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

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

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

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:
http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/

Step 1: Get the Stuff

A nice short list.

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

Step 2: Cut Your Tongue

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

The sensor goes into the tongue.

There you have it.

Step 4: Pin It Up

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.

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68 Comments

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.

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

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!

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

1 reply

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.

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

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

4 replies

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?

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.

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

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

 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.

1 reply

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.

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.

Thanks,
luvmypeanut

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

4 replies

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.

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

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.

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.