Is the Nike+ Sensor Going Away?

A few posts back I griped about how Nike had rebuilt the running website, but abandoned the Challenges. I’m beginning to think that they might be abandoning even more.

To be brief, the challenges on the website were replaced by the Nike App for cellphone. The app challenges pale in comparison to the website challenges of a couple years ago.

Cut this week (early February 2014) Nike released the Nike Flyknit Lunar2. I’ll probably need another pair of sneaks in a few months, so I keep an eye out. After studying the pictures of the shoe, I realized I wasn’t able to locate the Nike+ logo. Meaning that when you see the logo, the shoe could accept the Nike emped (sensor). It’s so early, in the release, that there are no online reviews, just Nike ads. Via twitter I asked Nike if the Flyknit Lunar2 could hold a sensor and was told no.


I read the response from Nike to mean, that there won’t be a Nike Flyknit Lunar2 produced that will have the cutout. Which is a departure from the Nike+ Flyknit Lunar1, which was Nike+ capable. Peculiar. There is nothing special about the sole that would eliminate it from holding the sensor. There area a couple models of the Nike Free that have a minimal sole, and are not able to hold the sensor. So not all Nike running shoes are capable of holding the sensor, so this is a specific departure away from Nike+.

I’ve used my Nike GPS Sportwatch without the sensor, and the results were less than adequate. There were moments when the watch wasn’t paired with a satellite, and it looked like I took break. At least with the sensor in, the watch knew I was still pacing, and maintained the measure. There is a pouch that holds the sensor that can then be looped through the laces. So there is that. But if the cutout is going away, then should I assume the sensor is going away?

What a shame, I have two GPS watches. The watch looks good on my arm, and offers enough data for me (even better when the data is moved over to!).

I’m not sure if the Nike+ emped is soon to be phased out, so for assurance I’m going to order a spare sensor. I have been buying Nike’s because they work with my feet, and look good, but this might be the sort of thing that gets me to try other running shoe manufacturers, and eventually a different manufacturer of GPS device. Nike, I don’t know what the long term plan is, but you may be heading down a path that I won’t follow. We’ll see.

UPDATE 4-4-2014: I abandoned the Nike GPS Sportwatch in favor of the Garmin Forerunner 220. So I’m no longer beholden to Nike shoes, or the Nike+ anything.

UPDATE 4-19-2014: A link to a CNET news article concerning all of Nike’s wearable trackers. Looks like Nike are abandoning ship. The jist: If you are shopping for fitness gizmos, do not buy anything from Nike.

5 responses to “Is the Nike+ Sensor Going Away?

  1. I recently asked Nike the same thing and they confirmed that they are phasing out the Nike+ sensor for all running footwear. That means you will no longer be able to use an iPod while running. Only devices with GPS will work with the Nike+ Running app.

  2. Nike has been very responsible for me getting off the couch and go running, so I can’t really slam them (too much).
    I think I saw someone on reddit mention that Nike was going to be coming out with a new gps sportwatch, but they didn’t say when. So the loss of the emped is probably part of that new Nike direction. I have a pair of Nike Free’s that have less than 100 miles on them, and one remaining sportwatch, so I’m set for at least another year. I’ve been eying up the Garmin FR220, seems like it is getting good reviews on amazon.

  3. Thank you very much for this article! I’ve been looking for answers as to why the new Nike Free’s don’t have the + logo…on which no Nike articles would like to clarify. Regardless + or no + logo, Frees will always be my #1 running shoes…
    Now to sell my Nike GPS watch on e-Bay and start looking for a new GPS watch. Suggestions?

  4. Sorry about the delay in replying.
    I have loved my Nike Free 5.0s! I finally had to toss out a pair, because I stepped on a pebble and it hurt. I got my money out of that pair!
    As far as GPS watches go, I can’t give a definitive answer. There are so many to choose from, with different capabilities. If you don’t already know about the website dcrainmaker, I suggest using that as a resource.
    Myself I switched to using the Garmin Forerunner 220. I figured Garmin was a respected name in the business, and that they already had a large amount of users. Like Strava, Garmin also has “segments.” Which I’m a huge fan of. What is nice with Garmin is, that data can be broken down by age, sex, & weight groups. That kind of breakdown is a pay feature on Strava. No biggie, but for me it backs my choice of Garmin.

  5. Asked Nike+ support and they are indeed phase out nike + sensor support. Personally I think it is rather stupid as not everyone run outdoor. I dunno who wants to run on treadmill by nike + running app while holding their hundreds dollars smartphones.

    Last time i hold my ipod touch while running on treadmill, I accidentally drop it and Ipod fly away after hit the treadmill.

    Without Nike+ sensor support, there is nothing special to separate Nike and other brand. Perhaps time to try Adidas Spring blade.

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