Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
It's not a thing. It will be a thing.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Frogspawn Trainers

a.k.a. Camel Shoes.
  [vote for,

I was in Egypt over Christmas (yes, it was lovely, thanks) and I saw camels up close for the first time. Their feet are amazing. They look like hooves but, instead of being hard, are soft and yielding. On soft terrain, the weight is spread by the squashing of the feet. Hard, uneven, terrain is leveled by the soft feet, the bumps being absorbed and keeping the foot level.

This led me to think about a running shoe for uneven terrain, or a walking boot for those that want a slower pace. It would have about 3 inches of gel around the outside of the sole, not stacked like a platform, but wrapped around, as if the shoe is a frog emerging from frogspawn.

The shoe would level off uneven surfaces, soften impacts (nice for the knees), recover some of the evergy of impact by springing back (only useful if running) as well as making you that little bit taller. It might take a while to get used to the action and you'd have to spend the odd evening squirting some gel repairer into the splits caused by some of the nastier sharper rocks but you'd bound up mountains that much easier.

st3f, Jan 04 2006


       And I was hoping for a school of animal communication that got down to the yolk level.
normzone, Jan 04 2006

       I'm worried quite a lot of energy might go in frictional losses within the gel as it deforms which would make the experience more like running in sand than running on a trampoline.
hippo, Jan 04 2006

       i thought that too. and surely the gel would absorb energy from the leg as you push off the ground?
rainbow, Jan 04 2006

       It probably would, rainbow. My original thought was a running shoe where you might be able to tune the density of the gel to provide a bounce at the right speed to recover some energy. For a walking shoe it would be lost, so I guess you don't want the gel to be too soft.
st3f, Jan 04 2006

       Sounds like you would need a dilatant gel.   

       <obligatory reference>And the shoe would have camel toes?</or>   

       And when it coems to bounding up mountains, I'd remind you that camels' feet are designed to walk on sandy deserts. Goats' and sheeps' hooves, designed to bound up mountains, are narrow and hard.
DrCurry, Jan 04 2006

       2f: I'm looking for the reverse. I'm looking for something that's going to give, then rebound when hit hard (for running), but not yield too much for a normal stride so that it doesn't sap your energy. Nice try, though.   

       DrC: ...and yet, that is where I saw the camels. Happily trotting up (and down) a mountain. They looked comfortable. Not as good as they do on flat sand but more comfortable than a human on the same uneven sloped surface.
st3f, Jan 04 2006

       If the trainer was air-filled rather than gel-filled this might prevent so much energy getting lost to friction. Also something else to think about is having the trainers connected via flexible hoses to squeezable balloon-like things held in the hands. Then by squeezing and releasing in correct syncopation with your feet hitting the ground you'll get exactly the right pattern of 'give' for your stride pattern and you can vary this to best match the terrain - and you'll build up your forearm muscles while you run.
hippo, Jan 04 2006

       "If the trainer was air-filled rather than gel-filled..." -- bringing a whole new definition to the phrase 'flat footed'.
st3f, Jan 04 2006

       "If the trainer was air-filled rather than...." You'd sound like two over energetic flatulent whoopie cushions.
skinflaps, Jan 04 2006

       That would wear out like nobody's business.
notmarkflynn, Jan 04 2006


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle