The Italian company Wahu has developed an electro-pneumatic adaptable sole that fits any shoe. And thanks to this, she won the prestigious Innovation Award in the Wearable Technology category at CES 2020. The technology is not intended for commercial use, but can change the entire shoe industry.
The idea is that when driving on good surfaces it is more comfortable when the sole relief is minimal, but moving on loose or slippery surfaces is better with spikes. In the Wahu system, they are made of shock-absorbing material and can change their shape. Either extend, expanding to its maximum size, or retract, almost merging with the base of the sole.
To control the pneumatic spikes, a set of microcompressors is used, which can increase the pressure in the cavities of the sole to 2.5 bar, and then gently release it. To control the compressors, an application on a smartphone is used, which also receives information from sensors in the sole. They analyze the movement of the foot, the effectiveness of traction, create a "digital signature" of their owner's walking and can even prevent falls by automatically changing the configuration of the cleats.
If the user does not trust the automation, he can simply set a specific mode for the use of spikes. The batteries are charged for the operation of the compressors for 24 hours of operation. An additional bonus - with such a sole, a person becomes 8 mm higher. Wahu is going to offer its development to major shoe manufacturers such as Nike, Reebok and Adidas.