T Nation

Strength Shoes


Just wanted to get some opinions on the strength shoes. You know those funny looking hi tops with the huge platform on the toe. I have heard mixed reviews from the product but also know personally 2 people that have used them with actually quite amazing results.

Some people claim it's a BS product, but 2 of the people I know who used them went from rim touchers, to rim grabbers, to dunking in only a few months. And after that both of them began dunking with ease and even able to do variation dunks. One of the kids went from a mediocre high jumper to making it to the NY state meet in high jump the next year. Basically I have run into a pair of these, one of the kids I know was going to get rid of his and they fit me so I handed him 20 bucks for them.

Has anyone else had any experiences with these things? I don't really have any major goals with regards to this but it would be cool to be able to dunk when I get back to volleyball coaching this winter. I can already grab the rim 2 handed and all that BS I only need a few more inces to dunk probably. I'm just gonna play around with them and see if I can notice an improvement in my power output. well in any even't I will try to keep people up to date on any progress that I make, kinda like a mini T-Jack, or something.



I believe Ian King and several other strength coaches on here have said they are a waste of money.

But there are some who swear by them.


Didn't Kramer have a pair of those?


I've never used the strength shoes brand, but I own the jumpsoles (the ones that are about 4 lbs. each). All of the gains that those two guys got were probably from the Plyometric program itself and not the actuall shoes, but I could be wrong. Did those two guys you talked about have a good strength base, or a background of using plyos?

When I used them (the Jumpsoles) I didn't gain a thing (with about 2 months of training). But, I used them with a very weak strength base (I was like 13 years old at the time.

Also, make sure you have fairly strong calves, because they will be isolated and overleaded.

Let us know how it goes for you.



They were both fairly good athletes to begin with. I don't think either of them followed the programs, just kinda ran around in them and shit.

The one kid used them during track practice only, he was the one who made the most improvement and went to states in high jump. I remember him telling me about(and seeing him) limping around at school for quite a while when he started using them. He said even the instructions said to walk in them for a little bit a day for the first week or two so you don't injure yourself.

I respond well to jumping/ jump training, I remember when I was in Volleyball I would start out the season barley able to nick the rim, but then by the end of the season, would be able to put a volleyball down and easily hang from the rim jumping off 2 feet and grabbing with 2 hands

. This is more just for fun for me to do, I probably won't start messing with it for another month or so, till golf starts winding down. I'll keep ya'll posted



I borrowed them from an ex GIRLFRIEND who had the same shoe size as me. They didn't do a damn thing for her.

BUT, over the course of 1 summer, I went from touching the rim to dunking with ease. I could even dunk from the hash marks off of one foot, do reverses, an MJ lean in, etc....all at 185lbs and 5'6". I can still touch the rim on a good day, but numerous knee injuries and an extra 10 years + 30 lbs have "grounded" me.


Sounds like the same people who swear by MetRx.. you know who you are.


Buy a pair of chuck taylors. This will be the only weight lifting shoe you will ever need.


Holy shit man. What other training did you do before using the shoes? What kinda stuff did you do with them?

If I seen a 5'6" dude dunking, I would walk out of the gym.... and go get a camera! Thats some serious hops man!


Thanks, but this was in the early 90's BEFORE I had enough money for a video camera. Let's just say I opened a lot of eyes and won some serious cash at dunk contests.

As far as training goes:

Prior to dunking I had 10 years of Soccer, 5 yrs of gymnastics, 5 yrs of streetball, as well as 5 yrs of lifting. I've always been strong due to good genetics. I want to dunk just ONCE more and get it on tape.


I've always wanted to be in a dunk contest, but, I can't dunk :frowning:

What kind of stuff did you do with the strength shoes in the time you were using them? Any idea how much your squat was at that time?


Fred Hatfield thinks they're a good exercise. If they're good enough for him they're good enough for me.


I totally agree. If you can squat over 1,000 pounds drug-free, you must know a thing or two about leg strength. I personally have a pair of these shoes and like them. If I wear them longer than 45 minutes at a time, my feet kind of cramp up a bit, because they aren't the most comfortable shoes, but they aren't for wearing throughout the whole day.


I used them to do agility drills, some mild plyometrics, playing basketball, walking around the block, going up and down stairs, etc...nothing to crazy or strenuous because I was afraid I'd tear an Achilles, twist an ankle, F-up my knee, etc...

I don't know what my Max squat was, but I could squat 465 for 3x10. (I know, I know it should have been 10x3, but it was 10+ yrs ago and I was young n dumb.


lol, 5'6 , 185 pds and you could dunk? Can we say bullshit?



The kid that won the city hoops contest is 5'6".

Spud is 5'6", he is the shortest man in the NBA to dunk. Spud still jump over ya'll.


I used them for a summer (bout 10 years ago) before my junior year in college- getting ready for the upcoming football season. Used them religiously- ran in them, jumped rope, performed plyometric exercises. The only thing they did for me was to help me tear my calf muscle and sideline me for a few weeks of the season. I think they are garbage.

It wasn't until I started to dead lift heavy that I was really able to see a noticeable difference in my vertical leap and my explosiveness and short distance speed. Strengthening your posterior chain is the key (imo).


You can say it, but you'd be wrong. Did you miss the fact that I SQUATTED 465 for 3 sets of ten. Maybe I should have added that I deaded OVER 500 lbs for reps AND squatted 315 for sets up to 22 reps. OR that I ran a 4.62 electronicaly timed 40 yds at 16. Nah, there's no reason for ANY of us to believe each other on here.


Wasn't Fred also in charge of Weider Nutrition at one time?

I respect his accomplishments, but I wouldn't blindly do everything he might recommend.


A couple of things.

First, Spud Webb was only 5'7" and look what he did. Let's get one thing straight: Size really doesn't matter, when it comes to jumping.

Second, I have designed a jumping program and my star pupil is a female college v'ball player who is, on a good day with her hair up, 5'8". She plays taller than many of the 6'0" girls and both her spike touch and block touch were as high as one of my middle blockers.

Third, for some the shoes work, for others, not so good. Several factors are involved. Athletes with tight ankles/calves will benefit as these areas get a good stretch. The main thing is to find a good program and follow it consistently, soles or not.

Good luck with the jumping

PS, you said one year in v'ball you could touch the rim. Didn't know there was a rim in v'ball. LOL