Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off purchases, at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Health & Safety Disclaimer: This post may contain workout and health advice and information, designed for entertainment and/or educational purposes. Without delay, always consult your doctor before trying out a new fitness regimen. Bodyweight MAX should not be used as a substitute for professional medical services.
Kensui Fitness – Ankr REVIEW
In my review of the Animal House Fitness Monkey Feet, I discussed this unique product’s benefits of building core and lower body strength in unusual ways. The Kensui Fitness ANKR is a new product by the minds behind the EZ-Vest, which is my all-time favorite weighted vest. The ANKR is a similarly innovative item that will no doubt draw comparisons to the Monkey Feet, since the purpose is essentially the same. With this Kensui Fitness ANKR Review, I hope to enlighten you on another “weighted shoe” option that helps you determine which, if either, is a better fit.
After using my Monkey Foot for a while and then seeing the ANKR hit the scene, I was immediately sold. I thought it would be better than the Monkey Feet with its weight plate holders as opposed to the more awkward dumbbell latches on the Monkey Feet. Truth be told, I was mainly on board because I love my EZ-Vest so much. My assumption was that the ANKR would be the same quality as the EZ-Vest because it had the Kensui Fitness brand attached to it. So I bought two ANKRs!!
While there are features of the ANKR that are much better than the Monkey Feet, I personally would rank the ANKR lower. That’s just me, though. Read both reviews and do a little research of your own to decide which, if either, are worth your money.
Before I start, however, I truly hope that the minds at Kensui Fitness read this review, and beyond this, I strongly suggest they read the book The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman.
Kensui Fitness ANKR Specs
Equipment Type: Slip-On for Shoe (“Other”)
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Weight Plate Clip Sizes: Two options for diameters of either 1″ or 2″
Weight Limit: Three different slots for weights: two on either side and one on the bottom. Can hold up to 200lbs (not that you’d need that much).
Shoe Size: Fits most shoe sizes
Securing Mechanism: Two adjustable straps to go over your shoe.
Comfort: Pads can be attached to reduce discomfort
Sold Individually: Can slip onto either foot
Refund Policy: 100-day guarantee
Kensui Fitness ANKR: What Can You Do With It?
No doubt about it, anything you can do with Monkey Feet, you can do with the ANKR.
Leg exercises you can do with ANKR:
- Hamstring Curls
- Donkey Kicks
- Knee Raises
- Leg Extensions
Like with my Monkey Foot, I’ve found myself using the ANKRs just as much for abdominal workouts. They are intense!
- Hanging Leg Lifts & Knee Raises
- Hanging Bicycle Kicks, Windshield Wipers & Scissor Kicks
- Bicycle Crunches on the Floor
- Knee Drivers
- Hollow Body Holds and Leg Lifts
- Dead Bugs
- Seated Leg Lifts and Knee Tucks
- Planks with Arm & Leg Raises
- Floor Bicycle Kicks, Windshield Wipers & Scissor Kicks
It has been easier for me to do all of these exercises with the ANKR since I bought two of them. Sadly I only own one Monkey Foot, so it hasn’t seen much use lately.
Kensui Fitness – ANKR: Pros & Cons
- Great for bodyweight exercises. The main reason I am so fascinated by products like the ANKR and Monkey Feet is because I am so limited with lower body exercises with calisthenics. But with the ANKR, I consistently improve leg strength with calisthenics in a fun and innovative way. I am also strengthening my core with the ANKR, much more so than I would be without it.
- Lower body workouts. The ANKR opens up a whole range of leg movements beyond squats and deadlifts. Moves like donkey kicks and hamstring curls are more meaningful with the ANKR because you can add so much weight now, instead of having no weight at all.
- Core strength. At first glance the ANKR looks like it is most beneficial for lower body, but like the Monkey Feet, I find myself using it more for my core overall.
- One-Size Fits Most. The ANKR is adjustable and wide enough to fit over most shoes. The two straps will be tightened and then looped and locked around your upper ankle.
- Replaces ankle weights. Sliding on weight plates can be done just once and never again. Move the ANKR to the corner when you’re done with it with the weight still attached. It’s quite convenient in that way.
- 100-day money back guarantee. This is mildly reassuring considering the “Cons” section below…
- Easy to put on, once you know how. Another “stay tuned for the Cons section” here, but sliding your shoe inside and securing it is easy once you know h
ow to do so.
- Small and light. The ANKR is extremely easy to keep out of the way when not in use.
- MUCH easier to walk around in than the Monkey Feet. Since you attach flat weight plates instead of an awkwardly shaped dumbbell, you can actually walk around in these – it’s not easy, but it is possible!
- More comfortable than Monkey Feet. There is padding that you can velcro onto the ANKR, so the pressure isn’t painful even after using it for a long time.
- High weight limit! As of now, I do not have the Extensions that are offered on the Kensui website. Still, my ANKR by itself can hold two 5lb plates on either side, and a 10lb weight on the bottom, giving me 20lbs to work with!
- Adjustment period for every use. The ANKR feels awkward every time you put it on. You may want to get as close to your workout area as you can before you put it on so you don’t have to walk over to it.
- Plastic! With the high-quality metal of the EZ-Vest’s securing mechanisms, you can imagine my disappointment when I opened my ANKRs only to find that the securing mechanisms are made of plastic. Is it high-grade plastic? Probably. But one little crack is all it takes to make the entire item useless. The 100-day money back guarantee is nice, but with my luck the plastic will crack on day 101. I can’t help but think it is only a matter of time.
- No instructions included! The Monkey Feet had instructions included. The ANKR just assumes you know how to put them on once you take them out of the bag. Furthermore, you are expected to know what all the screws, pads, and locks are for. I had NO idea how to put it on when I got it and it never “felt” right on my foot. After the ANKR was out for a while, Kensui finally released this how-to video. Better late than never, but I don’t think giving buyers a one-page instruction manual is asking too much. I was putting it on wrong the whole time!
I’m not done complaining about the lack of instructions. In The Design of Everyday Things, one of the main motifs was a disconnect between product designers and their end-users. This is why I suggest Kensui’s reps read this book (if they have not already). You cannot assume that everybody who buys your product thinks the same way you do. Along the same line, you cannot expect that everybody who buys your product will automatically know how to use it. Include an instruction manual, please! People do use them.
Kensui Fitness – ANKR Review: Overall
The ANKR is another innovative product from the minds at Kensui Fitness. Once you know how to use it, it will provide you some amazing lower body and core workouts that test you in new ways. I also think the use of weight plates instead of dumbbells makes it better in some ways than Monkey Feet. Still, I am not sure about its longevity with its plastic design, and I am still salty about the lack of instructions (aside from the newish video). Your choice between the Monkey Feet and the ANKR will likely come down to personal preference, but overall I think the Monkey Feet get the slight edge here. Oh, and as always, remember to stretch with every workout!
My Score: 3 out of 5
Do you have an ANKR, and/or a Monkey Foot? Let me know what your thoughts are on either of them in the Comments section below!