Self-Lacing Shoes– Are These the Future?

The idea of revolutionary shoes has been in the market for a long time. However, this dream has been realised only now, with Nike’s new Adapt BB– self-lacing shoes which can be controlled from an app on one’s phone. The app allows players to choose different modes for the shoes, such as game play or a timeout (source: economics times). Although it is not difficult to believe that such technology is a part of reality today, this release does come as a pleasant surprise. The shoes were introduced to the world through endorsements by two basketball players on January 16, 2019. This was the first time the shoes were tried by professionals in a competitive setting. Adapt BB will be available for retail from February 17, 2019, for $350 pair in the United States.

It is common knowledge that all sports-people require good equipment which will aid them in their performance. Sports shoes, therefore, hold a prominent place in achieving satisfactory results. The kind of technology that Nike has introduced is one of a kind, and is surely just the beginning of many wide-ranging and extensive changes in the industry. Nike had wanted to come up with shoes like the Adapt BB for a long time. The ‘BB’ stands for basketball, and ‘Adapt’ refers to the shoes’ ability to  adapt to the wearer’s foot via Bluetooth. This feature is Nike’s realisation of their long-time dream of making shoes that– unlike any before– can sense how the person’s foot is behaving during matches, so the players can forget about manually adjusting the shoes. Eric Avar, VP & creative director at Nike Innovation said about the shoes, “It’s a natural extension of your body.”

As a sports enthusiast, it is great to see the trend in attempting to improve the players’ experience. While there is still a long way to go before the entire sporting world is changed into a technological field, this surely is a crucial step forward. Even though giant steps are being taken in the direction towards the co-existence of sports and technology, the companies also need to ensure that the audience is ready for these changes. Arguably, the audience will never be able to give their views about something until they have experienced it. But for the successful growth of the marriage between sports gear and technology, it is essential to have a receptive audience. In my opinion, these shoes can live up to their fullest potential only if a space is created for them. While they have created a niche for themselves, they also need room to expand. Branching out slowly is the way to go, as this ensures that with healthy competition, we not only get the best products, but it also allows for people to get accustomed to this kind of machinery.

While an ability to self-adjust is enough to grab one’s attention, add different colours that depict the various stages of battery life, and the shoes seem irresistible. In addition to the enamour of the features, it is exciting to wait for what Nike and other sporting gear brands have up their sleeves to blow us away. Other than being fascinating, these kinds of additions to sports shoes make one feel optimistic about the future of sports. We have seen technological advancements transform various industries, and it is about time that sports shoes get a face-lift too.

Although optimism with new products such as this is a good idea, we should not be hasty with our judgments– Adapt BB cost a lot and will not be very convenient for the general public to purchase. Also, we are yet to know the efficiency of these shoes. Thus, like everything in this world, they also come with their set of pros and cons. Still, we must realize the importance of this innovation and make the best of it.

Picture Courtesy- Wired

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