#409: Bootbags

Just walking about on uneven, slippery terrain is hard work. Conventional boot design is based on the idea that one’s foot has a hinge at the instep, allowing the forefoot and the heel to bend upwards from a normally stiff, flat-footed orientation. This seems to be more for the convenience of footwear manufacturers than footwear wearers -since it places large tensile and compressive loads on the achilles tendon when walking up and down hills (even if you are wearing boots with stiffened ankles).

Today’s invention attempts to both ease the stresses on a walker’s foot and to provide improved grip on unstable surfaces.


It consists of a pair of beanbags strapped tighly to the soles of one’s shoes or boots. The bags would have a textured surface and be made of a material which would either be durable for only a small number of walks before being binned and biodegrading…or of a tough, rubbery material which could stand longterm use.

I’m suggesting walking about wearing something like a pair of deep-section hot water bottles, part-filled with biodegradable beans. These would be soft enough to conform to an uneven track (alowing the foot to stay basically horizontal) whilst also splaying out somewhat to provide better grip.

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