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Train harder or smarter? #AMA about Runtopia, running and the future in smart sportswear (Yes, it's exciting!)

Mari Yang
Nov 30, 2017

Hi! I'm Mari Yang, I'm the International Operations Manager, social media junkie and wanna-be runner here at Runtopia. We're an ambitious and talented team based out of Chengdu, China, working to achieve a big idea: to bring smart sports to the world.

Right now, we're crowdfunding a pair of super smart running shoes on Indiegogo. As 70% of runners face a running injury at some point in time, we created Runtopia Reach to prevent just that. 

Runtopia Reach tracks running data and gives you audio coaching in real-time, so that you can alter your running form before any injury sets in. Post-run analysis gives you insight into your running data.

We at Runtopia believe smart sportswear is the future of the fitness industry, and I personally second that. Want to know more about Runtopia, smart wearables and running? Ask me anything! 

Check out our crowdfunding campaign HERE.

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Conversation (38)

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How do you see this product of yours in 10 years time?

Dec 2, 9:46PM EST0

How did you get the idea?

Dec 1, 12:33PM EST0

Hi Ana, thanks for your question! The initial idea came from our CEO Simple Shen. As we already had millions of runners using our domestic GPS-based running app, he wanted to give the users a tool to track their running data and form more accurately, which could then be incorporated with the app. 

We've also heard lots of stories and feedback from users on previous running injuries solely due to over-training and poor running form. So that's how the idea was created and slowly turned into an actual working  product. 

Dec 1, 9:58PM EST0

Where will you be the place of manufacturing?

Nov 30, 8:32PM EST0

Hi Kathryn! The shoes are manufactured in Guangzhou, China. We use the same manufacturing and production company as Under Armour, so they are very experienced and qualified in manufacturing running shoes. 

Nov 30, 8:35PM EST0

Hey everyone! I'm Mari, I'll be answering your questions for the next few hours. Ask me anything! :)

Nov 30, 7:00PM EST0

How long was the study conducted before you started production?

Nov 30, 6:58PM EST0

Hi Flou! After the initial idea back in 2015, we've done around 18 months of prototyping&production validation testing, involving over 100 real running tests. 

Nov 30, 7:02PM EST0

What kind of material is making the shoe light?

Nov 30, 5:06PM EST0

Hi Sash! We've used a combination of materials, but what makes the shoe light is the incorporated MD foam on the sole, which is super light and also gives your foot a comfortable and "effortless" feel. 

Nov 30, 6:52PM EST0

What is the goal of your Indiegogo campaign?

Nov 30, 1:46PM EST0

Hi Syed! We have already been 150% funded, which we're very excited about! Besides achieving our goal and getting pre-orders, we also want to promote Runtopia and increase brand awareness. 

Nov 30, 6:50PM EST0

Where and what data did you use during the conceptualization process?

Nov 30, 10:09AM EST0

Hi Carla, thanks for the question! In the early conceptualization process, we used a series of statistics based on running in general, running frequency, running injuries, fitness wearables etc. to determine the right end-product. We've also talked with many of our in-app users about their previous running injuries and running tendencies. 

Nov 30, 6:58PM EST0

If data chip is incorporated into the product design, how can the shoes withstand the weather such as rain and effect of impact against the ground?

Nov 29, 4:03PM EST0

Hi Jesa, great question!

The smart chip is placed into a slot under the insole, where it sits snug, not affecting running comfort. The data chip has a level IPX6 water resistency, so no need to worry about the weather (rain or shine). The shoe soles are also water resistent, and built to absorb impact force; they were made to withstand runs up to 25km, so you're all covered. 

Nov 29, 8:40PM EST0

Do you have other products currently in the works?

Nov 29, 9:19AM EST0

Hi Sonia! Yes, we're working on new products, but I can't tell you what they are, just yet ;) 

For now you can check out our Runtopia Reach shoes and Runtopia App

Nov 29, 8:26PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Designed with electronics in it, is there a warranty that goes with the product?

Nov 29, 5:53AM EST0

Hey Faye! Yes, the smart chip comes with a 1-year warranty. Problems with the chip are handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Nov 29, 8:55PM EST0

What can the supporters expect after the end of the campaign?

Nov 29, 5:43AM EST0

Hi Paulina! We are super grateful for all of our supporters! After the end of the campaign, we will confirm the final orders and ensure the right package finds the right home. Shoes will be shipped to their new owners in January 2018 (just in time for that New Year's resolution). 

Our supporters from this campaign will be the first to get their hands (erm, feet actually) on Runtopia Reach shoes, before anyone else does! 

Nov 29, 9:02PM EST0

What made you decide to pursue on creating this product instead of another product?

Nov 29, 4:43AM EST0

Hi Heenal, thanks for the question!

We decided to go into smart sportswear, as we believe it's the future of the fitness/health field. 

We created Runtopia Reach based on the specific need for running data and injury prevention. Our shoes are able to track specific data on running form, as the chip is in the insole and detects each step. Whereas, if we created a sports watch for example, we wouldn't be able track the specific data needed for injury prevention. 

Nov 29, 9:20PM EST0

What is the guarantee of a 100% accurate transmittal to the smartphone app?

Nov 29, 1:48AM EST0

Hi George, thanks for your question! We are continously optimizing the algorhithms in the smart chip to track the most accurate data possible, and we aspire to be 100% accurate. The chip is connected to the app via Bluetooth, which will transmit data from your shoe to the app in real-time. This enables the real-time audio coaching to correct your running form. 

Last edited @ Nov 29, 9:16PM EST.
Nov 29, 3:55AM EST0

Your pair of shoes is considerably smart shoes. Who is the genius behind the design?

Nov 29, 1:24AM EST0

Thanks David! The idea behind the shoes originated from our CEO Simple Shen, already in 2015 (so you can call him the genius). From there on out, we've worked together as a team in making the concept, design, prototype, test validations and the finalized product. It's been amazing seeing the idea come to life! 

Nov 29, 3:49AM EST0

What QA procedures will be in place to ensure high quality for each pair?

Nov 29, 1:24AM EST0

Hi Jonathan! We want to ensure you get the best quality possible. That's why we spent over 420 days on just prototyping&production validation testing and completed over 100 running tests.

Our products are RoHS Compliant and have FCC Certification.

Furthermore, we are using the same manufacturing and production company as UNDER ARMOUR, ensuring experience and knowledge in shoe manufacturing (specifically running shoes) and quality. Quality assessments are completed in the factory before shipping out. 

Last edited @ Nov 29, 9:21PM EST.
Nov 29, 4:03AM EST0

What is making this product exceptional compared to the other sophisticated running shoes of prominent brands?

Nov 29, 1:23AM EST0

Hey Paul, thanks for your question! You're right, there are a lot of shoes out on the market, so what makes Runtopia unique?

We take a pair of comfortable & durable running shoes to the next level: we make them your smart personal coach. The smart chip in the shoes enables accurate tracking of your running form, posture and stats. With this, you'll receive audio coaching to adjust your form/strike/speed etc in REAL-TIME. (For example: your heel strike exceeds 30%, the audio coach will notify you to alter your landing zone).

This is what truly differentiates Runtopia from other running shoe brands and products. You can also check out our comparison chart on the Indiegogo page for more details on how we compare with other prominent brands.

Nov 29, 4:23AM EST0

Could the shoes and its chip survive marathon race?

Nov 29, 1:21AM EST0

Hi Ivy, great question! The shoes are optimal for distances of 25km (15mi) and under, so they're perfect for half-marathons! The chip itself is very durable and water resistent, so you won't need to worry even if it's a rainy marathon day.

Last edited @ Nov 29, 2:03AM EST.
Nov 29, 2:03AM EST0

You already have reached your target money. What is the maximum amount you are trying to raise?

Nov 28, 10:43PM EST0

Hi Marsha! Yes, we're already 150% funded, super exciting! We haven't set a maximum limit, as this is the first time we are crowdfunding. Besides raising funds and getting pre-orders for our shoes, we're also aiming to gain exposure and brand awareness, as these go hand-in-hand. 

Nov 29, 1:57AM EST0
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