Introduction: Put an IPod Nike+ Sensor in Any Running Shoe in One Minute for 5 Cents

Picture of Put an IPod Nike+ Sensor in Any Running  Shoe in One Minute for 5 Cents

Using the Nike+ system is truly awesome, but my feet don't like Nike shoes so I needed to figure out a way to put the sensor into my regular running shoes. I found some shoe pouches on Amazon, but didn't want to pay $10 for a tiny piece of neoprene that I could get myself.

Before I ran to the store to get some fabric to sew together for a DIY pouch, I decided to do a super-simple hack that has ended up being my long-term solution. This has lasted me over 250 miles so far without a problem.

All you need beyond the Nike+ kit is a knife and a safety pin. I don't really know how much a safety pin costs, but I'd guess 5 cents.

If you're not familiar with the Nike+ system, you can check it out here:

Step 1: Get the Stuff

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A nice short list.

- Running shoe
- Nike+ kit
- Knife
- Safety pin

Step 2: Cut Your Tongue

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Take the knife and cut a slit in the tip of the tongue on your running shoe. This only needs to be just as wide as your Nike+ sensor.

Step 3: Slide the Sensor In

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The sensor goes into the tongue.

There you have it.

Step 4: Pin It Up

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Take the safety pin and secure the sensor inside the tongue. You can be more serious and sew it inside, but I like to swap out different shoes for my runs so I use the pin.

Cool, that's it! If the sensor is able to slide all the way down the inside of the tongue you want to be careful to push the sensor up to the top as you lace up, but aside from that you're ready to go.

I've been using this technique for over 6 months and more than 250 miles so far and it's been pretty accurate. After calibrating the sensor at a track my records have been off by no more than 1-2% on my runs. Your results may vary.


Mario5115'sG made it! (author)2015-06-08

Best Idea, But I Already Have Garmin™ Vivosmart.

scarletclyde (author)2015-02-24

I found a similar way to put it in the shoe without needing to rip the tongue. I cut the small etiquette there's usually under the tongue, which seems like an empty cushion, in the upper part in order to create a little pouch. You have to push the sensor a little bit down but after that if fits perfect and doesn't get out. I'll see if it works.

dirtyharry44boy (author)2014-10-28

Hey I was wondering how it would work with converse allstars?

sarah.eclare.1 (author)2014-10-18

Nearly bought one of those silly-looking pouches but thankfully I read this article just in time. Great tip, worked for me! Spot on! Thanks a lot!

dalijon (author)2013-07-02

Any problems with having a lump in the tongue of your shoe --- pressing on top of foot?

fungus amungus (author)dalijon2013-07-09

No. The sensor is in the part of the tongue that's above the laces. I never noticed it. But just try it out to see. If you don't like it you just have a tiny hole in an unused part of a shoe that's meant to get dirty.

protoporiakos (author)2013-04-15

Thanks I'll tryed it on my old... shoes

Ashleyrah (author)2010-08-22

This technique worked wonderfully for me. I tried this after it kept falling out from under the laces. Thanks!

fungus amungus (author)Ashleyrah2010-08-23

Cool, glad to hear it!

vprimlani (author)fungus amungus2011-10-12

Hi there! I am starting to train in vibram five fingers too.. (the longest I've run is about 8 mi in them), and bought a nike+. I am wondering, must I put the sensor on the shoe? Can I carry it in my water belt, and have it still work?

fungus amungus (author)vprimlani2011-10-12

Ahsleyrah is right. It's an accelerometer that measures your running speed by how one foot is moving so putting it on your waist should make it much less effective. Still test it out, but that's my guess.

Depending on your VFF it may be easy enough to sew a pouch for the Nike+ sensor onto one of the straps, however.

Ashleyrah (author)vprimlani2011-10-12

It's designed to be worn at the foot, so it gets innacurate if worn higher. If you really want to test it out just run on a track with it in your water belt and see how accurate it is for you

Electroinnovation (author)2010-09-02

wow...and i've been using one of those giant ugly holders that goes on the laces. Thanks A TON!!!

GAMER1200 (author)2010-05-17

 Thats a great Idea, but I love my shoes too much to cut them. Cutting them didn't lead to tearing of the tongue for you did it? Thats really my main concern.

fungus amungus (author)GAMER12002010-05-17

Eh, they're running shoes. They're going to get trashed soon enough anyway. Even so, this didn't lead to any tearing or other further damage.

luvmypeanut (author)2010-03-27

The only thing I would do different is "thread" the safety pin the same way you cut it with the knife (kind of like a base stitch).  That way, in case the tounge starts unravelling, you would already have it pinned.  If you don't understand, ask someone who sews.


zachninme (author)2007-09-04

Does it work well? When its under the heel, the pounding activates the peizio element, but will it work when its in there?

fungus amungus (author)zachninme2007-09-04

It's been working fine for me. I get distance readings that are within 2% of what I map out and even that is often due to me running up and down hills.

zachninme (author)fungus amungus2007-09-05

Just curious-- did you calibrate it? My mom just got one, and I don't know if we should, as I'm not sure how we will know that she ran exactly a mile :P

kcb1301 (author)zachninme2007-09-06

If you know of a school with a track near you, that is the easiest place to calibrate. One lap around the track is a quarter mile. Just be sure to run on the inside lane of the track.

zachninme (author)kcb13012007-09-06

Yeah, the school is just over a mile away. And ours has staggered lines on it, so I'm assuming that if you start on one, and stop at the solid one, you've ran 1/4 mile.

kcb1301 (author)zachninme2007-09-06

Just start and stop on the same line and that will be a quarter mile. You can pick whichever one you want.

flavors23 (author)kcb13012010-03-20

no stupid. you only start n finish on the same line on the first lane. its longer on the outer ones so u hav 2 stagger n finish on different lines.

fungus amungus (author)zachninme2007-09-05

'<strong> <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>!!! </strong><br/><br/>I did calibrate it. My readings were under by about 10% before I did that and now it's +-2%. <br/><br/>She should just do a few runs and then map out her route to see if it's off. If it is, which it probably will be, then she should calibrate it. I did it at a track. You run a few minutes as a warm-up, start it at your beginning marker, and stop it at a mile.<br/>

Tungsten (author)fungus amungus2009-07-08 is awesome! Thanks for the link!

zachninme (author)fungus amungus2007-09-05

Ah, okay. Thanks.

flavors23 (author)zachninme2010-03-20

no piezo. jst tri-axle accelerometers

sarahfish (author)2010-03-01

 So no issues once you calibrated?  Do you calibrate often?  Everyone (general web consensus) seems to really stress that the sensor be flat...

Just started with the whole Nike+ thing, love it, but don't wear nike, and the little lace-pouches are HUGE on my size 5 feet!

fungus amungus (author)sarahfish2010-03-01

I had no issues once they were calibrated and used them this way for about a year. After that I cut out a hole under the insert and put them there. Now there's no room on my shoes for a sensor at all (Vibram Five Fingers) and I've stopped using it.

NuclearGreyhound (author)2009-05-13

not trying to spoil the fun but the nike + ipod sensor is not actuate in the tounge. it has to be in the bottom of the shoe. if you don't want to buy a pair of nikes then cut a hole in the bottom of the trainer. just search on the instuctibles website to find out how to do a professional job of it. if you you ran 100km with the sensor in the tounge of your trainers then you probly ran around 130km even if you calibrated it. try this link

ps. sorry about the spelling

 Why would it matter if the sensor is a little higher as long as I calibrate it to a 1/2 mile in the tongue of the shoe vs. calibrate it for 1/2 mile in the sole of the shoe? Is the distance between the sensor and the nano the issue? Then my wife who is a foot shorter than I am is running alot shorter distances?

Doing the full work of putting the sensor in the bottom of the shoe is better, but this technique has worked well for me. This is with calibration and double-checking my routes on google maps as well as running on a track.

fungus amungus (author)2009-04-13

I take it you haven't had the fun of going shopping for running shoes. Nikes tend to run narrow, or at least they did the last time I checked. If you're going to be logging hundreds of miles in a pair of shoes you need to get a pair that make your feet happy. Besides, the price I paid for my shoes was about the same so no real savings.

There's a specialty store in California that sells Nikes that are wider. Nike does make them, but no one carries them. I have wide and flat feet, so I end up paying lots more for my shoes. If you want to check it out, try fleet feet. I don't know how many stores they have but they are a corporate chain. The sales reps actually help you pick shoes based on your goal, gait, and foot shape. I velcroed my sensor to my tongue, and after calibration it seems to be right on for my runs, which are only 3-5 miles.

Interesting. There are a few Fleet Feet stores near me. I've been experimenting with ChiRunning and as such my shoes needs have changed quite a bit. On some of my shoes there's not even any room for the Nike+ sensor.

Ugh, at least I'm not the only one with wide, flat feet. I'm a 13 year old wearing a 10 wide and my back kills if I don't put in an innersole. I don't run enough (and listen to enough music, lol) to get one of those sensors, but they look damned cool.

When I was 11 years old, I was running track and when I got done my feet hurt so bad I wanted to cut them off. I went to a podiatrist and got custom insoles made to properly arch my feet. They cost more than the shoes you put them in, but if you are serious about running or spend a lot of time on your feet, you should look into it. It will help with back pain, too. I don't really run enough to use the sensors either, but I got it as a gift and its fun to use. I like having Lance Armstrong cheer me on!

lemclaughlin119 (author)2007-09-06

is there anyway to make this wor with any other kind of ipod?

Nope, just nanos.

rpkid920 (author)fungus amungus2009-07-18

and the touch...

I 've always wish there was another way! Who knows there are so smart hackers out there.

moelekunz (author)2009-06-07

I've read all this stuff about "only works with iPod Nano" that you've written but using the link you provided in your instructable, it lead me to a page saying it worked woth the iTouch as well.....?

fungus amungus (author)moelekunz2009-06-07

When I wrote this, the touch didn't exist yet.

cymonian (author)2009-05-13

yay mizuno

hsv1971 (author)2009-01-11

I´ve just bought a new nano (8 gb), can I use my nike + with the it? what will happen to my previous runs?

mrich1911 (author)2008-06-26

Good looking out! I just cut up my shoe and ready to rock and roll!

lemonjuicer (author)2008-03-23

instead of cutting throught the white mesh fabric of the tongue, try ripping the threads between the upper and lower fabrics (in your photo it would be between the white and black fabrics). a seam ripper or even a knife inserted in the seam of those 2 fabrics will make a more attractive and non freying hole. a few stitches will return it back to almost pristine condition or use the handy safety pin trick.

Lego man (author)2008-03-18

Couldn't you also get insoles and cut a hole for the Nike+kit to fit in? I don't know if it will work. Dose anybody?

bobcat_clay (author)2007-12-14

I considered this technique, but ended up covering the sensor with blue painters tape and sticking the sensor underneath the laces at the bottom of the tongue. The tape provides additional area and "bite" for the laces to keep the sensor in place. I use a couple different pairs of shoes so I needed to be able to swap out the sensor quickly without any fuss. 100 miles in and so far so good.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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