Hands-On with Nike’S self-lacing, app-controlled sneaker of the future
We knew they were coming, but Nike has officially introduced its first self-lacing basketball shoes, the Adapt BB. These new sneakers are designed to provide a “truly customized fit for every basketball player,” according to the company, thanks to a power-lacing system called FitAdapt that can be adjusted manually or with a smartphone app.
The sportswear giant says that over the course of a basketball game, a player’s foot can expand almost a half-size, which can affect their comfort level and ultimately have an impact on their movement and performance on the court. That’s the problem Nike is looking to solve with Adapt BB.
How The Shoe Works
When a player steps into the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to keep the foot snug. The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to that of a standard parachute cord) to secure the foot throughout a range of movement.
That’s where the brain, or FitAdapt tech, kicks in. By manual touch or by using the Nike Adapt app on a smartphone, players can input different fit settings depending on different moments of a game. For example, during a timeout, a player can loosen the shoe before tightening it up as they re-enter the game.
In a forthcoming feature, they can even prescribe a different tightness setting for warm-ups. Plus, players can opt into firmware updates for the FitAdapt technology as they become available, sharpening the precision of fit for players and providing new digital services over time.”
How It Was Tested
Similar to the HyperAdapt 1.0, the Nike Adapt BB was put through a gauntlet of tests, including impact tests, intense temperatures, end-of-life tests that lasted tens of thousands of cycles long, waterproof tests to simulate the sweatiest feet and more.