APL's Vertical Increasing Shoes
When A Product Works Too Well
By Kickntrue on 10/19/10
Things in golf are slow to bear with me- as this post has everything to do with the NBA but has lessons we can take from it in golf. A duo of basketball loving brothers, along with some help from a rich daddy, and a few sweet connections invented a basketball shoe that is scientifically designed to help you jump higher and move quicker. Today- the NBA announced that these new shoes are banned.
The NBA is prohibiting its players from wearing a new line of sneakers that claims to increase vertical leap.

"Under league rules, players may not wear any shoe during a game that creates an undue competitive advantage," the NBA said in a statement Tuesday.

Athletic Propulsion Labs' $300 Concept 1 shoe employs a spring-based system designed to increase lift.

The Los Angeles-based company was founded by twins Adam and Ryan Goldston, both former USC basketball walk-ons whose father worked in the shoe industry.

The brothers said Tuesday that many NBA players, including about 30 percent of the rookie class, expressed interest in the shoes but they wouldn't reveal names because the players had signed with other companies.
This is both ridiculous and awesome for the fledgling company. They are banned by NBA for giving a competitive advantage. With the ban the NBA is saying the shoes actually work. With this ruling they are also saying (without saying it) that other shoe marketing is crap. Think about it- aren't Nike and Adidas and Converse (does anyone wear Converse anymore?) all trying to create shoes that give a competitive advantage? Isn't that the whole point of buying one shoe over another? At least that's what their marketing is saying. ... sound familiar? If I'm Nike or Adidas I have to consider protesting this ruling on Athletic Propulsion Lab's behalf. Nike's R&D department can't create a new shoe under the guidelines of "don't make it better." It's ridiculous.

I think the golf connection is pretty interesting. What happens if you follow all of the rules in making a piece of equipment but actually succeed in making something better? Does that get your product banned (Ping lawsuit/grooves anyone?)? Does that innovation already happen or is everything on the market just a variation of each other, all wrapped in different levels of marketing?

You've gotta click through to APL's website, 1) to give them some love for being creative and 2) to see how they are taking advantage of this ruling to their marketing benefit. Pretty good stuff!

Full Story
Athletic Propulsion Labs

[ comments ]
dottomm says:
I love my converse. Just say'n
falcon50driver says:
What's new about this? Wile E. Coyote strapped coil springs to his feet years ago.
Panerai111 says:
LOL sweet!
Bryan K says:
I dunno....I buy shoes based on how comfortable they are. I buy golf clubs based on how good they feel when I swing them. Performance is kind of secondary.
twood says:
wonder how much stock Stern bought before banning them.
Trav says:
Anyone remember Flubber?
rmumph1 says:
I always wanted to be taller, jump higher, look better. At least one can be accomplished now.
homermania says:
@ Trav: They do look like they have flubber in the soles. Nutty.
Banker85 says:
is the nba banning them from being manufacturing so amatuers cant use them like the usga is with the square grooves? NO.
[ post comment ]
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