Everyone who’s every played basketball dreams of being able to dunk like Michael Jordan, Vince Carter or Zach LaVine. Thanks to technology, there are now shoes that make you jump higher.
Yes, you didn’t read wrong.
These shoes were developed a few years ago and allowed athletes who wore them to gain extra inches in the jump height without doing any training or exercises.
So who’s behind these shoes and what are these shoes and where can you get them?
Athletic Propulsion Labs
The maker of the shoes is a relatively new company names Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL). This company started a few years ago developing a concept shoe, curiously named Concept 1.
What made the shoe unique was it helped its wearer jump higher the moment they laced them up. No working out needed.
How do the shoes work?
The shoes developed by APL are effectively jump higher shoes since the moment you lace them up, you instantly are able to jump higher.
The concept of the APL’s basketball shoes is that they are spring loaded in the front of the shoe, which makes them designed to make you jump higher.
In their tests, users who jumped using the shoe saw as much as 3.5 inches increase in their jump compared to using regular basketball shoes. The shoes they built are also lightweight and designed differently so you can push off better on the forefoot (front of the shoe).
Can You or Can’t You Use Them?
The shoes worked so well that the NBA has banned the shoe, not allowing its players to use the shoe in league play.
So the question is…
Will you be allowed to use them in competitive play?
If you’re not allowed to use them in official games or tournament play, then they end up being basketball training shoes or ones that you can use during pick up games only.
What are Jump Training Shoes?
Another category of shoes that help you jump higher are jump training shoes. These are different from the jump higher shoes developed by Athletic Propulsion Labs in that they’re not made for use during actual competitive games.
Instead these are training shoes that you use to do drills with. And in the process, because of using the shoes makes it harder to do things, you leg strength and muscles get stronger, allowing you to jump higher.
Two of the most popular jump training shoes are the Strength Shoes and the JumpSoles.
They’re quite different but serve the same purpose, they’re shoes that make you jump higher.
Strength Shoes are special basketball training shoes built on a platform. Because of the build of the shoe your heel does not touch the floor.
This forces you to walk, run, jump only using your forefoot (front of the foot and the toes). These are the same muscles used during the jumping movement.
By forcing the wearer to train with this kind of raised forefoot platform, the Strength Shoes build up the calf muscles to help improve vertical jumping ability.
Strength Shoes cost around $100, and are what we call frontal shoe orthotics. This means that the user is forced to put their weight on the front portion of the shoes.
Do Strength Shoes Work?
Testing done by researchers on the Strength Shoes, show that:
- They do help improve jump performance but not significantly compared to regular athletic shoes
- They also increased the risk of injury because of the raised forefoot platform.
The concept of JumpSoles are similar to Strength Shoes. They are jump training shoes.
But instead of being a shoe itself, the JumpSoles are strap-on forefoot soles.
To use them, you strap on the JumpSoles to the front of your shoes. This raises the forefoot from the ground forcing you to use the front of your foot only when running, jumping and doing plyometric exercises.
JumpSoles cost the same as Strength Shoes at just below $100. They come with a DVD and instructions on how to use them as well as exercises and plyometric drills to do.
By training on them, the goal is to get stronger ankles and feet, which “mean more energy returned into vertical jump,” according to the company’s website.
Do JumpSoles work?
In a study that compared regular athletic shoes with using JumpSoles, participants were asked to do plyometrics twice a week. Both groups had the same workouts and exercises. The only difference was one group used JumpSoles.
- Results showed the both groups gained in their jump height. But the JumpSole group did not get any enhancement from the JumpSoles.
So What are Our Options?
When it comes to shoes that help you jump higher you can use:
- Athletic Propulsion Labs’ basketball shoes – they cost between $150 and $175 depending on the model you pick. Question is, can you use them in competitive or tournament play?
- Strength Shoes – cost $99.99. Studies show that they help improve vertical but not significantly. They also increase injury risk.
- JumpSoles – cost $99.95. Research shows they don’t give added benefit compared to regular sneakers.
Our thoughts on Shoes that Make You Jump Higher
Because of technology we can now jump higher just by using shoes and not having to do any training at all. They can be costly though.
If you don’t want to spend that kind of cash, we believe that using a GOOD jump training workout is a better solution. You may need to do the work, but it’s definitely much cheaper.
Plus, no one can take it away from you, ever.
If you’re up to it, and want to skip the ‘shortcuts’, then two great options are:
- the Vert Shock System (no weights needed) and also
- the Jump Manual (all-around training).
Both programs can help you gain over 10 inches in your vertical.