A new winter sport is being developed in the mountains of the Czech Republic with Snowfeet, which combines skis and skates.
Snowfeet fit over winter boots or snowboarding boots and have adjustable bindings so that one size fits all. They have metal ski edges and a heel brake that allow users to stop quickly.
The Czech developers say Snowfeet are durable, due to being reinforced with fiberglass. They are also light and small, making them easier to transport than skis and snowboards.
Snow thrill-seekers are able to perform twists, jumps and other tricks not possible on conventional skis and can be used for downhill skiing both on and off piste, as well as in snow parks, forest trails and for cross-country skiing.
But the company warns that Snowfeet are not suitable for deep powder conditions – deeper than around 20cm (8 inches) – or steep slopes, as it is harder for wearers to halt compared to when wearing traditional skis.
Developers Zbynek Šuba and Michael Podešva say they came up with the idea after they forgot their skis during a trip to the Alps in 2016 and skiied down the slopes in just their shoes.
Although snowshoes and snow skates have been around for a while, they say their version is the most technically advanced and athletic ever made and could eventually lead to ‘Snowfeeting’ becoming a Winter Olympic event.
The company launched a crowdfunding campaign in October for the shipment of its next model and at the time of writing had passed its backing goal 15 times over.