Tread: the Ultimate Urban iPod Case? | iLounge Article


Tread: the Ultimate Urban iPod Case?

Back at January’s Macworld Expo, we picked two companies’ new iPod cases as our favorite new designs of the new year. The first of them - Miyavix’s Kimono cases for the iPod and iPod mini - has already been released and reviewed. Today, the second has arrived: Better Energy Systems’ Tread, a case that we think may be the ultimate urban case design, and unquestionably one of the most innovative rubber designs we’ve seen.

From what we were told by Better Energy Systems - the same company that developed the Solio solar iPod charger - Tread was created as an environmentally friendly iPod holder, each one made from recycled tire parts plucked by the company from South America. Rather than let the tires be burned or otherwise turned into landfill, BES has employed people to fashion them into cases for both the iPod and the Solio charger.


The inside of each case is soft fabric designed not to scratch your iPod, plus a clear vinyl iPod protector that lets you use its screen and controls while sheathed. A hard metal belt clip and colorful fabric loop are attached to Tread’s rear; stitching on the case’s body matches the colors of the loop. Black Velcro holds the top flap closed on the case’s back.


Back in January, BES said that each case would be individualized in some way: the rubber pattern, fabric loop and stitching look to be the major differences. And the review cases we’ve received are cut for different thicknesses of iPod, too. All three are attractive, and equally well-made.



We’ll have a full review of Tread shortly, but wanted you to get a good early look at this cool new offering - proof positive that rubber iPod cases can evolve and don’t only come from factories in China. And they can be environmentally friendly, too.



Editor’s note: We’ve added a couple of pictures and replaced our initial shots with these new ones to better reflect the colors and textures of the Tread cases.

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I would definitely pick one of these cases up, if they didn’t have PINK STITCHING on them, it almost makes them look juvenile.  If they were plain I think they’d look much better.

Posted by christomapher in chicago on April 5, 2005 at 4:49 PM (CDT)


Cases will have different colored stitching. One has white and pink. The other two we have here are red and black.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on April 5, 2005 at 5:46 PM (CDT)


Very nice

Posted by sportsnut in Michigan on April 5, 2005 at 7:17 PM (CDT)


These have to be the ugliest things I have ever seen. I personally wouldn’t be caught dead walking around with one.

Posted by xipher in Canadia on April 5, 2005 at 7:32 PM (CDT)


maybe these look a lot better IRL, but from the photos, they look kinda ugly.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen in New Zealand on April 5, 2005 at 9:30 PM (CDT)


Pink is nice…I like pink. It’s fun for a boy and a girl.

Posted by Smoofy in bronx on April 5, 2005 at 9:49 PM (CDT)


very very cool.  where can i buy one?

Posted by budikon in hawaii on April 5, 2005 at 10:09 PM (CDT)


They look like squashed turtles!

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on April 5, 2005 at 11:19 PM (CDT)


The different coloured stitching is a great idea. Even the pink one would look good, if you had a pink mini inside it.

Posted by Magic Rabbits in Aberdeen, Scotland on April 6, 2005 at 2:06 AM (CDT)


funky, a little different, stands out from the crowd.  If only I didn’t have soooo many other cases….

Posted by ChrisMouse in Bristol, UK on April 6, 2005 at 5:21 AM (CDT)


but what about the velco closure?  Has anyone else had experience with constant opening and closing of a velco closure… where the loop side of the velco eventually gets all pulled out, appears to grow, and eventually has to be trimmed back for replaced.

The vinyl across the whole face of the iPod is also a big turn of to me.  I’d rather have a hole over the click wheel AND screen.

and yes, they are pretty hideous. Love the squashed turtles remark :)

Sry ipodlounge, but two thumbs down from me.

Posted by LilAlienD in Maryland on April 6, 2005 at 6:28 AM (CDT)


From the 2nd photo, it looks like the belt clip is upside down, or does the case velcro close from the bottom?  I think they would look better plain.

Posted by Alfalfa in denver on April 6, 2005 at 7:59 AM (CDT)


They seem very unattractive to me.  But, as the saying goes, “one man’s chicken is another man’s steak”  maybe some others will think they are pretty. 

Squashed turtles….LOL yes..:)

Posted by Jing in USA/Singapore on April 6, 2005 at 9:16 AM (CDT)


those are up there as some of the ugliest looking cases out there. nothing is attractive about them.

Posted by mdwsta4 on April 6, 2005 at 9:26 AM (CDT)


My grandma knitted one just like that.

Posted by boombashi on April 6, 2005 at 10:48 AM (CDT)


I hate cases like this that make you lift the entire front up before you can access the controls.
Plus, they are U.G.L.Y.

Posted by snappy on April 6, 2005 at 10:58 AM (CDT)


Note to Better Energy Systems:

dont worry it will be okay…

Posted by brian jay kay on April 6, 2005 at 12:30 PM (CDT)


We’ve updated the photos for this article with ones that are better reflective of the cases’ look. Our previous shots weren’t color-balanced to properly show off Tread’s rubber.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on April 6, 2005 at 1:04 PM (CDT)


They look less “turtly” now. ;-)

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on April 6, 2005 at 11:25 PM (CDT)


Made from “recycled tire parts”? Looks to me like they’re made from inner-tubes. I suppose you *could* consider an inner-tube to be part of a tire, but I wouldn’t. Anyway, interesting case.

Posted by AndyH in Berwyn, PA on April 7, 2005 at 6:23 AM (CDT)


It’s about time someone’s put vinyl over the entire face of the iPod (provided it’s not so thick as to inhibit the sensitivity of the scroll wheel).  Leaving cutouts for the wheels has always been a mystery to me.  It’s just another way for dirt to get in/on it.  My problems with this case is the non-removable flap cover and the fact that the bottom corners are exposed.  I like the recycled and rubber aspects to it though.

Posted by Jonesy in NoHo, CA on April 7, 2005 at 11:55 AM (CDT)


those are the single most ugly cases i have ever seen before in my life.  and remind me why i want a tire on my ipod?

Posted by iLove on April 7, 2005 at 5:55 PM (CDT)


I think they look great, very rough… But i couldn’t find them at ‘Better Energy Systems’ online store… Where can i get one??

Posted by ilangai in Israel on April 8, 2005 at 6:18 AM (CDT)


These things are hideous.  I’m sure they’re good cases, but they’re so damn ugly.

Posted by sechannell in United States on April 8, 2005 at 11:49 AM (CDT)


don’t they have tread cases for solio?

Posted by punkrockavocado in VA on May 28, 2005 at 10:06 PM (CDT)

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