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SCAM ALERT: Jump Higher Shoes from Athletic Propulsion Labs.

Written by Jack Woodrup for

Do you remember there was a pair of basketball shoes in the 90's from LA Gear called the Catapult? They were a basketball shoe that Karl Malone wore and were supposed to have a spring type system in the heel that would help you jump higher. Except of course they didn't work.

how to jump higher and increase your vertical jump

It was a nice sounding gimmick though and it helped the LA Gear brand at its peak to 3rd place in terms of market share in the highly competitive sports shoe segment. They also pretty quickly went out of business when the reality didn't quite meet the hype.

Now a new company, Athletic Propulsion Labs, is about to release another new jump higher basketball shoe that they claim can instantly increase your vertical jump by as much as 2-4 inches. This company isn't using a catapult system in the heel though, they are using Flubber.


Flubber: Apparently it is real! Yeah Right. That's right, Flubber, the green goo from the Disney movie of the same name that allowed all the terrible basketball players to suddenly become slam dunking all stars. Don't believe me, have a look at the pictures below.


Flubber shoes

Ok, maybe they aren't using Flubber, but their jumping mechanism as described (they claim they have springs in the forefoot of their shoes) sounds outright dodgy. However, someone over at NBA headquarters seems to think they are legit and so they have actually been banned by the NBA in case they provide an unfair advantage. If you watch my video of an actual measured test using the shoes below it would appear that this ban was probably not warranted.

In fairness to the shoes, they are without doubt a great looking basketball shoe. I particularly like the colour scheme, it does match our own logo pretty well. Sadly that is where the compliments must end.

These shoes, look great. The design is very stylish. They also cost $300 when they first came out (they are now down to $200). That is a lot of money for basketball shoes (even at the new price). If they add a few inches to your vertical then perhaps the money would be worth it. However, I would be EXTREMELY surprised if they added even a single inch to your jumping ability.

The basis for the claims is their so called 'load n launch' technology. Sigh. Sadly I think they are referring to the effect these sneakers will have on their bank account rather than your vertical jump.

I can't believe I need to explain this but I will. The reason that these shoes won't change your jumping ability is that they don't significantly improve your ability to transfer force to the ground, and if you can't do that you will not be able to jump higher. End of story.

Of course, there really is only one way to test the claims made by APL shoes, and that is to buy a pair and test them out. Given my scepticism and the high price I was reluctant to do this, but, I figured I owed it to you the reader to due a proper test (after all, nobody else has bothered to really test their claims!). Below is my video testing of the APL shoes versus a pair of Nike Kobe Zoom VI.

So there you go. Based on my tests I wouldn't recommend you buy them if you were looking to get instant inches on your vertical jump from them unless they came with a full 100% money back guarantee, which to no great surprise, they don't. If you are looking for a stylish pair of basketball shoes however and are happy with the $200 price tag, well, then go for it.

These shoes remind me of the saying 'if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is'. If you are serious about improving your vertical jump, stop looking for these kinds of marketing based short cuts, get yourself a good vertical jump program, and train hard. Don't waste your time or your money with this crap.

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