A US-based company has designed the first gravity defying footwear which imitates the feeling of walking on the moon. The shoes have been named ’20:16 MoonWalker’ and contains strategically placed magnets at the base of the footwear and creates a force field which makes the wearer light on their feet.

The Neodymium magnet is the strongest permanent magnets and are made of neodymium, iron and boron, and was created in 1982 by General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals.

It replaced other forms of the magnet and found wide application in appliances which require strong magnets. Of late the magnets have been used in gravity defying, ‘out-of-the-world’ footwear which gives the wearer the feeling of walking on the moon.

The shoes carry the N45 neodymium magnets, which are among the strongest permanent magnets known.

Patrick Jreijiri, a mechanical engineer, and designer of the shoes said that there are different grades of magnets like the N40, 42 and 45. However, N45 scores over the others because it is durable as well as economical.

The shoes contain a layer of around 12 to 13 magnets which repel a set 12 to 13 magnets placed as mirror images on another layer on the same shoes. The magnets repel each other because of the orientation of the magnets which are placed so as to align the North poles with each other.

The magnets size varies from 2.5 cm to 5 cm. A 5 cm Neodymium magnet can move 12 KG of material. The resulting repulsion caused by strategically arranged magnets covers the entire foot. So when a person is walking he is pushing with a combined strength of the magnets, Jreijiri said.

The space between the magnets acts as a cushion and adjusts how w a person walks. The gap also means that the wearer’s weight does not mean much in the sensation they feel while walking with the Moonwalker shoes unless the person is less than 183 Kg.


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