Zwift, the indoor cycling company, in a surprising move, acquired MileStone Sport, the maker of the $30 Milestone running footpod.
As part of the deal, Zwift have secured the core team responsible for the design and engineering of the legacy Milestone product – including ex-Milestone CEO, Jason Kaplan, Chief Technical Officer, Meir Machlin and Tzach Goren, former VP of Business Development . Zwift intends to start producing new pods imminently for its running experience.
Footpods though, are not only a great asset to runners indoors.” says Jason Kaplan, now Director of Enabling Products & Business Development at Zwift. “Not only do they provide connectivity to Zwift on any treadmill, but they also provide the outdoor runner with important metrics such foot strike and rate of impact along with run distance and duration. These are not only great tools that help to refine running technique, but also help provide runners with important information that can improve performance, reduce injury risk, and make sure they are in the proper shoe.
Zwift has been pushing to get into the indoor running industry for the past two years after they’ve successfully dominated the indoor cycling industry with their virtual training platform. This is Zwift first entry into the hardware business and it’s a surprising one for few reasons:
Zwift doesn’t really have much experience in the hardware business. Instead, they have been partnering with companies to make Zwift specific products or basically market their products as Zwift compatible or as part of some sponsored Zwift event. You’ve probably seen their partnership with CycleOps and their smart trainers’ direct bundle on Zwift.com.
Also, they’ve partnered with TechnoGym when they introduced Zwift Run at a big event in New York City back in February.
Then Stryd, the maker of the power meter for running, made a strip down version of their, supposedly most accurate footpod, for Zwift for $100 and called it Stryd Live. This was Stryd attempt to capitalize on Zwift entry into the running world. Stryd premium footpod with running power meter cost $199.
MilestonePod isn’t known for their accuracy. It’s not one I would recommend either. They usually work ok at the pace you calibrate it at but then they become inconsistent as you change pace. So for Milestone to work, Zwift need to fix the accuracy issues which is going to be interesting since they have no experience in this area.
“This is an important step for us as we move into the running space.” says Eric Min, Zwift Co-Founder and CEO. “We at Zwift aim to help more people to exercise more often than they may have done before, by bringing more entertainment and social connectivity to the convenience of indoor training. We are determined, as much as ever before, to continue work with existing footpod and treadmill manufacturers to help us achieve this goal by providing customers the best possible experiences to suit their individual training needs.”
MilestonePods are also now back in production and back in stock on Amazon US and should be available in UK soon.
It will be interesting to see what Zwift does with this company and how they incorporate their technology into their platform. They are aiming to produce a new footpod model, which will be more “Zwift-centric”. The new Zwift footpod will be a refined version of the legacy MilestonePod, with enhanced technology and a more responsive feel for both indoor and outdoor experience.