The prosthetic legs used by runners and long-jumpers are designed to transfer the speed
and energy created by the athlete onto the track. A running blade has three main parts:
- A custom-fitted socket and liner which connects the prostheses to the athlete’s body
- A knee joint
- A carbon fibre running blade
Running only uses the front part of the foot (the ball), so the carbon fibre blades are
designed to reproduce the function of just the forefoot and have no heel. Spikes which grip
the track are fitted to the running blade. The blades currently being used don't give Paralympic runners the same amount of energy able-bodied runners get from their legs - the athletes are powered only by their hamstrings or hip flexor muscles, as opposed to the additional power a regular runner gets from his or her thigh, calf and ankle. However, in the future, we might see nanotube technology that could produce the same structure as in a biological leg and give you the same amount of energy.