There is an amazing scene in Coming To America where Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem is starting the day, and his attendant calls out “Wipers!” to summon people to clean the prince’s bottom. Sure, the prince is perfectly capable of doing it himself, but when you’ve got the ability to delegate the task why not have someone do it for you? A similar philosophy is at play with Nike’s self-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers, which the company just announced would cost a whopping $720. You could loop, swoop, and pull your own shoelaces, but if you can afford to just step into sneakers and have them tighten for you, why not go for it?
The HyperAdapt 1.0 are the more mainstream follow-up to Nike’s release of the auto-lacing version of the Air Mag sneakers featured in Back To The Future 2. While the Air Mag is more of a lifestyle sneaker designed to appeal to the collector, the HyperAdapt 1.0 is a performance shoe built to solve issues for athletes, who may need to have shoes tighter at the start of competition than they do at the finish. A sensor in the heel can tell when a foot has been inserted and automatically tightens the band around the top of the foot. There is a plus and minus button on each shoe to allow for microadjustments.
For those who need that precise level of lacing control (or who are just rich and too lazy to tie their shoes), Nike announced it would sell the HyperAdapt 1.0 at its new store in the Soho NYC neighborhood and at its Nike+ ClubHouse at 45 Grand Street. A select group of Nike+ app users will also be notified starting on November 28 of a chance to be “team early” for the HyperAdapt 1.0. The adaptive sneakers will become more widely available later in December.