The 1989 sci-fi flick “Back to the Future Part 2” introduced to the world self-lacing sneakers. People were awed when they watched the movie’s main character Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) put on a pair of those and go hoverboarding. Nike turned it into reality in 2016 with the debut of HyperAdapt. With a price tag of $720, the HyperAdapts are quite possibly one of the most expensive items Nike’s ever released.
Nike remains optimistic on self-lacing and has announced that the technology will be back in Spring 2019, with a much lower price tag of $350.
On a call with investors in September, Nike CEO Mark Parker said that the self-lacing technology will likely become the norm for shoes and in the second generation of the HyperAdapt as well as Nike will be making it available in larger quantities.
Parker also said that athletes will wear the new HyperAdapts during real game action. This has long been a dream for the technology. When the first version was released, Tiffany Beers, the shoe’s former product lead, said that one day these shoes could really benefit pro athletes. For example, an NBA player laces his sneakers as tightly as he can so they don’t shift when he’s sprinting down the court. However, there’s a small problem, the shoes maintain their tightness throughout the game, during time on the bench or during breaks. The HyperAdapts can be easily loosened during downtime during a game and then put right back into place very easily.
Nike E.A.R.L. (Electric Adaptable Reaction Lacing) is the technology that makes self-lacing shoes possible. It electronically adjusts the lacing, pressure and fit to the contours of your foot.
The heel lights flash when the system starts tightening. When you see the blue glow, let E.A.R.L. do its thing.
What remains to be seen now is how closely they’ll resemble the original HyperAdapt. Nike’s been pretty clear that their goal has been dropping the price all along.