Popsci – the NBA has officially banned Athletic Propulsion Labs’s Concept 1 sneaker. The Concept 1 uses a spring-loaded system to allegedly improve a player’s vertical leap by a few (but significant) inches
The Concept 1, has a sort of hard elastic rubber bit that runs from the heel to the forefoot, connecting with the “Load ‘N Launch” device at the forefoot. The “Load ‘N Launch” is basically a spring in between two pieces of plastic which theoretically uses the energy transferred from the heel to increase one’s vertical leap.
Sports Illustrated tested the Concept 1 back in September, 2010 and found that they do actually work–at least sometimes. A two-footed leap seems to be the only way to feel any difference, and even then, only some testers noticed an improvement. But it did, when used in a specific way, by a specific player, sometimes result in an extra inch or three of air.