springbakWhat it is: A 1/16" rubber insole that fits "any shoe in the world."

What it's supposed to do: According to the official site, Springbak insoles have been scientifically proven and validated to make basketball players "jump higher, run faster, move quicker to the ball, play with more energy, set stronger picks, grab more contested rebounds, have greater endurance, avoid shin splints and other pesky leg problems, and a whole lot more."

What it actually does: Provides yet another cruel reminder that increased speed, endurance, and jumping ability is accomplished through focused dedication to specialized physical training, not pseudoscientific gimmickry.

Who it's for: Anyone who wants a placebo-like shortcut to running "faster" and jumping "higher."

What it says about you: You're regrettably lazy, hopelessly naive, or (most likely) both.

Harsh realities: The Springbak people make a lot of amazing claims. They use exciting terms like "Space Age materials," "vibration frequency," and "recoil process" to create the thrilling perception that Mighty Science has created the ultimate jump booster. They then support their assertions with quotes from doctors, coaches, and real athletes. They even hint that Kobe Bryant might have been wearing Springbak insoles when he went on his famous 81-point scoring rampage (they can't prove it, though, because they can't afford Kobe's endorsement fee).

Well, I bought a pair of Springbak insoles. I figured that even if they didn't improve my speed or vertical leap, they'd at least be a good substitute for the shoe inserts I usually wear. I couldn't have been more wrong. The insoles, which go under your shoe's existing foam insoles, are far too thin to provide added cushioning. They're also flimsy and archless, so they don't provide additional support or stability either. If you need to use athletic insoles or custom orthotics, switching to Springbak insoles will not only disappiont you, they might hurt you, too. I also tried using them in conjunction with my existing orthotics. The only difference was that I was jumping more often, simply to see if I could jump any higher. I couldn't.

According to Springback, "[The] bottom line is that you will see a dramatic increase in your overall performance, not only in the off-season but also next fall when you line up against your biggest opponent." That would be wonderful it was true. It's not. The Springbak insoles are a failure at best, a fraud at worst.

Cost and availability: $24.95 (plus S&H) on Springbak.com. If you order 10 pairs or more, you can get them for $22 per pair and get free shipping (for US residents only).

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28 Comments:
Blogger Evil Ted said...
The last time I played pickup ball with some gelled, springlike insoles in my shoes, I felt like I was sliding around in my shoes. My feet were like two useless whitefish at the end of my legs. After the first game, I took them out. Insoles put that much more material between you and the floor. Hard insoles for foot support are one thing, but anything with "spring" and "bounce" are just gonna mess you up, and make it more difficult to control your body. I already have enough trouble maintaining control of my Larry Bird imitations; the last thing I need is yet one more layer of rubber between me and the floor.

I love the Springbak website. It says "Rumor has it..." to begin the Kobe entry. Rumor has it you'll get sued for fraud if you don't say rumor has it. They might as well say "Springbak started a rumor that..."

Anonymous Josh said...
They look like the things I have to put in my shoes for my flat feet

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well since they're not made in China, you'd think they'd be quality stuff. BTW, did you return them and get your money back?

i have used springback insoles and they have reduced the wear and tear on my knees significantly, and i can feel the diference when i play without them. and i can already jump high, dunk, etc. of course an individual without any prior athletic ability will always find something wrong with the products. not saying that's the case with you, but would you hear a good athlete complianing that the product didnt make him jump higher?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
First of all, you actually put "superstar" in your name. Secondly, you are a corporate hack. If soles could make you dunk, then Indiana cornfield schools would be issuing them with their unis.

Chump.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- I sent the Springbak people an e-mail asking how I can return the product and get my money back. No word thus far.

dre -- I'm not an expert in the field of orthopedics or podiatry, but as a long distance runner (I've completed several marathons and dozens of half-marathons) I've spent a great deal of time and energy researching and testing various ways to protect my feet and joints while also improving my overall performance. And, of course, I've also played competitive basketball for almost 15 years. Furthermore, I've worked with personal trainers and taken part in basketball training camps for adult players who want to augment their skills. Not only do I consider myself a good athlete, I also happen to know a lot about how to test and measure my various athletic attributes. My vertical leap didn't increase at all, nor did my speed when running the 40-yard dash.

So the two main claims, increased speed and jumping ability, weren't true. And some of the others, such as greater endurance, playing with more energy, and grabbing more contested rebounds aren't easy to quantify and can be attributable to better conditioning techniques and increased effort.

I'm glad they work for you. But it's my honest belief that they wouldn't work for most people.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wanna jump higher? Start training...

Google "The Vertical Jump Bible" or "The Vertical Project".

Blogger eljpeman said...
the only dramatic change that will happen is that your wallet will be noticeably thinner. OUCH!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
eljpeman -- Yup, pretty much...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You can now get Springbaks Springsoles in the UK!

Only at - http://springsoles.co.uk

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I have tried Springbak's for the last week and they have definitely added at least 2 inches to my vertical leap. One time, I was going up for the ball over someone and I felt that ability to hang in the air just a bit longer. I have also noticed that my shin muscles and feet have felt much less tight after playing.

Anonymous Tim Mcalpine - UCLA Track Team said...
Ok guys, the Springbak's will not make you a Kobe Bryant, but they are great for runners. I have bought two pairs over the years and really notice a huge difference. I am a distance runner, and two things happen when they are in your shoes. I am not sure about the increased verticle, but they give you much more balance and stability when sprinting. they increased my 40 yard dash time .08 sec. Springbak claims they increase your stride length, which they do, but the biggest thing I noticed was increased stride frequency, you can actually feel your track shoes coming off the track surface much faster wearing the Springbak Springsoles in your shoes, and awesome for shin splints as well. Just give them a try, you won't be disappointed. These are not for your everyday athlete, these Springbak's are for competitive athletes who are in tune with their bodies current abilities. Not for your average Joe thinking he will be able to dunk a basketball after inserting the Springbak's in his shoes. They just give you a competitive edge with injury prevention, especially shin slpints. This was my experience and I am a competitive college track athlete. Get them from Springbak Inc., not the copies or knockoffs which some of you obviously have purchased.

Anonymous Drew said...
Honestly, the insoles made a difference for me. I wear a size 14 and have flat feet, which gave me pretty bad knee problems. The insoles helped a lot. I don't know if it was simply the added cushion under my arch, or if the claims of increased foot strike efficiency were true, but I could play much longer and without pain, and I even started dunking again.

Maybe my case was a fluke, but they worked. It took about a week to break them in, and after that I was fine. I'm just saying...

Anonymous Jacob Hiller said...
Great post. Someone just needs to end this debate with a sweet double blind video test. Slipping inserts and a placebo in and out of players shoes during multiple vertical jump and possible 40 tests. The footage, and interviews with the players would be too undeniable to quiet the issue to anyone serious about searching. Good work on this site though...

Anonymous jacob said...
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Blogger Vinnie said...
After my club season (volleyball) I had purchased the springsoles, just to give them a shot. I already have a 32 inch vertical, so I wanted to see if they could give me that extra boost. Well, they didn't. I bought them from the legit site. In fact, they actually hindered my jumping ability. All in all, a nice placebo effect, nothing more.

Anonymous Jump Manual said...
As far as springsoles review is concerned, I dont think so they have much effect on boosting your vertical. One of my friend tried that and no success.

Anonymous your jump manual said...
When compared directly with the leading insoles on the market, it was found that sprinbak insoles offered a 3 times as much resilence than the competitors

Blogger sandra said...
Nice. I have this one. I use this one and it's quite good and you feel more comfortable.


Blogger sandra said...
I agree. This one helps in your training also. and make you more comfortable.

jump program

Blogger sara said...
Ive played in them they worked for me. They dont slide in your shoe if you have the right size. There worth 25. Placebo effect yeah right and im not lazy basketbawful so eat a dick you suck.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I bought a pair of these two years ago and they are an absolute joke! They are too thin to provide any kind of support, and they absolutely do not add anything to your vertical leap. Hit the training circuit hard, or if you really want to shell out some bucks, try those Performance Lab shoes.

Anonymous Matt Hill said...
I play Division I volleyball here at UC Irvine, here's the scoop on this product. We did testing with and w/o the Springbak's in our shoes, the average vert. increase was 10%, they also increase your spiking and serving speeds about 6-8% on average.
The product is a mid-sole, goes under your Mizuno volleyball shoe, not on top, not a replacement. Our coach recommends these for a reason, increased athletic performance and injury prevention.
After reading over the Springbak Corporate website, they have some pretty heavy hitters using that are tops in volleyball. DivisionI programs like Nebraska, BYU and USC would not endorse the product, or use if they didn't work.
These do not make you a MIchael Jordan, just a competitive advantage, and I need every edge I can get to keep my scholarship here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Pretty sweet considering there is no Matt Hill on UCIs roster..

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I just want to tell everyone if you buy springbacks you will deeply regret itbi bought 2 what a waste...... They messef up my shoes . And they definatly dont work .. Its just like the power band braclet its all.. BULL SHIT !!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dont buy its a gimic!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
these comments are like the special olympics of church's chicken wifi.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I've done double blind testing on springbak insoles and they do add but maybe 1 to 5% , you still need to workout, its not a cure all- the biggest problem is a lot of users don't know how to put them in and it can be problematic-you should put them under your insoles but some shoes will get messed up. Depending on the thickness of your shoe, they will still help on top. They've got unpaid testimonials from track coaches at USC,UCLA, LMU etc so you can look at those and decide. I've got nothing to gain from this review but just thought I should set the record straight. The cost will stop most people from ever trying them.

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