Are you one of those who saw the self-lacing sneakers in the '80s hit movie “Back to the Future Part II,” and thought “I need to get one of those”? If so, you are in luck, because the futuristic shoes — or a close enough approximation of them, at least — are finally here.
The “HyperAdapt 1.0” sneakers, inspired by the sci-fi comedy, will be launched on Nov. 28, Nike's Public Relations Director Heidi Burgett said in a tweet Tuesday.
HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available in the U.S. at select Nike retail locations. Appointments to experience & purchase begin 11.28.16. pic.twitter.com/t3YVLa8Rsl
— Heidi Burgett (@heidiburgett) September 20, 2016
The company first provided details of the “adaptive fit” sneakers back in March, when it said that the shoes would provide an “ultimate solution to individual idiosyncrasies in lacing and tension preference.”
“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” Tiffany Beers, the project’s technical lead at Nike, said in a statement at the time. “Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”
As explained in a long-form article in the latest issue of the Wired magazine, each shoe contains a sensor, battery, motor, and cable system that controls an arrangement of fishing line inside based on an “algorithmic pressure equation.” In addition, a pair of buttons near the tongue let the wearer adjust fit as needed.
The bottom of the sneakers attaches to a wireless charging pod, and it takes roughly three hours to fully charge. Once charged, Beers told Wired the HyperAdapts would last nearly two weeks.
The LED lights on the sole light up when the motor is running. The lights also signal when the battery is fully charged and when it’s running low.
The laces on the front, though, are just for decoration.
“To make it work with the shoe’s cabling system, the Nike team adjusted the gearing inside the motor’s off-the-shelf box. She [Beers] sourced a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that packed enough juice to power both the motor and the LEDs in the heel,” Wired explains.
The exact price of the sneakers has not yet been disclosed. However, the price tag is likely to be high, as, according to a quote attributed by Wired to Nike CEO Mark Parker, the company has spent “a considerable amount of R&D dollars.”