My name is Mike, I’m a Team80/20 triathlete, as well as a biomedical engineer working for a startup company in Hebron, CT, USA. We are funded by the NIH and VA, designing a passive foot/ankle exoskeleton, and are looking to collect opinions on the marketability of the device in recreational running. In short, the passive exoskeleton provides a boost to the wearer’s toe-off phase, effectively giving a speed boost during walking. It also relieves plantar forces and offloads the achilles tendon during walking, as well as adding stability to the ankle and reducing inversion/eversion of the foot. I am wondering if I could gain some opinions and learn about how many runners look for footwear to treat any achilles tendinopathies or plantar fasciitis injuries. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on if runners would want an exoskeleton like ours to help them perform runs faster with less fatigue, or be able to train for longer distances without subjecting their feet/ankles to as much trauma. Ask any questions, I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my ability!
Haha no, it is a plastic device that is custom fitted to the shape of your foot, ankle and lower leg. It contains elastic bands parallel to the achilles tendon, and offloads some of the tendon strain. They are meant to fit within your running shoes.