A New York-based start-up is developing electromagnetic shoes designed to simulate the effect of walking in reduced gravity.
The MoonWalker shoes by design and engineering firm Moonshine Crea are fitted with powerful N45 Neodymium magnets – the same type that is used to lift heavy objects, such as cars and barbells.
Two magnetic layers, with their north poles facing each other, repel each other strongly and push the layers of the shoe’s sole apart, lifting the wearer into the air.
“The magnets make you - the Moonwalker - light on your feet,” said the firm on its Indiegogo website. “Soon you'll be leaping and bounding like a happy astronaut.”
To add a touch of real space, the firm used a synthetic polyethylene material, DuPont Tyvek, to make the outer layer of the shoe. Nasa uses the same material to protect space station modules.
The shoe’s sole is made from memory foam that adjusts to the unique shape of the wearer’s foot.
With the campaign on Indiegogo already almost five times over its original target, the firm hopes to ship the first batch to backers in August this year.
“We've done numerous CAD blueprints, prototype after prototype, tweaked and tested everything, including grip, magnetic power, breathability, durability, comfort, and street performance,” the firm assured.