About TrekStepper. Our core Values. Our Beliefs.

My name is Georges-André Tambay. I am a resident of Cochrane, just west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For years I enjoyed hiking in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Due to sports-related injuries, I have undergone three knee surgeries, including the replacement of both Anterior Cruciate Ligaments. My injuries significantly impacted my hiking activities. As any hiker knows, going uphill stresses the heart, whereas coming down stresses the knees. While on hikes, post-surgery, I coped with the pain and discomfort by taking pain killers, using hiking poles and even adapting a pair of crutches to take the weight off my legs. I also resorted to walking downhill backwards on some occasions. Since necessity is the mother of invention, a few years ago, I set out to find a better way to reduce the strain on my knees.

Since the stress is caused by the downward angle of the feet and the transfer of the “braking” motion up towards the knees, I realized that by keeping the feet more or less level, while descending slopes would alleviate the stress factors. I therefore built and tested a number of prototypes with that goal.

The final accessory had to be easy to put on, easy to adapt to different sizes of feet and effective in reducing, the strain on the knees. I have achieved those goals with the creation of the TrekStepper™, which has been patented in Canada and the United States. My accessory will allow individuals to continue hiking in the mountains for many years beyond their current abilities and expectations. The prototype is rudimentary, but it is quite effective. It also allows the user to walk fairly normally, for short distances, on level ground between sloping surfaces.

Relative Knee Stress

150 lbs

Weight

450 - 900 lbs

Hiking on a flat surface. Pressure with each heel contact during walking activity on level surface.

1350 - 3600 lbs

Pressure with each heel contact during walking activity on inclined surface.

Background: Mountain hiking stresses the cardiovascular system during the climb, while the descent strains the knees. Although a person’s cardiovascular conditioning can be improved with exercise and lifestyle choices, regardless of age, knees are often injured and weakened during a person’s life.

Problem: As a hiker descends a slope, he/she has to “brake.” Most of the “braking” is done by the knees, eventually resulting in “Hiking Knees.” This strain is exacerbated by the steepness of a slope, the weight of the hiker and the additional weight of hiking clothing, equipment and supplies.

Solution: With the TrekStepper®, a descent is similar to going down a series of steps, thereby requiring little, if any, “braking.” The TrekStepper® consists of a raised platform that attaches to the ball of the foot, thus lifting the front part of the foot and maintaining it on a level plane.