Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Muscles -- physiology; Shoes


Background and Purpose: Plyometric shoes have recently been introduced as an effective training tool to enhance several aspect of an athlete's ability, including vertical jump. The SkyFlex® system utilizes plyomteric training shoes in conjunction with plyometric exercises and drills to achieve maximum athletic performance. There is currently limited research to validate the manufacturer's claims of increasing vertical jump. The purpose of this study is twofold: l)To describe muscle activity during walking and jumping while wearing traditional athletic shoes and plyometric training shoes. 2)To measure the vertical jump of subjects trained with plyometric training shoes and a control group of subjects trained with traditional athletic shoes.

Subjects/Methods: l)Ten male subjects participated in lower extremity EMG analysis while walking and jumping with plyometric and traditional athletic shoes. The EMG data was analyzed for each muscle tested. 2)Thirty male subjects participated in a four week plyometric training program, one group training with plyometric and the other with traditional athletic shoes. Their vertical jump height was measured initially and then at the end of each week. A paired samples t-test and ANCOV A was used to analyze the data.

Results: l)A significant increase in EMG activity was found in the anterior tibialis and the gastrocnemius during walking when wearing SkyFlex® shoes as compared to traditional shoes. No significant increase was noted during vertical jump. 2)The SkyFlex® training group did not demonstrate a more significant increase in vertical jump height as compared to the traditional athletic shoe group (p<.05).

Conclusion: The SkyFlex® plyometric shoe is no more effective in increasing vertical jump height than traditional plyometric training programs.