Ladysmith’s Jim Hogan is a man of many names: ‘Springy Shoe Guy’, ‘Jerry Springer’, ‘Bouncy Guy’, and most famously, ‘Moon Boot Man’.
Hogan’s many monikers come from his unique running shoes. An avid jogger, Hogan wears Kangoo-Jumps, a specialized brand of ‘rebound shoes’ that reduce the impact of jogging on his joints.
“It is kind of a spectacle,” he said. “I used to do my run in the evening and there were more people out and about. There was always somebody stopping their car and wanting to hear what it’s all about.”
Nowadays, Hogan hits the streets early in the morning, so he doesn’t get to see his adoring fans as much as he used to.
A recent post on the Around Town Ladysmith Facebook Forum garnered several comments from people who love seeing ‘Moon Boot Man’ out on the streets of Ladysmith. Hogan isn’t a Facebook user, but he was shown some of the comments and he appreciates the kind words.
Hogan purchased his first pair of Kangoo-Jumps at Woodgrove Pines Wellness Clinic in 2002 and he’s been using Kangoo-Jumps ever since.
“I’ve bought quite a few pairs because they don’t last forever. But they completely take the shock out of running, so I haven’t had any joint problems… that’s the reason for doing it,” he said.
While the shoes have worked wonders for Hogan’s joints, they’re not always the most reliable footwear.
“I’ve always got a pair of running shoes under my arm. When the [Kangoo-Jumps] do break you can’t walk on them.”
Over the years the reliability of the shoes has improved. Hogan estimates the shoes can last about five to 10 times as long as they used to in the 2000s.
“They’re great. If I try to run now on regular running shoes I can feel the shock of it. It doesn’t take much to get used to them, and they’re just awesome. It’s a little bit like being on a trampoline except you’re running along,” Hogan said.
“The one thing that’s not so good is you can’t be on ice. I used to be stubborn about it — I would go no matter what the weather was, but if you hit a little bit of ice on the sidewalk the treads slip a bit and it sends you for a total faceplant. I learned that the hard way.”
When he’s not out running with his ‘moon boots’, Hogan is kept busy as CEO of VMAC Global Technologies, a Nanaimo-based mobile air compressor company that exports to over 300 partners across five continents.
VMAC has been in business for over 30 years and was recognized as ‘Business of the Year’ at the 2019 Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards.