There's no doubt that inversion therapy can be a source of great relief in our everyday struggle against the forces of gravity. It's all but inevitable: sooner or later you'll feel the misery of back pain. You can slow down the degeneration process by strengthening your core muscles and avoiding overloading your spine at work, at play, in sports, or simply by way of bad habits, even including your diet! In any case, the best way to fight against gravity is to make use of it yourself to find relief. You can try some great yoga postures, get slings, hang upside down at any chin bar, or simply use an inversion table.
For some of us, none of the inversion table ankle holders are good enough to protect us from damage caused by the holding mechanism digging and cutting into our skin and ankle bones. The pain is sufficient to keep many away from enjoying the benefits of inversion therapy. Fortunately, there's an “ultimate solution” on the market: Gravity Inversion Boots.
The most popular of these was introduced by Teeter Hang Ups: EZ-Up Gravity Boots . They are built of a light
plastic shell and extra-soft 5/8” foam liners that wrap nicely around your ankles and calves, secured with double ratchet locking buckles so you can adjust them to individual ankle anatomy. They are fitted with something called a “Calf Loop,” which is supposed to support the knee joints and lessen the load of your instep. I haven't come across any complaints about those loops, but in any case, they are removable, so if they cause you problems, you can simply take them off.
You might want to get a conversion bar so you can use the Teeter Gravity Boots with some of Teeter's inversion tables.
The vast majority of users are very happy with their purchase of their EZ-Up Gravity Boots, provided they didn't get duped by some of the Teeter Hang Ups ads insisting that they are compatible with all F and EP series inversion tables, which is simply untrue! Below, you will find a list of all the inversion tables the boots are compatible with, so you'll be able to make an informed decision:
Manufactured and introduced by Teeter Hang Ups, they are very similar to the company's EZ-UP gravity boots, but are larger in size (even so far as being called “XL”). Because of this, they will fit comfortably around larger legs thanks to their ratchet locking buckles, with a sufficient adjustment range that they can be fitted to conform to much smaller, thinner legs and ankles. They are relatively light weight, and the opening allows for use with a bar up to 1.5” in diameter. Once you purchase the Teeter conversion bar, they cannot be coupled with the following tables:
EP-960, EP-960 LTD, EP-970, EP-950, Contour L5, Contour L3, EP-550 Sport (included), EP-560 Sport (included), FitSpine System, FitSpine RED, InvertAlign, InvertAlign2, InvertAlign3, InvertAlign4, InvertAlign5, F9000, NXT-S-GL, all motorized models
All of the other gravity inversion boots aren't compatible with any inversion tables as things stand now. Some people may have come up with “home grown” solutions to make them compatible, but in these cases, the inventors are only exposing themselves to unnecessary danger. Please don't do this!
These inversion boots are to be used on designated gym equipment or a chin-up rack installed at the top of a door frame, and this latter looks like a really good (and cheap) alternative to inversion tables, provided that you are physically able to use them.
Body Solid GIB2 Inversion Boots
These boots are exceptionally well made: the plastic shell is tough, though unfortunately, the metal locking buckle
does not allow the wearer much room to adjust the shape to his or her particular ankle shape. The foam is rather low density, so it is likely that you will need to add some extra cushioning to avoid pain. Luckily the GIB2 boots come with extra foam pads. As they are relatively heavy, you would need to be super fit in order to hook them to your pull up bar (maximum diameter of 1.5”). Some users reported poor quality of the attachment of the foam to the plastic shell. Body Solid, the manufacturer, is obviously aware of the issue, and have even advised one user to get glue called “Goop” to fix it – what customer support!
Gravity Boots – The Cheapest Solution
The cheapest gravity inversion boots on the market are those like Power Sports. They usually cost half as much as Teeter Gravity Boots, which is a great incentive to buy. On top of that, they are very light and fairly small, so can be easily stored if you need to take them with you on vacation or something. They will nicely wrap even the smallest ankle, but there is no plastic shell locked with a solid buckle on these boots. You are supposed to trust in the power of Velcro, so if you're a rather big guy, you probably won't like the sound when stretched… The simplicity of this product will certainly put your pain tolerance to the test, so additional cushioning will absolutely be needed!