Wearables

Under Armour Shows Off Smart Shoes, Sleepwear

When it comes to fitness-related wearable technology, Under Armour wants to be a contender. At CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, the athletic apparel giant showed off smart shoes that let runners know if they’re ready for their next workout, and special sleepwear designed to speed athletes’ recovery time.

“At Under Armour, our goal is to constantly innovate and uncover new solutions that take performance to the next level,” said Kevin Haley, president of innovation and category management for Under Armour, in a press release.

In February, the company will release three new styles in its Record Equipped line, which will retail for $140 to $160. Through the MapMyRun app, the shoes provide detailed workout stats, such as cadence, real-time pace information and the mileage lifetime of the shoe. Plus, the shoes never need to be charged, because the battery lasts longer than the life of the shoe, according to Under Armour. Jump Test, a new performance feature, measures muscular fatigue level. When connected with MapMyRun, the shoes embedded technology takes the average air time of a sequence of jumps as an indicator of muscle fatigue. This helps track an athlete’s recovery status over time and provides immediate guidance on how to alter the intensity of a workout, according to Under Armour.

“We know one of the biggest problems runners face is pushing through pain and fatigue, leading to injury,” said Mike Lee, chief digital officer. He calls the jump test a “critical first step” for runners looking to avoid injury.

Under Armour also unveiled UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear, designed both to improve sleep and overall athlete performance. The high-tech pajamas, priced from $80 to $100 and available on the brand’s website, were developed in collaboration with quarterback Tom Brady, who believes sleep is one of the most important components of a training regimen. The garments are lined with a pattern that contains bioceramic particles that absorb infrared wavelengths emitted by the body and reflect back far infrared, which Under Armour says will help the body recover faster, while promoting better sleep. The brand has also updated the app associated with its fitness tracker, the UA Band, to include a more detailed analysis of the wearer’s quality of sleep.

“By monitoring trends within our Connected Fitness communities, we’ve seen an uptick in athletes who are adopting a 24/7 training mentality, which led us to think about factors like sleep and recover and how important they are to overall performance,” Lee said.