Nike has taken the self-tying shoe from Back to the Future Part II and made it real. The shoe giant announced today that, 30 years after the iconic movie featuring a shoe that tied its own laces with the push of a button, it will unveil its 21st-century version, called the Adapt BB, on the feet of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum at tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors in Boston.
.@Nike is going 'back to the future' with self-tying shoes!
Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum will debut the new sneakers on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) January 16, 2019
The company describes the Adapt BB as an “auto-lacing smart shoe” that uses a system of cables that can be activated by pressing a button on the shoe. Alternatively, the wearer can tie their laces using an app on their phone. What’s not clear is whether, if all else fails, one can simply reach down and tie their shoelaces by hand, though it does not appear to be the case.
But seriously, the self-lacing technology is not just a gimmick for people who are too lazy to bend down and tie their shoes. According to Nike, a basketball player’s shoe can swell as much as half a size during a game (somewhat like distance runners’ do over the course of a long race), and the technology in the shoe is designed to allow it to expand and contract accordingly. Fit settings are customizable via the app, so the fit can be adjusted throughout a wear session.
This is actually not Nike’s first self-lacing shoe. It introduced the Nike Mag as a replica of the Back to the Future shoe, in limited editions, in 2011 and 2016, as well as the HyperAdapt 1.0 in 2016–a multipurpose performance shoe that was extensively run-tested.
The Nike Adapt BB will be available in wide release on February 17 and will retail for US $350.