Most Gravity Boots tend to have a rather odd, almost sci-fi look. There’s not a ton about the boot you can learn from a simple visual inspection. Instead, here are the specific traits and features you’ll want to know when selecting a gravity boot:
Sturdiness, Durability and Safety
A high-quality gravity boot will last for decades. You never want to wonder about the quality of the boot’s construction when you’re hanging upside-down.
Most gravity boots are made with a plastic exterior shell insulated with thick foam. Hooks and locks should be made of stainless steel or a similarly strong metal.
Pay attention to how the hooks and locks are attached to the boot. High-quality materials become irrelevant if the individual components pull apart when under stress. Go ahead and give the hooks a hard pull to test the attachment strength.
Hanging upside-down takes some getting used to, so don’t expect inversion exercises to be super comfortable the first few times you try them. But that doesn’t mean your gravity boots need to hurt your feet. The comfort of a boot is determined by the materials used, the snugness of the fit and the sizing.
Materials, such as the outer plastic shell, should be rigid enough to support your ankles but flexible enough to allow for movement when exercising. For additional support, look for removable calf loops. They help reduce pressure on your ankles.
Next, you want the boots to fit snugly but not so tight that they press uncomfortably into your feet. Ankle straps should be adjustable by several inches. When trying on boots, wear the same type of socks you plan to use when exercising.
Finally, most gravity boots are “one size fits most.” But extra-large options are available. These are a good choice if you’re tall or have large feet, thick ankles or well-developed thighs.
A gravity foot should feel as a snug as a ski boot or wrestling shoe. Basically, there should be no “wiggle room.” At the same time, you don’t want the boot to impair circulation or cause any pain.
Ease of Use
Don’t worry too much if the boots feel a bit complicated to put on at first. Navigating the buckles can take some getting used to.
What you really want to focus on is how easy the boots are to take off. After all, you don’t want to struggle with a buckle while hanging upside-down.
The safest boots have a double-buckle system. If the primary buckle ever becomes stuck, you can still free yourself by accessing a manual release safety buckle.
Practice unfastening the boot when you’re right-side-up and on the ground. Only invert yourself once you feel familiar and comfortable with the design of the boot.
As mentioned above, gravity boots average in price between about $40 and $70. As long as the boot is well-constructed from quality materials, you don’t need to spend a ton.
Be wary of any gravity boots which costs over $100. At that point you might just be paying for nothing more than a brand name.
At the same time, don’t shy away from higher prices if you’re paying for durable materials. A well-made gravity boot can last a long time while a cheaper boot has a greater potential to fall apart.
Gravity boots storage usually isn’t much of a problem. Generally, they’re just a bit smaller than ski boots. Most people have no issue simply storing their boots in a hall closet or under the bed.
You want boots which are easy to travel with. Most boots can easily fit into a gym locker or duffel bag. When storing boots in a duffel bag, you might want to wrap them in a towel so the hooks and buckles don’t accidentally tear any of your gym clothes.
Watch the weight of the boots. Most gravity boots weigh about two pounds. While heavier boots can provide more stability, they’re also less portable.
Inversion exercises do require some movement in your feet. You’ll want gravity boots with a slight give. At the same time, the boots still need enough rigidity to support your ankles and calves.
Don’t worry too much about the plastic outer shell of the boot, as that’s always designed to provide support. Instead, focus on the inner foam lining.
The padding should press up against your entire foot. But you should still be able to comfortably move your ankles and toes. In order to alter the boot’s flexibility, you’ll adjust the fit tighter or looser.
Add-Ons & Extra Features
Gravity boots are fairly simple and straight-forward, but they do contain a few extras.
As we mentioned above, you’ll need a safety strap. This is a cord which you’ll loop over the inversion bar. It’s used to help you pull yourself up to the top of the bar in order to unbuckle the boot even if you’re out of energy. Many gravity boots include a safety strap, but you can also easily use any sturdy rope or cord.
Another add-on you want to consider is removable calf supports. These loops wrap behind your knees to help reduce the weight load on your joints and feet.
Finally, some boots include an inversion bar. While an included bar is guaranteed to be a good fit for the hook on the boot, it might also be an unnecessary expense. Most traditional pull-up bars will work just fine and are often cheaper.
When selecting a gravity boot, you can choose many features based on your personal preferences. Do you want calf support? Do you like the feel of the inner cushion? Do you like the style of the boot? There’s really no objectively correct answer.
But the weight limit of the boot isn’t up for debate. You have to select a boot which will support your current weight. Otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself in danger.
A gravity boot can look absolutely perfect online but still feel odd or uncomfortable when its actually on your foot. Ideally, you’ll want to try on the pair of boots before you buy them, but that’s not always possible. A rock-solid warranty is the next best option.
You want a warranty of at least 30 days. Fortunately, most major gravity boot manufacturer’s offer a warranty of at least a year.
This should give you plenty of time to assess the comfort and test the durability of your new boots. Don’t be afraid to be a little rough with your boots. After all, a quality pair should last for many years even with daily use.
Before purchasing a pair of gravity boots, make sure you thorough understand any included warranty. Some warranties allow you to return the boots for any reason while others only cover manufacturing defects. Ideally, you want the opportunity to try the boots out for a while with no risk.
Most gravity boots don’t have a lot to assemble. They should be basically ready to go right out of the box.
Typically, the most assembly required will be any attachable calf support. This is usually just a simple strap you attach to the back of the boot.
While not assembly in the traditional sense, you’ll want to note how easy the boot is to adjust. Most gravity boots use micro-buckles to custom fit the exact shape of your foot. A well-made boot should take about 30 seconds to adjust. If the buckles take more than a minute to adjust, the boot is probably needlessly complicated.
Most boots will include instructions on how to use all the buckles and other features. While a lack of instructions can be a hassle, it doesn’t need to be a complete deal-breaker. Adjusting a pair of gravity boots is usually pretty intuitive.
If you do have a problem with your new pair of boots, can you reach the company easily and quickly? This is an area where the manufacturer can play an important role.
While you might save a bit upfront buying boots from a smaller, relatively unknown brand there are benefits to going with a more established company. A larger organization is typically easier to reach.
If the company who makes your boots also makes a variety of exercise equipment they’re more likely to have a national customer service phone numbers and email addresses. You want competent customer support reps if you ever have a question about use, returns or anything else.