Gee Whiz, Seniors, Here’s What’s Coming to a Store Near You!!

Shoes whose laces tighten without your needing to bend down to tie them.

Wireless heating insoles controlled with a smart phone app.

A small device that communicates your whereabouts and whether or not you need help when there’s no cell service— nywhere on the globe.

These are just a few of an endless array of products exhibited at the summer edition of the semi-annual Outdoor Retailers Show in Salt Lake City.

Every August, thousands of manufacturers and merchants—from mom and pop to big box—converge on the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City to see and place orders for products to be sold a year from now. They return in January, this time focusing on winter sports.

Exhibitors are organized by product category. Paddle board, surf boards, water accessories, etc. in one section. Footwear, socks, foot beds, etc. in another. Yoga equipment here; camping gear there.

Treksta’s hands free lacing system works by sliding the heel back for lace up. Credit: Treksta

Back to those self tying shoes. You can look for them under the name Treksta Hands Free Shoes. It’s an athletic shoe (quite comfortable) with a foot-activated lacing system. Even the most active person will enjoy not having to bend down to tie or tighten shoe laces.

Digisole is a French import that will be in stores in a year. A programmable, heatable insole for ski and other cold weather boots, the insoles can reach 120 degrees F, a bit too toasty for most tootsies. The great thing about Digisoles is that they’re fully adjustable using an app on your Smartphone. Same phone app tells you how many steps that day, what the weather is, etc., etc. The soles are charged via USB connection, and, for most heat levels and in most conditions, will keep your feet comfy for 5-8 hours. Can’t wait to try it on the hill.

SPOT Gen3 will find you almost anywhere on the globe. Credit: SPOT GlobalStar
SPOT Gen3 will find you almost anywhere on the globe.
Credit: SPOT GlobalStar

Spot is a reasonably priced, pocket-sized, personal tracking device that, with the push of a button, lets family and friends know you’re ok or sends emergency responders your GPS location. It’s all about providing you and loved ones peace of mind when you’re out of cell range. Using satellite technology, it works from land, air and sea, anywhere on the globe. The unit, itself, can be purchased for about $75, and the satellite subscription is about $150 per year. A small price to pay for peace of mind. It’s a valuable and necessary addition to every pack or parka.


  1. Ole Retlev says:

    Unless you ski with custom foot beds, the Digitsole probably works much better than the double pair of woolen ragg-socks I started with in the 1950’s…

  2. Jon Weisberg says:

    what a long, long way we’ve come…

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