Interview with human leg extension inventor Kim Graham

Meredith Yayanos of Coilhouse interviewed Kim Graham about her finely-tuned digitigrade, "reverse leg" extensions. Graham has started selling them at Weta for NZD$1,320 a pair.

Please describe the Weta Legs. What sets your invention apart from other kinds of stilts or leg extensions?
They have been called the Holy Grail of costuming. How do you build a device that will give a person the backward leg of a dog or horse? They are referred to by all sorts of names: digilegs, digitigrades, faun legs…

What does digitigrade mean?
A digitigrade is an animal that stands or walks on its digits, or toes. But this is not easy to say unless you like tongue twisters, so it was shortened to “digileg”. They’ve also been called “dog legs” or “reverse stilts”. Originally, we called them leg extensions, because they’re not really stilts, but we want to give them one name that is pretty easy to say. Hence, Weta Legs.

Visually, the name seems very apropos – a weta is this weird, monstrous bug, and t here’s something vaguely insectoid about the leg extenstions. They certainly do make the silhouette of the person wearing them appear alien.
They do. A person’s body type is stretched out, and there is an unnatural bending to the leg that is both very attractive and outright creepy! It also changes your presence. Not because of your height, but because your entire gait is altered. It’s a very haunting appearance.

Inventor/Sculptor Kim Graham’s Weta Legs


  1. Needs a built-up body to compensate for the longer legs. Maybe arm extensions too, unless you to be a bit T-rexish.

    (I’ve seen some versions of this done before, either with this sort of cantilevered stilt or with false legs riding outside the real legs, which are dressed in black so they mostly fade against a dark background or the inside of a cape or whatever. It definitely is tough to get right.)

  2. At last! I can finally become the Pan the randy goat-boy I’ve always dreamed about.

    Uh-oh. Did I say that out loud?

  3. This is cool. I was wondering about the practicality of them, since if you can walk/run at your normal pace you’d cover a lot more ground. Apparently she’s worn them for 6 hours at a time without any issues. I can just see soldiers wearing these, with BigDogs trotting alongside with their gear…

  4. I’m sure by the time this gets posted someone else will have said this, but: man it would be awesome to see some springs loaded into these, like the PowerSkip.

  5. What’s the point of these? It can’t be speed, as you’d have to be slow, deliberate and very careful because a fall would probably seriously injure you.

    Please don’t let this be for furrysex.

    1. The point, as you would have ascertained from the end of the video or the full article, is costuming and special effects.

      As for speed, if you had read the article you would know that it is entirely possible to run in them.

      Just sayin’.


    2. How the flying fsck could this possibly be used for sexual fursuiting?!? Answer: It can’t. However, it could be of much interest to fursuiters with ungulate suits, and I’m sure that it could be adapted for use with other digitigrade species. The problem is that having the feet too far off the ground is marginally dangerous for everyone, so those things ideally should be as short as is possible while maintaining the illusion.

  6. $1000, yikes!
    But I guess for theatre productions, where they have a budget, it’s reasonable. Also, rich fawn-fetishists.

    1. “I see absolutely no practical use for these whatsoever.
      So of course I want a pair.”

      I see the practical military application immediately. These are perfect for Explosive Ordinance Disposal folks who have to deal with land-mines. It has a smaller footprint (which could be further reduced) and keeps the foot 18 inches from the source of the shockwave. It’s the same principle as Med-eng’s spider boot, but easier to maneuver.

    2. Ever worked in construction? Standard (straight) stilts are awkward, take considerable time to become comfortable with and account for a lot of injuries.

      If Merideth wants a large market she should definitely market these to the construction industry.

  7. Hey don’t be mean to weta, they’re awesome, relatively harmlesss, they make this kind of angry hissing noise when you annoy them and they can survive freezing!

  8. were these used on the youtube vid “alien caught on cctv”?

    i always wondered how they created the height on the alien, and this would explain it.

  9. Well I always wanted that kind of legs, but it would be way cooler if it actually increased performance and didn’t cost a grand.

  10. It’s a particular pet-peeve of mine when people refer to these types of legs as “reverse legs” or “reverse knees”. There is nothing reverse about them, nor about dog or horse legs. As the more detailed portion of the article states, this gait’s appearance comes from the elongated foot portion, where the walker is balancing on the toes or balls of their feet. It is the heel of the foot that creates the reverse-knee appearance.

    On topic, I believe these are primarily marketed to the theater and costume industries. They could theoretically boost running and jumping performance, but then they would probably look just like the PowerSkip.

  11. and tonight, somewhere, a centaur fetishist is sleeping more soundly than ever before, thanks to the magic brought to you by the internet.

  12. I think it’s fascinating, hysterical and fun!

    The BEST part is where she changes her skirt to a fetching metallic brown in order to fashionably coordinate with the furry legs.

  13. Truly beautiful! Fascinating to watch the hooves adjust as they reach the ground.

  14. We bought a couple pairs of powerisers last year and have been having a lot of fun with them. Much more fun that these strange centaur kind of things.

  15. There is nothing backward about the legs of a dog or horse. They have the same knees we do. What you think is a backward knee is really a normal ankle atop a very long foot.

  16. Just SQUEE! I’ve wanted a set ever since I was LARPing; I have a pair of powerizers (I can run a mile in them, barely) but the gubbins are sticky-outy and they’re *heavy*. These babies, there’s some devilish clever work with cables to transfer forces… sneaky (and obvious too in hinsdight: sign of good work!).

    It’s time to sell the penny-farthing.

    1. You have made some interesting choices in your life when you use “LARPing” as a euphemism to avoid embarrassment.

  17. That is cool! Want a pair like the legless guys who have replacement reverse jointed prosthetics for running…obviously while keeping my actual legs thanks :)

  18. I caught myself thinking “If only these had been made in time for ‘Battlefield Earth.'”

  19. “How the flying fsck could this possibly be used for sexual fursuiting?!? Answer: It can’t.”

    Sounds like a challenge.

  20. Arm extensions would be useful if she tripped.

    These arm extensions should be angled slightly so that the hands can be free.

    Also, there should be ‘puppet string’ mechanism so that arm extension ‘hands’ can be finely manipulated by user’s hands when desired.

    If the arm extensions are further anchored to ‘body jacket’ then they can give user extra leverage to move/pickup heavier objects than without.

    Further, if ‘body jacket’ has rigid frame with ‘spring action’ provided by rigid frame elements, or with additional springs or ‘ligaments’ then user can have increased leverage/power to arms and legs.

    This has a lot of commercial and military potential per comments above. Painters, dry-wallers, HVAC installers, inspectors, warehouse, etc would benefit from elevated stance and power. Military could further extend legs and arms above mine blast radius and make leg and arm ends like spider legs reducing potential contact with mines.

  21. I seem to remember the werewolves in Dog Soldiers were outfitted with legs like these.

    Best werewolf movie ever, btw.

  22. I wonder if there’s a civilization of bipedal carnivores somewhere whose engineers have made a pair of prosthetics for stable, solid plantigrade walking. And geeks in comment sections snark about skinnies.

  23. I think the simple suspension and some lever link to fold the, well, lower part when wearer sits will improve both comfort and safety. Like our body do: when you feel unstable, just lower your center of mass.

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