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The kicks of the future are here.
Footwear giant Nike introduced a new self-lacing basketball shoe Tuesday that promises to offer its wearers the perfect fit.
Known as the Nike Adapt BB, the smart shoe uses an advanced power-lacing system to allow you to adjust the tension either manually or from a smartphone app.
Introducing Nike Adapt BB. Power laces for the perfect fit.
— Nike (@Nike) January 15, 2019
According to Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation, the Adapt BB—the first shoe in its new Adapt line—was aimed at basketball players due to the demands they place on their shoes.
“During a normal basketball game the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience,” Avar said.
When initially putting on the shoes, a custom motor senses what level of tension is needed and adapts accordingly. From there on out, the shoe can be adjusted depending on the situation.
“By manual touch or by using the Nike Adapt app on a smartphone, players can input different fit settings depending on different moments of a game,” Nike states. “For example, during a timeout, a player can loosen the shoe before tightening it up as they re-enter the game.”
The accompanying app also lets owners change the color of LED lights placed within the sneakers. The shoes, which are charged wirelessly, will reportedly last up two weeks on a single charge.
Nike boasts that the sneakers will receive regular firmware updates as new features become available as well.
Given the intricacies and hardware involved, Nike says the Adapt BB are the most tested shoe in the company’s history.
Just like the HyperAdapt 1.0, Nike’s first go at self-lacing shoes, the Adapt BB were put through numerous tests, “including impact tests, intense temperatures, end-of-life tests that lasted tens of thousands of cycles long, waterproof tests to simulate the sweatiest feet and more.”
While the shoes are available for preorder today, the Adapt BB will officially go on sale for $350 on Feb. 17.
But the company says the Adapt BB are only the beginning. The Adapt line in the near future will focus in on other sports in order to offer the same technological advancements to a range of athletes.
“Nike Adapt BB is the first continually updated performance product from Nike due to the near-symbiotic relationship between the shoe’s digital app and the shoe’s opt-in firmware updates,” Nike says. “As the FitAdapt system hones the quality of fit in basketball, the next step will be to bring FitAdapt to other sports and lifestyle products, each with unique demands for fit in different environments.”
Mikael Thalen is a freelance journalist based in Seattle, covering all things technology, including social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.