Boots with springs? Really?
What are Jump boots and jump shoes?
Jump boots were originally invented in the 1950s for kids to bounce and have fun. They were reinvented by a physical therapist for both adults and children as a way for athletes to recover from specific leg injuries. They were a recreational device that was easy on joints, toned muscles and burned calories. They were very successful. By the 1990s they were updated by a Swiss entrepreneur with improved comfort, performance and design. The jump boots you see today are what came out of those improvements. They look similar to in-line skates with two flexible arches that act as springs in place of wheels.
Why use jump boots?
First, they are amusing and make exercise much more fun. Jump boots help anyone with leg and back issues work out because they relieve pressure on joints so you feel less pain. They have a natural rebound effect that makes exercise more comfortable with minimal impact. It is like running on a trampoline. They take a little getting used to because they are certainly not as stable as standing or running in regular shoes, but that is part of their benefit. They challenge your balance a bit and they add about 6” to your height.
I first saw them in South Beach and tried to find them online when I got home, but I didn’t know what they were called. I recently found a class to learn how to use them and I loved it! You suddenly become VERY tall, which is fun, and you definitely get a spring in your step! I was exhausted after running just a couple laps on a track. There is a lot you can do in them other than running and walking. The instructor had us jump back and forth over a line, and sideways, do squats, leg lifts (suddenly a 2 or 3 pound jump boot felt like it weighed 20 pounds). We did jumping jacks, running lifting our knees high, then kicking out legs back, it was an extreme workout.
Jump boots are designed for all ages, and usually up to 200 pounds. Some go over your usual athletic shoes, others go over feet with only socks. My class used Kangoo jump boots. They claim to burn twice the calories in half the time, reduce up to 80% of joint impact and provide a total body workout. My jump boot workout certainly felt that way.
Kids think they are really fun to wear and don’t care so much about all the other beneficial effects. The boots will increase their endurance and give them a good cardio workout. They provide the same benefits as a stationery trampoline but are more fun because wearers can play and run around at the same time.
How to use jump boots:
There are many videos to coach you in different ways to work out in jump boots. The main rule is to get comfortable walking in them before you try anything tricky. Step down in the middle of your foot to keep your center of gravity, then just enjoy the ride! Jump boots have undergone intense testing and have been found to be safe. They redistribute weight to work with your natural balance. Until you are a pro, it might be safe to wear protective pads if you are going outside, just as if you were roller blading. You can use jump boots or shoes outside to run or walk, but try and find an evenly paved surface. They can also be worn inside at an exercise class or your own workout.
Which jump boots to buy?
G-Max Jumping Shoes Boots are meant to be worn over your athletic shoes. The G-Max are unique because they have a shock absorbing ball inside the springs. They are very good for anyone with joint issues. The sizes are by body weight. $129.00-$219.00
Air Kicks Anti-Gravity Running Boots have a unique and patented design called Jumping Jaz T-Spring Technology. They have bands around the outer portion of the jump pad and a t-shaped mechanism in the middle to control and regulate rebound. The manufacturer sells custom replacement springs individually so if you lose weight or gain weight or just wear down the original springs you simply have to order replacement springs instead of buying a new pair. $145.00 – $219.00