What 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?
Labels: gear, pickup basketball