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Bounce Into Fitness With Rebound Boots

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - There's a new trend in fitness that has people bouncing into their exercise routines - literally.

They're strapping on a special kind of footwear known as rebound boots which have springs on the bottom.

Mitchell Wayne said seven years of running took a toll on his knees. He needed to stay fit for his career in dance, so Wayne said he swapped his running shoes for rebound boots.

"I was terrified. I had no idea how to use them, but I actually got adjusted pretty quickly," said Wayne.

Dianne Clemente, an instructor at Crunch Fitness, said more people than ever before are jumping into the action.

"It's been growing and growing and growing. Every week I always see new people come who are interested or heard about the boots in some way and just kinda' want to see what it's all about," said Clemente.

At Crunch Fitness, the boots are offered in class, but they can also be purchased online. The purpose of the spring design of the boot is to ease the impact of exercise.

"The rebound shoe does cut down on the stress that goes through your tibia, or your shin bone, so shin splints and stress fractures in the long bone of the legs, that is cut down on, the stress that goes through your knee is cut down on," said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carol Frey.

But Frey added that the boots can bring issues too.

"There's more force going thru the mid-part of your foot and there's a higher number of people using the rebound shoes who report arch strain or pain, or right in the middle of the arch, and blisters because it's not that forgiving of a shoe," said Frey. "It's essentially a boot with buckles."

Frey said rebound boots are an ideal fit for some people, including those who've already been injured and can't handle high impact exercise. But she's quick to add there's a definite learning curve which includes adjusting to about a six-inch height difference.

"The workout is different. Research has actually shown and you know, patients and all the people I know using them report it's a bigger workout. You're consuming more oxygen, it's a bigger cardiovascular workout and it's not only because, you're not just running, you're also jumping," said Frey.

"You get more out of your workout than any regular workout," said Clemente.

Frey said she'd like to more research before she recommends them to her patients. For those who try them, she offered this advice.

"Don't do too much too soon. There is a break in period. Add it to your training. Don't make it your only training," said Frey.

The boots' manufacturers say they should only be used on a steady surface, not something unpredictable like grass.

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