Spring-powered shoes could help us run more than 50 per cent faster

By Donna Lu

With a spring-powered exoskeleton, Usain Bolt could theoretically run 20.9 metres per secondPCN Photography / AlamyHigh-tech shoes are making running more efficient – eventually, they could help us run more than 50 per cent faster.
David Braun and Amanda Sutrisno at Vanderbilt University in the US, modelled the energy used during running and the factors that can affect that – including air resistance, the limited power of a human leg, and the losses that occur each time a foot hits the ground.
They found that the leg only supplies energy about 20 per cent of the time that a person’s foot is on the ground. To improve upon that, they have conceptualised a spring-powered device that would increase the amount of power a person’s legs generate while running.


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