Footwear

  • ​Those little packets of silica gel that come in everything from your shoeboxes to burrito packets are the gold standard for fending off fungal growth and moisture. But scientists have now developed a material they claim to absorb twice as much.
  • ​For people with lower limb problems, making regular trips into a physiotherapy clinic can be a major hassle if they live in a remote region. That's why Deepti Aggarwal, a PhD candidate at Australia's University of Melbourne, created the internet-connected SoPhy "smart socks."
  • Skiers already utilize binding systems that let them simply click their boots in and out of their skis. Well, the folks at Cetatek thought that the same sort of technology should be applied to the blades of scuba fins. The result is the aquabionic aquatic binding system (abs).
  • ​Diabetics often lack sensitivity in their feet, which means that they may not know when foot ulcers are forming. If such ulcers do form and get infected, amputations are sometimes required. The Siren Diabetic Sock, however, is designed to help keep that from happening.
  • We traveled to ISPO Munich to see the latest in European outdoor, action sports and fitness gear and innovation. As usual, the "world's largest sports trade fair" didn't disappoint. Beyond the Swedish electric dirt bikes and Land Rover smartphones, the show had dozens of interesting innovations.
  • Power meters are typically attached to the bicycle's crank arm, making it cumbersome to use one device for multiple bikes. Well, Magnes Sports has developed a work-around, in the form of a power meter that's built into the shoe cleat.
  • ​Astronauts travelling to and from the International Space Station aboard Boeing's new CST-100 Starliner may be wearing Reeboks. The footwear manufacturer has announced that it teamed up with space suit manufacturer David Clark Company, to create a boot for use in the spacecraft.
  • Nakefit is one of those products that regularly crops up on crowdfunding sites squarely straddling the line between "why?" and "of course!". They're hypoallergenic elastic adhesive pads that stick onto the soles of your feet, providing some protection for those who don't like wearing shoes.
  • ​Back in 2015, we heard about how bioplastics firm Algix and clean tech company Effekt were collaborating to make eco-friendly foam based on algae instead of petroleum. The material is now being marketed as Bloom foam, and you'll soon be able to buy shoes made out of the stuff.
  • Adidas has been exploring the possibilities of 3D printing when it comes to footwear for a little while, now culminating in the launch of its first 3D-printed trainer for the public, the 3D Runner. ​
  • We tried out a pair of ThermaCELL heated insoles a few years ago, and while we generally liked them, we were disappointed that they couldn't fit inside a pair of cycling shoes. Well, perhaps we might have better luck with the new ultrathin +Winter insoles.
  • ​​When you're shopping for winter boots, it would be good to know how well they do on ice – and there hasn't been a standard rating system in place for that until now, in the form of the Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) testing method.