Remember when you were a kid, and you’d get a new pair of shoes that made you feel like you could run so fast you’d fly? That’s how I feel about my new Nike + shoes, and the Nike + iPod kit.

The $29 Nike + iPod kit contains a receiver that attaches to an iPod nano, and a transmitter that goes in your shoe. When you walk or run, the transmitter in the shoe communicates with the receiver on the nano, relaying information about how fast and far you’ve walked / run, and how long you’ve been at it. When you sync the nano with your computer, this information goes into iTunes, and can be uploaded to the Nike + website, allowing you to track your progress and set running or walking goals in an interactive graph.

Everyone who has seen this system in use has been impressed. There is something very cool about interacting with the iPod through movement, and without wires. I’m having fun tracking my movement throughout the day – and I admit, seeing this graphed out in bold colors makes me want to move more!

Nike sells several pairs of Nike + shoes, that feature a well in the sole, under the shoe’s insole, for the transmitter. You don’t need the Nike + shoes for the transmitter to work. You can cut a hole in your existing fitness shoes, or otherwise figure out how to situate the transmitter in your shoes, and the system will work. The transmitter is designed to go under a your foot, not on top of it or to the side of the foot.

Also, so far, the Nike + transmitter only works with the nano – it does not work with the iPod video, and it does not work with any 4G iPods, including the mini. Perhaps an update will fix this in the future.

I’ve had these Nike + shoes for less than 24 hours. So far I’ve walked about 3.7 miles in them, with the transmitter in the shoe communicating with my iPod nano. The shoes are very comfortable and lightweight, and the Nike + software on the nano is quite sophisticated – it’s the most sophisticated software I’ve ever seen on any iPod. I’ll write an extensive review in Kibbles & Bytes today.


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