Nike’s Futuristic Shoes: All Hype

A lot of hype has been surrounding Nike Inc.’s (NKE) self-lacing shoes, including the Nike Mag and the HyperAdapt. You should first know the difference between the two.

The Nike Mag comes with an auto-lacing feature, lights and a battery. When you place your feet into the shoes, they self-lace. You can turn the lights on or off, adapt the tightness of the laces and check the battery power. The battery time is three hours with the lights on and several days with the lights off. It takes three hours to charge the battery. (For more, see: Power of the Swoosh.)

There will only be 89 pairs of Nike Mag shoes to hit the market. One has already been sold for $104,000 at a Honk Kong auction. Another auction will be held on November 12 in New York City. One pair will also be raffled off. The Nike Mags are based on a scene from "Back to the Future II," and the purpose of the shoe is to help raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease. All proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation. Therefore, the Nike Mags will have no impact on Nike’s top line. This is more about Nike doing the right thing.

The HyperAdapt is a different story. These are also self-lacing shoes that are based on “electro-adapt reactive lacing” technology. That is otherwise known as E.A.R.L, and you will see “E.A.R.L” on the tongues of the shoes. A sensor in the heel will activate the lacing technology. You can adjust the tightness with buttons on the sides of the shoes. The battery life is two weeks. The HyperAdapt will be for sale to the public on November 28, but only at select retailers, and you must make an appointment.

Nike chief executive officer, Mark Parker, said that the HyperAdapt “marks a new era of sports—the era of personalized performance."

The HyperAdapt shoes going on sale November 28 are actually the HyperAdapt 1.0, which means this is only the beginning. It appears as though Nike wants this to be a limited release in order to drive excitement and demand. This has the potential to pay off more with the second version.

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