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One thing you should know about me is that I love fitness. Specifically running, but I also incorporate pilates and strength training into my six-day-per-week fitness regimen. My love for running led me to train for a half-marathon at the start of September 2022. Roughly a month and a half later, I achieved my goal, and I could not do it without the proper footwear. And as someone who moves their body as much as I do, I can say that I've tried just about every sneaker brand on the market. The one brand that sticks out to me, and has changed the quality of my physical performance, is Athletic Propulsion Labs, commonly known as APL.
You've seen the brand all over the internet as it’s well-loved by influencers, celebrities, and sports professionals for both its quality and design. In fact, the brand's innovative and industry-changing technology got its Concept 1 basketball shoe featuring Load N' Launch® technology banned by the NBA. If that doesn't tell you the elite level of quality and craftsmanship that goes into every design released by APL, managing partner NJ Falk might be able to convince you. "Whenever we create a product, we make sure that it will perform at the highest level, is extremely comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing, as everything we do is rooted in design, function, innovation, and technology," she explains.
Yet, even with this innate desire to consistently be a pioneer in the athletic performance wear industry, APL prioritizes the community that continues to embrace and support each groundbreaking collection released. "From the beginning, our mission was to deliver very personalized, white glove experiences and communications," begins NJ. She continues to explain that it's little moments in the lives of APL wearers that push co-founders Adam and Ryan Goldston to work tirelessly to make shoes that "help people feel healthy, strong, and confident as part of their daily routine."
I already owned three pairs of APL shoes, but the brand graciously sent over a couple of new shoes to test out for this piece. The first is the brand's beloved TechLoom Wave in White/Confetti ($245), which is a D2C exclusive colorway. The other is the signature APL TechLoom Big Logo Slides in Black ($120). To say that they have quickly become staples in my wardrobe is an understatement at best.
Optimal Performance In a Lightweight Design
Most running shoes available today are incredibly stiff, and it makes sense, at least in theory. The rigid design keeps the foot in a fixed position, allowing for an easy stride and stability on potentially uneven paths. The downfall, however, is that some runners crave a bit more flexibility in the upper part of the shoe to provide more comfort, foot articulation, and lateral and medial support. That's where the TechLoom Wave, quite literally, saves the day. The recently designed high-elastic 3D stretch upper of the shoe gives the foot the space to arch and flex with each step, maximizing convenience without sacrificing performance.
The weather near me has been a bit wet recently, which means I’ve resorted to treadmill runs. For the past several days, I've opted for the TechLoom Waves to see how they feel on the harsher surface of the machine. And when I say I wasn't experiencing the typical thudding impact on my joints during my strides, I mean it. In these training shoes, I felt incredibly light on my feet and as though I could actually run faster in my interval training. In fact, I maxed out at 8.5 miles per hour on my final round. It was a personal record I had yet to achieve. Perhaps it was the forefront crash pad or the newly developed midsole optimizing my performance, or maybe it was the excitement of a new pair of kicks.
Regardless, something else I love about this shoe design is the laces, which are another critical part of picking running shoes. Laces help with stabilization that keeps the foot locked down into your shoe. The pattern in the TechLoom offers complete customization, so anyone that prefers a looser fit can adjust them quickly. These are definitely the type of shoe that transitions from performance to streetwear, given their performance, functionality, and aesthetics.
Casual and Comfortable
I don't wear shoes that show my toes because I have wider feet. So as you can imagine, the idea of these slip ons was a bit intimidating. Still, as someone who constantly runs out the door and doesn't want to fuss with putting on actual shoes, I knew I needed a pair to get me through. I also wanted to experience offerings from the brand outside of what they might be best known for to see if the quality remained consistent throughout the products.
The TechLoom Big Logo Slides exceeded my expectations, making me crave summer weather year-round. Yes, they are that good. Incredibly soft, durable, and bouncy, these simply-designed slides are full of the brands' innovative technology. From an antimicrobial footbed that literally molds to your foot as you walk to the mesh strap that offers flexibility and won't dig into the top of your foot, these sandals are a slipper you can wear outdoors. The sizing runs a bit small on these, so I recommend sizing up. I typically wear a 10.5, and the size 11 is on the verge of being too perfect of a fit. Nonetheless, I cannot say enough good things about the entire TechLoom Collection.
It's safe to say that if APL wasn't on your radar before, it should be now. The brand's commitment to shattering the athletic footwear industry standard is apparent not just in its products but in the manner they conduct itself with its community. Something NJ told me continues to recite itself over and over again in my mind. "What makes it so special is so much of this dialogue centers around the joyous moments of new and returning members of our community discovering and embracing our athletic footwear," she emphasizes.
As a repeat customer well before writing this review, I can attest that Athletic Propulsion Labs is worth every penny and that every moment spent wearing them makes life feel elevated and inspired.
5 More Reasons to Love APL:
1. The brand offers extensive size options that work for both narrow and wide feet.
2. The brand partners with multiple organizations like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, BABY2BABY, and Shelter Partnership.
3. They offer several discounts for healthcare workers, veterans, active military, and educators.
4. In light of the higher price point, the company offers AfterPay as a checkout option.
5. They are a US-based brand and develop all technologies in-house at its California headquarters.