Athletic Propulsion Labs Concept 1 Basketball Shoes: Banned By The NBA

What a story. We just had to report it at The Blonde and The Brunette. Great technology married with great design. Last Monday  it was the #1 story on the internet, the #2, 3 and 17th most searched items on Google, and on the homepages of Yahoo and Alexa. The media and consumer interest was so high, the company’s website crashed and it took eight servers to handle the demand .

For the first time in its 64-year history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) banned a new line of shoes based on the league’s rule against an “unfair competitive advantage” that increases a player’s vertical leap. The league’s ban on Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 confirms the company’s claims that the shoe, with its Load ‘N Launch Technology, performs as advertised. No professional player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season.

This action came on the 25th anniversary of the NBA’s ban on Nike’s Air Jordan shoes, albeit for reasons of their colorful appearance rather than any performance advantage.

Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) was notified by a senior NBA official who stated, “League rules regulate the footwear that players may wear during an NBA game. Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game ‘that creates an undue competitive advantage (e.g., to increase a player’s vertical leap).’ In light of that rule…players will not be permitted to wear the APL shoes during NBA games.”

Prior to the ban, the Concept 1 shoe had already attracted the interest of NBA players, including a raft of rookies, some of whom have tested them in non-NBA settings. Retailing for $300, the shoes continue to be sold primarily through APL’s website (, and the company is exploring a potential expansion into select athletic footwear and sporting goods retailers.

Athletic Propulsion Labs, based in Los Angeles, is the brainchild of twin brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston, two former University of Southern California basketball players. APL’s Concept 1 basketball shoes were introduced in July 2010 and have been covered extensively by media outlets including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CNN, CNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, AP, Reuters and SLAM Magazine.

APL co-founder Ryan Goldston explained, “The proprietary Load ‘N Launch Technology has managed to accomplish something never before achieved in the athletic footwear industry: a product that makes you jump higher instantly. The Load ‘N Launch device is implanted in a cavity in the forefoot of the shoe and serves as a ‘launch pad’ by taking the energy exerted by the player and increasing lift with the aid of an intricate, spring-based propulsion system.”

In biomechanical testing at a leading West Coast university laboratory, the APL Concept 1 shoes delivered increases in vertical leap of up to 3.5 inches when compared against a leading competitive brand’s most expensive basketball shoe.

“We were not exactly shocked to hear the NBA chose to ban our shoes,” said APL co-founder Adam Goldston. “The Load ‘N Launch Technology not only provides an instant and dramatic increase in vertical leap, but the biomechanical testing showed that the players exerted far less energy as a result.”

Not only is the Concept 1 shoe revolutionary from a technological standpoint, but it features a unique blend of carbon fiber synthetic material that allows the shoe to weigh less than 15 ounces.

For more an in-depth review of the Concept 1 shoes, check out vertical leap expert Adam Linkenauger’s video review on You Tube.

For more information on APL Concept 1’s or to purchase a pair,  visit the company’s website at

-The Brunette