The Healus is a unique running shoe without a heel developed by a runner and physiotherapist, Adri Hartveld from the Netherlands who had developed prototypes over 10 years. Healus Ltd are based in Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom. Development of the running shoe was conducted with research partners, but development seem to have stopped in 2013 and the shoe never came to market.
Basic principle the shoe design is based on is the potential to reduce injuries if the initial impact shock is reduced and that forefoot striking is better.
A patent was granted for the design:
Research and development on the concept was done under the umbrella of the Heelless project funded by a grant from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme that involved several research partners. Some of the research was done on the running shoe by Nachi Chockalingham at Staffordshire University:
The research found:
Given the reduction in impact loading rates and increases in ankle eversion that were observed in heelless footwear, running in this type of footwear may reduce the incidence of chronic injuries linked to excessive impact forces. However, it may increase the injury potential that is associated with excessive ankle eversion.
- impact forces have not clearly been associated with overuse injuries in runners
- heel striking has not been associated with a greater risk of injury in runners
In July 2017, a similar looking shoe, the FBR Concept, came to market in Spain.