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Yesterday, I wrote about how I attached my Nike+iPod Sport Kit transmitter to my Saucony Hurricane running shoe. I was reminded last night that many people who want to try this mod may live in areas that experience regular thunderstorms during in the summer, and that here in the San Francisco area, the wet weather is only a few months away. With that in mind, I went to work on a plan to rain-proof my design.

The the orange ring on the Nike+iPod transmitter is actually a separate piece of plastic from the white “logo” face. If you look closely, you’ll see a small seam between them on the top. The seam is less noticeable around the sides.

My first thought was to cut a piece of vinyl PDA screen protector and cover the entire top of the unit. This would certainly be the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but… a) I don’t have any laying around the house, and b) What about that side seam and the sleep button on the bottom? If my shoes were to become soaked, surely some water could seep in.

After another 34 seconds of brainstorming, it hit me: Ziplock bag. But not just any old ziplock bag; a really small one. I knew just where to find such a bag. Inside the breast pocket of a relatively new jacket, there was a small plastic ziplock bag with two spare buttons inside. Check your suits and jackets, ask your parents, spouse, or partner, somebody in your life will probably have one of these little button bags just sitting around collecting dust. If not, ask at your local dry cleaners or crafts/sewing shop. If all else fails, your local crack dealer should have just the thing.

From here, the steps are simple: Drop the transmitter into the bag.

Seal the bag and fold the top over the back (if you have enough to spare, give the the top an extra fold under). Then stick your velcro over the folded seam. The adhesive backing on velcro is usually pretty strong, but it’s a good idea to wipe any oils from your hand off the little baggie before applying the velcro.

Lastly, insert the transmitter under your laces, making sure the two pieces of velcro are stuck firmly together.

You may have noticed in the photo that my little bag had a hole in it. If yours does too, don’t worry. Just make sure that you cover it with a piece of clear tape, or better yet, with the velcro.

Keep in mind that this is a solution for protecting your transmitter if you get caught in the occasional thunderstorm, not if you plan on running through streams or out into the ocean. I’m not sure I would even trust Nike’s shoes to protect the transmitter under those conditions.

Lastly, I should just mention (before someone asks)… no, the plastic bag doesn’t interfere with the iPod nano picking up the signal.

Have fun.

34 Responses to “Waterproof your Nike+iPod shoe mod”

  1. ambimb says:

    You really think you need to worry about that sensor getting wet? It’s going to be wet all the time inside the Nike shoes from sweat. My guess would be that water won’t damage it at all…

  2. mlvassallo says:

    Battle Royle. Good book. ;)

  3. Dimplemonkey says:

    Just wondering. You could use plastic (saran) wrap as well for an even clingier and waterproof fit.

  4. Podophile says:

    “…saran wrap…”

    Now why didn’t *I* think of that.

  5. Carlos says:

    I would not make it too waterproof. I don’t think it would be too good for the battery.

  6. Rob says:

    Great work man, I wasn’t even considering buying this but now I’m thinking twice. Here’s a question though: would the transmitter work for cycling as well? It’s a similarly consistant back and forth motion, but I really don’t know the technology.

  7. Carter says:

    Battle Royale is such a good book. And I like the site.

  8. Ernie Oporto says:

    I’m really interested in whether this has been tested for cycling!
    I’ve seen a few concerns about cycling with headphones in traffic on other boards, but some of us ride old fashioned trails.

  9. Beth says:

    They also sell teeny tiny ziplocks at The Container Store. They might be a little more substantial than the button ones.

    FYI! :) But I like the suggestion of asking the local crack dealer. I’ll check on that!
    (KIDDING!!)

  10. Illini Jedi says:

    Has anyone considered using one of the shoe house key holders. I think they are about 5 USD and should provide the same affect. Also u could rotate it between your shoes easier this way.

  11. [...] For those of you like me who may want to try the device, but do not want to spend the money on the $100.00+shoes, you have an alternative. The transmitter can be put on any pair of shoes, and even protected from water, or mud with a little smart thinking. The guy who runs Podophile came up with a simple mod to keep his transmitter attached to the outside of his shoe. He then went back later and made a waterproof mod, to keep your new transmitter clean and free of water. Now for more information check out the Apple Store, and for an indepth review visit iLounge. [...]

  12. klong says:

    “would the transmitter work for cycling as well?”

    I assume this device is a newer product that came from the Tailwind SDM (which was great). The Tailwind SDM worked by measuring inertial the forces of your foot. When cycling, your feet would not be moving in the stepping motion that I think the Nike+ is expecting. The device would measure *something*, but the measurements would not be at all accurate. Stick with a cycling computer, or if you NEED a gadget, get a GPS-based distance monitor.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001ZMH14/104-4563472-2303903?v=glance&n=3375251

  13. Adi says:

    Great job. Thank you.

  14. The seam that you can see between the white logo area and the surrounding plastic isn’t actually a seam in the case… the logos are printed on a sticker which is just stuck onto the upper half of the sensor case:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/synthesisstudios/193564093/

  15. Royce J. Rivera says:

    ahha great job! btw Battle Royale = great book, movie isn’t as good in comparison to the book

  16. adrian says:

    i think you just pushed me to buy, great info thanks.

  17. Kaye says:

    Great idea to just stick the iPod@Nike sensor to Saucony’s. Personally I’m fond of my Grid Shadows so I’m seriously
    considering buying the kit!
    where I live it rains all year so I thought of another, easy waterproofing: condoms. Made of latex and practically
    indestructable. When you use doublesided tape to attach the velcro it wont rip the latex.

    Have fun!

    Kaye

  18. T. Sato says:

    Really great ideas…have already emailed a friend this real ‘find’ to solve the Nike shoe problem. Thanks.

  19. [...] Those clever podophiles have even figured out a great, simple way to waterproof the sensor. [...]

  20. Cbob says:

    Maybe I missed this (but I feel that I have searched the whole site). You can waterproof the sensor, but what about the nano? Does the Nike armband suffice for this?

  21. [...] But wait there is a solution…shoe hacks. A running and iPod enthusiasts over at Podophile has come up with several ways to get accurate sensor information with out using Nike+ shoes. The first hack being attaching the sensor to your shoe tongue with Velcro. In short, Velcro the sensor to the bottom of your shoe tongue right where the lace start so you have both the Velcro and the laces holding the sensor in place. The second method for using non-nike+ shoes is by using shoe pouches. There are several on the market including a small pouch made by Marware and sold by Dr. Bott that goes for about $15-20 (that are always sold out). Another option includes using Nike’s own “shoe wallet” which you can most likely find in a local retail store for under $10. Podophile- Shoe Hack Shoe Hack Waterproofing Shoe Wallet Marware CasePurchase the Marware case via Dr. BottsNike+ Sport Kit Release via AppleInsider 1 Million Miles via AppleInsider [...]

  22. [...] Podophile Shoe Hack Den här metoden använder sig av kardborrband som du syr fast på plösen för att kunna fästa sändaren på plösen, under snörena. Denna finns även i vattensäker variant. [...]

  23. dokein says:

    Seems like a lot of trouble to go through for a less-than-elegant solution.
    I mean, who wants velcro, plastic, and duct tape stuffed under their laces?
    I just grabbed my Xacto and carved a sensor-shaped hole into the midsole of
    my Brooks Adrenaline GTS’s. Dropped in the sensor, and covered it back up
    with the inner sole. Can’t feel it, can’t see it, works great. And it is
    as water-resistant as it would be in a Nike+ shoe.

  24. podophile says:

    To each his own, dokein. Your solution seems like more trouble to me… and less elegant. Believe it or not, some of us don’t actually want to cut up our running shoes. My main goal was to prove that you didn’t need the Nike+ shoes to use the Sport Kit, and to do it with as little damage to my shoe as possible. And BTW, there’s no duct tape involved.

    Glad to hear you’re having good luck with your shoe mod.

  25. Laura says:

    Thank you, thank you! I wanted one of these, but I had to admit that the nike+ shoes were just not as comfortable as the plain old nikes that I wanted (and more expensive, of course). The sales guy assured me that I could find information on the internet about how to use it anyway. And, I did!

    Thanks again!

  26. [...] – Après avoir essayé simplement avec du skotch je me suis décidé à faire comme Djailla pour le protéger un peu plus avec une variante do it yourself de la solution de sensorpouch. Le tout emballé dans une couche de plastique style sac de course pour le rendre waterproof (c’est prévu pour être dans la chaussure à l’abris de l’eau!) et un bout de skotch pour fixer le tout au velcro. [...]

  27. [...] Podophile » Blog Archive » Waterproof your Nike+iPod shoe mod [...]

  28. Alice says:

    Thanks.. Your totally AWESOME!!! Over the summer I tried out a bunch of Nike shoes during our San Francisco CLUB runs (aka Nike Marathon training runs sponsored by Nike) with and with out the Nike+iPod Sport kit (ipod and Nike sensor) but none of the Nike shoes ever worked for me. I really loved the Nike+iPod Sport kit but after a couple of miles in any of the Nike shoes it became clear that Nike shoes were not for me. The problem is I love my ASCII GT 2110, which fit me perfectly. I’ve participated in 4 marathons in 2006, in my ASCII shoes so I know these are the shoes that work for me (I buy running shoes every 3-4 months).
    When Nike advertised their Nike Plus resolution this month I really wanted to participate. For every person who meets their goal Nike will donate money to help children which is why I really wanted to participate. Now after reading this article I’m very grateful that I can participate and run in my favorite shoes. I can also be a team player in my running club too by participating in the Nike plus resolution challenge.

    Thanks Again – xGoofy

  29. spirez says:

    According to the following supplier, this unit is fully waterproof anyway. Result!

    http://www.sweatshop.co.uk/Details.cfm?ProdID=1885

  30. Mish says:

    I can tell you if it actually is waterproof or not. My mother just found my sensor in the washing machine. I’ll let you know if it works.

  31. Sam says:

    The Nike+ unit is already waterproof. (That’s why you can’t replace the battery.) I don’t get it.

  32. Podophile says:

    Sam – This article as written on July 16, 2006… one day after the Sport Kit was released. There were still questions about how waterproof the sensor was and how to protect it if worn on the outside of your shoe.

    Even though the seam on the shoe sensor is tightly sealed, there are still many people looking for an extra layer of protection.

  33. librarian says:

    Wife ripped open a few stitches on the shoe tongue and slipped sensor in. A a few stitches to seal. Very useful if you wear the same shoes everyday. Instead of stitches to seal, could use a small metal clamp.

  34. superman says:

    are u sure it will work?
    i think that placing it in a different position will alter the information sent to be received by ur ipod. the sensor is suppose to be placed right in the middle of ur foot. if u were to place it slightly forward ( at the base of the tongue) i think that ur stats will become worse of, the further u run the worse it is.
    the sensor seem to work by sending signal to the ipod in a linear line. if u place the sensor slightly forward, the movement of ur feet concieved by the sensor will be much smaller. Thus, ur stats will be lousier. Though i didnt buy it to try, i feel that my theory is logical and its correct.
    I really want to buy that sensor but im afraid that using ur method wouldn’t be accurate, which is equal to wasting my money. Please give a thought about this hypothesis and correct me if im wrong. I truly appreciate any comments on this theory(=