It’s only four years after we were supposed to have them – according to Back to the Future 2, anyway – but Nike have finally revealed a pair of trainers which feature self-tying ‘power laces’.
The shoes, called the Nike Adapt BB, are specifically designed for basketball players, and they can be tightened or loosened with the touch of a button on a smart phone.
The new trainers are set to go on sale in the US on February 17, and will cost $350 (£272).
However, despite being aimed at basketball players for now (not that it’ll stop any non-basketball-playing trainer enthusiasts), the company has promised the ‘power lace’ technology will be used for other trainers in the future.
According to Nike, wearers will be able to programme different settings for their shoes, such has how the laces are tied and how tightly they are done up, and will be able to switch from, for example, a basketball setting, to a more comfortable setting using their phones.
To power themselves, the shoes do need recharging every now and again, but they come with a charging mat, MailOnline reports.
Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation, said:
We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put 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.
The Nike Adapt BB works by having a custom motor and gear train inside the shoe, which will sense the tension needed by the wearer’s foot, before adjusting itself accordingly.
The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is said to be able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to a standard parachute cord), to secure the foot in place.
Nike worked with professional basketball players, including Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, to help finalise the design.
Being one of the first athletes to wear the shoe and being picked as a representative of the future of Nike basketball means a lot.
That the app allows the ability to put the shoe on and touch the button, change the colours, see the percentage on the battery…it’s just cool.
Introducing Nike Adapt BB. Power laces for the perfect fit.
— Nike (@Nike) January 15, 2019
Ever since Back to the Future 2 (which was released in 1989), Nike have teased self-lacing shoes. Michael J. Fox may have a few pairs of his own kicking around, but us non-time travellers have had to wait for the technology to catch up.
Seems like it’s here now though, as Nike revealed they’ve come up with a motor small and light enough to fit inside the trainer’s midsole.
Using their app, wearers will be able to customise the coloured lights on the trainers, check the battery life, as well as switching between presets of lacing depending on what activity they are doing at the time.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.