What are Moon Shoes?

Niki Foster
Niki Foster

Moon shoes, also known as anti-gravity boots, are a children's toy introduced by Nickelodeon in the 1990s, when they debuted on the television show Double Dare. Moon shoes are basically small trampolines for the feet. They simulate the experience of jumping on a regular trampoline or, with some imagination, the low-gravity environment of the moon. These shoes can help a child develop balance and coordination while having fun and getting exercise.

Moon shoes simulate the feeling of jumping on a trampoline.
Moon shoes simulate the feeling of jumping on a trampoline.

Although moon shoes received some criticism from parents to whom they seemed unsafe, they pose no significant cause for concern when used as directed. The shoes are made from durable, high-quality plastic and elastic and feature adjustable straps to fit to each child's regular shoes. They also have non-slip soles to prevent falls.

Moon shoes are much safer than a conventional trampoline or even roller skates, and the biggest risk is probably a minor fall and a skinned knee. They do not allow the user to jump much higher than normal, but they provide the sensation of increased jumping ability. If you are particularly concerned about the possibility of injury, you may wish to provide your child with knee and elbow pads while he or she is playing with moon shoes. Supervise your child during play, and have him or her stay on a soft surface such as grass or a carpet to further avoid scrapes.

Moon shoes are now available from a variety of manufacturers in addition to Nickelodeon. They come in many fun colors and a few different models. Most of these shoes fit teenagers and small to medium sized adults as well, and adults may enjoy the toy's ability to absorb some of the impact while running. Moon shoes can be the perfect toy for a child interested in outer space. Children with hyperactivity or sensory processing disorder can particularly benefit from them, as they provide both a safe outlet for excess energy and much needed sensory input to the joints and muscles.

Niki Foster
Niki Foster

In addition to her role as a wiseGEEK editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in order to get ideas for her own articles. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Linguistics and Anthropology.

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Discussion Comments


My son had a pair of the new moon shoes and they were indeed a lot better than the ones we had. He still twisted his ankle a few times, but the recoil was better and easier to control. He looked more like an astronaut bouncing around on the moon.


We had a version of the moon shoe years before Nickelodeon. The ones I remember were made out of metal, and had heavy duty metal springs. Kids would strap the top layer to their street shoes like roller skates. The springs led to a bottom layer that actually made contact with the ground.

The idea was basically the same as the later plastic versions introduced by Nickelodeon. The user would jump into the air, compress the springs while landing, and then the springs would recoil. Each step was supposed to be a bounce. That was the theory, anyway. In reality, those early moon shoes would twist to one side or the other, causing the user to sprain his or her ankles. The springs weren't very strong, either. There was no powerful recoil that sent the wearer back into the air. The moon shoe craze died out after too many trips to the ER, but the new and improve models in the 90s were a little safer.

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