Photo Courtesy of Sneaker News

So if you have not heard (but I’m quite confident you have), Nike released the first ever power lacing basketball shoe, the Adapt BB. Advertised as ” The Future of the Game”, the Adapt BB boasts a “locked-in feel for distraction-free play”. Although I respect all of the hard work and innovation, I can’t help but wonder if this technology will eventually be viewed as purely a gimmick.

Photo Courtesy of Sneaker News

Now, before I’m called a hater for not jumping on this bandwagon, please understand where I’m coming from. Of course, I haven’t played in the silhouette, and to be honest, I don’t see my self ever picking these up, especially for $350. With such a large selection of proven sneakers for fractions of this cost ( Kyries, PG, and even Lebron), it’s hard to justify this cost for something that purely focuses on the lacing system and nothing more. When reading the description for the Adapt BB on SNKRS, there was zero mention of the cushioning system what so ever. For this premium, are we getting a full react midsole? I doubt it. You can clearly see why this is important, especially since we are talking about such a high impact sport such as basketball. With all of this technology housed in this sneaker, I can only hope there is something there to protect and comfort the players’ feet during extensive amounts of playing time.

Photo Courtesy of Hypebeast

I am completely open to being incorrect about this. In fact, I hope that I am proven wrong and this is something that works out for years to come for Nike, but at this point, I see nothing more than a gimmick to increase the attention to the brand. Using an app to tighten your shoe seems a bit unnecessary. I understand trying to keep your shoe secured a certain way during a game, but how many time are you actually re-lacing your shoe during a game of basketball? I mean, I’m no professional player, but I don’t lace my shoes up enough in a game for it to be a distraction. I wish the innovators would have taken the time to work on something that could really change the game and help not only help lengthen the time a player can stay on the floor but even elevate their game (spending more time perfecting cushion, for example). Who knows what will become of this Adapt technology in the future, I just hope it doesn’t go the way of such “innovations” as the Shox. Looks like we will just have to wait and see.


For more on the Nike Adapt BB from HyperAdapt designer, Tiffany Beers, YouTube star Jacques Slade, and Sneaker History founder Nick Engvall check out the Outside The Box podcast.


  1. I can see where you would consider this a gimmick, and I think that it is a fair critique. But many of the greatest footwear innovations have been considered gimmicks in their early adaptions. Think visible air, when Tinker wanted to create this he got scoffed at from not only the public but also people inside the company. They built a multi-billion dollar platform on that gimmick. While auto lacing is still in its infancy, it has the potential to grow. Just from the HyperAdapt 1.0 to the Adapt BB we have seen an improvement in the lacing configuration, motor, bluetooth control, and a price decrease of $370 dollars. In the next few years I see adapt continuing to lower in price ($180-200) and improve to allow not just the lacing to adjust, but the entire upper. I feel adaptive footwear is the future, and this goes beyond electronically controlled. Is it a gimmick now, sure, but it is a stepping stone in the right direction.

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