Nike’s latest shoes uses an E.A.R.L. system to autolace your shoes for maximum comfort. These futuristic shoes will cost you $720. Futuristic price? (Image via Nike)
Last year, Nike introduced the word to HyperAdapt 1.0, the real auto-lacing shoe. Though it’s obviously inspired by the Air Mags from Back to the Future 2, these shoes look nothing like Marty McFly’s kicks. And unlike reproductions of the futuristic sneakers, Nike’s latest footwear isn’t meant to be a collector’s item. They’re meant to be worn like any other pair of sneakers. Now, the shoes are ready for the public at the high cost of $720. At that price, you really have to ask yourself if it’s worth all that cash just to eliminate bending over to tie your shoes. (For those wondering, Nike did make self lacing shoes for Back to the Future -Day recently.)
The shoes are powered by Nike’s E.A.R.L. system, Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing that kicks into gear as soon as you step into the shoe. Over time, E.A.R.L. will adapt to the shape of your foot, but you still have the option to adjust the sneakers if you need to. Two buttons on the upper part of the shoe control the tightness and the looseness of the laces. Beware, the shoes do make a loud sound when it starts up according to reports. The thought of wearing auto-lacing shoes makes you think you have to treat them with kid gloves, but that’s not the case. Nike wanted the HyperAdapt kicks to be like any other sneaker. No need to worry about comfort, size, or beating up the shoe. It’s built with all of this in mind.
The shoes do need to be charged and take about three full hours to get a full battery. While it’s good to charge the shoes regularly, Nike assures that each charge lasts about two weeks. And if you don’t activate the power laces every time you wear, the charge can be extended. So, how do you know when the battery is dying? There’s a built blue block on the bottom of the shoe to let you know the status: blue light means a fully charge, yellow is halfway, and red means you’re running low. The HyperAdapt’s battery is charged via a while magnetic puck that comes with the shoes.
Right now, the HyperAdapt is available is limited locations. The shoes launched last month at Nike’s new SoHo store and the Nike+ Clubhouse. The best way to make sure you get a pair is to make an appointment on the Nike+ app.
What does the future hold for Nike and footwear? Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers, designers of the HyperAdapt believe more shoes companies will turn to 3D printed parts in their design. The HyperAdapt comes equipped with parts that could only be made with 3D printers. Beers believes this will become more common in the future of footwear. And though the two are keeping quiet about the future of HyperAdapt, they did reveal 2.0 and 3.0 versions are in the works.
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