JumpsolesWhat it is: Plastic platforms that attach to the front of your shoes, forcing you to walk in a painful, duck-like manner, similar to the kind of torture that the Nazis inflicted on their cyborg gorilla shock troopers (see illustration).

What it's supposed to do: Increase your vertical leap by 5 to 10 inches, take two-tenths of a second off your 40-yard dash time, and increase anaerobic power by 500 percent.

What it actually does: (You mean, assuming they don't get tossed in the closet and forgotten after two or three uses, like 99 percent of the jumpsoles that have been sold?) Creates huge, throbbing calf muscles -- think Popeye's forearms, only on your legs -- and inspires delusions of leaping grandeur that will never, ever, under any circumstances, come true.

Who it's for: Basketball players who can't jump over a nickle or outrun their aging grandmother (who, for the record, has had both hips and one knee replaced), but nonetheless dream of streaking downcourt like a bolt from the blue and soaring through the air for a monster jam over the awestruck pickup leaguers. This is, of course, a colorful euphemism for "white guys."

What it says about you: You can't accept the cold and pitiless truth: That you will never dunk, except maybe on those 8-foot plastic rims they have over at the local elementary school.

Fact versus fiction: You've heard the stories before: "Just before his 6th birthday, little Timmy was doing awesome tomahawk crams, two-handed dunks, reverse james, windmill slams, you name it -- and he's only two feet tall!!" These are the kinds of amazing claims you'll read anywhere and everywhere jumpsoles are sold. One of the testimonials, and my personal favorite I might add, was titled "wooo look at the white boy fly," and it was the touching saga of how a brave Caucasian youth turned the tables on fate to become a bounding wonder with the help of his trusty jumpsoles.

While these stories are compelling, jumpsoles "increase" your vertical leap in the same way that Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs are a "part" of your balanced breakfast. Expanding the distance between the court and your giant, clunking feet requires a well-rounded program of strength training, core work, and plyometric excercises, not to mention a natural genetic predisposition toward jumping.

Can the jumpsoles and all those other things help you jump a couple extra inches? Maybe. Just don't expect to add an extra foot to your vertical. If that was actually possible, don't you think that every NBA player would be jumping like Mike?

Cost and availability: $69.95 (plus S&H) at JumpUSA.com. If you're ready to drop an extra $20, you can also get the Proprioceptor System, which is a little ball you screw on to the bottom of your jumpsoles. This adds a higher degree of difficulty and instability to your embarrassing duck walk, but it's supposed to improve balance, reduce the risk of ankle and knee injuries, and make you look like a bigger idiot. But isn't the chance to become a jumping god worth the risk of a little humiliation?

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Anonymous Josh said...
...I take that back. I think I'd pick the Jason Kidd basketball over those things.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
But josh...playing the Nintendo World Championships won't do a thing to increase your vert. You need to shoe up, my friend, if you ever want to soar on the wings of your hoop dreams.

Anonymous Josh said...
Playing the Nintendo World Championships won't get anyone laid, either...That's why I'm not in it. ;)

I mean shit, I DO need these. I want to dunk and have freaky random people say "wooo look at the white boy fly,". Emphasis on the "woo" portion, too. Just make sure Ric Flair isn't doing it. That'd be kind of creepy...

Is that old gasbag retired, YET?!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
No! Dude is still wrestling, although I have no idea how. His body looks like a sack of old leather with a bunch of crumpled up tin foil jammed into it. For some perspective: Flair was born the same year as Larry Bird.

Anonymous Josh said...
The fuck? The batteries still aren't dead on that guy? Here's a hint Flair: RETIRE ALREADY. It's already been proven that you're made of rubber: http://www.kehoe73.freeserve.co.uk/rubberric22602.jpg

I can't be bothered by wrestling anymore, I haven't watched it in like four years. After 19 years of being a fan, I just had to stop. It was getting sad. And I ordered King of the Ring '95 on Pay Per View. MABEL won the damn thing.

Blogger eljpeman said...
i remember this item being featured in the now-defunct kicksology.net. Too bad Professor K. closed shop, because I never really saw the review for it.

Or maybe it never really did materialized because the product was a joke?

Blogger Chris said...
Prof K explained later that he "overtrained and injured" himself, so he never completed the program. I have a pair of strength shoes (a similar product) I got on ebay in 2000. Wore them a few times. After the first wearing my calves were burning for 3 or 4 days. I literally couldnt use them while walking. After a couple more workouts, I didn't use them for a while for some unrelated reason. I wanted to start again but the thought of not using my calves and the memory of the pain has kept them in my closet.

I think Basketbawful should give them a shot if he wants to offer more valuable criticism. He can borrow my strenght shoes if he likes. they are a size 11 or 12.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
chris -- I wear size 12 shoes. If they're my size, and you'd be willing to let me borrow them, I'll accept that challenge. I'll even pay for postage and packaging. I'll post regular updates and credit you in the posts.

Blogger Chris said...
I sent an email to the yahoo basketbawful address. the shoes are yours to borrow. I'm almost positive they will fit as they were big on me and I wear an 11.5.

Blogger Jesse said...
A few fun facts from my "Dunkquest" entry:

99/100 guys will try to prove that he can jump and touch something given the challenge. You could tell a 94 year old blind man in a wheel chair that he can't grab the rim, and he'd go for it without reservation.

99/100 men, after not jumping as high as they thought they could, will tell you that they could in fact dunk on a 10 foot rim at some point in their life.

97/100 men are in fact, liars.

So maybe I should try these shoes...

Anonymous Jason said...
i've used these and although no one is gasping and "wooing" after i play ball... they did improve my vertical and my quickness, i have no doubt about it.

and yes, your legs get sore as hell. but quitters never win and winners never quit

Anonymous Anonymous said...
hahahahahhahha i jump 30 feet with jumpsoles

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