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Shoes to Improve Your Game

To test the latest in hard-court tech, we strapped a quartet of performance kicks to the feet of one hoop-happy editor to see if they added inches to his air. (As a nod to our ninth-grade chem teacher, we took a control reading: Our tester registered 13 inches in his workday slip-on Vans.)

Athletic Propulsion Labs Concept 1, $150

These kicks were banned by the NBA for giving an “undue competitive advantage.”

Tester’s vert: 12 inches. Despite a noticeable spring, these sneaks decreased his lift an inch.
Tester says: “So springy I felt like Inspector Gadget in these joints.”

Adidas AdiZero Rose 2.5, $110

Flip-flop fans may argue, but these 11-ouncers are the lightest B-ball shoes we’ve ever tested.

Tester’s vert: 14 inches. The weight made get­ting up easy, and the sole softened the landing.
Tester says: “Lighter and more powerful than a unicorn fart.”

Air Jordan 2012 Deluxe, $223

These babies—made by a tiny startup and endorsed by a no-name former player—feature interchangeable soles and booties that players can customize for comfort.

Tester’s vert: 14½ inches. Wow, a man really can gain inches overnight!
Tester says: “I could outjump the real MJ in these! If someone kneecapped him first.”

Reebok John Wall ZigEncore, $115

Official shoe of master Wizard John Wall

Tester’s vert: 15 inches. The highest our man got. (Please tell that to his parole officer.)
Tester says: “So comfortable, like slippers. I will wear them when I go back to the office and nap at my desk.”

Throwback Sneakers
Be a SupraMan