Kangaroo Shoes: Great Workout or Hopping Mad?

Heart health
September 2, 2018

Learn more about the reported health benefits of kangaroo shoes and whether there’s a scientific basis for claims that they can help to reduce wear and tear on your joints.

Have you ever seen a chubby kangaroo? No? There’s probably a reason for that. Jump shoes with springs might look a little bit wacky, but could they actually be the exercise tool you’ve been looking for?

Kangaroo shoes, also known as jump shoes with springs, anti-gravity boots, power shoes, and spring shoes, among other names, are spring-loaded, bouncy shoes that are intended to be used as a low-impact alternative to other types of athletic shoes. You may also know them as Kangoo Jumps—one of the more popular brand names—although they’re produced by many different companies, including RoadRunner, XR3, and others. Just think of them as an updated form of Moon Boots. They’re very versatile, and can be used for a variety of activities, including running, jogging, aerobics, dancercise, and PiYo. Their appearance—they look a little bit like ski boots or inline skates connected to an oval spring—might draw stares if you use them in public, but there are a few reported health benefits that could have you lining up a pair for yourself, particularly if you’re a runner.

So, what can kangaroo shoes do for you? Well, according to Kangoo Jumps—which calls itself “the worldwide leading brand for safe mobile exercise”—they can assist athletes with rehabilitation, improve your core strength, energize the lymphatic system, improve your posture, and improve your cardiovascular health, in addition to increasing your bone density and muscle mass and aiding your endurance and metabolism. Kangaroo shoes are also said to help you burn more calories and lose weight faster, making them a potential option for people who are attempting to shed a few pounds.

One of the key issues runners face is the accumulation of impact and strain on their joints. By incorporating kangaroo shoes into your exercise regime, you may be able to reduce the impact of joint strain, particularly if you’re participating in plyometric exercise, which carries a higher risk than other types of physical activity. If you do decide to give kangaroo shoes a try, be sure to check with a doctor first.

How do kangaroo shoes work?

Although they look pretty futuristic, the mechanism ehind kangaroo shoes is actually fairly simple. They have a spring system, which compresses each step that you take. This absorbs the impact of your athletic activities and may reduce damage to your joints.

You’re probably wondering how stable kangaroo shoes are, right? After all, they could be the most effective training shoe in the world, but if you can’t keep your balance when you use them, they’re going to be fairly useless. Thankfully, there’s nothing to worry about. The sole of the shoe is flat, meaning that you don’t have to compromise on your lateral stability, and people who have tried kangaroo shoes for themselves report that after a few minutes, they feel stable enough to start hopping around!

Are there any studies supporting the health benefits of kangaroo shoes?

Numerous studies have been conducted over the past 20 years or so showing that kangaroo shoes may be an effective way of reducing joint strain. According to a study by the Swiss Federation Institute of Technology, kangaroo shoes are able to reduce the impact force of the initial contact with the ground by 50%, significantly reducing the risk of joint strain. The study also suggested that kangaroo shoes could be an effective way of reducing overuse injuries, particularly for people who are training for long-distance races.

An Australian study concluded that kangaroo shoes were able to significantly reduce the impact forces experienced by joggers, and stated that the shoes could be appropriate for recreational joggers and competitive athletes, as well as for people who are rehabilitating from lower limb injuries.

Another study conducted by the University of Nevada supported these findings, and found that spring boots are much more effective at reducing the force of impact than traditional footwear. In fact, the study observed an impact peak in just 15% of people who were running with spring boots, compared to 96% of those who were using traditional running shoes.

Are there any drawbacks to kangaroo shoes?

While the health benefits of kangaroo shoes seem sound, there are some drawbacks to consider. First of all, you may experience some discomfort in your shoulder, lower back, or arch of the foot when you first try kangaroo shoes. This is temporary, and should disappear after you become used to your workouts. There’s also the simple fact of their appearance. If you’re not comfortable drawing a bit of attention when you’re out and about, you may want to stick to using kangaroo shoes in the comfort and privacy of a gym class.

So, if you’re worried about the impact of joint strain, why not take a leap of faith and try out kangaroo shoes for yourself?