Last night I had the opportunity to preview Nike Hyperadapt sneakers. You know, the ones with the self-lacing system that you didn’t see in Back II The Future? Those are the Nike Mags, and they cost like $20,000 aftermarket if you can find a pair. The Hyperadapts aren’t cheap either, but we’ll talk pricing and availability a little bit later in the post. For now, let’s just take a look at how awesome they are.
The first thing that I noticed were the letters E.A.R.L written on the tongue of the left shoe. E.A.R.L. stands for “Electro Active Reactive Lacing,” and if that sounds like an acronym phrase that was created after the name, that’s because it was. According to the helpful Nike professionals at 45 Grand Street, Tinker Hatfield wanted this project to have a pet name, and the name they came up with was Earl. And since he’s like one of the greatest shoe designers ever, that was that.
The sneakers self-lace via a system that lives in the sole of the shoe. The lace system (as well as the number of lights surrounding the sneakers) is battery-powered and the manual you get with the HyperAdapt actually tells you that you need to charge them every two weeks. Where is this battery? You can see the housing for the battery and system in the photo below: it’s the blue part with MT². And since we’re talking about the meaning of letters, MT² is a nod to Mark Parker (now CEO of Nike), Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers, three people instrumental in designing the HyperAdapt.
Once you take the shoes out of the box, all you need you to do is step into them. Once the pressure sensor on the heel of the HyperAdapt feels your weight, you hear a cool little engine sound, see lights on the shoe spark up, and they begin to tighten immediately. Rather than tying your shoes like you normally would, the lights and sound make for a really awesome little ritual that a hypebeast or sneaker lover could get used to. Plus, everyone around you would immediately know which shoes you’re wearing (which, let’s face it, is exactly what you want if you own these bad boys).
To tighten or loosen, simply press one of two buttons on the outside of the shoe and bingo bango, you’ve got the perfect fit. I found that after a couple of times, I needed to tighten the HyperAdapts more than the sneaker did automatically, but apparently the system registers how tight you like your laces after awhile and adjusts to your preferences with time.
So how do they perform? How do they look? Check them out in the video below.
**I just want to say that I think it’s hogwash that I can’t embed a Facebook live video. If you want to watch the video on Facebook, click this link. Otherwise, you can watch a downloaded and reuploaded video, above.**
Ok, so you’re sold on the fact that these are dope. Let’s get back to the pricing of these shoes. They’re not $20K, but they’re not $100 either. Right now, the Nike HyperAdapt retails for $720. And by right now, we mean that they’ve officially gone on sale as of 12/1/2016. The only way you can buy these is by appointment, where a professional will walk you through how to care for and wear the Nike HyperAdapt sneakers. To book an appointment, download the Nike+ app and sign in. Once you’re logged in, look for the Nike HyperAdapt prompt and try to book an appointment.
Is $720 a pretty sizable barrier for entry? Of course. But when you get a pair of these, you get a 24-hour concierge service that can walk you through all sorts of questions that you might have about your futuristic sneakers. You also get to walk around the streets knowing that you’re the only one with self-lacing sneakers, which if you can afford it, is definitely a pretty good feeling.