The future’s always seemed so far off. The movies and TV shows make flying cars, holograms, and talking robots seem like an impossibility. But take a moment to look around and you’re probably reading this on your phone, a super-computer that fits in your pocket. You probably just posted something on the Internet that someone halfway across the world can see and relate to.
And now we have sneakers that feature a motor, capable of lacing themselves and reading your foot. Nike’s delivered on a fairytale that was done with some Hollywood magic more than 30 years ago. This year’s Mag release was for an incredible cause, but if you didn’t have $200K, you couldn’t scoop that thing. And even if you did have the bread, the Mags aren’t meant for everyday use.
So while the legendary Tinker Hatfield continued to build the mystique of the Mag in recent years, Tiffany Beers got started crafting her legacy, eventually creating the HyperAdapt 1.0. It took 10 years, but Beers and her team are responsible for the performance sneaker of the future.
She began by shrinking an industrial-strength motor to a size that would fit into the outsole of a modern Nike silhouette. Then she put a sensor into the heel that reacts to your foot. Once you hit that sensor, the sneaker’s Adaptive Lacing tech takes over and it automatically tightens. She made sure to incorporate Swoosh’s signatures—there’s flawier and Lunarlon foam in the midsole.
The HyperAdapt has been hyped for a while, for athletes, sneakerheads and the tech crowd. It’s a beautiful sneaker, both aesthetically and from a technological standpoint. And it’s built for the gym, the track and the basketball court.
In front of Beers herself, Nike laced 10 journalists with the HyperAdapt, putting them through basketball, running and training exercises at 7 in the morning, just three hours before they were available for purchase.
The hype is real.
As soon as I put my foot in the sneaker, it tightened accordingly, hugging my foot. It was way lighter than expected, even though it’s got a motor in it. It was comfortable and with its mid-cut, versatile for all three workouts. With the encouragement of Beers and the trainers, I continued to adjust the sneaker’s tightness for each workout. Feet swell the more you use them. The adjustments weren’t just for comfort, they also helped blood circulation and they helped me get more use out of my feet before they were fatigued.
On the court, we tested lockdown, traction and mobility. Because the HyperAdapt can be tightened until there’s no room left between your foot and the sneaker, the lockdown can be perfect. My feet didn’t move once I was in the sneaker. It was a Zoom Solider LeBron X-level-lockdown with a mix of Kyrie 2 lightness.
After a few minutes of dribbling and shooting, I completely forgot I was hooping in the HyperAdapt. The comfort and lightness had your boy hitting jumpers like prime Michael Redd.
It wasn’t tough to wear the shoe. It was on some pillow and blanket luxury. It was tough to comprehend how Beers and her team figured all of it out, somehow combining technology they had no clue about (Beers has said she’s now an expert in batteries) before this process, and sneaker technology. They also had to make sure Nike’s reputation didn’t take a hit with an ugly sneaker.
Beers has been everywhere recently, from the Today show to every sneaker website, talking about the sneaker. Before we got to try them on, after years of testing, wearing “stealth” pairs everyday, she said, “I still smile when I put them on in the morning.”
The Nike HyperAdapt is available for purchase right now. Learn how to get your pair. Photos courtesy of Nike.