First Impressions of Athletic Propulsions Labs’ Windchill running shoes


APL Windchill in Magma/Black

Run Oregon receives and tests running shoes from time to time. This initial post about the Windchill from Athletic Propulsion Labs.

Company: Athletic Propulsion Labs

Shoe: APL Windchill

Price: $150.00 on APL Webstore (Amazon Link too)

UntitledSpecs (from APL Website): 

  • Men’s weight: 9.9 ; Women’s weight: 7.4
  • Heel-to-toe offset: 8mm
  • Load ‘N Launch® technology is designed to make the user run faster and do so while exerting less energy.
  • FloZone upper construction allows unrestricted airflow throughout the entire shoe, offering a cool ride and extreme breathability.
  • Internal Fit System comprised of a full length open air mesh bootie keeps all foot shapes comfortable and locked in.
  • Compression Midsole is carved out in key areas to reduce overall weight while providing the perfect balance of cushioning and rebound.
  • Solid rubber outsole with integrated forefoot crashpad is engineered for midfoot strike to promote proper running form.

Initial Impressions:

Matt: It isn’t too often that you get to try a shoe that was banned by the NBA, right?! Though the ban was lifted shortly thereafter, the thought was that their Load ‘N Launch technology provided a competitive advantage. This technology has been refined and is described as such:

There are two phases in a runner’s gait cycle: the Stance Phase and the Swing Phase. The Stance Phase is when the runner’s foot is in contact with the ground, while the Swing Phase is when the runner’s foot is in the air. The patented Load ‘N Launch technology for running is specifically designed to enhance the “propulsion effect” at the toe-off phase of the gait cycle (in the Stance Phase) and reduce the amount of energy expended by the runner to achieve a given result.

The Load ‘N Launch device for running shoes is implanted in a forefoot cavity and specifically engineered with 6 compression springs, which compress during foot strike, begin to release during mid stance and then fully release during the final stage of the Stance Phase, which is toe-off or “propulsion”. In order to increase running speed an increase in force or pressure is required when the forefoot strikes the ground.

The Load ‘N Launch 6-spring running device is designed to maximize force by combining the exertion produced by the runner with the compression/release assistance of the 6-spring system.

I will be exploring the feel of these in more depth in a follow-up post. But from a simple initial wear, they felt very comfortable. The upper on the shoe is very light and there is a definitely ventilated and breathable quality to it. It does feel a little on the stiff side – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you like your shoes.

From a visual standpoint, the looks seemed pretty straightforward despite the bold color (there are other simpler color schemes available). It appears simply constructed with minimal “stuff” on the outside and all the while keeping the fanciness of their propelling technology on the inside. Can’t wait to check it out.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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