Nike has revealed its first power-lacing shoes, finally delivering on the futuristic tech first promised by Back to the Future II.
The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will go on sale before the end of the year and will work just like the fictitious Air Mag trainers sported by Marty McFly during his trip to 2015.
“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” explains Nike’s senior innovator Tiffany Beers. “Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”
The adaptive laces will also loosen when a button is pushed, enabling wearers to remove the shoes easily.
The technology was demonstrated on Twitter by ESPN Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell with a little hands-on video.
While some may be surprised Nike has chosen to debut the technology in shoes other than the Air Mag – which have been reissued a couple of times for charity in recent years – it’s clear this is bigger than a lame tie-in for a 30-year-old joke.
It might well be the future of athletic shoes.
The firm’s press release outlines the practical uses to the adaptive lacing tech and where it expects it will go in the future.
It adds: “
HyperAdapt wearers will also be able to make small adjustments without having to re-tie their laces in the middle of a run or during competition, by pressing the buttons housed on the shoe.
The company plans to build upon the platform with future innovations. The sportswear giant wants to reach a place where HyperAdapt products can automatically react by tightening and loosening the depending on what the athlete needs in real time.
Tinker Hatfield, the man behind the BTTFII designs, added: “Wouldn’t it be great if a shoe, in the future, could sense when you needed to have it tighter or looser? Could it take you even tighter than you’d normally go if it senses you really need extra snugness in a quick maneuver? That’s where we’re headed. In the future, product will come alive.”
The shoes will only be available to Nike+ members initially, so if you’re hoping to adopt early, you can sign up today.
The company said the new Nike+ app will arrive in June and will offer members access to exclusive products. Could the app also be used to tighten or loosen while out on a run? We’ll have to wait and see.