Through energy harvesting tiles, backpacks and insoles, there has been much talk about harnessing our kinetic energy to power mobile devices and other electronics. A team of researchers is claiming to have made a big breakthrough in the collective effort to turn human motion into usable energy, developing a new method of producing useful amounts of electricity from our footsteps.
Many diabetics have limited feeling in their feet, and thus aren't aware when pressure is being exerted on one area of the foot for a prolonged period. As a result, they can develop chronic skin ulcers or other injuries, which can in turn sometimes lead to amputations. That's why a team from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is creating SenseGO – pressure-monitoring electronic socks.
Adidas hasn't been afraid to test the waters when it comes to offbeat footwear. Between 3D printed running shoes, connected soccer cleats and football boots that appear more like socks, the German sports giant has been quite willing to publicly document its penchant for experimentation. In its latest foray, Adidas has done away with a staple of most covered footwear and launched a laceless football boot that's to be worn in-game by some of the world's top players this weekend.
Standing in one spot or actively walking for hours each day can eventually lead to some serious foot fatigue. Although off-the-shelf shoe inserts exist to provide support and/or cushioning, a bionics company has devised a method of creating affordable, 3D printed custom insoles from 2D snapshots taken on a smartphone.
Custom-made sports footwear is typically the preserve of professional athletes, but perhaps not for much longer. Adidas has unveiled a 3D-printed running shoe midsole concept that it hopes to make publicly available. Futurecraft 3D would be molded to the wearer's foot shape, for improved performance.
Readers of a certain age may remember those old-school roller skates that were strapped on over top of the user’s regular shoes. The Cardiff Skate Company recently brought the general idea back, but using rollerblade-type wheels instead of the original steel ones. Walk Wing takes the idea further, with strap-on skates that feature retractable rubber wheels.
The world’s oceans are in peril due to a combination of pollution, overfishing and climate change. Recently, the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, a German center for polar and marine research, sent out a strong warning about fundamental changes that are occurring in those ecosystems. But awareness is growing and the fight to preserve the oceans has found an ally in Adidas, which has teamed with conservation group Parley for the Oceans to create footwear made with trash harvested from the ocean.
Roller skating and inline skating are both well past their primes, but there's a new generation of skates that offers a simpler, more casual skating experience. In place of a full-sized roller boot wrapping your entire foot and ankle, the latest skates slide onto your regular shoes. Models from companies like Cardiff use a basic strap system, but the all-new On Wheelz skates take things strapless, using a step-in system quite like clipless bike pedals.
For women, buying the wrong shoes can be about more than just esthetics.
If they end up with shoes that don't fit properly, they can develop
foot disorders such as bunions, hammertoes or ingrown toenails. That's
where the European Union's DemoShopInstantShoe project comes in. Established a few years ago, the collaborative effort is now about to release a device that instantly adapts off-the-rack shoes to a custom fit.
Even if you're not diabetic, you've probably heard that they need to
watch out for problems with their feet. That's because they frequently
lack sensation down there, and therefore don't know when it's time to
shift their weight in order to relieve pressure on specific areas of
their feet. The result can be chronic pressure sores, which can in turn
ultimately lead to toe or foot amputations. While pressure-sensing shoe
inserts are one option, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate
Research claims that its pressure-sensing stockings are a better way to