Final thoughts on Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom and Windchill

Run Oregon receives and tests running shoes from time to time. I posted some initial impressions on the APL Techloom and APL Windchill and  last month, and am now following up with my final thoughts.

APL Techloom

Company: Athletic Propulsion Labs
Shoe: APL Techloom Pro
Price: $140.00
Specs (from APL Website)

  • Men’s weight: 7.9
  • Heel-to-toe offset: 8mm
  • Revolutionary TechLoom upper construction is seamlessly woven from performance textiles resulting in a true one-piece upper for an exceptional fit.
  • Engineered into a single layer; support, breathability, flex and strength are all strategically designed and placed in key areas where each of these specific features are needed.
  • Midsole/outsole compound developed for direct ground contact, enabling the use of less rubber on the outsole, significantly reducing the weight of the shoes.
  • Propelium® is designed to maximize energy generation and provide superior comfort that will maintain midsole structural integrity longer than conventional EVA.
  • Inspired by the shape of a feather, the outsole incorporates natural motion flex grooves that react to every movement.

Final Thoughts: Even before running a single mile in the Techlooms, I had already put about 40 miles on them. How does that make sense?

One word: Disney.

Shortly after receiving these, my family and I took off for 5 days in Disneyland and Southern California. I figured that this would be the perfect opportune time to break them in and have a pair ready if I found time to run (note: I didn’t). If there is any way to get a full understanding of shoe comfort – Disneyland is definitely the way to go.

The final verdict is that these are one of the more comfortable pairs of shoes that I own – running or otherwise.

I found that they seemed to have a little narrower sole than most running shoes I have tried. It wasn’t uncomfortably narrow, but I remember feeling that I was walking on a small portion of the sides initially. As the days went on, and the miles progressively picked up walking between rides, this feeling went away and I was super pumped I had my Techlooms with me. I just craved putting them on my feet.

I continue to love the visual of the shoe as well, and have ended up rotating this in and out of my casual wear wardrobe. They just look great with a pair of jeans or shorts. I actually ended up wearing these on our recent vacation to Maui as well (where I actually did run). They were on my feet any time I wasn’t in sandals, and I loved that they saved me from having to pack an extra pair shoes in my luggage. Having already put a significant amount of non-running miles on them, I was eager to see how they held up to runs. I was not disappointed. They were flexible and held up great to a few elements – roads, beach, and rain (there were two hurricanes nearby when we traveled). They transitioned seamlessly between casual and running shoe, and I am very pleased I stumbled upon them.

APL Windchill

Shoe: APL Windchill
Price: $150.00
Specs (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.

Final Thoughts: The Windchills, unlike the Techlooms, took some getting used to. APL told us initially that it would be good to sample both pairs, as they have a different ride to them. While I understand I didn’t spend near the time breaking them in like I did the Techlooms, the Windchills just felt more rigid for the first few runs. However, after experimenting a little with the lacing (I ended up significantly loosening up my tying), and putting some miles on them, they started feeling a lot better on my feet. The inside of the shoe has an air mesh bootie to keep feet locked in. It definitely does that, and it appears that my tight lacing seemed to be putting more strain on my foot than was necessary.

Some reviews out there claim that the soles are extremely cushioned, but I didn’t necessarily get that feeling – at least not as much as in the Techloom or some other brands with super padded bottoms. But please don’t take that to mean that the Windchills are completely minimalistic and I can feel every tiny crack in the road. I place them somewhere on a 7.5 out of 10 on the cushion. This style also seems to be built for someone with a narrower foot, and those with really wide feet may not find these ideal.

Over time, I have starter feeling really good in these shoes and have enjoyed my runs in them since after the first few tries. Their “Load ‘N Launch” technology, which claims to promote faster runs with less energy, was difficult to judge. I will say that my last long-ish run in these (9 miles on the Springwater Trail) went supremely well. I felt dialed in and not nearly as tired as some of my lead up runs (which were a much slower pace as well). I couldn’t tell you if this is due to the technology, increased fitness capacity, cooler temperatures, or a combo of all three. But whatever it was, if my productivity continues like that, I will swear by this technology. I’m just not quite ready to go all in on that claim yet.

Thank you to APL for sending us some sample items for testing. Our opinions are always independent and unbiased reviews of the products we receive.
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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