by Sandy Dover / @San_Dova
The great thing about finding a great basketball shoe is that it’s comfortable, good-fitting, and supportive. All of these qualities matter, are dependent upon one another, and when any one attribute is missing of the three, you know because you’re thinking about your feet’s vulnerability to injury. There are a number of shoes that can give you the peace of mind that you require to play your best and have these issues solidified for your own benefit, but Ektio has taken another route in supplying the antidotes to those problems.
Ektio’s The Post Up shoe is literally a sneaker with a built-in ankle brace. Made to make ankle sprains a thing of the past, The Post Up is a shoe that seems to defy practical logic at first, but it ends up being a shoe that has many strengths that make wearing it a feel like you have a secret that you never really want to tell anyone else about. Allow me to explain.
I felt a lot of different things about The Post Up at first. I have some issues with it, I’ll admit, but it took me to really train in the shoe to get a feel for what the purpose of the construction of the shoe is about. The thing that makes the shoe so unique is that it utilizes a combination of two straps that seem to loop over and under each other forever, in and outside of the shoe. To hold the foot firmly to the footbed, one strap is integrated into the inside of the shoe…it’s complicated enough that an instruction manual is provided just so wearers can know how to put the shoe on, and it’s very necessary. Simply put, without the instructions, I would’ve been even more frustrated than I was at first, but I gave it some time. The Post Up is a little bulky and literally brace-like, but more time and more patience was yet needed for my testing. The straps were a hang-up that took several wearings for me to understand, particularly in how to strap the shoe up the way I wanted for a balanced mix of comfort and support.
Despite those privations, the shoe is comfortable underfoot; actually, it’s very comfortable underfoot, and I’m not exactly sure what grade of EVA midsole foam was used, but it was very spongy, yet responsive. Because of this, the Post Up has the honor of having the best break-in testing in a shoe that I’ve ever tested. Ever. The mesh panels of The Post Up, which are integrated throughout the upper with synthetic leather, promote great breathability, and surprisingly enough, they work great with the internal and external straps for optimal flexibility. The placement of the synthetic leather and mesh are wisely mapped on The Post Up’s construction and were a great asset in my wearings. The straps, which basically are stacked upon each other across the foot bridge of the shoe, provided a great, secure fit once I understood what I needed to do with them to get my fit right where I wanted to be; but, because of the straps’ complicated nature, a poor fit is much easier to achieve, because it’s very easy to strap the shoe too tightly — and while I’m still covering the straps, the security of The Post Up’s straps made the laces that are standard with the shoe (and practically all footwear) virtually obsolete, as I didn’t get any real substantial upgrade in fit with the laces being tied and actually, tying the shoes seemed more difficult to do after I secured the straps in the first place; I suggest maybe trying the shoe with the laces removed to make wearing The Post Up less complicated.
Beyond those things above, there are a few other good things about The Post Up that are worthwhile. The shoe has forefoot and rearfoot exaggerated lateral outriggers that keep the foot on the footbed; let me say this also — ankle inversion in my testing was non-existent. I even purposely landed wrong in my testing to see if I might turn an ankle and I still landed good. It was great; the combination of the outriggers, the footbed, and the straps kept my foot remarkably stable and healthy, which is most important. Traction seemed good enough, as there is a full-length herringbone traction outsole (!) on The Post Up, but I would’ve wanted there to be more rubber voided from the sole, but that’s really nitpicking.
Overall, Ektio’s The Post Up is a very good shoe and if you’re willing to try the shoe for $150 (its suggested retail price), you may be pleasantly surprised and happy with your on-court experience. It has a wide fit, which could be problematic for players with narrow feet (like me), but the good thing is that it accommodates a custom fit for a variety of feet and for a varied strap feel. It’s good for all players, but best for non-fastbreak players and for big men, and it’s probably great for orthodics wearers and players prone to foot sprains and strains.
Sandy Dover is a published author, fitness enthusiast, and SLAM web columnist & print contributor whose work has been featured and published by US News, Yahoo!, Robert Atwan’s “America Now“, and BUCKETS magazine. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline and via his website at About.Me/SandyDover.