What it is:
A 1/16" rubber insole that fits "any shoe in the world."What it's supposed to do:
According to the official site, Springbak insoles have been scientifically proven
to make basketball players "jump higher, run faster, move quicker to the ball, play with more energy, set stronger picks, grab more contested rebounds, have greater endurance, avoid shin splints and other pesky leg problems, and a whole lot more."What it actually does:
Provides yet another cruel reminder that increased speed, endurance, and jumping ability is accomplished through focused dedication to specialized physical training, not pseudoscientific gimmickry.Who it's for:
Anyone who wants a placebo-like shortcut to running "faster" and jumping "higher."What it says about you:
You're regrettably lazy, hopelessly naive, or (most likely) both.Harsh realities:
The Springbak people make a lot of amazing claims. They use exciting terms like "Space Age materials," "vibration frequency," and "recoil process" to create the thrilling perception that Mighty Science has created the ultimate jump booster. They then support their assertions with quotes
from doctors, coaches, and real athletes. They even hint that Kobe Bryant might have been wearing Springbak insoles
when he went on his famous 81-point scoring rampage (they can't prove it, though, because they can't afford Kobe's endorsement fee).
Well, I bought a pair of Springbak insoles. I figured that even if they didn't improve my speed or vertical leap, they'd at least be a good substitute for the shoe inserts I usually wear. I couldn't have been more wrong. The insoles, which go under your shoe's existing foam insoles, are far too thin to provide added cushioning. They're also flimsy and archless, so they don't provide additional support or stability either. If you need to use athletic insoles or custom orthotics, switching to Springbak insoles will not only disappiont you, they might hurt you, too. I also tried using them in conjunction with my existing orthotics. The only difference was that I was jumping more often, simply to see if I could jump any higher. I couldn't.
According to Springback, "[The] bottom line is that you will see a dramatic increase in your overall performance, not only in the off-season but also next fall when you line up against your biggest opponent." That would be wonderful it was true. It's not. The Springbak insoles are a failure at best, a fraud at worst.Cost and availability:
$24.95 (plus S&H) on Springbak.com
. If you order 10 pairs or more, you can get them for $22 per pair and get free shipping (for US residents only).
Labels: gear, pickup basketball