Dubbed the Nike Adapt BB, the sneaker automatically resizes once placed on the foot. Once in place, athletes can use buttons on the side of the sneaker or access an app in order to adjust the fit according to their needs. For example, wearers can opt for a looser fit while sitting on the sideline or warming up, then tighten the sneakers during game time.
“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” said Eric Avar, Nike vice president and creative director of innovation. “During a normal basketball game the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience."
If users “opt in” to the app, the sneakers will transmit data to Nike, allowing the company to update the setting to improve fit and performance over time. Nike tapped Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum and other top professional athletes to test the gear before its public unveiling.
The Nike Adapt BB carries a $350 price tag and will be available on Feb. 17. Tatum is set to become the first NBA player to wear the sneaker during a game Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Nike has experimented with several tech-enabled product offerings in recent years.
The company previously unveiled a “HyperAdapt” self-lacing sneaker in 2016, based on the sneakers that Marty McFly wore in “Back to the Future.” The first version of the sneaker cost $720 and was only made available in limited quantities.