Before I cover everything else: yes they do help. Player Profile: 6'2" 155lbs 1-2 hybrid. Generally end up having to run the point in pickup games. Slashing guard that likes to finish around the rim or shoot midrange. Without the APL's, my vertical was recently measured at 36" (2 feet jump off a 3 step drop) Other shoes I've played in: almost everything.... haha. Most of my court time has been spent in Jordan XIV's, XIX's, XX3's, Lebron IV's, VII's, Flightposite I's, KD2's, KD3's, Hyperdunks, and Kobe IV's Packaging/Extras: 10/10 Opening up the box, the packaging is impressive. The box is very high quality and everything fits properly. It has a sliding box similar to some Lebrons, and the outer box is tight to the inside box, unlike some of the similarly boxed Lebrons and Nikes. They also come with a free gym bag which is high quality. Comfort/Fit: 9/10 First time putting these one, they fit pretty tight. They almost bordered a foamposite shoe for snug fit. I don't know if that was due to the carbon fiber mesh uppers or what, but they were snug. However, they fit pretty true to size. The toe boxes had enough room but weren't huge like some Lebrons. I normally wear a 13 or 13.5 in Nike/Jordans depending on the cut and the 13 in APL's was perfect. Support: 9.5/10 The APL's have a GREAT lockdown feel. Once laced properly, my foot felt like it was going nowhere. I've had issues over the last few months with the inside of my left arch blistering with my KD2's, and after two long sessions with the APL's, these issues were gone. Cushioning: 8.5/10 The APL's had good cushioning but it wasn't mindblowing. Its blend between courtfeel and cushioning was almost ideal. Not a luxury car like the XIX SE's but still enough to where your feet don't hurt after 3 hours of ball. Breathability: 7.5/10 Like a majority of basketball shoes, the Concept 1's didn't breath well. The carbon fiber mesh uppers are not ideal for breathability, but they didn't get super hot either (like suede XXI's). They were middle of the pack. Quality: 10/10 These are by far the highest quality basketball shoes I've ever owned. It's hard to explain unless you've seen them in person or worn them, but they're made right with great materials. I see these taking a TON of abuse before even starting to break down. Traction: 7/10 This was the one big weak spot for the APL's. The traction was sub par especially compared to high end basketball shoes from Nike and Jordan. The sole pattern just doesn't allow for enough grip, especially on not perfect courts. Both facilities I played at had slick/dusty courts. I'm sure they're better performers on nice courts, but on average or below average courts, I experienced a lot of sliding. Vertical Increase and other Performance: 10/10 While I did not experience the 4-5" some people claim, I did get about 2" higher in them. Like I mentioned before, the courts were bad, so it is possible I could gain more in better courts and with some more time to adjust to them. Another thing I did notice is my legs were not tired at all after either session. I do not know if that is because of the spring effect, but I felt no fatigue either day, and I was playing pretty hard. Overall the APL Concept 1 is a great basketball. It does instantly increase your vertical and is the best constructed basketball shoe I've ever seen. Whether or not they're worth $195 is completely up to each consumer. However, so far I am satisfied with the purchase. I hope with the next model, APL improves the traction and breathability. Otherwise, they have one of if not the best basketball shoes available today. And just to show off a little, here's some pics of me dunking.