Keeping Nike's grubby paws off my $29
December 30, 2006
I hate running. It’s a boring, uncomfortable routine that months of practicing didn’t make any more enticing. Though, being out of shape is no fun either, so contemplating a quasi-routine to build up my cardiovascular strength has been on my mind. How to stay motivated, though?
Apple and Nike signed a deal to cross-brand an exercise device that sends information from a running shoe to the iPod, such as speed, distance traveled, and calories burned. While I heard of this Nike+ Sports Kit some time ago, recent TV commercials made the product more appealing. (And they say commercials don’t work!) I wasn’t fond of two things about the Kit, however: firstly, the Nike+ transmitter/receiver is designed for specially-branded Nike+ shoes. Second, adding a Nike+ receiver to one’s iPod Nano increases the length of the Nano, deprecating any existing cases or armbands one already owns for the Nano.
Regarding the first point, the Nike+ transmitter fits beneath the sole of a Nike+ shoe, thanks to a special cut-out. When not in use, a transmitter-sized piece of foam sits in the transmitter’s place. Naturally, then, the transmitter can’t be put inside a normal shoe, unless one decides to cut out a similarly-sized piece from one’s existing running shoe. Fortunately, a number of companies have come up with solutions, such that the Nike+ transmitter can be worn outside of one’s shoes, to include simple designs, waterproof designs, and more fashionable designs. One can even find cheaper solutions thanks to homebrew instructions involving little more than some thread and velcro.
As far as the second point goes, Nike sells an iPod Nano armband for a hefty $29, which is much larger than the Apple-branded Nano armband, and doesn’t even have a cut-out for viewing the Nano’s screen. As with the Nike+ shoes, the armband is little more than a way for Nike to get more money out of the consumer. So, I decided to save the extra money and simply modify my existing armband.
The method was as simple as making a small cut on the bottom of the armband approximately the same length as the Nike+ receiver.
The length of the cut needn’t be exact, since the material of the armband stretches somewhat.
One could cut a slit with more width if one wanted to make an exact-sized hole for the Nike+ transmitter, but the extra tightness of the slit makes for more friction to keep the Nano in the sleeve.
For a procedure that costs nothing if you have a razor blade lying around, there’s no reason not to reuse one’s old iPod Nano armband. Plus, the armband still works perfectly fine without the receiver attached. With this quick modification, and the number of solutions for not getting Nike’s silly shoes, one can have the beauty of the Nike+ Sports Kit without the huge costs.