No Flux Capacitor Required: Nike Sneakers Get Power Laces

Nike HyperAdapt power laces FBN

No flux capacitor? No problem. Nike’s (NYSE:NKE) newest sneakers are equipped with self-tying laces, the invention that has been the envy of “Back to the Future” fans.

The HyperAdapt 1.0, which Nike unveiled at a product event on Wednesday, features the power laces that debuted on Marty McFly’s Nike-branded sneakers in the 1989 film “Back to the Future Part II.” Nike has been working on the technology for a decade. In 2015, the sportswear giant revealed plans to sell replica Nike MAG shoes to mark the year that McFly and Doc Brown traveled to the future. The HyperAdapt 1.0 is the consumer sport version that Nike designers originally conceived, according to the company.

Nike is calling the technology “adaptive lacing.” Owners of the HyperAdapt 1.0 simply need to slip on the shoes and press a button on the side to tighten the laces. A second button loosens the laces.

“You can adjust it until it’s perfect,” said Tiffany Beers, senior innovator at Nike and the project’s technical lead.

In its announcement, Nike lauded the benefits of adaptive lacing for athletes. The battery-powered HyperAdapt 1.0 will allow for slight adjustments, thereby preventing shoes from slipping or creating too much pressure, Nike said.

According to Nike, it takes three hours to fully charge the sneakers. A full battery will last roughly two weeks. Lights on the soles indicate when the HyperAdapt 1.0 needs to be recharged.

“Wouldn’t it be great if a shoe, in the future, could sense when you needed to have it tighter or looser? Could it take you even tighter than you’d normally go if it senses you really need extra snugness in a quick maneuver? That’s where we’re headed. In the future, product will come alive,” said Nike designer Tinker Hatfield.

Nike HyperAdapt power laces white FBN

The HyperAdapt 1.0 will go on sale by the holiday season in three colors. Nike has yet to reveal pricing. The sneakers will be available only to members of Nike+, the company’s fitness-tracking portal.

Nike unveiled other new products this week, including an updated Nike+ app that adds a personalized digital store with product recommendations.