Strength shoes are shoes that have raised platforms in the front. They are supposed to increase calf size, strengthen the Achilles tendon, increase fast-twitch muscles, improve vertical jump by up to 5-10 inches, and reduce time in the 40-yard dash.
The theory is that up to 30% of your vertical jump ability and speed comes from your calves and forefoot, therefore any equipment that isolates these muscles while exercising will produce greater than proportional gains in jumping jacks and sprinting.
What are jump soles?
Soles are a form of strength shoe that can be attached to your normal training shoes. They are preferable to non-removable strength shoes because of their flexibility; You can use it even if your feet grow or you want to change your shoes.
What is the proprioceptor system?
The proprioceptor system is based on training in unstable conditions. Proprioceptor plugs screw into the bottom of the jumping soles to cause a “wobble effect” that can help build important “jump” muscles in the ankle and feet that would not have been worked on in a more stable environment.
When used with Jumpsoles, they can add an extra dimension to jump training and can even be used in injury rehabilitation.
Advantages of strength shoes
1) They are great for isolating muscles and will definitely help build calf muscles, which are notoriously difficult to work with.
2) They usually come with their own plyometric programs. Jumping soles, for example, come with an 8-week schedule that can rival some of the programs found in the best jump training manuals.
3) When you wear these strength shoes with their corresponding programs, they can generate some gains in vertical jump and raw speed.
4) The proprioceptor system provides an additional advantage due to its ability to work “hard to reach” muscles that may not be worked in a regular training program.
Cons of strength shoes
1) Some of the claims cannot be verified. It’s doubtful that 30% of your jumping ability comes from your calves, and it’s impossible to say if you increase fast-twitch fibers more than more traditional training methods like plyometrics.
2) They are expensive and it is difficult to say if they offer good value for money.
3) A good Vertical Jump training program encompasses many things including: strength training, rest and recovery, diet, upper body conditioning, plyometric conditioning, and much more. Resistance shoes come with plyometrics and ignore the others.
4) Even in the lower body, strength shoes focus on isolating the calves and Achilles tendon, neglecting crucial jump muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. These muscle groups have been shown to be crucial for jumping, so you’re leaving a lot of changes on the table by not giving them the attention they deserve.
5) There is always a risk factor with strength shoes, although manufacturers do everything possible to reduce it with the latest scientific methods.
The bottom line is that while strength shoes can improve vertical jump, there are much better and cheaper ways to improve your jumping ability. There are many good jump training programs that will give you the same gains for a lot less money.
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