2019 is an era of aerospace materials and 3D making in show design, and to be clear, with technology that is so advanced, we still rely on the common shoelace.
Today NIKE departs from the shoelace and launches a laceless smartshoe with the new platform, 'NIKE Adapt'. Beginning with basketball, NIKE Adapt will deliver digitally powered adjustable footwear which will continue to expand across both performance and lifestyle categories. Through their smartphone, athletes can update the shoe according to personal preferences and changing environments.
Intelligent products move closer to NIKE's ultimate goal of creating products that adapt to the speed of sport. Buying the NIKE Adapt is just the beginning of a relationship which continues on long after the shoe is purchased. For the first time, athletes will be able to update and evolve their shoes with new features and services both manually and through the 'FitAdapt' smartphone-grade technology inside their footwear. Because the needs of the foot change at any given time based on the sport, its duration and on specific movements, a level of fit that feels comfortable at one point might feel constrictive minutes later.
The team at NIKE optimised the adaptive quality of the shoe. The refined, power-lace engine FitAdapt works with a cable tightening system routed throughout the shoe. The cable system is designed as a "two-zone operation" so that when an athlete interacts with the control centre housed within the cushion foam midsole, they simultaneously control a pair of motors located at both the bottom throat as well as the top collar. This reduces any lag in tightening and the fit is consistent from the top to the bottom. The long-lasting battery is wirelessly charged by resting the shoes on the compact charging pad.
The design team thoroughly studied the motions of the basketball player to optimise the fit of the NIKE adapt basketball shoe. The team concludes that 40% of motions are forward and backward while 20% are lateral. Across all these motions, the athlete applies nearly two times their body weight. Due to the fact that containing a foot in basketball shoe, the player must work in every axis, the shoe is built with a woven material called "quadfit," which creates a memory in four directions and has never before been used in a basketball shoe. To maximise the opportunity for personalisation, an adaptive colour scheme allows the athlete to customise the shoe with different LED colours.
NIKE first launched its self-lacing sneakers – the Hyperadapt 1.0 – in 2016. Unlike the new and improved model, the original version lacked wireless connectivity. Instead, the user laced them manually by pressing a button. NIKE Adapt BB is the first continually updated performance product from NIKE due to the near-symbiotic relationship between the shoe's digital app and the opt-in firmware updates. As the FitAdapt system hones the quality of fit in basketball, the next step will be to bring FitAdapt to other sports and lifestyle products, each with unique demands for fit in different environments.