T Nation

Strength Shoes?


Anyone remember strength shoes. Very popular when they first came out in late 90's.Haven't heard much since. (they are shoes with a platform that keeps you on your toes in order to place strain on your calves.)
Has anyone tried them?
Can they add calve size? If so any training suggestions to use them?


I think they were pretty much deemed as garbage when it comes to adding strength or vertical jump. Yes, they can probably help add calf size, but not any more or any differently than high heels would. And heels would probably be less expensive. I wouldn't waste my money.


Waste of money in my opinion. Puts way too much stress on the achilles; pretty high risk of injury too. The claims that they make aren't backed by anything and I have never seen anyone gain from them that have tried them (including myself when I was a gullible 14 year old!)


I don't remember them working for George Costanza either.


I actually thought they worked. I used them a long time ago and still remember the soreness I would get in my calves from the workouts.

Simiar to the Luke Sauder calf routine by Poliquin. Obviously it will overload the calves quite good so yeah you are risking injury. If you do try them, definitely take it easy at first.

I'm actually thinking about pulling them out (if I can find them) and using them. Another 2 to 3" vertical jump and I would be throwing it down hard in basketball.


i actually saw pretty good gains when i used them. It could have been the shoes or maybe it was just the jumping program that came with it, i never tried the program without the shoes.


The program definitely had something to do with it. I remember finding out that I couldn't recover from strength shoe training all the time so I would periodize and do the program without the shoes like every third week.


I used them when I was in college (circa 1994). Used them for a whole summer before football season began. Followed their recommended program to a tee- that included sprints, long jumps, and jumping rope. I must have overdone it (as I usually do) and tore my calf muscle.

Jimmy's got a backer. Jimmy and George are gonna get rich.


I used them for a couple periods. The first time they made a huge difference in my agility and although they probably only slightly increased my vertical, I could go up effortlessly. The last time I used them, I just wasn't recuperating from the workouts. I'd still be sore a week later. Finally I tried to do a workout while still sore from the last and pulled a calf muscle.


You should try CT's new vertical leap program and let us all know how it goes.


Thanks for the responses. I figured there would be mixed . Does sound like a higher injury risk than it is worth. Sounds like most people were using them for athletic training, where as I am only interested in building more size. I'll stick to the heavy training!


Walter Payton was the first to train in SS back in 72'-73'. He would sprint in them all the time. Helps you stay on your ball of foot & hits the claves REALLY hard.

My calves have gotten stronger & shredded from SS's Here's how I use them:

For sprinting
Various jumping drills-(Plyometrics)
Play bball in them.

NO more sprained ankles either!

Eric Dickerson swore by them as well I recall.

Also! I have never hurt myself in anyway from using them! U guys must not stretch or use them in the correct manner.

I known the very well known St. Anthonys bball team up in Jersey plays in them during practise!! And they're always in the top for high school ball!