Muscling in on shoe design

Adidas has unveiled a running shoe that continuously adjusts its cushioning level to suit the terrain.

Three years in development, the shoe automatically adjusts itself using a sensor and magnet.

The sensor is fitted below the heel and the magnet is placed at the mid-sole, gauging the compression of the sole on impact with the ground to within 0.1mm.

A microprocessor compares the compression messages received from the sensor to the pre-set zone and determines if the cushioning is appropriate.

If necessary, it sends a command to the shoe’s ‘muscle’, a motor-driven cable system, to tighten or relax compression of the cushioning system depending on the terrain.

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