King hopes his orthotic insole will someday protect soldiers in the field. Through a Small Business Initiative Research Grant sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Army Medical Research and Materials Command, King explored how composite-based orthotics could better protect soldiers than the polyurethane and ethyl vinyl acetate foam products currently used. Testing indicates that the Kingetics’ product can increase puncture resistance of the U.S. military’s current footwear by 300 to 1,000 percent while also offering additional material protection from IED debris.
King says that not only is the system stronger, but it’s also up to 30 percent lighter than the current DOD-procured combat boots. By reducing the weight of the footwear, the wearer requires less energy to stride – and the carbon fiber better reuses the energy generated from the foot hitting the ground, King explains.
King also notes that the orthotic insole provides a sturdy shock absorbing system that can decrease the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. “I’m running marathons and climbing in them,” says King. “If they didn’t work and weren’t more comfortable for me, I wouldn’t wear them.”