Best Foot Forward | Athletic Propulsion Labs Goes From Banned to Ballin’
It’s not easy building a performance footwear company in the existing highly saturated marketplace. Sneakers are one thing — you aim for style, wearability, you try to do something new. But when you are telling people to go do sports in your shoes, they are held to a whole different standard. With all that said, think about this: Athletic Propulsion Labs landed on the scene in 2009 and, to date, they are the only sneakers banned by the NBA, in 64 years of the league being around.
Athletic Propulsion Labs was founded 7 years ago by twin bothers Ryan and Adam Goldston, both competitive basketball players at the University of Southern California. Having grown up around the sneaker business (their father ran L.A Gear in the 90s), the brothers began developing ideas for high-performance footwear in 2005 and subsequently patented impressive technological advancements, including a basketball shoe with compression springs that enables its wearer to jump up to 9cm higher.
Consequently, in October 2010, the US National Basketball Association banned the shoe for giving wearers an “unfair competitive advantage.” That unintended endorsement of APL’s tech-driven sneaks quickly put the brand on the sneaker industry’s radar. But these aren’t shoes that are all sport and no style. Take for example their silver and gold APL TechLoom Pro, in which the exterior knit is woven with metallic threads to give the sneaker an awesome brilliance.
APL has expanded its stylish tech-driven brand to include slick performance apparel, and now offers a diverse lineup of sneakers that covers all forms of sport and activity. This includes basketball, running and cross fit sneakers in a variety of silhouettes (low top, mids and high tops) and made with unique treatments. With this innovative sneaker start-up, there truly is a shoe for everyone, from aspiring athletes to bona fide ballers.
The Athletic Propulsion Labs Collection:
All images courtesy of Athletic Propulsion Labs.