Most running shoes feature a design that incorporates a rubbery, somewhat bouncy sole. The idea is to return some of your own kinetic energy back into your step, and help you propel yourself forward. Except rubber soles aren’t quite as efficient at maintaining and transferring this momentum as actual metal springs. And that’s exactly what we find in the Enko Running Shoe. Each pair is outfitted with a special hinged sole, and an actual metal shock absorber whose spring rate is matched to the wearer’s weight. The spring will compress when your heel touches the ground, and release the stored energy as you roll your foot forward and carry on with your stride. There is even a “Run – Walk” toggle switch that changes the absorption dynamics depending on the activity you’re doing.
It’s an intriguing design, but considering they’re in the crowdfunding phase of the project, there aren’t a ton of real-world reviews to speak about the shoes’ comfort, arguably the most important aspect of the product. Still, if you’re interested, you’ll have to pledge $290 on Indiegogo to get your pair delivered in August. And that’s the Early Bird pricing; after 100 of these are sold, it moves up to $390, so act fast.