Friday, February 6, 2009

Kangoo: My new jumpy boots

I wrote in my Christmas Wish List that I'd like a pair of Kangoo Jumps. These are essentially ski boots with springs on the bottom. A device you might see Wiley Coyote buy from Acme, strap to his feet and in the process of chasing after Roadrunner, bounce off a cliff. I couldn't find any locally to try out but they sounded like something I could use to run a few miles a week without hurting my back or knees. Another blogger mentioned that he had purchased a pair on eBay at a more reasonable price than buying from the official store. What did I have to lose?

My pride. Maybe.

My dignity. Likely.

Loss of respect of my Kangoo-less peers. Assured.

Ahhhhhh, but for the chance to run again with the breeze blowing through my hair and the giddy feel of a runners's high. To run like the wind. To waltz with the wolves. Prance with the cheetahs. Feel the road pass beneath me as I move towards the horizon.

It was worth the risk. I started watching eBay for a pair. A set of KJ5-pro2s in my size became available for a little under $120 (that includes shipping and handling from Canada). I bought them and they got here today.

I found little information on the web about these shoes other than the info from the official website. Lots of rehashing of the same stuff with few recommendations and only one negative comment. I'll make a few posts about the boots to add to the collective knowledge available. If I had found more anecdotal information, I might not have waffled so long in my decision. I don't sell them (unless I hate them at which point this pair will go back onto eBay) so my comments aren't influenced by trying to get more folks to jump on the Kangoo wagon.

My first reaction when I pulled them out of the box was...."Wow. These are big suckers!" Maybe if I was a skier and used to wearing ski boots, they wouldn't seem so huge. They also are pretty hefty. I read that the weight is one reason for increasing the intensity of your exercise routine. They weigh in at about 4.8 pounds each. This will be a big change from my light weight running shoes.

They seem to be well built. They fit snugly when I first put them on. No slippage. Standing up the first time was a little frightening. I was suddenly some nine inches taller and felt a little unsteady. I had no trouble walking. Standing not so good. I needed to hold onto something or I felt like I was going to tip over.

I walked around for about 10 minutes (in the house) to get used to how they felt. After about five minutes, my hip joints started to feel a little tender. I think from the gait or maybe from lifting up the boots over and over? Or from playing racquetball yesterday? It felt a little bit like I was walking on my tip-toes. The manual mentions that you should avoid running on your toes. This may be something I have to work on.

I did a little bouncing and a few little house isn't big enough to do much more. I never felt like I was going to fall while I was moving. My ankles felt fully supported and there was no uncomfortable rubbing. I figure I'll do a few more short sessions in the house to make sure I'm stable and then I'll take them for a spin outside.

I'll let you know what happens.


  1. So would you recamend these boots for a teen my daughter wants them for her 14th birthday.

  2. It depends on what she wants them for. If she runs a lot now pain free, my guess is she won't use them once the novelty wears off. If I could, I'd be running the old fashioned way.

    If she does aerobics and dance, she will find she gets a better workout with the boots in less time. (Lifting that extra weight on each foot gets your heart rate up fast!)

    My experience so far is that I don't run any faster because of the extra spring. If she is looking for a speed gain, these probably aren't the way to go.

    Hope this helps...

    Also check out Rasmus' YouTube videos on the boots. He's the only one on the web I've found so far to give some critical insight into the boots.

  3. The kangoo boots were originally built for rehabilitation purposes, people with bad knees, hips, spines etc. After seeing patients with cripplinhg ailments walking and jumping around without hurting themselves and actually losing weight and getting fit the boots then moved onto to be a fitness sensation.