These ridiculously tough socks are made from a material that’s stronger than steel

As the anti-shoe movement continues to gain steam, there’s been a corresponding flood of minimalist, barely-there footwear hitting the market lately. Those dorky Vibram toe shoes are everywhere these days, Nike’s new running shoes weigh practically nothing anymore, and there are dozens of other brands with their own take on the idea.

The latest entry into this burgeoning category is FYF — a unique new kind of footwear from Swiss Barefoot Company. Rather than lightweight shoes, FYF socks (short for Free Your Feet) are more like space-age wool socks with toughened soles. You know those cut-proof gloves that have stretchy sock-like material on the back, but texturized rubber dots on the palm? FYFs are almost the exactly same thing, but made for your feet instead of your hands.

Just like those aforementioned cut-proof gloves, FYFs are made from a specially-engineered type of wool that makes them much tougher than your average sock. The fibers of the sock are spun with a material called Dyneema (which you’ve likely used before whether or not you were aware of it). In addition to boasting a higher tensile strength than braided steel, it’s also abrasion-resistant, hydrophobic, flexible, and incredibly lightweight. This makes it ideal for use on your feet, as it can bend and flex like a sock, but still provide protection from things like sticks, thorns, and sharp rocks.

FreeYourFeet-kitesurfing-closeup

This isn’t the first sock that Swiss Barefoot company has made, either. FYFs are actually an evolution of the Swiss Protection Sock — the company’s inaugural product, made from a blend of Kevlar, polyester, and laminated PVC soles. The new models improve on this original idea with the addition of Dyneema, which has properties that are better suited for footwear applications.

FYF socks aren’t ready for primetime quite yet, but the folks at Swiss Barefoot Company have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for production. The project has already surpassed its modest $10K goal (and is currently sitting at just over $75K), so if you back the campaign now and lock down a pair of FYF socks, it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll arrive on your door this fall. Barring any setbacks in manufacturing, Swiss Barefoot Company expects to ship the first orders in October.

Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Gaming

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Computing

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Business

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.