When I was passing the baton at the Jackson Middle School track in Portland, Oregon, I didn’t give much thought to running terms or proper form. But running becomes complicated once you start racking up the miles. As I’ve started putting on the years (and the pounds), I’ve learned that good form is the key to pain-free distance.

Following forms like the mid-foot strike, where the middle of the foot lands on the ground, and a 180 beat-per-minute cadence have helped me go from periodically painful runs to nearly 6 miles a day. Better form means increased efficiency, less pain, and more time to focus on your favorite podcast. But teaching myself good form had its limits; I was still dealing with some hip and lower back pain after those long runs.

The Nurvv Run became the answer to my undiagnosed running woes. They’re a pair of insoles with embedded pressure and motion sensors that you insert into your running shoes. In the few months I ran with them, they helped me improve my form further, getting rid of the pain and that tight-hipped feeling.

Hitting the Nurvv

The Nurvv Run system.

Photograph: Nurvv

The Nurvv Run inserts come in two pieces. There are the insoles that go in each shoe, with a mount that runs out of the shoe, as well as two trackers—oblong-shaped hardware housing the smarts (and the battery) that clip into said mounts.

Getting the trackers off the charger and snapping them to the mounts is a learning experience. They sit securely, which means you have to grip them properly when removing them from the charger or mounts. Do it wrong and the force required might snap the cable. I almost did that a few times.

The fact they are tough to mount is good, considering you’re running hundreds of miles in them. The trackers never feel like they’re going to fall off. Metal clips and velcro keep the mounts affixed in your shoes, but the whole system isn’t so tethered that you can’t move them between several pairs of running shoes with ease.

Nurrv says its replaceable insoles will last through three pairs of running shoes, or about a thousand miles if you’re a tightwad like me. I didn’t see any degradation in my months of testing. They’re IP65 water-resistant too, so you can wear them in the rain and through puddles (just avoid waterlogged shoes). 

The battery lasts around five hours, which makes them suitable even for ultra runners, though they’ll need to be charged more often.

A Better Sense

The Nurvv Run’s tracker sits on the outside of the shoe. 

Photograph: Nurvv

Once the trackers are charged and mounted, pair them to your phone via Nurvv’s app, or press the big button on the side of each sensor. They will quickly start chatting with each other and your phone (the firmware will automatically update too).