Nike announced their latest self-lacing sneaker, with Jayson Tatum front and center.
At just 20 years old, halfway through his sophomore season in the NBA, Jayson Tatum already has a sneaker to himself. On Tuesday, Nike announced the follow-up to 2016’s HyperAdapt 1.0: the Adapt BB, a self-lacing basketball sneaker with Tatum as its figurehead.
Introducing Nike Adapt BB. Power laces for the perfect fit.
— Nike (@Nike) January 15, 2019
The Adapt BB is a digital, power-lacing sneaker that foregoes traditional laces in favor of a series of cords that can be adjusted or loosened at will through a small internal motor inside the sneaker itself. The catch? The laces are controlled by a Nike Adapt companion app on your smart phone, which allows you to adjust sliders and create different settings for your shoes’ fit on the fly. The sneakers, of course, will also need to be charged before use.
Tatum appears to be the primary face of the sneaker, but Nike also brought in a number of NBA and WNBA players to test them during the design process, including Luka Doncic, Collin Sexton, De’Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma, Kelsey Mitchell, Kelsey Plum and Breanna Stewart. Here’s what Tatum had to say about the sneaker in Nike’s press release on Tuesday:
“Being one of the first athletes to wear the shoe and being picked as a representative of the future of Nike basketball means a lot. That the app allows the ability to put the shoe on and touch the button, change the colors, see the percentage on the battery…it’s just cool.”
The Adapt BB isn’t Nike’s first foray into auto-lacing sneakers, but they’ll certainly hope to make it their most successful. The BB is the functional successor to 2016’s HyperAdapt 1.0, which used a system called Electric Adaptable Reaction Lacing (E.A.R.L.) to accomplish a similar effect. While innovative, the HyperAdapt 1.0 struggled to garner much commercial success due to a whopping $720 price tag and the fact that they weren’t focused for performance in any particular sport. The BB looks to solve both issues, coming in at a more tame (but still hefty) $350 and being designed exclusively for basketball.
Alternative methods of lacing sneakers have become something of a trend in recent years, as the Adapt BB arrives just a few months after Jordan Brand’s Air Jordan 33 utilized a similar system of adjustable cables in place of normal laces. These sneakers have slowly trickled into the NBA, with players like Memphis’ Mike Conley adopting the 33s, but it remains to be seen how viable they will become in comparison to traditional laces.
The Nike Adapt BB will release on Sunday, February 17 at 10 am.