The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0: Not exactly what Back to the Future 2 promised, but close enough for now

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0s are definitely the most technically advanced sneakers I’ve ever put on my feet. This has nothing to do with whether or not they are good shoes, and it has everything to do with why they cost so much money: technology.

Here are some things you should know.


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They are stupidly expensive

$ 720 per pair in the US – is your wallet ready for it ?! Nike has yet to announce HyperAdapt 1.0 pricing and availability for the UK and Australia, but the cost converts to around £ 585 or AU $ 995.

There is only one way to get them

You can’t walk into a store yet and buy shoes, and unless you’re willing to pay $ 2,500 and up for a pair on eBay, the only thing you can do is wait. The shoes were available by appointment at five Nike Stores on December 20th and 21st. (I made an appointment and bought them for my personal collection.)


But they’re still super hard to get

Remember the lace-up shoes from “Back to the Future 2”, the Nike Mags? Since Nike only produced 89 pairs, it was virtually impossible to make it. Well, Nike has made a lot more than 89 of these HyperAdapts, but the company won’t say how many exactly or when you’ll have another chance to buy them.

Yuuup. They lace up on their own as advertised

You put them on, you get up, and vvvvvrvrrrvvr, they squeeze right on your foot.

A sensor in the heel detects the position of your foot when you wear them and records your weight. Then, they automatically tighten to the shape of your foot. There are buttons on each side of the shoes that further control their fit, which allows you to fine-tune the fit. This worked perfectly for me every time – it was great.

They don’t tighten as fast as the ones in the movie

As you can see from the video (above), the shoes don’t tighten as fast as the ones in “Back to the Future, Part II”. Maybe in a few versions from today they will be faster, but who cares? They fasten themselves!


Josh Miller / CNET

About those lights …

There is an LED light on each side of the shoe and small LED dots on the back. They light up for a few seconds when you first wear your shoes.

The battery lasts a long time

According to Nike, the shoes will hold a two-week charge. You can check the battery status by pressing one of the buttons on the side and it will light up in different colors to indicate the amount of juice left. Nike says there will always be some power reserve for one last unfastening before a charge, so you won’t get stuck.

Two charging discs magnetically connect to the bottom of the shoes. It takes about three hours to fully charge.


Josh Miller / CNET

They are perfectly good sneakers

Nike claims to have tested the sneakers for running, training, and even basketball (mostly for running, however, to make sure they’re durable enough for actual wear). I only had them for three days when I sat down to write this, and I can tell I ran, jumped and walked in them all day and they were totally comfortable.

But let’s get real. I honestly won’t wear them for intensive exercise because I don’t want them to be beaten. I will still be wearing my Jordans to play basketball, and that’s because they are too rare to be thrown away so quickly.

They don’t keep track of anything

As high-tech as the lacing mechanism is, the shoes do nothing more like tracking your steps or syncing with your Nike + profile.

They are light on your feet

They weigh 0.9 pounds per shoe and 1.8 pounds for the pair. Surprisingly, they don’t feel clunky or heavy at all.


Josh Miller / CNET

They will not fall. Period.

The sensors fit nicely every time I wear them and you can always use those buttons on the side to tighten or loosen them a little more.

But they come off easily when you want

Hold the button down for about a second to loosen the shoe and slide your feet out.

For now only men’s sizes

Unfortunately, there are no women’s sizes at the moment, but you can get around that with a little shoe math. HyperAdapts are available in men’s sizes 5 to 14. To convert to women’s sizes, add 1.5 to the men’s size, then a men’s 5 is a women’s 6.5 and so on.


Josh Miller / CNET

You can get them wet, but …

The entire lacing engine is encased in a plastic section on the midsole. They are very resistant to splashes and can get them wet, but they have not been tested for use underwater. We apologize in advance to those of you who need to wear sneakers in the pool.

There is a Pixar connection

  • Nike added the name “EARL” (Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing) to the shoe’s tongue, a nod to the way Pixar named two of its characters in “Wall-E”: EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) and WALL-E ( Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class)
  • The bright blue midsole is inspired by EVE’s LEDs
  • The sole of the shoe echoes the tire tread of WALL-E

This is just the beginning

Nike won’t stop there. He plans to take HyperAdatp’s automatic lacing technology to future kicks. Nike says the price and weight will also decrease over time.

You shouldn’t buy them (unless you really, really want to)

Look, I’m the guy who got the first iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I am one of the first to adopt is a sneaker. This is the magic of cinema that imitates life and there is nothing more beautiful than that. But for the vast majority of people, it’s probably best to wait for the cost to drop in future shoes before getting a pair. But I wouldn’t blame you if you put these at the top of your wish list anyway.

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