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Impossible No More: Nike’s Self-Lacing Shoes Have Arrived

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We know, Back to the Future had them way back in 1985. But today we’re not talking about mythical shoes from a film or their ultra exclusive replicas in the Air Mag. Today we’re talking about Nike‘s HyperAdapt 1.0, the sporting brand’s first official venture into self-lacing sneaker territory.

“Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it,” says Tinker Hatfield. “We’re able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.”

And with that bold statement, Nike have rocketed ahead in the future sneaker game. The heart of the new shoe lies in its adaptive lacing technology taken straight out of the pages of Hollywood. It uses a combination of digital, electrical and mechanical technology to produce a shoe which can change the fit, performance and tension preferences depending on the individual.

The technology isn’t a one trick pony either. Performance appears to lie at the heart of this innovation as Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator and the project’s technical lead explains.

“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten. Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”

The latest adaptive lace system is also a win for serious athletes who require swift micro adjustments or suffer from pressure caused by over tightening during the heat of competition.

The Hyperadapt 1.0 came to fruition when Beers was investigating the mechanics after meeting Hatfield who himself dreamed of creating adaptive lacing shoes. What proceeded was not a replication of a pre-existing idea, but as “the first baby step to get to a more sophisticated place.”

The project would soon get the attention of Nike President and CEO Mark Parker who would help guide the design.

“It’s a platform,” Beers says, “something that helps envision a world in which product changes as the athlete changes.”

Both Hatfield and Beers agree that the potential of self-lacing technology for athletes is huge. He posed the question in a statement:  “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 Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available to Nike+ members only from the U.S holiday of 2016 and will come in three colours. To become a Nike+ member and sign up for notifications about the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, head to Nike.com.

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