Elephants cannot jump and cannot perform gaits, such as the trot or gallop, in which all four feet are off the ground at some point. Their fastest gait is similar to a running walk, and they can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour for short distances.
Elephants' locomotion is limited by their gigantic size. Their legs are placed more directly under the body than those of most other mammals and have several adaptations for weight distribution and shock absorption. Cushioned pads in the feet also allow an elephant to move quietly. All four limbs propel and brake the animals, reducing stress on bones and muscles.