The Future of Shoewear

Richard L. Figueroa
Staff Reporter

The ad for the Nikes plus app interface. Photo courtesy of Nike.

Nike released what they believe is the next big thing in shoewear fashion and sportswear, technology and shoewear in all in one. They released the Nike Adapt BB on Feb. 17, 2019. The shoe brings self-lacing technology and comes with a wireless charging pad. The shoes contain a small motor in the midsole that adjusts the shoes fit and pressure on the foot all within an app. The app was exclusively created for the shoe and syncs through Bluetooth. Within the app, one is able to change the color of the lights on the side of both shoes. The shoe retails for $350 and only comes in one colorway.

I went out and purchased the shoes to give them a test run and see what all the hype was about. Foot Locker employee Matt Petty said, “I like to tie my shoes, I don’t see what all the hype is about – they nearly sold out. People are so lazy and can’t tie their own d**n shoes.”

Nike Adapts are a total dud. I decided to take the Adapts on a four day trip to New York City as my only shoe. It all began when I passed through TSA at the airport. They stopped me and questioned me about the shoes. They thought it was sketchy and thought it was a threat to everyone’s safety since there were motors inside my shoes’ insole and had never seen such a thing before. I had to explain to them that they were self-lacing shoes and the motor controlled that function. They let me go and I arrived at the Big Apple and started my journey in the Adapts.

During those four days, I roughly walked 10 miles a day. I found myself adjusting the shoe often since I found it uncomfortable to walk in. When I would stop to rest I would unlace the shoe completely. This would attract looks and weird faces since the lacing mechanism can be loud depending on the surroundings. A random person even approached me and said: “Your shoes light up. Now that’s childish. Not even my five-year-old son has light up shoes.”

Marty McFly would be disappointed. The idea of self-lacing shoes came from the film, “Back To The Future II,” 1989. The thing is that in the film he would put on the shoes and they would lace up on their own. The Nike Adapts need an app in order to control the shoe.

The brand’s spokesman for the Adapts is American basketball player Jayson Tatum who plays for the Boston Celtics. He got to wear them out on the court during a game versus the Chicago Bulls. During the game, he collapsed down on the floor during the third quarter of the game. He left the court and came back during the fourth quarter wearing different shoes. After the game Tatum said, “I was running back and forward the court giving it my all and all of a sudden I started feeling a piping hot sensation on the sole of the shoe – the motor overheated. I don’t plan on going forward with this sponsorship with Nike.”

Emanuel Solis, a shoe collector, said, “I like the shoes, but last weekend I was going out with my friends and my shoes were out of battery. I didn’t end up going out since I had to charge my shoes. I have plenty of other shoes, but I wanted to make that switch towards smart shoes.”

Are smart shoes the future of shoewear? Are humans really getting to the point where laziness is taking over them and are starting to seek just another way to do less? Nike’s president, Mark Parker, surely believed so. In a talk with Tinker Hatfield, Nike shoe designer, Parker said, “These shoes here are the future. Americans are lazy and being able to not tie our shoes is one big step towards simplicity. Soon enough we won’t even have to teach children how to tie their own shoes. Our smartphones will do it for us.”

Categories: The Scorch

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