Gadget Universe

The recent issue of Scientific American has a full-page ad for “Gravity Defyer Shoes” that were “invented by Alexander Innovation Wizard”. See this web link and scroll down to a repro of the print ad. My SO think this is a real ad for a real (although ridiculous) product. I think the whole thing is a put-on. Quote from the ad:

So basically, it this whole thing a put-on? If not, what reader of Scientific American would order such a thing?

(Mods, I’m asking for info thus put this in GQ, but if you want to move to Mundane, feel free.)

I don’t think so. Gags usually fall apart at some point. I attempted to buy a pair of these shoes and got all the way to putting in my cc number and it all looked legit. They also sell more mainstream type items.

It looks like excessive hype, but not a gag.

I don’t even see anything that ridiculous about the ad - they’re selling some riser shoes (2’’ heel) with some springs in the heal for cushioning, which is about the same as the air pockets that about every sneaker nowadays is sold with.

If you prefer a athletic look:

This is a local company, so these shoes are pretty popular in Albuquerque. Also, For those that hike in the desert, the problem of cactus spines puncturing the air cells is eliminated. I keep meaning to try some of these, mainly because they look so goofy!

What’s the big deal? Looks like a totally legit, if somewhat overhyped product. My biggest problem is with the name, which implies that the things can make you fly.

That said, I suspect the real motive for the ad is to be able to make a claim in future ads something like this:

“Gravity Defyer Shoes, as featured in Scientific American Magazine… blah, blah, blah.”


“Gravity Defyer Shoes! You read about them in Scientific American Magazine, now you can own them for yourself!”

I’ve ordered from Gadget Universe before and the company itself is legit. It does tend to exaggerate the products too.

“Defyer”?! I thought you had mistyped “Defyer.” I’ve seen the same ad in flight magazines that feature all those overpriced gadgets.