Nike Adapt BB: Personalisation, connectivity and future footwear

Nike’s latest shoe innovation isn’t simply about advanced materials and boosters that improve performance. The new Adapt BB offering is, ultimately, about personalisation, and linking up shoe tech with the smartphone.

The wearer can adjust the Adapt BB fit automatically via power laces at the touch of a button, or as an app input via Bluetooth. For a frictionless experience, the shoes can be wirelessly charged through the soles using a charging pad.

The company said it has finally “bettered” the shoelace with technology, that means the wearer doesn’t have to keep adjusting them as the foot swells throughout the day (or throughout play).

Personalisation is the current obsession of product makers and consumers alike, and it’s played a big role in this sneaker development. The paired app  can “remember” how tight or loose the wearer prefer his/her footwear, “not just one setting, but in different situations like warm-ups, gameplay and while resting on the bench”.

“Our mission is to solve problems for athletes, and delivering to their exact needs has always been the best path forward,” said Nike.

The company’s VP of Innovation, Michale Donaghu, added that “what we’re launching this week goes far beyond a shoe. Our long-term vision for innovation at Nike is a world in which intelligent products adapt at the speed of sport to improve an athlete’s performance. Shoes in our Nike Adapt platform — of which Nike Adapt BB is the first — can update and evolve after purchase, letting consumers opt in to provide you with new services and features through smartphone-like technology”,

And the connectivity of the shoe doesn’t only relate to its ability to connect to the app, as it’s also about connecting to the company.

Donaghu added: “Imagine a cycle, where opting-in creates data about your activity to inform personalised guidance from Nike. And as your performance improves, we can connect you to new product and services for your new goals — and the cycle continues. For most footwear out there, buying the shoe is the end of a transaction. But here, buying the shoe is just the beginning.”


For the footwear developments of the near-future, read WGSN’s Big Ideas 2021: Footwear report.

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