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These Gravity-Defying Sneakers Simulate the Feeling of Walking on the Moon

Thanks to these new sneakers, you don’t need to wait for space tourism to take off to experience walking on the moon. Aptly named ‘MoonWalker’, these shoes rely on magnets to allegedly simulate walking in a low-gravity environment. 

On their Indiegogo campaign page, startup Moonshine Crea reveals that the ingenious shoes are made from an “incredibly durable yet soft and breathable” synthetic fabric on the outside, while the inside is made of a DuPont Tyvek synthetic polyethylene used by NASA in space station modules. The sole, made of memory foam, is designed to perfectly fit the unique shape of each wearer’s foot.

So far the shoes seem like regular sneakers, but what sets the 20:16 MoonWalkers apart are the two special layers hidden beneath the memory foam, which are embedded with the world’s most powerful magnets . According to the company, “each layer is made up of powerful N45 magnets that are strategically placed so the north poles face each other. This creates a repellant force, which leaves you light on your feet and happy as an astronaut.”

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Speaking to Live Science, mechanical engineer Patrick Jreijiri, the brains behind MoonWalker, explained that the strength of a magnet depends on its composition – a mix of neodymium, iron, and boron. So he chose N45, which is not only the strongest but also cheaper than most magnets. The pieces he chose for the shoe range from 2.5 to 5 cm in diameter, and are capable of moving 12 to 24 kilograms of material each.

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The two special layers, embedded with 12 to 13 magnets each are arranged in such a way that the north poles of the magnets face each other. These poles repel each other, creating a gap, or force field, between the layers. So when the wearer’s foot pushes against the combined strength of the magnets, the gap will act as a cushion, keeping the wearer suspended in space. Of course, there’s a limit to how much weight the magnets can withstand and in the case of MoonWalkers that limit is 183 kilograms.

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If the Indiegogo campaign is any indication, the idea of levitating shoes is extremely popular. The company managed to raise a whopping $212,177, which is 990% of their original goal. Shipping will begin later this summer, in a variety of colors and adult sizes, priced between $89 and $139. One version will come with an e-ink display similar to the ShiftWear sneakers we covered a few months ago.

 

MoonWalkers sound great, but we’re kind of disappointed that Moonshine Crea hasn’t released a live demo of the sneakers in action. We’ll just have to hope that they actually work as promised.

Photos: Moonshine Crea

via Discovery