Retail Innovation Shout Out: Nike Introduces Self-Lacing Shoes

Great Scott! Marty Mcfly’s Nike shoes are finally no longer just an iconic prediction of how shoes might evolve in a future world. In the 1989 American classic, “Back to the Future II,” Marty Mcfly steps into a pair of Nike Air Mag’s that quickly self-tighten and adjust perfectly to his feet. For years, sneaker heads and Nike fanboys have waited with bated breath on the idea that these concept shoes might one day become a reality.

Since that Hollywood portrayal, and with a personal commission from current Nike CEO Mark Parker, some of the world’s most brilliant designers and engineers worked tirelessly in the depths of Nike Skunkworks to develop what some are calling the most exciting innovation the footwear industry has ever seen. On November 28th,Nike will introduce its HyperAdapt 1.0. Gone are the days of bending over to lace up your shoes, or the frustrations that come from having to stop midstride to retie a loose shoe. The HyperAdapt doesn’t use a traditional lacing system, but rather a battery-powered series of pulleys that cinch the shoe to the perfect tension on your foot. Based on sensors on the bottom of the shoe that read weight and the position of the foot inside, the auto-pulley system will adjust accordingly. Version 1.0 will have the option to manually adjust the tension, but as the “1.0” in the name suggests, the team is already developing ideas on how to improve this technology to eliminate the need for manual adjustment.

Remember the first time you learned that somehow bunny ears, and jumping through holes, turned into a perfect bow? Well, with Nike’s new innovation, the next generation might not have these memories. While the cost might be lost nostalgia, we could not be more excited about what this break-through innovation will do to the footwear and apparel industry. Today we tip our hats to Nike, for successfully predicting, or should we say, “developing” the future.

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