:::: One-line Brief//
The shoes assist the feet in leaving the ground.
:::: Inspiration from Nature//
Springtail insect (Collembola) has folded prongs under its belly which can send the insect flying when unfolded.
:::: Problem Statement//
The shoes are mostly designed to provide a comfortable touchdown or landing of the feet on the ground. Joggers and sneakers have shock-absorbent mechanisms (springs, air, etc.). But they follow the passive mode of comfort and performance. A shoe needs to be designed for an active mode of performance i.e. to facilitate the forward steps that push the ground backward.
:::: Nature Review//
Leaping and jumping mechanisms are abundant in nature. But perhaps one of the most suitable examples, in this case, is of an insect springtail (Collembola). A springtail has pronged fork-like body parts which are kept hidden under its body. When the insect takes its outstanding leap forward, these prongs unlock themselves and release enormous tension, launching the insect into a projectile. This strategy is an ideal principle for the forward-leap of the human foot.
:::: Technology Review//
No such products were found in the market of daily-use foot-wears, but several jumping shoes were found. The technology used in Adidas SpringBlade, Bionic Boots, Nike Shox NZ, and Enko running shoes were useful case studies in designing this nature gadget. ARV19’s of Reebok gave useful insight for the design possibilities too. The most remarkable technology was that of the springtail itself. Its leaping method was directly emulated to boost up the performance of the foot-wears. Only the sole of a shoe was the focus, not the design of a complete shoe.
::: Nature Gadget//
There are folded pronged structures (2, 8, 13) embedded inside the sole. Pronged structures can absorb (1) and amplify (3, 4) embedded tension at every lift of the step. This gives the foot a subtle, gentle bounce from under. Sensors (12) can administer the stability of the foot on the ground and in the air. And the level of the bounce can be adjusted manually (10) with an app on a smartwatch or a phone.
:::: Citation Montage//
The following technologies helped in designing the systems for this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: A Closeup of Springtail
Row1Column2: Description of Springtail’s fork
Row1Column3: An Example of Spring Shoes
Row1Column4: Adidas Springblade
Row2Column1: Proposed Concept 1 Shoes for NBA
Row2Column2: Bionic Boots
Row2Column3: Nike Shox NZ Running Shoes
Row2Column4: Enko Running Shoes
Row3Column1: Kangoo Jumps Power Shoes
Row3Column2: Nike 3D Printed Sprinters
Row3Column3: Reebok ATV19’s
Row3Column4: An Example of Spring Shoes
Row4Column1: An Example of Exoskeleton Wearable Tech
Row4Column2: Unpowered Ankle Exoskeleton
Row4Column3: Experimental Study on Ankle Exoskeletons
Row4Column4: Clutch–Spring Knee Exoskeleton
Created by Umair Zia