Athletes are picky about the shoes they put on their feet, constantly on the lookout for a pair to improve their performance. Being able to jump higher helps basketball players dunk and block more shots, while volleyball players can spike the ball with greater dominance and block more hits from their opponents. Shoes that help you jump higher, including the Concept shoes from Athletic Propulsion Labs, which may offer immediate benefits, and jump training shoes that you wear during a vertical leap training program.
Shoes with Propulsion Devices
Athletic Propulsion Lab’s Concept shoes are built for basketball players. They feature a propulsion device within the forefoot of the sole. This propulsion device is referred to as the Load ‘N Launch and it acts like a spring that helps athletes propel themselves off the ground with greater power. Because of the athletic advantage that they Concept shoes provide, they are banned by the National Basketball Association.
Effectiveness of Concept Shoes
According to Athletic Propulsion Lab, their shoes have the potential of increasing vertical leap by 3.5 inches, but increases in jump depend on the athletic ability and conditioning of the athlete wearing the shoes. APL claim that their shoes have been tested by two biomechanical researchers, who found that the shoes caused a statistically significant improvement in vertical leap. View these claims carefully as the shoes have yet to be tested by researchers not funded or supported by the company.
Jump Training Shoes
Shoes designed for workout can also improve vertical leap, such as those by ATI and Jumpsoles. While ATI’s model is a complete shoe, Jumpsoles’ unit features a training platform that attaches to the forefoot of your shoe. With both models, when you’re wearing the shoe or attachment, your heel hangs freely off the edge. This places more demand on your calf muscles. You then wear the attachments during plyometric workouts to improve your lower body power and explosiveness.
Effectiveness of Training Shoes
Research regarding the effectiveness of strength shoes is limited and dated. In 1993, Dr. Stephen D. Cook and his Tulane University team tested the training benefits of the ATI Strength Shoe. They found that intercollegiate track and field athletes who trained for eight weeks with the Strength Shoes did see improvements in vertical leap. However, the control group who followed the same training program, but in regular shoes, saw significantly higher increases in vertical leap. Dr. John Porcari's 1996 study published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" found that college-aged men who trained in the ATI Strength Shoe for 10 weeks did see increases in vertical leap, but these results were not statistically different than the control group participated in the training program while wearing regular shoes.
- CBS Sports: NBA Bans Shoes for the First Time Ever
- Sports Illustrated: Can Special Basketball Shoes Really Make You Jump Higher?
- Athletic Propulsion Labs: Load ‘N Launch Technology
- Jump USA: Jumpsoles Complex Speed Training Program
- The American Journal of Sports Medicine: Development of Lower Leg Strength and Flexibility with the Strength Shoe
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Effects of Training in Strength Shoes on 40 Yard Dash Time, Jumping Ability, and Calf Girth