Future astronauts’ boots are blue and white. And they’re spectacular.
As mentioned by Nicholas de Monchaux a few weeks back, Reebok have introduced their Floatride Space Boot SB-01. These nifty, stellar white and blue tinged shoes will adorn the feet of space travelers aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner soon.
The shoe company worked with the David Clark Company to develop the lightweight shoes. Astronauts are testing the shoes currently. The shoes themselves are “the first evolution in space footwear in over 50 years,” Reebok humbly claims.
Owners of the Floatride Run shoe Reebok introduced last year will find these boots familiar. They share the same innovative, lightweight and flexible technology.
In a statement provided to Kicks On Fire, Reebok’s Matt Montross, in the company’s innovation team, says the “Floatride Foam introduced three revolutionary elements to the space boot. It decreased the overall weight significantly, it brought the added comfort in a space boot and support that you would expect in a running shoe, and it delivered a new level of sleekness and style.”
Because when astronauts finally meet aliens, we don’t want them getting mocked for their footwear, do we?
Space travel requires space-inspired footwear
The boots are designed to be more lightweight, less chunky clunky, Dan Hobson told Digital Trends. “On the space boot, the rubber traction, the float foam and the stabilizing foam that sits above the float foam are identical to the Floatride Run, so the feel underfoot will feel very similar.”
Hobson, vice president of innovation for Reebok, explains the inside of the shoe “uses a special mesh that stretches to a certain point, then locks out when the suit inflates, which allows the bot to always fit comfortably.”
But don’t confuse Reebok’s boots with others currently in development by MIT.
The school is working on a set of shoes for working outside of the space vehicle. In conjunction with a new space suit, or extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) if you want to be all fancy, they’re trying to make it safer for astronauts to walk around on the moon. The new boots feature “built-in sensors and tiny motors that vibrate based on the terrain to help the wearer navigate safely around or over nearby obstacles,” according to Space.com. The motors are located in the shoe’s toe, heel and around the front of the outside of the foot.
A study helped create a system for locating and alerting astronauts to obstacles, explains Leia Stirling. “Providing this information to the astronaut may make them more confident and efficient during extravehicular activities and may decrease their injury risk due to trips and falls.”