Engineers Design “World’s Fastest Shoes” To Increase Walking Speed By 250%, But Are We Defying Nature?

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Are you looking to get from one place to the other just a little faster? In today’s busy world, who wouldn’t? But it’s precisely the days you’re in a rush that traffic is a little slower, and the world itself seems to be working against you. If only you could skip the car or bus altogether and walk there without it taking too long. Think of the time, stress, and gas you would save. You would be helping out the planet a little, but also your body with physical movement and your mind with sharper focus and less stress.

This is where Moonwalkers come in. They claim to be the ‘world’s fastest shoes,’ and they may be able to get you to glide from point A to point B, giving you some of your time back.

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Not Enough Hours In The Day

Think about it. How often do you think of the fastest or most efficient way to accomplish a task? This is the way we’re conditioned so that we can survive and make it through our daily task load. It can sometimes feel like no matter how much we do in a day or how quickly we try to do it, there aren’t enough hours in the day. By constantly trying to catch up, we burn out.

Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels
Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

The Moonwalker innovators explain: “since humans first built tools, we’ve been chasing a dream; you might say we’ve got the need for speed.” The innovators attribute this need to the advances we’ve made so far, like air travel and flying into space, saying that “our desire to go further and faster is in our DNA.” They’re not wrong.

Rolling Through Life

We can no longer picture a world where we can’t get into our car to go to the grocery store or on a plane to get to the other side of the world. Imagine if you had to still take months-long boat rides to make it across the ocean every time you wanted to go on vacation! The innovators point out: “yet, our basic movement hasn’t changed in 6 million years. We still walk the same way our great great great grandparents walked…slowly.”

Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

While we’re grateful for our bodies’ ability to keep us moving forward, a group of robotics engineers wondered if the way we walk is keeping us limited and stuck in the past. They wanted to “bring it up to speed.” They created a startup called Shift Robotic, where they got to work on a shoe design that was reminiscent of regular roller skates. However, these weren’t like any skates. They had added some intelligence and power to the entire experience.

Strap-On Design

One of the Moonwalkers’ best features is the strap-on design. This makes it an accessory that can be added to any type of shoe or sneaker that you already own. Every single unit also comes with a 300-watt electric motor capable of powering a set of eight wheels.

man walking in moonwalkers
Shift Robotics
Shift Robotics

The founder spent five years trying to find a way to “bring walking into the future”. That’s how Moonwalkers was born, dubbed as “the world’s fastest shoe.”

Life’s About Balance

The idea came to the founder on a day he was riding a scooter and almost got hit by a car. He asked himself why he didn’t walk instead. After all, walking has health benefits both physically and mentally. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, and boost muscle power as well as overall energy levels.

Nikita Grishin / Pexels
Nikita Grishin / Pexels

But the founder also considered walking “part of who we are.” He then made it his life’s purpose to enhance walking rather than replace it. The shoe he came up with is smaller than regular rolling skates and, the wheels are far smaller and not located in a straight line.

That means the person wearing them doesn’t need to worry about balancing their body. To accelerate, all they need to do is walk faster. To slow down? Walk slower. The goal is for the shoe to help restore some balance to their lives instead.

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

The shoe is designed to fit the needs of the person wearing it. The sensors on the moonwalkers also monitor the gait of the individual. The shoes have several algorithms that adjust the power of the motors to match the synchronicity between the feet of the person wearing them.

moonwalker shoes closeup
Kickstarter/ Shift Robotics
Kickstarter/ Shift Robotics

The CEO of Shift Robotics, Xunjie Zang, wrote, “Moonwalkers are not skates. They’re shoes. The world’s fastest shoes, actually. You don’t skate in them, you walk. You don’t have to learn how to use them, the shoes learn from you. These are not something you lace up and wobble away on—they’re highly engineered additions to your shoes that you strap on and walk at the speed of a run.”

250% Faster Than The Average Walking Speed

The Moonwalkers claim that these shoes can increase the walking speed of any individual by 250%. This is based on the assumption that the average speed of a person is around 2.5 to 4 mph. These shoes have a top speed of 7 mph, which doesn’t change whether they’re going uphill or downhill. The shoes can even be worn going up and down the stairs without fear of falling. They have a foot gesture that automatically shuts down or reactivates the wheels.

Man going up the stairs in moonwalkers
Kickstarter/ Shift Robotics
Kickstarter/ Shift Robotics

The shoes went on sale as a part of a Kickstarter campaign, with the retail price set at $1,399.

The Verdict? People Aren’t Into It

Average people who have seen the shoes so far have not been impressed. After all, they’re not exactly affordable for the average person. Especially considering that they’re based on walking, the most economical method of transportation.

One reader of the NY Post stated, “How about a $125 bike with a motor called ‘your 2 legs’ and doesn’t need charging? But buy these shoes for $1399 and you will be charging both the motor and your credit card.” Another user wrote, “At that price, it has no market viability. Some rich people might buy them as an oddity. This is going nowhere, not even at 7 mph.”

The Gift Of Walking

Walking is a privilege that allows able bodies to explore the universe gifted to them. The way soft sand feels under our feet, the endorphins and happy chemicals we release on a long hike in nature, the way we run to greet our loved ones at the airport, the walk across the stage on graduation day, a baby’s first steps…These all start with walking.

Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas / Pexels
Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas / Pexels

The question is, should we leave a good thing as it is, or should we push our potential to see how far we can take it?

Prioritizing Time

In the hustle and bustle of today’s busy world, it’s hard to find time just to relax and focus inward. There is always something to be done. Being busy may be productive, but it takes us away from ourselves and depletes our energy.

new-york-times-square- at night with moving cars
Owen Barker / Pexels
Owen Barker / Pexels

Perhaps an invention like this could help bring us where we need to go a little faster so we can have some extra time left to reconnect with our beings and find our purpose again. By prioritizing time, we stay focused and feel less overwhelmed. Could these shoes be the first step?

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Aria Misty

Aria Misty is a recent university grad. She did her undergrad in media, information & technoculture with a Master in Journalism & Communications in 2018.

Aria has a particular interest in all things astrology and spirituality. This is driven by her desire to create healing. In fact, Aria went back to school for A master’s in counseling p[…]