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.