Shoelaces are a pain. Their tendency to become impossibly tangled has led many a kid (and adult) to lust longingly after Marty McFly’s labor-saving MAG sneakers in Back to the Future Part II, but a real-world equivalent has so far proven elusive … until now. At a press event in New York yesterday, sportswear behemoth Nike announced it’ll bring the world’s first self-tying shoe to market. It’s called the HyperAdapt 1.0, and it’ll hit store shelves later this year.
The HyperAdapt’s far from your everyday pair of running shoes. There aren’t any laces in the traditional sense, but instead embedded actuators that, in tandem with pressure monitors, delicately conform the shoe’s cushions to your foot’s shape.
“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” said Nike’s senior innovation chief and the project’s technical lead Tiffany Beers in a press release. From that baseline fit, you can fine-tune the shoe’s settings on the fly. “Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loose. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”