Wearables

Nike drops the price for its first self-lacing basketball shoes

Nike's new HyperAdapt sneakers are expected to arrive in Spring 2019 (Northern Hemisphere)
Nike's new HyperAdapt sneakers are expected to arrive in Spring 2019 (Northern Hemisphere)
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Nike's HyperAdapt sneakers, from behind
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Nike's HyperAdapt sneakers, from behind
Nike's new HyperAdapt sneakers are expected to arrive in Spring 2019 (Northern Hemisphere)
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Nike's new HyperAdapt sneakers are expected to arrive in Spring 2019 (Northern Hemisphere)
Nike's new HyperAdapt sneakers will light up in blue as they adjust their fit
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Nike's new HyperAdapt sneakers will light up in blue as they adjust their fit
They started as special edition sneakers modeled on Marty McFly’s high-tops from Back to the Future II, in 2011  but bit-by-bit Nike’s self-lacing sneakers are edging closer to something the average Joe could own
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They started as special edition sneakers modeled on Marty McFly’s high-tops from Back to the Future II, in 2011  but bit-by-bit Nike’s self-lacing sneakers are edging closer to something the average Joe could own

They started as special edition sneakers modeled on Marty McFly's high-tops from Back to the Future II in 2011, but thread-by-thread Nike's self-lacing sneakers are edging closer to something the average Joe could own. The company has shared some details on a new design of its HyperAdapt shoes for 2019, which have been given a fresh look and a much friendlier price tag.

Numerous iterations of Nike's self-lacing sneakers have emerged over the years. After an initial run of 1,500 Mag sneakers were auctioned off for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Nike went on to introduce the first pair featuring its so-called "power laces" in 2015.

This refers to a responsive system claimed to react to the wearer's motion and dynamically adjusts the tightness on the fly. This technology then found its way into the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers in 2016, which are regular enough sneakers that retailed for a non-regular price of US$720.

The brand new HyperAdapt sneakers aren't the product of a dramatic redesign, though the lacing mechanism now goes by the name of E.A.R.L., or Electric Adaptable Reaction Lacing. Like the earlier versions, this technology is said to electronically adjust the shoe's fit, tweaking the lacing to fit the contours of the foot on the fly.

Nike's HyperAdapt sneakers, from behind
Nike's HyperAdapt sneakers, from behind

EA.R.L. is activated automatically as soon as the wearer slides their foot into the sneaker, with a sensor built into the shoe responding to the presence of a heel and setting off a string of lights built into the back of the shoe. These blue lights will continue flashing as long E.A.R.L. searches for the perfect fit.

While the early examples of Nike's self-lacing sneakers were conceived with collectors and enthusiasts in mind, the newest version appear to be aimed a little closer toward the mass market. CEO Mark Parker said in a quarterly earnings call that the shoe will be launched as a "new adaptive performance platform in basketball at the $350 pricepoint," with the shoe to arrive sometime in (Northern Hempisphere) Spring 2019, according to Sole Collector.

Granted, that's still a few tiers above what many would be willing to pay for a pair of sneakers, but might just be close enough to lure in the odd basketballer looking to lift their game.

Sources: Nike, Sole Collector

6 comments
sugamari
video or it dint happened.
Rupe
Self-lacing shoes would be fantastic for the elderly and infirm who struggle to reach their feet. Presumably they unlace too...
FabianLamaestra
I love technology and this shoe seems great, but everybody knows that you can easily tie your shoes so they are tight enough to not fall off , and loose enough so that you can slide into them with little effort. I've been doing this for 40 years and I've never lost a shoe even while playing rigorous sports.
paul314
Certainly within the range of people who buy celebrity-branded footwear.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Most of us elderly go with Velcro or Merrills. Does the same thing and we can buy it.
ljaques
Wow, =only= $350 for a pair of sneakers? I could buy 2 Wally World bicycles and 2 pair of sneakers/hiking/biking shoes for that price, leaving enough to take my cycling date out to lunch/dinner. The "perfect fit" is likely a marketing schemer's dream as well. But given Nike's recent political infection, who buys their shoes any more?