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Should you trust the original?

Should you trust the original?

Should you trust the original?

Should you trust the original?Well, SHOULD you trust the original? To answer that question, first we would have to define what, exactly, the original is. If we take the word of the marketing department of Kangoo Jumps, the original is the XR3 model of the Kangoo Jumps rebound shoe. This is demonstrably not true.

The “Trust the original” marketing campaign has bothered me for some time, so I decided to write this blog post to get to the bottom of my bemusement about it.

The idea of the rebound shoe, in all its shapes, sizes and hilarious configurations. has been around long before the Kangoo Jumps company even existed. The idea was sound, the execution was limited by the materials available at the time. The earlier models were unwieldy, strange-looking and most certainly pretty dangerous.

Enter the Exerloper

The Exerloper was the first real forerunner of the modern rebound shoe. Invented and patented by Gregory Lekhtman, it hit the market in the 1990s. They are still for sale via the site of Mr Lekhtman: The original Kangoo Jumps model was based on this design, with some improvements. It went through various stages, finally resulting in the current XR3 model in 2006.

Trusting the original

Should you trust the original?So to see what it means to trust the original, let’s take a look at one of the most important inventions of mankind: The Wheel. The concept of the wheel undoubtedly came from rolling things over logs. The drawback of course was that the logs didn’t move much, and had to be picked up once the object had passed over them, and then placed in front of the object again. One day some bright person whose name is unfortunately lost in the mists of time decided to cut the logs into disks and drill holes through their centres, thereby creating the original wheel.

Needless to say, solid wooden wheels are not the most practical. They are heavy and cumbersome, noisy and unwieldy. Also wood is relatively soft. When the iron age came along, steel bands were put around the wooden disks to protect them from damage. This didn’t make them any lighter or more comfortable though. But by now we had iron, so a wheel with spokes was the next innovation, making the wheel a lot lighter. The next step in the evolution was rubber tires filled with air, thereby reducing noise and increasing comfort.

To summarise: things evolve as new materials, new technologies and new insights appear. Objects are improved upon by identifying mistakes in their construction and correcting them. Would you put solid wooden wheels on your car or bicycle because you trust the original?

Trust quality. Trust innovation. Trust evolution.

Let’s not trust the original, and instead put our trust in quality and innovation. And above all, let’s be honest. Since the XR3 was developed, many new materials have been invented, with better characteristics. Better boots have been constructed by using these materials and by rectifying the design flaws of the XR3. Let’s move on, and enjoy the best of what evolution offers.

For more information, read this article: Which rebound boots are best?

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  • Mary Lou Frisch says:

    Ok, here’s how my debut run with the new Kangaroo jumps went. I went on a smooth bike path with one decent nice hill. I went for 1 hour 45 min. They were very stiff at first and a little uncomfortable on my calves because they are just like ski boots. They aren’t nearly as springy as my Exerlopers. But I was able to jog smoothly at a very comfortable non jarring way.
    They feel more like running in shoes but with some spring or shock abdorbsion where as the Exerlopers are a more fun massive attention getting goofy spring. The Exerlopers are more fun I’d say but they cracked in half. Mine are two years old and we’re never used that hard. I’m not sure why they cracked but I was told to return the boot and I think customer service with them is great.
    Much to my surprise I was able to go along at a 13 min. Per mile pace and my heart rate was under 110.
    If not for the some what uncomfortableness on my calves I feel like I could do a 24 hour run and easily keep a 4 mph speed. Or finish 100 miles maybe in 24 hours if they would allow boots like these. When I run regularly my 13 min mile pace heart rate is around the 130 to mid 130’s. When I ran the Mohican trail 100 last time I averaged better than a 15:30 min mile pace in mud, hills, & heat and my overall heart rate averaged 118 bpm.
    I think my Exerlopers (the ones that cracked in half)are way more comfortable as you use your own running shoes and not fastened down tight to ski type boots which may be really uncomfortable in the heat. My Exerlopers are way springy er and along with trekking poles I can get a super workout without the pounding getting my heart rate up to the 160’s and have it feel like 140 or less. I can see using both for different uses. I feel that my Kangaroo jumps will build strength in my calves where the Exerlopers can give me a good workout in a short amount of time. exerlopers claim test results of fitness gains in one third the time as running and 94% less impact. Also includes the benefits of rebounding which has some sort of cell science to it.
    Both are in the same price range I think.
    I would like to see the Kargaroo jumps be just a little bit springy er and even though easier to get on and off I wonder if doing a longish two hour run if my calves could hold out.
    One fun benefit from this evening’s run is I got home and ran down the driveway to the mailbox and felt a new untapped power driving me from my calves that felt effort less. My expectations may be different from most seeking these spring boots as I’m into running distance and building my endurance base while giving my legs a break from the usual pounding.

    • Johnny says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Mary Lou! Nice to hear from an Exerloper user.
      Many people do use rebound shoes for (trail) running. In a way it’s harder than running in normal running shoes, as they are a lot heavier, but that comes with the advantage of the shock on your joints being reduced. And that is also the reason why you get fit and build endurance faster than with normal shoes.
      Yes, Kangoo Jumps are less springy. In this article we examined the differences between the major brands:
      When the springs are worn out and need replacement, you might consider switching to springs from one of the other brands, which coincidentally also work out much cheaper in the long run, as explained here:

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