Nike Introduces $350 Self-Lacing Shoes Aimed at Basketball Players

Following the introduction of the Hyper Adapt 1.0 self-tying shoes, Nike today announced the new Adapt BB shoes that, yes, tie themselves. Inspiration for these shoes stems from Back to the Future where Marty McFly (played by the great Michael J. Fox) wears a similar pair when he visits the year 2015. Nike promised they’d eventually become a real product regular people can buy, and finally, in 2019, they’ve proven they kept their promise.

Image: Nike

With the Adapt BB, Nike says its shoes can loosen up and tighten with their companion app that will launch on iOS and Android. That’s great for average Joes and Janes, but to get the most out of the feature, Nike is targeting basketball players. During a game, a player’s feet can begin to swell due to increased blood flow. Timeouts, gameplay, and resting on the side bench can all have different effects on your feet, and Nike says the Adapt BB are perfect for quickly adjusting the tightness of your footwear.

“When a player steps into the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to keep the foot snug,” said Nike in a press release today. “The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to that of a standard parachute cord) to secure the foot throughout a range of movement.

“That’s where the brain, or FitAdapt tech, kicks in. 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. For example, during a timeout, a player can loosen the shoe before tightening it up as they re-enter the game. In a forthcoming feature, they can even prescribe a different tightness setting for warm-ups. Plus, players can opt into firmware updates for the FitAdapt technology as they become available, sharpening the precision of fit for players and providing new digital services over time.”

Image: Nike

For ultimate convenience, Nike includes two buttons on the side of one of the shoes to quickly change the tightness of the Adapt BBs to a level you’ve already programmed.

Of course, whenever you shove a ton of technology into shoes, people are gonna question whether they can hold up to real-world conditions like puddles, various terrains, and not-so-ideal weather patterns. According to Nike, the company put the Adapt BBs through a number of tests, including 30,000 impact pulses at 780 pounds of force, 2,900 continuous lacing cycles, 5,000 cycles of flexing from left to right, a dousing of nearly 80 gallons of water for three whole minutes, 300 miles of running, high temperatures of 140-degrees at 85 percent humidity, and even 40,000 button presses. So yeah, I’m gonna assume they’ll be fine for everyday walking and running.

Image: Nike

In addition, Nike says they’ll continuously update the Adapt BBs to better fit lifestyles led by basketball players and even accommodate for athletes of other sports. The company also says a wireless charging pad will be included with the shoes to charge them which, to be honest, is my personal favorite part of this entire story.

Nike says the Adapt BB basketball shoes will go on sale next month. At $350, they should also be relatively affordable for those who take basketball seriously.