words & images // Brandon Richard
Almost three years after launching the controversial, NBA-banned Concept 1, Athletic Propulsion Labs returns this summer with its third flagship model — the Concept 3.
With the vertical-increasing Load 'N Launch technology firmly established as a game-changer, APL shifted focus toward the shoe's construction. This time around, the Concept features a seamlessly bonded FloZone upper, providing breathability and lockdown support where needed. Synthetic suede overlays and molded high-density collar padding enhance ankle support and heel lockdown.
To accommodate a variety of foot shapes, there's an internal open-air mesh bootie that gives wearers a sock-like fit.
Continuing, compression grooves in the midsole work along with the high-performance sockliner and performance shank plate for efficient cushioning and responsive court feel. In conjunction with the newly developed insole, Load 'N Launch provides enhanced comfort and an increase in vertical leap.
Finishing things off, a durable non-slip rubber outsole with segmented herringbone surrounded by orbital grooves for improved traction.
Below is a look at the unboxing of the Concept 3 in Green/Black, a color scheme that has become a staple look for APL. Immediate reactions: the shoe is noticeably lighter than its predecessors with the new FloZone construction (APL puts it at 14.7 ounces). The midsole feels extremely sturdy to touch and Load 'N Launch is more concealed than ever. When looking at the Concept 1 vs. Concept 3 comparison shots, you can see the progress that's been made in creating a sleeker, more aerodynamic silhouette.
After taking a look at the detailed photos, head over to athleticpropulsionlabs.com to purchase the Concept 3 in Green/Black, Black/Grey and Silver/Black-Magma.