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The shoes that made Michael Jackson’s anti-gravity lean possible

Jul 21, 2012 By Abraham

In order to accomplish his famous forward lean, Michael Jackson invented a special shoe that had a slotted heel which slid onto bolts that protruded from the floor, essentially creating a dovetail joint between the dancer and the stage.

Along with two co-inventors, he patented the shoes in 1993. The abstract reads…

A system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface. The shoes have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged with the hitch member by simply sliding the shoe wearer’s foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member.

Here are a few images from the patent…


  1. Nigel says:

    I saw this trick performed by an Australian performer Mr PP (AKA Tim Tyler) while he was touring with the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra in about 1985.
    I do not understand how Michael Jackson can claim to have invented the trick in 1993.

    1. Cailen says:

      I dont believe he claims to have invented it but he did patent it. The writer of this article could be mistaken.

    2. Michael says:

      That is not true. I have never claimed such a thing. Just as I was taught the moonwalk, I was Also taught the anti gravity lean by a very amazing person.

      1. Joseph Jackson says:

        lolz…. my son is dead now. he thought of this anti gravity lean but he was never taught by any body. he just thought about it himself, we latter found out it was already existing….lolz

  2. fred says:

    Michael didnt invent them.idk who did but they used them by the tinman in the wizard of oz and that was in the 30s or 40s

  3. Hannah says:

    For anyone who wants to know who did the first filmed moonwalk, watch the old movie “Stagedoor Canteen” from the 1940s. He’s a tap dancer, towards the end of the movie. It will blow your mind! Maybe the tap dancer invented it.

  4. Mike says:

    He did not invent it of course but he made it the most spectacular use. I was and still am one of his greatest fans. I miss him tremendously. I can only imagine the dance moves he can do in heaven.

  5. fourth says:

    You don’t need the patented shoes to do the anti-gravity lean. Before the shoes were invented, cables were used which are obviously more cumbersome.

  6. Tanner says:

    y;all is just stupid. regardless if somebody did it before him or not, it is claimed as his. he gave it a title and made it his own

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