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: http://www.exerlopers.com/ 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
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?