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A Pair Of Running Shoes That Lets You Run 25 Miles Per Hour

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“The sky has no limits. Neither do I.” — Usain Bolt

When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was Forrest Gump. It was a great movie with big lessons, and the famous command “Run, Forrest, Run!” has become my philosophy.

For 25 years, Keahi Seymour has dreamed of running with the speed of an animal. His inspiration came at age 12, while he was watching a program about kangaroos. “The announcer said it moves at such an efficient gait by using its Achilles tendons as springs. I thought, ‘Why not replicate that in a device that could propel a human?’” said Seymour.

Since then, he started sketching footwear using ostriches, which, he discovered, run more like humans, as his model.

5 years later, the very first prototype — which was created from old Rollerblade boots, steel tubing and bungee cords — was ready to be tested. Today, after more than 200 prototypes, Seymour’s Bionic Boot can send him forward at 25 miles per hour. “You really feel superhuman.”

Bionic Boot 1998 Prototype

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.58.48 AMUsing wire mesh and fiberglass, this prototype was raised 10 to 12 inches above the ground. Powered by an “Achilles tendon”, it was capable of running at the speed of 15 MPH.

Bionic Boot 2010 Prototype

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.59.06 AMLighter and faster! The new prototype applied aircraft aluminum in order to reduce the weight. Seymour also replaced the springs — which had been made of thin rubber wound around a carabiner or a bolt — with thick rubber speargun tubing.

Bionic Boot 2012 Prototype

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.59.17 AMThanks to carbon fiber, the boots were much lighter now. To secure it to his legs, Seymour chose stable snowboard-boot clasps over lighter and flimsier Velcro fasteners. In later versions, he reinforced it with nylon straps.

His dream has not come to an end yet. Seymour said he’s working on a new prototype that will propel you forward at the speed of 40 MPH. That’s right! His dream of running as fast as a cheetah is still there, and who knows what will be his next challenge even if he could win against a puma in a race.

Connie loves to hear your feedback, so feel free to email her or add her on LinkedIn.

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