When a runner’s foot hits the ground, it transfers energy which compresses the shoe’s cushioning. When the foot rises again, the cushioning re-expands, sending some of that energy back to the runner. A shoe with superior energy return creates a bouncy, springy feeling that, as many runners will attest, can make the jaunt feel easier. The latest sneaker from veteran shoe maker Brooks Running is called Levitate, and it's designed for enthusiasts and beginning runners, rather than top-level athletes. It promises a 72 percent energy return, which is the company's best result so far and, according to testing done at the running company’s headquarters, it's higher than other leading performance shoes in its category. In order to achieve that high rate of efficiency, Brooks partnered with chemical company BASF to formulate a new material for the shoe’s midsole.