Imagine springing down the street like a gazelle with a pair of futuristic boots strapped to your feet. This image provides a good description of what pogo jogging is all about -- wearing high-tech shoes that provide a rebounding effect as you jog. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a casual weekend jogger or a serious daily runner, jogging with a pair of these funny-looking bouncy shoes can add an element of amusement to your workouts.
About the Shoes
Pogo-jogging shoes, marketed as Kangoo Jumps, look like heavy, clunky ski boots. The boots are designed with adjustable buckles and a hinge feature to allow you to bend your ankles freely. The outer boot is made of polyurethane material, while the washable, inner liner is thick and comfortable to protect your foot and ankle. Each boot is attached to an 8-inch high platform, which sets on top of two plastic half-circles called shells. For safety, the bottom shell has a non-slip tread. Stretched horizontally through the middle of the two shells is a tension band. This band is interchangeable to allow for different body weights and skill levels.
A Few Benefits
The first thing you'll notice when you start pogo jogging is it's fun and energizing. Compared to jogging in regular shoes, it's easier on your joints. According to manufacturer studies, jogging with these high-tech shoes can reduce up to 80 percent of the impact stress. An American Council on Exercise review states that as with other vigorous workouts, you can effectively elevate and maintain your targeted heart rate.
For comfort, wear thick socks that cover your ankles and preferably longer socks to cover your lower shins. Unbuckle the boots and slide your feet into the liners. Wiggle your feet around until they feel properly set and then tighten the straps and fasten the buckles. Slowly stand and keep your knees slightly bent and over your arches, not your toes. If you're having a hard time finding your balance, hold onto a chair or a partner. Keep your weight evening distributed on both feet and slowly bounce up and down. Once you've got the hang of it, bounce on one foot at a time to jog in place.
Proper technique is important to ensure you're getting the most efficient rebounding and shock absorption. As you jog, keep your feet parallel and pointing forward with your center of gravity over the middle of your foot. Avoid turning your feet sideways to push off because this can strain your knee. The curved design of the bottom shell allows you to land on your heel, roll forward and then push off toward the front of your foot. Use your arms to maintain your balance and to help you lengthen your strides to jog faster.
Pogo-jogging is not for everyone, especially for individuals who have balance issues. Losing your balance and falling off the 8-inch platforms can cause injuries. Depending on the amount of use, manufacturers recommend replacing the tension band every 50 to 80 hours. Until you've perfected your pogo-jogging rhythm and form, limit your jogging sessions to three to five minutes and limit your sessions to two or three per day. Work your way up to 15-minute sessions as you become more confident. If you are pregnant or have other health concerns, consult your doctor before pogo jogging.