Nike Adapt BB proves that technology is worth it: Power lacing and smart app for total comfort control
Some people snort at technology, dismissing the advances made to progress simple things towards a better experience.
With the announcement of Nike Adapt BB, the application of technology isn’t just for fun – it’s for purpose. Designed specifically to meet the needs of professional basketball players, these Nike shoes will be able to adapt the fit as the needs of the player changes.
Key to this functionality is the power lacing system. When you slip your foot into the Adapt BB, it will tighten to ensure that you have a comfortable and secure fit. When you want to change the tightness of that fit, you can use controls on the shoe or a smartphone app to change the fit on the fly.
And it’s not just generic tightness – the shoe will remember how tight you like it to be. It’s personalised to be a perfect fit for you.
The examples that Nike provides are specific to the requirements of basketball, in which there’s a lot of change in a player’s foot through the course of the game. That’s not unique to basketball – many athletes experience foot expansion when playing sport – but basketball is especially demanding.
Nike suggests that the player will be able to loosen the shoe during a timeout and can then easily tighten when back in the game to ensure perfect comfort control. It’s the gamification of laces, but it has a purpose.
Nike has had a range of different technologies to address such issues before and names like Flywire and Flyknit will likely be familiar, but it’s not unique to Nike or even new. Think back to the Reebok Pump and Puma Disc – which both appeared nearly 30 years ago – and you can see how this issue has been revisited time and again.
Nike is starting with basketball. It’s a high-profile platform to showcase this new technology platform, but there are future plans. Not only will Nike be expanding the feature set of the shoes – which can be done through opt-in firmware updates – but the Nike Adapt platform will be applied to other sports.
Michael Donaghu, Nike VP of innovation, see the opportunity for buying a pair of shoes to be the start of a relationship, rather than the end of a transaction: “Imagine a cycle, where opting in creates data about your activity to inform personalized guidance from Nike.”
“These conversations have the power to unlock benefits we’ve never seen before, bringing the latest sport science to all athletes everywhere, including real-time personalized training and guidance,” Donaghu continues.
The Nike Adapt BB will cost you $350 and will be available from 16 February according to the Nike website. It comes with a wireless charging pad to power the internal batteries.