Nike has unveiled its latest game-changing basketball sneaker: the Nike Adapt BB (BB stands for “basketball”), with an intricate lace engine, that neatly closes around your entire foot. It remembers, via a paired app, how tight or loose you prefer your footwear — not just one setting, but in different situations like warm-ups, gameplay and while resting on the bench.
“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” says Eric Avar, Nike VP 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.”
HOW THE SHOE WORKS
When a player steps into the Nike Adapt BB, a custom motor and gear train senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to keep the foot snug. The tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to that of a standard parachute cord) to secure the foot throughout a range of movement.
That’s where the brain, or FitAdapt tech, kicks in. By manual touch or by using the Nike Adapt app on a smartphone, players can input different fit settings depending on different moments of a game. For example, during a timeout, a player can loosen the shoe before tightening it up as they re-enter the game. In a forthcoming feature, they can even prescribe a different tightness setting for warm-ups. Plus, players can opt into firmware updates for the FitAdapt technology as they become available, sharpening the precision of fit for players and providing new digital services over time.
Nike Adapt BB is the first continually updated performance product from Nike due to the near-symbiotic relationship between the shoe’s digital app and the shoe’s opt-in firmware updates. As the FitAdapt system hones the quality of fit in basketball, the next step will be to bring FitAdapt to other sports and lifestyle products, each with unique demands for fit in different environments.
FitAdapt technology will be available in the Nike Adapt BB beginning in February.