NBA bans, helps sales of shoe that may (or may not) help you jump higher


David Stern is a marketing wizard, and he just came up with the slogan that will sell a lot of Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 shoe:

Banned by the NBA.

The league met last month with executives from then this week sent notice to APL saying this, according to Business Wire (via Yahoo):

“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.”

The NBA is not saying the shoes do give players better leaping ability, only that they could. And that is reason enough to ban them. Brain Scalabrine sheds a single tear.

According to APL, the Concept 1 features “a unique device that serves as a “launch pad” housed inside a cavity at the front of the shoe, which compresses (The “Load” phase) and then releases (The “Launch” phase) as the athlete exerts force on the front of the foot….”

Does it work? Maybe. Reporters who tried it out had mixed results, some saw increased leaping ability but were not able to replicate it the next day. APL is not releasing it’s scientific data (nor even the names of the PhDs that designed the shoe). It’s all a bit sketchy.

But if someone is just an inch short of dunking and they believe these shoes can get them there… people will pay $300 for that. (Yes, that is the shoe price.)

People also will pay that much to wear something banned by the league.