Nike has been trying to master ‘fit’ for years.
“Bill Bowerman’s original insight was that fit is the foundation of athletic performance,” says Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation . Locking an athlete’s foot down- while also providing flexibility and breath-ability necessary for optimal activity and durability was a massive process that led to innovations like Huarache and Flyknit. Then, in 2016, the Swoosh introduced Nike HyperAdapt 1.0- the first multipurpose performance shoe featuring automated ‘power lacing’. This was the first step to developing a performance shoe with truly ‘custom fit’.
What better way to test this new technology than putting it to the test on the hardwood? This time, Nike introduces the HyperAdapt BB at a pre-order price point of $350 on Nike.com.
HOW IT WORKS:
A custom motor and gear train within the Nike Adapt BB senses tension needed by the foot and adjusts an upper made of high-tenacity Flyknit outer shell and a Quadfit mesh inner to keep the foot snug. Users can then use the buttons in the midsole or access their FitAdapt phone app to customize the fit provided by the underfoot lacing. Athletes can quickly loosen or tighten the shoes at the push of a button or create settings for different times- pregame, in-game, on the bench, and so on. If they opt-in, players will also see FitAdapt technology firmware develop over time, allowing for an even more personal experience. For those concerned about battery life, the shoes come with a charging mat, and a full charge life cycle lasts 10-14 days.
“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” says Avar. “During a normal basketball game the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience.”
Along with this, the quick starting, stopping, and cutting required in the game puts the lockdown to the greatest test possible. The shoe was tested by an elite group of professional basketball players, including Jayson Tatum, pictured below. “The Nike Adapt BB helps the athlete find their custom fit and provides uncompromising lockdown, feel and traction throughout a game, but we knew it would only be validated once the game’s best players tried it out,” Ayer stated.
Overall, the Nike Adapt BB is an awesome step into the future of footwear. While not everyone is excited about the $350 price tag, this is a small price to pay to own the Swoosh’s first foray into power lacing for basketball. While mobile phone app’s have been used for step-tracking in the past, this will be the first time a phone is used to basically make a shoe come to life and tighten to your foot. Take a look at the video below for more information and visuals on this new innovation.