In the 2010-2011 NBA season, the Boston Celtics wanted to use a new basketball shoe during their playoff run. Since every shoe that is worn by an athlete has to be tested, the NBA tested the shoes and found out the shoes were able to increase an average man’s vertical jump by 3 inches. The shoes were later banned by the NBA, the name of the shoes are the APL Concept 1s.
The Los Angeles company, APL was found by twin brothers Adam and Ryan Goldston. Their father was the president and COO of LA Gear. So, growing up the twins were into the industry of product testing at an early age. As they went on to college and played basketball, they struggled to compete against their peers due to them being shorter than 6 foot. Since training programs and working out didn’t work for them, they decided to turn to technology to increase their athleticism. It was in their undergrad years that they developed the “Load N’Launch” system that would allow the wearer to jump higher.
The “Load N’Launch” system is a compression spring based system which allows the wearer to jump higher. The system is made up of a top plate and a bottom plate. Between the two plates are 6 large springs and a 3 smaller springs that are all stored inside a EVA foam. The way the mechanism works is that when an athlete is in the process of jumping, the compression on the shoes before jumping results in the compression of the springs that are inside the system. When the athlete leaves the ground, the compression that are stored in the system is released which results in the increase in the vertical leap. Due to the shoes being “too” effective, the shoes were banned from the NBA as it may give the athlete wearing the shoes an athletic advantage.
Since the shoes gave an instant performance advantage the athlete wearing the shoes, the shoes were banned by the NBA. However, the ban was a huge marketing success for APL which allowed the company to sell 9 month worth of inventory in 3 days. It is worth noting that the ban on the shoes were later lifted in 2011 by the NBA and the APL has released two more successors to the Concept 1 through the Concept 2 and the Concept 3.