If you have ever played the game of basketball you are well aware of how many ankle injuries occur on the court. I have experienced these injuries myself and know how painful and long-lasting they can be. With the development of so many technologies in the sports world it has now become time for design to help reduce ankle injuries on basketball courts all over the world. Enter Ektio. Yeah, That’s what I thought when I heard name Ektio? Why the name Ektio? The company’s name comes from the Greek words “ektor” and “alexio,” meaning “defend” and “protect.” And, according to Ektio, that’s what their Wraptor and Post Up shoes can do!
Bullz-Eye had the opportunity to test out the newest technology in basketball shoes and, I must say, we were impressed with what we learned. But before we get into the shoe testing here are some things we found out. We learned that sprained ankles cost around $3,000 per injury in healthcare alone which equates to a $4 billion economic loss in the U.S. alone, every single year. Those are big numbers, and wait until you hear what it costs the NBA! According to retired NBA All-Star guard John Starks, “In 2009, NBA teams lost $15 million in revenues alone from this specific injury. It happens every year. This is the first shoe I’ve ever seen that could change all that. I have had many ankle sprains in my career and they were debilitating, painful and made getting back to the court very difficult. The technology that Ektio has created in order to protect players from rolling their ankles or the severe injuries that result when players jump and land on another player’s foot is remarkable. I wish that Ektio was available when I played. This will help players stay healthy and prolong their careers. I believe so much in what Ektio is doing that I’ve joined the company.” Well, After learning all of this from Starks and the following from Ektio’s Dr. Barry Kratz, it gets you pretty excited about the Ektio revolution. You see, Dr. Katz knows how ankle sprains affect basketball players because his son was suffering from ankle injuries while playing basketball. “Clinical studies we did at Drexel University showed significantly less ankle inversion compared to a standard basketball shoe,” said founder Dr. Barry Katz, “yet the shoe did not inhibit any of the useful motions of the ankle needed to play basketball at the highest level. In preliminary studies, it was shown to be superior to ankle braces. A second study at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC showed that despite the anchoring of the ankle to the shoe, useful ankle motions in activities necessary for basketball (running, jumping and cutting) were not inhibited compared to a standard basketball shoe with and without tape and compared to barefoot athletes. Our ability to protect against shoe rollover inversions while, at the same time not adversely affecting athletic performance, is the key to the product’s revolutionary benefits.”
Since the NBA lost approximately $15 million in 2009 to ankle related injuries and the fact that the Ektio’s will cost $199 per pair, look for the big boys to be a first-line testing ground for these new shoes. The price is higher than most designer shoes but when you add in the cost of ankle braces, taping your ankles (which doesn’t last very long) and the pain and costs of potential ankles injuries, the Ektios make sense.
Ektio technology is what separates these basketball shoes from anything else on the market . The tech consists of built in straps within the wall of the shoe that anchor the ankle to prevent rollover injuries. In addition, it incorporates “anti rollover bumpers” on the outside of the sole. It doesn’t sound like much but I’ve learned through the years that most of the best ideas are precise and simple things that change industries.
Ok, You’ve heard all about the technology but you’re probably asking, “How do they look on your feet?” When I opened the box and saw the Ektio Post Ups in black and royal blue I was blown away! These shoes have a very strong looking stance but also a very hip, urban and clean look that stood out from any basketball shoes I had seen or worn in the past. The Ektios are sharp and, regardless of how well they work, we all know that basketball shoes need to look good or we aren’t wearing them!
The Post Up three-quarter-top shoe comes in a white and red upper with a white mid sole, red bumpers, white mesh walls with red underlay and an action leather toe with red laces. The second Post Up which we tested came in black and Royal blue with an action leather suede toe, black mid sole with blue striping, blue mesh walls with black underlay and blue laces and bumpers. The Post Up also comes in all black and all white styling. The other design (which I certainly expect more choices to follow) is the high top Wraptor that features action leather with opposing color and quilted stitching, perforated leather details with opposing color underlays and patent leather toe and ankle accents. The Wraptor comes in two color combinations: a black and red upper with black mid sole, black patent leather toe, red bumpers and laces. The grey and Carolina blue Wraptor features a blue patent leather toe, the addition of mesh-detailed walls, a grey midsole and blue bumpers and laces.
Conclusion: When you first put on the Ektio you need to read the instructions. I’m not kidding here as there are two straps, one that goes over the tongue and the other strap goes under the tongue. When your feet enter the Ektio Post Up you immediately feel the built in ankle support and get the feeling that your ankle is secure, like when you slip into a ski boot. When you strap the Ektio up you know this is something special, and the strong support and the “anti rollover bumpers” work like a charm. Ektio makes it near impossible to roll your ankles! The Ektio is lightweight, stylish and offers the safety that basketball players could only dream about before their arrival. On the court hooping it up, the Ektio Post Up was light weight and an overall superb baskbetball shoe. You really gain more confidence in your game and are willing to go the extra mile knowing you have a solid base to protect you from a simple ankle rollover that could keep you off the court for months.
The Ektios officially went on sale this month (November 2010) and you can find them at www.ektio.com and probably at many other sporting good stores once the word gets out. Hopefully the Ektio brand will be in the football, baseball and soccer world’s product lists very soon so we can save more ankles! When shopping for your team’s baskeball shoes or individual shoes, remember that ankle injuries are the #1 orthopedic injury in the world and Ektio has arrived to do something about that with their stylish and revolutionary basketball shoes!