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Is Nike Adapt Technology Preparing to Level Up?

The Swoosh has been developing its Nike Adapt self-lacing tech brand for years. Two recent trademark applications suggest that some intriguing changes could be coming.

Earlier this week, Nike filed for two trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office: “AIRADAPT” and “FITADAPT,” as noted by attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property.

The context for the moves is yet to materialize fully, so we’ll refrain from attempting to predict the future whole cloth. But these new trademarks are a possible indication that the company is planning to expand its Nike Adapt brand — self-lacing technology is designed for athletes and basketball players. More specifically, it’s a “breakthrough lacing system that electronically adjusts to the shape of your foot,” the Swoosh’s official website reads.

The new trademarks were filed in Oregon via Jaime Lemons, Nike’s VP of Trademark, Copyright, and Design Patent.

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Nike first released its Adapt technology with the launch of the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 athletic shoes in November 2016, an official release states. The sneakers activate as soon as you step into them, and your heel hits a sensor to tighten the laces. The Adapt 1.0’s have two buttons on their side that wearers can press to tighten or loosen the shoes.

Back then, the tech-enabled sneakers had a price tag of $720.

Today, Nike Adapt is available for select shoes, and they sync with a mobile app with which users can check battery levels, adjust the lacing fit, change the light colors, and more directly from their smartphones. Nike Adapt can also connect with Apple Watches and other fit watch brands.

After the launch of the first Adapt, the series was seen in basketball beginning in 2019, with the Adapt BB and subsequent Adapt BB 2.0 models.

Along with the self-lacing tech, the 2.0’s are equipped with a cushioning system that curves with the wearer’s natural motion. After debuting at $350, the retail price tag for the 2.0 was increased to a steep $400.

Concept of the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 (Image via Nike, Inc.)

I know what you’re probably wondering: Why would I need advanced technology to tie my shoes?

Well, Nike is on a more profound mission than helping you tie your shoes. The company uses technology to help athletes find that “perfect fit” to elevate their gameplay.

“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” Eric Avar, a Creative Director and Nike’s VP of Innovation, said in a statement. “During a normal basketball game, the athlete’s foot changes, and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience.”

Indeed, change is in the air. And we’ll be keeping an eye on the improvements and evolutions that could be in store for the Swoosh and its widening world of Adapt.

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