True to their word, Nike unveiled their latest self-lacing shoe offering following a teaser video earlier in the week.
We now know what this new offering is called, with the Nike Adapt BB seeing the light of day, and introducing a few improvements to the self-lacing technology that the company has been working on over the past few years, and introduced with the HyperAdapt.
Like that first model, the Adapt BB is a low top shoe, but unlike that version, it is specifically designed for athletes and basketball players in particular.
We’re yet to see any professionals don the shoes in an actual game, and over the course of the season we should see how they perform, but for now Nike is dubbing this basketball shoe a game changer.
“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” says Eric Avar, VP creative director of Innovation, in a Nike blog.
“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,” adds Avar.
Delving deeper into the technology itself, the Adapt BB features the same gears and motor featured on the HyperAdapt, but the big difference here is what Nike is calling FitAdapt. This system can either be manually calibrated with two buttons on the side of the that loosens or tightens the fit, or it can be setup on the companion app.
The latter is rather interesting as players can set the preferences for the shoe’s fit during different parts of the game. It could be set to loosen while the player is on the bench of example, and then tighten to the desired fit once they re-enter the game.
In terms of strength, Nike says its system has a tensile strength of 32 pounds (14.5kg), which is equivalent to that of a parachute, according to the company. As such, it should be able to keep your foot securely in place.
We don’t know if you’ll be able to purchase the Adapt BB’s at your local Nike store, but it will go up for sale Stateside on 17th February for $350 (~R4 800).
At that price, it will likely be out of reach for many, but it is nevertheless interesting tech at work here, and certainly has applications in the real world for people with physical limitations or disabilities.