Nike’s new “smart” self-lacing sneakers are here to take you back to the future
Footwear behemoth Nike has a history with self-lacing shoes that goes back to the ’80s, when Marty McFly wore a pair in Back to the Future 2. But starting today everyone can get in on the action.
On Tuesday morning, the brand announced a new self-lacing model—the Nike Adapt BB—a “smart” basketball shoe that is responsive to your foot and adjusts accordingly, giving you a perfect, custom fit. To test the limits of this, they chose to focus on a performance shoe—a basketball sneaker, because as the brand notes in a release, “a level of fit that feels comfortable at one point might feel constrictive just 24 minutes later.” The foot can apparently expand up to a half-size during a game, a circumstance that prompted Nike to challenge the idea of the perfect fit. “Because the needs of the foot change at any given time based on the sport, its duration and on specific movements, like a slashing cut to the basket, ‘perfect fit’ is a floating target.”
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Nike has long been obsessed with intelligent product design, and today’s release is the most fully realised example of that vision. Outfitted with a custom motor in the mid-sole that senses movement and weight, the shoe can adjust accordingly to varying weight and tension stimulus. There’s internal quad-axial material, which essentially molds to your foot shape, a cushlon foam midsole for maximum comfort, and power laces that lock in place at the push of a button. There’s also a downloadable app that allows you to save your favourite fits and control the colour of a mid-sole light, and, like your smartphone software, it will offer updates as new technological advancements are made.
Best of all, they look great, with a sleek design that’s a mix of futuristic dreaming and real-world pragmatism. The craziest part? The shoes aren’t some far-out fantasy or just-for-show concept; they’re available for preorder for the relatively reasonable price of $490.