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The Shock-Absorbing "Portal" Trainers


Good news: someone is actually trying to turn the superb video game Portal into a reality. Bad news: it's not what you think.

For those who haven't played Valve's sci-fi platformer of 2007, the game saw a lonely test subject by the name of Chell forced to navigate a series of increasingly difficult obstacle-filled rooms with the help of a portal-forming gun and some spring-loaded footwear. While the portal gun itself is still the stuff of physics-bending dreams, Chell's footwear may be mere months away.

These complicated contraptions are ENKO running shoes, an indiegogo project that's hoping to revolutionise the world of sports footwear. A two centimetre shock-absorbing spring runs along the heel and sole of the ENKO: as your foot hits the ground, the spring helps cushion the joint-wrecking shock and store the energy. As you lift your foot, it releases the tension in the spring, giving you a "kick" to your stride.

While there are various flaws to the £250 shoe design (to avoid injury, most distance runners would look to avoid joint-damaging heel strike by landing on the ball of their foot rather than the heel), the ENKO trainer looks remarkably similar to the design of Chell's platform-enhancing, Apeture-made boots...

While we're pretty sure the ENKO running shoes wouldn't support a fall from a significant height, we're wondering just how much cushioning they could provide if they lengthened that spring. 

And no, we're not volunteering for the test jumps. 

[Via: Kotaku]



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