For someone who loves both sports and technology – this was the new of the week. Nike announced Adapt BB – a connected, self-lacing shoe. Kind of like in Back To The Future 2 😉
Using a lacing technology called FitAdapt, you can adjust to find the perfect fit using the mobile app or buttons on the shoe. You can also program preferred settings in advance. The first Adapt shoe is made for basketball – in this case the player can input different settings depending on different moments of a game. According to Jayson Tatum, one of the first players to test Adapt BB “it fits l like a glove. It’s better than laces. There’s no movement in there and it’s very secure”.
For now, the biggest issue with these shoes is that you still need to program a preset or press the button do tighten or loosen the shoes, but the ultimate goal of Nike is to create shoes that will adjust to the athletes needs automatically, in real time.
That’s when it becomes interesting for runners and triathletes (especially these with very narrow feet, like myself, who have troubles finding shoes that fit really well…). Our feet change during a marathon, they often swell and the shoes become too tight, but lacing them looser means, obviously, loosing time. Even if most triathletes are doing quite well with elastic laces, the tightness doesn’t alway feel optimal.
Also I imagine, that Nike will not end with just automatically adjusting the fit of the shoes. With the data they collect, they could also identify your running style, speed, surface, temperature and adjust to it, following the dream of Nike’s VP Design John Hoke, who hopes “your shoes will become symbiotic to your own body, always reacting to your state, and making sure you take every stride with strength”.