiccups. We’ll take that as good testimony.
The true test will be after you clock those 400 miles. How will you feel about them then?