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The 25 Best Independent Sneaker Brands

21. APL (Athletic Propulsion Labs)

Founded: 2010

Started by the sons of a founder of L.A. Gear, APL wasted no time in making headlines when their initial $300 Concept model — featuring their proprietary "Load 'N Launch" technology — was banned by the NBA. Independent testers have been unsure how much the tech actually helped, but the APL name was made. The new Concept 2 launched (no pun intended) in June for $175.

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