LEXINGTON, Mass. (Nov. 15) — Stride Rite Corp. has developed a sports shoe that uses the "SuperBall" Zectron compressed rubber technology made famous in the classic 1960s´ childrens´ toy.
Stride Rite incorporates marble-sized balls made of the SuperBall rubber into the heels of its Stride rite SuperBall shoes to impart "super" energy upon heel impact.
Barely bigger than a cherry, the original SuperBall was the fortunate accident of California chemist Norman Stingley, who in his spare time was experimenting with the effects of pressure on synthetic rubber.
As Stingley learned (to the delight of children everywhere), when you compress rubber under 3,500 pounds of pressure, you get a supercharged ball with unprecedented resilience. Thus was born Zectron technology and the now-famous "SuperBall" commercialized by Wham-O Inc. in the mid-1960s. Within six months, the company sold 7 million of these high-bouncing balls. Today the SuperBall remains a popular toy for kids around the world.
According to the manufacturer, these shoes do not use just four SuperBalls; they also feature highly responsive, multidirectional traction lugs on the sole to keep kids "on their feet" no matter how fast those feet are going. The upper is constructed using "high-frequency" welding for lightweight durability.