Earlier this week, Nike unveiled their first ever self-lacing basketball shoes — the Nike Adapt BB. This shoe is set to retail in February at $350, and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum already wore the shoes in game.
The Adapt BB is Nike’s third self-lacing release and, although the technology has vastly improved, I don’t think current self-lacing technology is realistic (at least in widespread fashion) in the basketball world.
How they work
The technology in the Nike ADAPT BB charges wirelessly through a charging pad. The shoes then connect to an app that allows the user to set different tightness adjustments for different situations.
The battery is located under the arch of the shoe, allowing for a seamless fit, and unlike previous self-lacing models, this shoe contains almost no wiring and makes adjustments as needed with an electronic spool. When the battery dies, the shoe automatically loosens itself.
Why basketball isn’t ready
- Issues around charging and battery life
- Decrease in shoe flexibility/possible increase in shoe weight
- Always needing to pack a back up pair of laced shoes
- Always needing a phone handy to adjust shoes
- Can the shoes be hacked? What happens then?
- It’s more inconvenient to grab a phone and make adjustments than it is to retie
- Gives young players another excuse to use their phones during practice
HOW THE SHOE COULD BE IMPROVED FOR BASKETBALL
- A battery that charges off of kinetic energy
- A way to adjust the shoe without a phone
Oh wait, laces would actually be a good inexpensive fix for number 2.
What is the upside of the Nike Adapt BB?
While this technology isn’t really necessary and doesn’t make sense for everyone, it can certainly be useful for people who aren’t able to tie their shoes for a variety of reasons. So although the technology is expensive and isn’t quite ready for mass appeal, the shoes are sleek and, if you squint hard enough, you can potentially find reasoning to pull the trigger on a purchase.