Naomie Christensen: Water Scoop Shoe

Monday, September 7, 2009

Water Scoop Shoe


Creating a new invention to revolutionize the way people swim after taking a great deal of thought into the genetic adaptation of having a larger second toe, it occurred to me the toes are curled. By looking at my own feet and comparing the two sides of my family the reason for this genetic adaptation was perplexing.

When brainstorming on different lifestyles it occurred to me the foot is arched to create a point. The side of the family with this trait was from an oceanic background. The side of the family, not exhibiting this trait, was also known for fishing. However, from a rugged mountainous terrain swimming is likely to be a secondary or tertiary survival skill.

After pointing my toes I noticed that a cup is formed along the ball and arch of the foot. This scoop creates resistance in the water when kicking the legs. Therefore, having a scoop or cup assists in propelling the body further.

It took awhile to completely envision an invention using this knowledge to enhance this natural adaptation. Mimicking the major feature, it made sense to create a cup near the toes. The greatest depth starts at the ball of the foot and gradually tappers towards the heel. In this way greatest resistance is acquired. As someone kicks their legs they will be propelled forward. Figures 2 and 3 show how the cup is shaped. The sole is hollowed out; however, the side view resembles a sandal.

Additional observations include noticing standard flipper in scuba diving extend past the toe. However, greater force is generated when the shoe is firmly placed against the feet. It also more aerodynamic causing less drag.

The shoe should move freely as feet move back and forth. The heel is removed so the motion is fluid. An ankle strap adds extra support; however, actively swimming can be jarring. An elastic band is placed around the heel. Elastic holds the shoe in place while allowing enough leeway to provide movement. It would be awful to lose a shoe when vigorously swimming in a lake or ocean.

Artificially enhancing the natural curve of the toes will revolutionize swimming around the world.

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