Former NBA Player John Starks and Dr. Barry Katz Introduce a New Shoe for Basketball Players

The game of basketball can do serious damage to your ankles if you don’t protect them correctly. After years of playing the sport, Dr. Barry Katz decided to create a shoe that would add more protection so that athletes can prevent injury. With the support of NBA great John Stark, Katz is hoping to revolutionize the athletic shoe industry. –amir shaw

Dr. Katz, when did you decide to create your own shoe?

I am a former college basketball player, and I had a serious ankle sprain during my playing days. I became a doctor, and I wanted to find out why players sprained their ankles so often playing basketball. I got with a few podiatrists and wanted to figure how we could incorporate new technology to protect athletes.

John, how were you introduced to the shoe?

A friend introduced me to the shoes. I looked at the product and once I saw what it can do, I wanted to be a part of it. The shoes can prevent your ankle from rolling over. It’s also a very comfortable shoe, and it allows you to make the movements that most shoes don’t allow without potential injury.

Dr. Katz, what is the story behind the shoe’s unique design?

We found out through research that barefoot people usually don’t sprain their ankle. You generally land on something uneven, and the shoe rolls and the ankle sprains. Currently, shoes do nothing to protect the ankle. We decided to simulate a barefoot condition, and we have features that prevent rollovers when you land. No other shoe on the market has addressed ankle safety.

John, as a former NBA player, how can this shoe benefit those who are in the league?

This shoe will give guys the security and comfort on the court. Playing in the NBA gives me credibility. I played, and that’s very important to other athletes. I’ve never seen a shoe like this.

How has the response been thus far, Dr. Katz?

You have to build a product that works. It’s also about building a brand. We have excellent media coverage, and John Starks has done an excellent job in getting the name out. We’ve done a lot of social networking, and we are letting basketball players test the shoes. We are getting a tremendous response.

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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