Nike Discontinues Self-Lacing 'Back to the Future' Shoes, Removes App

(Image credit: Nike)

Nothing compares to the satisfaction of putting on your $350 worth of self-lacing Nike sneakers and knowing that they are functional. With Bluetooth, the app offers all the necessary personalized changes, and it works well overall. That is, until Nike announces that the software will no longer be available on Google Play or the Apple software Store.

On their support page, Nike provided information on the discontinuation of the Adapt BB sneakers and the Adapt software that went along with them. "After five years, we're retiring the Adapt App and removing it from the Apple and Android app stores, globally, on August 6, 2024," says the support message.

There is a lot of functionality right on the shoes, and it will all perform just well. However, the "smart" feature was the ability to operate things from a phone by connecting over Bluetooth. Fortunately, as long as customers have the app installed on their phones before August 6th, at least a version of it will function, according to Nike's FAQ.

(Image credit: Nike)

"The Adapt App should keep working if it is already installed. According to Nike, "You'll still be able to enjoy gesture detection, smart commands, personalized fit settings, changing lights, and lacing your shoes."

However, there are several disadvantages. According to Nike, customers who upgrade or lose their current phone will no longer be able to utilize the Adapt software since they won't be able to transfer the functionality to a new phone.

Without the app, one of the shoe's primary features—the lighting—will not function. According to Nike, "The light pack you choose last will remain in your shoes. When the user is unable to access the app, light will be the default color if they did not install it. I suppose owners of sneakers should be cautious about the light pattern they choose when changing phones or uninstalling apps, since that's the one they'll be forced to use forever.

The following features are compatible without the app, according to the support page: Power On, Check Battery Status, Adjust Your Fit, Save Your Fit, Unlace Shoes, and Power Off.

Although it's encouraging that some of the essential features of shoes will still be present, the loss of phone connectivity is significant and bodes poorly for the future of smart apparel. This is terrible news for those who purchased the present shoes and for those who would use them to escape the upcoming trend in stylish footwear or clothing. These were a costly pair of shoes, and a large portion of the rationale for their high price is disappearing.

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