Last year, Nike turned the Air MAG shoes, that Marty McFly sports in Back to the Future, into a reality. They were pricey, yes, but available in limited quantities and sold exclusively to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease research. Now the shoe company is bringing that totally futuristic technology to the masses.
Nike has announced their upcoming auto-lacing sneakers dubbed HyperAdapt 1.0. The shoes were designed by Tinker Hatfield with assistance from Tiffany Beers. While they might not be a replica of McFly’s shoes, they actually look like an upgraded pair of traditional sneakers.
Though they’re not the Air MAG, these new shoes uses the same lace-tightening technology. Rather than having long laces or loud Velcro strap, the HyperAdapt Trainer 1.0 has a sensor in the heel that adjusts the sneaker’s fit automatically when you have stepped into the shoes, while you can tighten or loosen the grip with two buttons on the side. Where’s all the hardware? All the mechanics are hidden under the arch.
The shoes are battery-powered and take around three hours to fully charge with the accompanying charging device. According to a Nike spokesperson, each charge lasts approximately two weeks. Though no pricing or date availability has been announced, Nike plans to have the shoes ready for the 2016 holiday season. One catch though. If you want to buy a pair, you need to sign up for a Nike+ account and wait for updates. The Nike+ app is free and will be available to download in June. The app will also give you access to exclusive products and events. The shoes will come in three colors – white, grey, and black and provide the ability to tighten or loosen your shoes quickly.
The HyperAdapt 1.0 are certainly cool, even innovative, but Nike isn’t the only company working on high tech shoes. Puma AG is currently working on a button-controlled lacing shoe due out sometime this year–Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt demonstrated a prototype on his Instagram account last fall. Even with limited technology, shoemakers have been working on ways to improve footwear over the years. In the late 1980s, Reebok introduced the popular athletic shoes, Reebok Pump. These shoes featured a button on the tongue that inflated pairs of the sneaker for a better fit when pressed. Versions of the Pump for training and running are still sold today.
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