Athletic Propulsion Labs markets new shoe with NBA ban

Basketball vertical leap

Being able to jump higher while wearing the Athletic Propulsion Labs Concept 1 was enough to get it banned by the NBA. Image: Flickr / permanantly scatterbrained / CC-BY

A small shoe-design company in Los Angeles, Athletic Propulsion Labs, has propelled itself into the spotlight. The year-old company has created a shoe – the Concept 1 – that has been banned by the NBA. Some say this may be a genius marketing move, while others claim it is a true technology breakthrough.

The Athletic Propulsion Labs Concept 1

The Concept 1 shoe by Athletic Propulsion Labs is a shoe designed to increase vertical leap. A combination of an internal spring system and design create more energy return when a wearer is jumping. This is a shoe designed specifically to create a technological advantage in an athletic game. This depends, of course, on the player’s height, weight and athletic ability.

Athletic Propulsion Labs shoe banned

As of today, the National Basketball Association has officially banned Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 shoe. NBA rules ban any shoe that “creates an undue competitive advantage.” This is only the second time a shoe has been banned from NBA games, and the first time for its advantage. The only other time a shoe was banned was the Air Jordan, which was banned for visual distraction.

Technology, marketing or both?

As soon as the NBA officially banned the Athletic Propulsion Labs shoe, the APL website featured a prominent “banned by the NBA” banner. The year-old company has certainly propelled itself to the forefront of the mind of its sports-loving customers. By getting banned by the NBA, Athletic Propulsion Labs has made a smart marketing move. Is this what they were originally planning, or did their technology have that unintended effect? Either way, Athletic Propulsion Labs will almost certainly be selling more pairs of its $300 Concept 1 shoe. The line of basketball shoes is only the first for this small company that has more attention than it had ever planned. Athletic Propulsion Labs plans to introduce running technology in 2011.


AP Canada
Athletic Propulsion Labs

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