These crazy-ass $720 Nikes lace themselves

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes are self-lacing athletic shoes straight from the future. Or a movie. A very specific movie.

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Brian Tong
4 min read

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0s are for sure the most technically advanced sneakers I've ever put on my feet. That has nothing to do with whether or not they're good shoes, and everything to do with the reason why they cost so much money: the tech.

Here are a few things you should know.

Josh Miller/CNET

They are silly-expensive

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

There's only one way to get them

You can't walk into a store and buy the shoes just yet, 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 20 and 21. (I scored an appointment, and bought these for my own personal collection.)


But they're still super hard to get

Remember the self-lacing shoes from "Back to the Future 2," the Nike Mags? Since Nike only made 89 pairs of those, they were basically impossible to cop. Well, Nike made a lot more than 89 of these HyperAdapts, but the company won't say how many exactly, or when you'll get another chance to buy them.

Yuuup. They self-lace as advertised

You put them on, stand up, and vvvvvrvrrrvvr, they tighten right on your foot.

A sensor in the heel detects your foot's position when you put them on and they register 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 snugness, which lets you fine-tune the fit. This worked perfectly for me each time -- it was dope.

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 nearly as fast as the ones in "Back to the Future Part II." Maybe a few versions from now they'll be faster, but who cares? They freaking self-lace!

Josh Miller/CNET

About those lights...

There's an LED light on each side of the shoe and little LED dots on the back. They'll light up for a few seconds when you first put the shoes on.

The battery lasts a good while

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 glow different colors to indicate how much juice is left. Nike says there will always be a bit of reserve power for one last unlacing before a charge, so you won't get stuck.

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

Josh Miller/CNET

They are perfectly good athletic shoes

Nike says it's tested the sneakers for running, training and even basketball (mostly running, though, to make sure it's durable enough for real wear and tear). I've only had them for three days by the time I sat down to write this, and I can say that I ran, jumped and walked around in them all day and they were totally comfortable.

But let's get real. I'm honestly not going to be wearing these to do any intensive exercise because I don't want them to get beaten up. I'm still going to wear my Jordans to play basketball, and that's because these are just too rare to trash so fast.

They don't track anything

As high-tech as the lacing mechanism is, the shoes don't do anything else like track your steps or sync with your Nike+ profile.

They're light on your feet

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

Josh Miller/CNET

They won't fall off. Period.

The sensors got the fit right each time I put them on, and you can always use those buttons on the side to tighten or loosen them a little more.

But they do come off easily when you want

Just hold down the button for a second or so to loosen the shoe and slip your feet right out.

Only men's sizes for now

Unfortunately there are no women's sizes at the moment, but you can get around that with a little shoe math. The HyperAdapts come in men's sizes 5 through 14. To convert to women's sizes, add 1.5 to the men's size, so 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 enclosed in a plastic section on the midsole. They are definitely splashproof and can get them wet, but they haven't been tested for underwater use. Apologies in advance to those of you who need to wear your sneakers in the pool.

There's a Pixar connection

  • Nike added the name "E.A.R.L." (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 blue glowing midsole is inspired by EVE's own LEDs
  • The shoe's sole echoes WALL-E's tire tread

Pics or it didn't happen: The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 self-lacing shoe

See all photos

This is just the beginning

Nike isn't going to stop here. It plans to bring the HyperAdatp's self-lacing technology to future kicks. Nike says the price and weight will also drop 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'm an early adopter and a sneakerhead. This is life imitating movie magic and it doesn't get much cooler than that. But for the vast majority of people, it's probably best to wait for the cost to come down in future shoes before picking up a pair of your own. But I wouldn't blame you if you put these on the top of your wish list anyway.