People have been running for many thousands of years — originally to catch things or to avoid being caught (equally important endeavors). Now, of course, we primarily run for fun or fitness, and we can harness science to help optimize our run and save wear and tear on the old joints.
Enko is a high-tech running shoe designed by French runner Christian Freschi. He’s an engineer by trade, and developed dozens of prototypes over his 12 years dedicated to product research. He used 3D modeling to figure out the optimal mechanics for his shoe, and that finally led to the intriguing design on your feet.
The revolutionary running shoes have two interchangeable shock absorbers that store all the energy you produce in each stride. With a regular running shoe, you lose that energy when your foot touches the ground — not so with the Enko. The Enko stores up the energy and thoughtfully gives it back when you lift your foot again, making for an extremely efficient run. Think of you and your shoes as a team. An energy-efficient, stylish team at that. Oh, and the shock absorbers also dampen the impact on your knees and hips are you pound the pavement.
There’s even a setting so you can adjust the shoe to work at its prime whether you are walking or running. When the shoe is in the walk position, you can wear the Enkos for all your usual activities. One click, and you’re ready to run.
Comfort and protection were key concerns for the Enko designers. They added 10 times the height of cushioning that other running shoes have. The brand’s double-insole system lets the shoe stabilize your foot and avoid twisting. The top of your feet will appreciate the breathable uppers, too. There are support straps across the uppers to give your feet even more stability on your run.
As you may have realized by now, this is no off-the-shelf running shoe: Each pair is made to order based on the physical characteristics of the runner, including their weight. Enko’s Italian partner makes sure of the fit, and it takes at least five to seven weeks for that part of the process. Making and assembling the sole takes another few weeks. (Patience, people!)
Like many current high-tech products, technological advances in the aeronautics industry have boosted the durability of Enko shoes. There is another cool feature that will keep these running shoes on your feet for many, many miles: The shoes come with a set of six replacement studs and a key that lets you replace the studs individually as they wear down. You can order more from Enko when you need them.
Enko stresses that its shoes are designed for running on roads, paths and tracks, but cautions that they will not perform well on very rough terrain. No big deal — just stick to the trails, and you’ll be fine.
Right now the shoes are available in five eye-catching colors. And of course more heads will turn when people check out the unusual shock-absorbing sole design.