There’s a new premium performance running shoe on the market, courtesy of APL.
The brand has delivered its new Streamline model, a tech-loaded look built with comfort, cushioning and speed in mind. With seven years of making shoes for runners, APL described the Streamline as its “purest and most purpose-built running shoe to date.”
“The running category has been one that we’ve been focused on since the release of our TechLoom Pro in 2014 and the most popular amongst our customers,” Adam Goldston, who founded APL with his brother Ryan, told FN. “We create shoes with movement in mind, and running is a key pillar of movement. Additionally, most people have at least one pair of running shoes, so globally it is a huge market that is only continuing to grow.”
The timing of the release couldn’t be more ideal, as the broader industry is benefitting from a running boom, a result of COVID-19 forcing people to find ways outside of the gym to stay fit.
According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s 2021 Topline Report, 50.7 million people ran in the U.S. in 2020, a 1.2% increase year-over-year from 50.1 million 2019.
What’s more telling is the frequency at which people ran. SFIA found that last year there were 26.2 million core runners (people who ran more than 50 times). That’s a 4.5% increase over 2019. And the report revealed running was in the top 10 among almost every age group — from as young as 6 and as old as 64 — for activities Americans intend to participate in during the next 12 months.
Although the running boom is real, Adam Goldston said it did not impact APL’s release schedule, or the rollout of the Streamline. He did say, however, that the last year showed the company that it has been on the right track all along.
“If the last year showed us anything, it’s that people want to invest in running shoes that can be used across many aspects of their life that don’t sacrifice aesthetic for performance and vice versa,” Adam Goldston said.
He also stated that 2020 revealed new possibilities for how the brand delivers product, which includes its stylish performance running releases.
“In terms of frequency of releases, we have always released four seasons a year that have a different overarching theme for the collection, but in 2020 we started doing website and store exclusives, and they performed incredible,” Adam Goldston said. “Last year we grew over 100% year on year and this year we are growing at a very fast rate as well, and one of the key drivers for that is our exclusive program through our own channels.”
APL delivered the Streamline, a stylish shoe built for the road, with multiple new proprietary technologies. “At APL, every shoe starts with function first and foremost, and performance falls under the umbrella of function,” Ryan Goldston explained. “[The Streamline is] a reiteration of our performance heritage and another step in solidifying ourselves as the world leaders in luxury performance.”
The shoe comes equipped with uppers featuring APL AeroLux, which is a combination of materials paired to offer both performance and comfort. It utilizes a lightweight and breathable woven textile with thin support layers and vector flow lines for airflow around the foot, as well as to reduce drag. Also, it includes APL Soufflé sockliners, created to offer another layer of cushioning.
To ensure the shoe is ready to handle lots of miles on the road, APL also equipped the Streamline with its latest midsole cushioning compound, dubbed APL FutureFoam. The company said the tech was developed over the past two years and made to offer compression, rebound and energy return. The desired effect of the midsole, APL said, is to offer the step-in comfort of a recovery shoe but the performance of a distance runner.
The midsole features horizontal channels on the surface “to make each stride smoothly flow through the air,” and the look is completed with a traction-focused and lightweight two-piece rubber outsole. Additional tech in the shoe includes a slanted shank plate to encourage forward motion upon foot strike, 3D molded heel padding and microfiber collar edges for comfort.
The APL Streamline is available now in several colorways for men and women via Athleticpropulsionlabs.com with a $300 price tag. The look can also be purchased at the brand’s flagship store at The Grove in Los Angeles and with select retailers, including Nordstrom.
Looking ahead, Adam confirmed there’s more to come in the run category for APL, including updates to existing looks and more silhouettes.
“The response to the Streamline has been absolutely incredible, so we will have more Streamlines coming this holiday as well as new Breeze, Bliss and Wave [styles],” he said. “[Additionally], we have another incredible running silhouette coming in 2022 that we are certain will be a massive success with APL fans.”