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Externally, this new footwear from BorgCo looks just like any other pair of sturdy winter boots.
However, the insulating sole conceals a cunning mechanism operated by bi-metallic strips.
When the ambient temperature drops below 0 C, the strips cause numerous small pointed hardened-steel studs
to extend downwards, giving extra grip in icy conditions.
When temperatures rise, the studs retract again.
The mechanism can also be operated manually.
The studs can be unscrewed using the supplied special tool for easy replacement as they wear down.
manual-only boot studs
Manual-only operation, however [whatrock, Jan 22 2016]
||I can see how different thermal expansion coefficients
would cause a bimetallic strip to bend, however how do you
make it force a stud out? And have it resist a decent amount
of force from the weight? All I can think of is a cone-inside-
cone arrangement with the top cone made of a metal that
contracts more than the lower one, forcing the lower cone
down. But I think the movement range would be tiny, and
there would be interesting lubrication issues.
||Smart Wheels, Neal Stephenson.
||But if I'm ever fool enough to be someplace where I need a pair I'll buy one. A pair, that is. Still trying to convince my wife I need an au pair.