"The gas-powered shoe is a symbol of both Russia’s deep scientific traditions and the country’s inability to convert that talent into useful merchandise."
From NY Times: The dream Mr. Gordeyev conceived in 1974 to run faster and jump higher without getting tired might never have become a popular option for commuters or even caught on as a sport. But unlike the Segway, the American-invented self-balancing scooter, it never had a chance. Instead, the boots became a military secret, as generals envisioned soldiers running swiftly and effortlessly alongside armored vehicles. The boots were declassified in 1994, and Mr. Gordeyev and his partners imagined growing rich by selling their invention to a lazy public. Instead, the company went out of business in 2006.
For now, though, the boots remain a curiosity, without the wider distribution their owners hoped for. After years of research, gasoline-assisted running remains dangerous. “The worst situation is when the spark fires as the runner just lands, and the force of the blast is absorbed by his body,” Mr. Garipov explains flatly.
Go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/17/business/worldbusiness/17gazshoes.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss