Technology these days has us focusing on our health and fitness, but most of them through monitoring devices like smartwatches and fitness bands. But sometimes, the most efficient and effective improvement doesn’t have to be the most sophisticated or complicated. Like these pair of Enko running shoes. You won’t find any digital or smart component in here. What you will discover, instead, are shock absorbers that not only protect your feet from injury-causing impact, but also stores and then releases energy in order to give your feet a push to power up your running.
The concept sounds both simple and yet intriguing. A lot of athletic shoes already advertise some form of shock absorption, but nothing in this form. In essence, you are adding a new layer of mechanism to your running shoes. The absorbers, which can be changed to adapt to the weight of the wearer, promises to reduce the impact your feet experiences when it hits the ground, protect them from injury. But the shoes do more than just protect. They also enhance.
In theory, when a foot hits the ground, the energy there is dispersed and lost. In other words, wasted. Enko “recycles” that energy instead. Energy is stored when the shock absorbers are at rest, at the moment the foot hits the pavement. The energy is released when you lift your heel, helping to push your foot forward and adding to your momentum. The shoes actually have a switch between Walking and Running settings, so that you can wear your Enko shoes even for your day to day activities.
That is, if you’re willing to be the center of much attention. For all the promises, Enko look quite eccentric, if not awkward. For dedicated training, perhaps they might find a place. But for walking? You might prefer to leave them at home. Enko is currently doing an Indiegogo crowdfunding round that is set to last about 2 months. It is looking for $50,000 in total and so far has netted less than a tenth. One thing to note about this campaign is that it is set to Flexible Funding, meaning that Enko’s creators will still get any money pledged towards the campaign, even if it doesn’t meet its funding goal.