Power Boots? The Russians are at it again with this dangerously cool invention by Viktor Gordeyev.
(Power Boot wearer Racing a truck in the snow)
These are not those spring-powered things you saw when you were a kid. These boots use biofuels like biodiesel, vegetable oil, SVO, waste vegetable oil (WVO) to really put some pep in your step.
(Add fuel for rocket power)
How much pep? Twenty-five miles per hour and strides of up to twelve feet. Click on the movie below to check them out (the demo starts about 25 seconds into the video). (Here is a Russian power boot time trial video) Also, take a look at this powered boot diagram.
This is one of those cases when I really regret that I didn't master Russian, despite two years of it in college. I know I have Russian readers - how about some additional details, droogs?
(Power Boot diagram)
I'm also wondering if this Gordeyev guy had been reading science fiction writer Charles Stross, or vice-versa. (Actually, Gordeyev's idea dates from the 1970's; see the comments on Gordeyev's powered boots.) You see, in his 2005 novel Accelerando, one of the characters actually wears - you guessed it - motorized combat boots.
Spring-Heeled Jack runs blind, blue fumes crackling from his heels. His right hand, outstretched for balance, clutches a mark's stolen memories.
(Read more about motorized combat boots)
Update 15-Sep-2006: Now, that's a quick response; thanks to Elim Garak for a precis of the information from the above video.
Unfortunately this segment doesn't have much information. They make comparison first with the fast-walking boots from an old children's story. Then they mention that potentially police or military may be using them. The guy testing them says that the only work he needs to do is moving his legs - he is running on straight legs, without bending them. Finally they discuss economic plans. Their first plan is to provide several pairs to various attractions and circuses where people could try them. They are working with some people from Brittain, that have plans to sell the boots at about 1500 pounds per pair. They also have had some inquiries from various other countries (Japan).