After some digging, the jury is still out to whether the technology has a place on the feet of war fighters in my opinion. You guys can decide for yourselves and I’m grateful for the ongoing discussion….I’ve heard very mixed reviews from those with direct exposure to DAMPS, both in and outside of the military. I’ve personally had hands on but, I haven’t had a chance to personally put DAMPS through the paces.
I spoke with one of my sources in the Defense industry and he confirmed that SORSE has indeed tested these boots under a $75k R&D contract a few years ago. The SORSE contract provided several improvements such as modifying the design to include the technology in the heel section only. Apparently this dissipates dynamic load forces better. The inventor has been working with Goodyear to develop a better sole material that can hold up in multiple environments. My source went on to explain that there are some definite champions for DAMPS boots inside the military and that there are some interesting energy generation possibilities with the magnets that sounded interesting. In my opinion, I was clear that more improvements in functionality and more follow on testing needs to be done.
Another contact of mine that has worn the boots had some serious doubts as to their effectiveness. He complained specifically about the boots being magnetically attracted to nearby metal. He told me a quick story about a metal chair nearby that when standing by, his foot suddenly “whacked” and attached to. He also complained of a clacking type of sensation when having hard heel strikes, almost like bottoming out a cars skid plate.
My two biggest concerns are magnetic interference (IED’s and electronic equipment)
While the jury is still out, I commend the inventor Jeff for his diligence in the government procurement process that is extremely painful. My advice is to continue to aggressively pursue commercial adoption and to listen to the end users needs in the advancement of the technology. Soldiers know a lot more about foot wear then you’d think.