New York City-based Ektio is continuing to strengthen its partnership with professional Slamball athletes.
Slamball players, whose full-contact hybrid sport of basketball played from trampolines puts them at risk for ankle sprains, started trying out Ektio shoes, which are designed to provide a high level of ankle support, at a major Slamball tournament held in Hangzhou, China, in August 2012.
During training camp and official game play at the tournament 36 players converted from their conventional footwear to Ektio shoes.
Players reported six ankle events during the 10 days of training camp before the swap and none in the last six days of camp or during the four days of high-intensity tournament play.
These were anecdotal observations, but the company plans to conduct a formal study, according to Slamball CEO Mason Gordon.
“We fully intend to study the application of the technology over time as it is more profoundly integrated into the sport. While it would be unlikely that Ektio can prevent all ankle injuries in the sport, we are very hopeful that the shoe technology can greatly improve ankle security in the game,” Mason said.
Ektio will be the exclusive shoe provider for all Slamball participants going forward, according to Ektio CEO Barry Katz, MD, an orthopedic radiologist who worked with two colleagues—an orthopedic surgeon and a podiatrist—to create the Ektio shoe and its ankle sprain prevention technology.
“So, whenever anyone participates in Slamball, whether professional or amatuer, they will be wearing the Ektio shoe,” Katz said.
Ektio released the Breakaway, its latest ankle support shoe, in February. Mason noted Ektio is also pursuing licensing opportunities to expand into different types of footwear and multiple international markets.