Cushioned sneakers designed to help athletes jump higher have been around for decades. Basically, the compressed sole of such shoes returns energy vertically, enabling an athlete to leap to greater heights while expending less energy themselves.

Adidas has taken this idea one step further in their latest creation: the Adidas Springblade shoe. With a few tweaks to the theory, Adidas has designed a shoe that can actually make athletes run faster.

The sixteen plastic springs on the sole of the Adidas Springblade shoe return energy like a cushioned sneaker, except that they return it horizontally rather than vertically. This provides increased forward momentum which allows for greater running speeds to be reached.

Each of the shoe’s plastic springs was individually designed by Adidas scientists for the optimized height, thickness, orientation, and springiness depending on its placement.

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