Most of my followers on Twitter know that I have been fighting to get a running leg. I have done a ton of research on them and had reached a decision: I wanted to try the Rush™ foot by ability dynamics. My prosthestist has a lot of experience in fitting people for what they need and he really wasn't sold on the idea of trying it out. The only people that he had fitted for a Rush™ foot were new amputees, most of whom were either military veterans or younger, more active adults. He downplayed the flexibility, especially the inversion and eversion of the ankle. He was not sold that the special composite fiber material that Ability Dynamics named Flexeon® was as strong as the carbon fiber feet that he normally supplied. One of the major problems he pointed out was the lack of a split toe in the design, which he felt was a flaw. He had talked me out of the foot when I was getting my initial foot. Quite honestly, I am glad he did.
"But, Wait!" you must be saying, what about this review?
The reason I am saying that I am happy he talked me out of it the first time is that it gave me perspective. I have been walking on the standard foot that he gives people like me. (obese, yet still fairly active, motivated and needing a fair amount of function) That is the Kinterra™ foot by Freedom Innovations. And if you read my review on it, you will see that I believe it is a really good foot.
Tuesday, I got a new socket. it is much smaller, it fits well with a minimal amount of socking. Which in itself makes walking easier. I also received my RUSH™ 87 foot. The first step I took caught me by surprise! Not only was it more accurate in the way it felt, but it pushed me forward. It really felt like I could push off. I rolled over the ball of my foot and the flexion was exactly as I remembered.my "meat foot" feeling like.It was simply amazing! The best description I have is that it felt like having a cast removed and beginning to walk without it for the first time. I know that a lot of this is in the overall flexibility of the design. Without hydraulics in the ankle there is nothing to delay the foot from returning to its resting location. This was always an issue with my Kinterra™ foot because if I didn't roll through the step, the foot wasn't neutral for the next step, which could cause me to catch my toe. Stepping on an uneven surface really felt like I was jamming my leg, sometimes painfully. I have experienced none of that with the Rush™ foot.
One of the first things I did was head out to the local mall, with the excuse of wanting to fix my glasses. it is a parking lot that has a gentle slope to it. On my old foot, I had to short step with my left leg to ensure that I didn't have to power over the stiff toe. It used to feel like I was vaulting. The Rush™ foot allowed me to step normally and was extremely comfortable. I was very impressed with the stability and flexion it provided, it really felt like my "meat foot". I figured that a lot of my impression was circumstantial, based partially on my excitement with a new toy.
That thought was quickly quelled when I got home and was out in my back yard. We have a heavily landscaped yard that looks like a small park. There is nothing even about the ground. It slopes this way and that, and before the rush foot, I had to use extreme caution walking around. The RUSH™ foot came through. The stability was fantastic. Walking around caused no problems at all. The amount of inversion and eversion in the foot is mind blowing. I have a area near my woodpile where the roots of a big maple tree are all exposed above the dirt. With my Kinterra™ foot, I avoided the area, but with the Rush™ foot, I was able to traverse it with ease and confidence.
I haven't had a chance to jog at all, because as I have been writing this, I am finding some minor flaws in the fit of the socket, pressure points and all and I don't want to injure myself in the pursuit of sheer curiosity. I did however get out and ride a bike for the first time in probably 3 years. I was suprised again at how real my foot felt. Say what you will about phantom sensations (not the pain, but just the memory map feelings most of us get), for a little while it really seemed to me that I had not lost my leg at all.
Which brings me to the conclusion of what I think of the Rush™ foot: From my initial couple of days on the foot, I find that the Rush™ 87 is far superior (for me) than the Freedom Innovations Kinterra foot and ankle system. The feel of the foot coupled with the flexability in the ankle including flexion, extension, inversion and eversion, make this hands down the best foot I have tried. It is nice to enter the #RushRebel family, and it makes me wonder why this is not the standard issue foot for everyone.