Interview with Athletic Propulsion Labs Founders
Adam and Ryan Goldston introduce themselves.
CK: As a new brand, what is Athletic Propulsion Labs all about?
R. Goldston: Our company, APL, is singularly focused on creating world class, high performance athletic footwear products that are unlike anything that’s ever been seen in the industry. We’re beginning with the launch of our basketball shoe line and our goal is to do something in the category that’s never been achieved before. We’ve been wanting to create a shoe that makes you jump higher. There’s been the Jumpsoles, there’s been the Air Alerts, and there have always been products that allow you to train to jump higher. We wanted to create a shoe that made you jump higher instantly. Our goal is to constantly strive to develop innovative products featuring the highest quality materials, workmanship, and that will make you jump higher. That’s really our mission and our goal, is helping you jump higher.
We’re trying to be like the Ferrari or Lamborghini of the footwear industry. We want to create something that’s exclusive, that’s got great materials, and is based on fine-tuned engineering. When we designed the shoes, it wasn’t designed with a specific price in mind. We wanted to create something that really was revolutionary, so we didn’t want to reverse engineer anything. We really just wanted to create the most expensive shoe that we could so we didn’t even sacrifice cutting corners anywhere. Whether it was the upper, outsole, midsole, sockliner, or anything. And especially with the Load ‘N Launch technology. We spent so much time choosing materials, engineering it, and constantly making changes because our goal was to make you jump higher. So that’s pretty much the goal of our brand and our company. Our mission statement is to create a basketball shoe that instantly makes you jump higher – and that’s what we did.
CK: Where did the idea originally come from for the APL Concept 1 shoe?
A. Goldston: We began thinking about the creation of the company back in 2007 to 2008. When we created the branding of Athletic Propulsion Labs, we immediately knew that we had come upon something really unique and special. After that, we started working with trademark lawyers and we registered the trademark in many countries around the world while we began conceptualizing the basketball line. So we wanted to create a basketball shoe that was unlike anything anybody’s ever made before. We worked with an amazing group of footwear experts and advisors for the company and then internally we began to develop the technology and shoe design concept around the promise of creating the first shoe that would actually instantly increase your vertical leap. Because that’s all that we wanted: Increase vertical leap, increase vertical leap, increase vertical leap. We knew that we needed to have a niche to enter the basketball shoe market because if we came in competing with an adidas, or a Nike, or even a Reebok, that we would get slaughtered. For new companies, unless you have a truly amazing concept or technology or something, you can’t break in. Nike came out with the waffle sole, Under Armour came out with moisture wicking fabrics for their clothing line – so you need to have something powerful to make a statement and that’s what we wanted to do with the Concept 1.
Our shoe design and fabrication was inspired by two of the most exotic automobiles: the Pagani Zonda and Koenigsegg CCXR. They’re both million dollar plus carbon fiber bodied supercars. That’s what we wanted to create our brand around. We wanted to use carbon fiber and expensive materials, and materials that appeared to look exotic and things of that nature. So we wanted to engineer our shoes to be like the cars – super high performance. And that was our basic premise for the company, everything is super high performance. The Concept 1 shoe is designed to be the best playing shoe possible and everyone that’s worn our shoe swears by it now. We utilized styling that makes a strong statement about those who can purchase our shoes because it’s so exclusive and it is so expensive. And the amount of time and effort that went into selecting the design, the materials, and working on our device in Concept 1 is reflected in the product we’re introducing.
CK: Talk about the new Load ‘N Launch technology in the shoe.
R. Goldston: People for decades have been hoping that they could get a basketball shoe that would instantly make them jump higher or give them a competitive advantage on the court. Our company slogan “Stop Dreaming. Jump Higher.” basically says that we’ve created something that you can stop dreaming and jump higher. And it also translates to the basketball court in other areas because you’re lighter on your feet, you feel like you can move better, and you’re more explosive and that’s really what we were going for. And we’ve been working on the development of this revolutionary, patent-pending technology for 2-3 years now. We’ve gone through numerous rounds of development, working prototypes, and engineering refinements to get where we are today which is a shoe that makes you jump higher.
The Load ‘N Launch technology device is placed in the forefoot, just in front of the ball of the foot and the flex zone. The technology features a propulsion device that compresses in the “load” phase and then releases in the “launch” phase to help drive the athlete upward. This will provide the wearer with greater velocity and height than the conventional basketball shoe. And that’s basically the bread and butter of our shoe – the compression in the load phase, and the release in the launch phase. That’s really how the device works. The second you put on the shoe, you feel as though you have a powerful piece of athletic technology under your foot. It would be similar to sitting in the supercars that Adam talked about and you’d feel the torque and horsepower the second you’re in the car. You know when you put on our shoe that the shoe’s going to make you jump higher. It’s just one of those feelings. You can feel the device and you can see the device on the bottom, so it really adds to the perception that this shoe is going to make you jump higher.
CK: Are you able to talk about the Load ‘N Launch device from a technical level? Is it a mechanical type of system inside? What exactly is in the forefoot that makes up the Load ‘N Launch technology?
A. Goldston: Actually, it’s an extremely complicated device because we spent a lot of time engineering it. I can’t give you the actual, I want to say “ingredients”, of the device yet because the patent isn’t available to the public, but once it is, you can dissect it almost. It’s a bunch of different components combined to make one device which we call Load ‘N Launch. We also have a shank throughout the shoe that helps transfer energy from the heel to the forefoot to help maximize the Load ‘N Launch technology.
Once our shoe is released and the patent goes through with the patent office, it’ll be readily available for anybody to look at it, but until then we’re not giving out specifics of the device. But as you can see in our SLAM Magazine ad and other pictures of the shoes, you can see the device on the outsole of the shoe. You can look inside and get a gist of what’s in there but the actual materials and the technical stuff we can’t go into too much until the patent goes through.