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HandShoeMouse

Manufacturer:
Hippus
Product Website:
URL Screenshot of http://www.h…hoemouse.com/
Price:
$129
Pros:
Looks great, the most comfortable mouse this reviewer has ever used, provides optimal support during usage
Cons:
Expensive (especially if outside US), takes a little getting used to, requires a lot of free desk space
Summary:
Ergonomic mice are nothing new, but the HandShoeMouse from Hippus combines years of biomedical physics and technology plus neurosciences and anatomy research to produce a totally unique design which promises to prevent forceful gripping and pinching and so reduce excessive muscle tension in arms and hands during computer usage.
Rating:
8/10
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(happygeek)
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handshoe-002.jpg The box that the HandShoeMouse arrived in proudly claims that this is "the only mouse that fits like a glove" although I'd take issue with that. You don't wear it like a glove, but rather it wears you. The glove analogy does hold up when it comes to the pre-purchase ritual, however, as this is the first time I have ever needed my hand to be measured before I could purchase a mouse! The vendor website guides you through the process, with a separate order route for right and left handed users. It's not overly complicated, which is handy if you'll excuse the pun, and simply involves a ruler and some accurate measuring of the length of your hand.No ordinary rodent

So why all the palaver? Simple: this is no ordinary mouse. Not that you need me to tell you that, look at the pictures for goodness sake. Have you ever seen anything like it? The thing has the appearance of a stingray, with smooth flowing lines that defy conventional mouse design rules. That's because this mouse design has evolved with the help of a group of mechanical engineers working in cooperation with Dutch Erasmus MC (Erasmus University Hospital Rotterdam) department of Biomedical Physics and Technology plus the Neurosciences and Anatomy department in order to link anatomy and technology with a goal of eradicating the type of strains normally associated with mouse usage.

This is the mouse re-invented...

Writer's block

I'm a writer by profession, author of 22 published books as well as a freelance journalist of some 20 years standing. I know all too well the dangers, and pain, associated with prolonged mousing: the design is such that it's almost always too small for the hand, and the shape almost always forces your fingers and wrist into an unnaturally awkward grip. In other words, a mouse just ain't naturally comfortable, buddy. Period. Indeed, I've experienced muscle tension in my neck, shoulders and arms but most of all over the years I have developed a repetitive strain injury (RSI) to my wrist and thumb area which means that for the last couple of years I have taken to both wearing a special splint when I type and using a trackball instead of a mouse as this required less movement and is more comfortable.

Grip and Pinch

The designers at Hippus identified that forceful gripping or pinching, next to hovering of the fingers above the buttons is a major cause of tension in the deep neck muscles which can lead to a reduction of the space between first rib and clavicular bone which could even translate in pressure on nerves and a restricted blood flow in arms and hands. In turn this can cause everything from headaches to reduced mobility and a loss of force in the hand, as well as that pain that I know all too well about of course. The strange stingray device, then, was designed specifically to prevent this forceful gripping and pinching.

handshoe-001.jpg


I was, I will admit, more than a little skeptical at first. Especially given the rather inflated price tag for the HandShoeMouse. I've never spent that much on a mouse, even a top of the range, bells and whistles wireless Microsoft optical trackball doo-dad is cheaper. But I bit the bullet and went through the hand measurement process to discover that I needed a 'medium' sized right handed mouse which arrived just a couple of days later.Installation and Use

I opted for the wired model, although a wireless version is available, and installation proved quick and painless on my Windows 7 powered test machine. No special drivers were required and within just a few seconds I was up and running with my arm resting on my desk as the instructions explained, and my hand falling ever so comfortably into place on the HandShoeMouse. The left and right buttons were where you would expect, and the (non-programmable) scroll wheel equally so - glib remarks aside, the thing is that the strange stingray shape meant that my hand was forced into a hugely comfortable position where the usage of all three came very naturally indeed without any need for exaggerated movements. The fact that I didn't need to continuously lift, or hover, my fingers to prevent accidental switching and pressing was immediately noticeable. My hand simply rested continuously on the mouse body in a totally relaxed fashion, and was much more comfortable than my trackball. I didn't feel like I was gripping the mouse at all, it really did just fit like a glove. Neat.

Desk Space

I did need to clear a lot of desk space first though, as this is no pocket-rodent but a damned huge beast of thing. Because I had opted for a BlueRay Track (BRT) version of the HandShoeMouse, I didn't need to worry about an oversized mouse mat as the device works fine on pretty much any surface courtesy of the high resolution 1000 dpi double lens optical system sensor.

Conclusion

Although I would have to have been using this mouse for at least six months to a year before I could report back with any meaningful degree of confidence that it has reduced the amount of discomfort I suffer when working, I will say that in the short time I have been using it I have certainly noticed that it takes longer for me to become uncomfortable and I that's quite an achievement as I've not been wearing my hand splint either! I will, of course, report back in six months and update you with the longer term verdict.

I must point out that prices vary between the US and Europe. Expect to pay Euros 125 for the same specification HandShoeMouse as reviewed, including taxes and delivery, for European orders.

Attachments handshoe-002.jpg 14.69KB handshoe-001.jpg 33.63KB
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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

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Sjoerd E
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Thank you for the review Davey, you've done a great job! Some people may think that the HandShoe Mouse needs a lot of space on the desk but all you need is a small circular space of 8.5 inch (21 cm) to move the mouse, as long as you set your cursor speed to medium. I'm looking forward to more feedback from your readers!
Sjoerd Eisma, HandShoeMouse

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happygeek
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Thanks Sjoerd, you are of course right about the cursor speed - however, the HandShoeMouse is also a tad on the large side to start with compared to most mice (it's more of a trackball-sized rodent) so still requires more space than the average user might expect. That said, it's a small price to pay for the increased mousing comfort I'm experiencing.

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Paul C. Helder
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Dear Mr. Winder, thank you for the compliment.

Concerning your remark that you had to clear your desk before you could start using the HandShoe Mouse, this is not a bad thing. Although this should not be due to starting to work with the HandShoe Mouse. During our field research we often ran into similar situations, too much paper on the desk and not enough space to work. If you consider that you have to put your arm on the desk to relax your shoulders (spare your shoulder muscles) you need space for your hand as well. The HandShoe Mouse is in accordance with the size of your hand, so it does not take up more space than your hand does. Sliding it over the desk to move your cursor only requires a circular area of about 8 to 9 inch.

All in all, it is a good thing that people realize that they have to keep space on their desk to enable them to work without excessive muscle action i.e. stresses. One of our major objectives when we developed the HandShoe Mouse.

Paul C. Helder, project coordinator of the HandShoe Mouse development.

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iostreamsb
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Hi Davey,

Great review, thanks for it. I'm starting to experience some mousing pain and looking into either a trackball or this handshoe mouse. You mention in your review that you used to use a trackball. Do you find the handshoe mouse to be better, now that you've had some time to live with it for a while?

Thanks,
Steve

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Sjoerd E
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Hi Steve,
Although I'm obviously biassed as the supplier of the truly ergonomic mouse ,the HandShoe Mouse,I can assure you that independant university based EMG measurements have shown an unacceptable load of your fingers when you use a trackball.
Just test the HandShoe Mouse and feel the difference.

Cheers,
Sjoerd

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artrain
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I work as an ennvironmental scientist and do a lot of CAD work. Recently I was getting really bad wrist pain and back/neck strain causing headaches and major discomfort. I have been using the handshoe for 3 weeks and the difference is amazing!

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Sjoerd E
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I work as an ennvironmental scientist and do a lot of CAD work. Recently I was getting really bad wrist pain and back/neck strain causing headaches and major discomfort. I have been using the handshoe for 3 weeks and the difference is amazing!

It's good to hear but no surprise that you have such a good experience with the HandShoe Mouse as a CAD user. Actually there are a lot of CAD operators in the HandShoe Mouse test team so we get a lot of postive feedback from them!
All the best with your HandShoe Mouse, the only ergonomic mouse that fits like a glove!

Sjoerd Eisma

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ergoguy
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The issue of desk space with this mouse is significant. However, in my opinion, the mouse will prove worth the trouble for most users. One way to create more desk space is to get a compact keyboard, something I think just about everybody should consider doing anyway. Some, such as the Logitech K300, don't even dispense with the numeric keypad. I wrote my own Handshoe mouse review where I did a fairly in-depth discussion of this and other points worth considering.

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Sjoerd E
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The issue of desk space with this mouse is significant. However, in my opinion, the mouse will prove worth the trouble for most users. One way to create more desk space is to get a compact keyboard, something I think just about everybody should consider doing anyway. Some, such as the Logitech K300, don't even dispense with the numeric keypad. I wrote my own Handshoe mouse review where I did a fairly in-depth discussion of this and other points worth considering.

I read your complete review and would like to thank you for an excellent job done, reviewing the HandShoe Mouse in great depth!
Please note that the HandShoe Mouse is using "BlueRay Track" technology (not laser) which means it can be used on almost every surface without a mouse pad. I prefer to use the large HandShoe Mouse version myself with an 8.5 inch circular mouse mat as shown on the HandShoe Mouse Tips page. If I need to lift the mouse, I press on the right "wing" which was specially designed to support the right hand side of your hand AND to move the mouse without changing the position of the cursor.

It's good to hear that you as an "ergoguy" like the HandShoe Mouse, which is the only "evidence based" mouse thanks to many years of medical university research.

Best regards, Sjoerd Eisma (CEO of Hippus)

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burb72
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i work on 4 19inch monitors, how much space would i need to scroll across?
thanks mike

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ergoguy
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I think that would pretty well depend on what speed you had your mouse set to. With a Handshoe, I'm not sure the setup would be practical at all as it requires a fairly low speed for accuracy. Even if you had enough space on your desk for the mouse to travel, your arm wouldn't be long enough and you would have to keep picking it up. If I were you, I would consider getting a Kensinton Orbit Scroll trackball instead. You can spin that little ball infinitely, so no worries about desk space or arm movement.

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burb72
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thanks for the quick reply, have the kensinton at home, work has complete crap, and we type 8.5 hrs straight. tried a logitech mx revolution at bb, it was awesome

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ergoguy
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You might also consider the Evoluent vertical mouse, if you haven't already. It offers a more natural "handshake" type grip than most standard mice, and you can turn up the DPI insanely high without losing control. Worth trying out if you're concerned about ergonomics. The MX Revolution is doubtless a great mouse, but I don't think it's going to give you much in that area.

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Sjoerd E
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i work on 4 19inch monitors, how much space would i need to scroll across?
thanks mike

All you need is 8.5 inch.
I work with a 20 inch monitor and the HandShoe Mouse works fine.

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Sjoerd E
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I think that would pretty well depend on what speed you had your mouse set to. With a Handshoe, I'm not sure the setup would be practical at all as it requires a fairly low speed for accuracy. Even if you had enough space on your desk for the mouse to travel, your arm wouldn't be long enough and you would have to keep picking it up. If I were you, I would consider getting a Kensinton Orbit Scroll trackball instead. You can spin that little ball infinitely, so no worries about desk space or arm movement.

Yeah sure if you want to get RSI or Carpal tunnel Syndrome go ahead.
Other people might check out the research and find that track balls are the worse products and not ergonomic at all.

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Sjoerd E
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Again, just check out the latest reserarch saying: "the vertical mouse needs to be re-evaluated as it causes RSI rather then prevent it".

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ergoguy
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All you need is 8.5 inch.
I work with a 20 inch monitor and the HandShoe Mouse works fine.

If I understand correctly, he's working on 4 19" monitors. If he uses them all merged as one screen, don't you think he might run out of space pretty quick?

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ergoguy
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As far as trackballs and the Evoluent mouse, I'm not saying that either choice is ideal. I'm aware that there is research indicating that the grip/pinch force on the Evoluent is unacceptable. However, I'm comparing the Evoluent mouse to a non-ergo wrist flick model, not a proper forearm-operated mouse. Compared to the former, I think nearly everybody would agree that it's an improvement.

As for the trackball, I'm suggesting that simply because of his multiple-monitor situation.

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Sjoerd E
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If I understand correctly, he's working on 4 19" monitors. If he uses them all merged as one screen, don't you think he might run out of space pretty quick?

Just as quick as with a standard mouse. The HandShoe Mouse doesn't need any more room to maneuvre than any standard mouse.

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