• How a WPI-engineered shoe could prevent devastating joint injuries

    By: Heather Hegedus

    Updated:

    WORCESTER, Mass. - Dustin Pedroia is missing this year's World Series with a knee injury, but a group of Worcester Polytechnic Institute students are hoping to help athletes prone to injuries like his. 

    They're designing a special shoe and they've already secured half a million dollars in funding for it.

    All the students in the lab are student-athletes at WPI. They know how debilitating a knee or ankle injury can be.

    Under Professor Chris Brown's leadership, the WPI students have been working for six years to develop a patented sneaker to reduce the chance of an athlete from injuring a knee or ankle.

    The shoe is designed in parts that will, essentially, shift back and forth, to help players' joints handle their weight. In their shows, an athlete can keep on playing on them, which is different than sneakers previously designed to fall apart to absorb a load.

    The students are hopeful it could someday be sold in stores to be worn by both professional and amateur athletes. 

    The next step is to test the prototype in a lab and on athletes. They're also looking for shoe companies interested in getting in the game.

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