Combining Fendi’s traditional craft with high-tech gloss
Remember the scene in Back to the Future Part II when Marty McFly put on self-lacing high-top sneakers? Well, that has become a commercial reality, and in a manner that’s more technologically advanced. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes (below) are equipped with something the company calls adaptive lacing. “When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten. Then there are two buttons at the side that allow you adjust the fit till it’s perfect,” said Tiffany Beers, Nike’s senior innovator.
This also means your laces will never come undone during a pivotal moment of the game, which was the main concern of Beers and members of the Nike team working on this project. Work on the shoe started in 2013 and the initial prototype was a snowboard boot featuring an external generator. The team, however, recognised it was not ideal and continued working to embed the technical components into an even smaller space.
Beers and his team released a real-life Nike Mag, the pair
McFly wore in the movie, in October last year to showcase what it had achieved. Unbeknownst to many people, that was just the beginning.
“Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating towards it,” said Tinker Hatfield, a Nike designer. “Sometimes we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.”
Adaptive lacing is not just a gimmick. Beers said it is the first step in creating a shoe that will have an automated, almost symbiotic relationship with the wearer.
“Wouldn’t it be great if a shoe, in the future, could sense when you needed to have it tighter or looser? Could it take you even tighter than you’d normally go if it senses you really need extra snugness? That’s where we’re headed,” Beers said. And if you’re wondering how to get your hands on a pair, you need to be a member of the new Nike+ club, which is launching in June 2016.
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