NBA bans new shoe

Story by Sam Rosenberry

So I was perusing ESPN.com the other night to get a quick check of some scores. I was glad to see the Rangers beating-up the Yankees because I don’t know if you know, but I hate the Yankees with the passion of one 1000 burning suns.

If the Rangers win the series, I’ll feel less bad over my appallingly poor decision to pick the Rays to win it all. Good call, me!

Anyway, I came upon an article that tickled my fancy (I feel like I have to shower after saying that). The NBA had just banned a shoe. Go ahead, say that out loud. You feel weird, don’t you? Apparently, a company by the name of Athletic Propulsion Labs has created a shoe that increases your vertical leap and the NBA has said ‘nah-uh’ to that.

The league has some old-timey rule that says shoes cannot give an unfair advantage

to competition.

First of all, that company sounds like it should be based on the moon in the year 2500, not in California in the year now. Secondly, what type of advantage are we talking about?

APL’s website explains that it has created technology called Load N’ Launch that sits in the front of the shoe that can make you jump higher. That sounds like something that can increase my negative vertical leap. I could finally jump over a phonebook. Hooray!

A lot of the site seems kind of insane, though. They use phrases like “The Science of Jumpology” and then they use this gem: “Thermoplastic Urethane Load ‘N Launch shank.” We get it, you guys would totally dominate at Scrabble.

Made-up words and craziness aside, the APL claims that their shoe has increased test subjects jump heights by up to 3.5 inches, which sounds pretty incredible. Just remember that this is not an average, though.

Anyone can buy a pair of these space shoes by the way. They’ll run you for $300. Don’t sweat it; you can buy some of their other products as well, such as a $35 T-shirt. Who needs to eat, right?

Basically, I think about this whole shoe business in two ways.

Firstly, I find it bonkers (yes, I’m using another word for ‘insane’ in this column) that we have come to a point in life where shoes can be banned. I know it’s not the first time things have been banned in sports. The aluminum bat in pro baseball comes to mind.

Shoes just seem so benign to me, I guess. It’s weird that the term ‘performance enhancing’ can now be placed directly in front of a shoe.