The Concept 1 Basketball Shoe developed by Athletic Performance Labs has been banned by the NBA. APL’s website claims test participants achieved up to 3.5 inches of increased vertical leap. The technology is in the forefront of the shoe, versus the heel, where most companies focus their design and marketing. A “Load and Launch” device, similar to a spring-like or launch-pad like device, captures the maximum amount of energy through the compression caused by exerting pressure on the forefoot and then releasing the energy through the propulsion and liftoff stage to increase vertical leap.
If this shoe does increase the vertical jump of athletes, how long before we find this shoe on volleyball players’ feet? Will the World League, the FIVB, the NCAA ban the shoe? How will club tournaments be regulated? What is interesting to me is that the Nike Shox line must give some type of competitive advantage compared to the old Chuck Taylors. Golf club drivers are about as big as tennis rackets. At what point do we limit technology on an athlete’s body?
I also wonder if we are going to run into issues like baseball’s corked bats. Will players disguise these launch-pads in shoes for the competitive advantage?
This certainly is an interesting twist to the volleyball world and will be fun to see how the big-wigs deal with these shoes. I would like to get a pair out of curiosity to feel the “spring” in the jump. I wonder if it absorbs the landing instead of these old rickety knees.