The Nike Adapt BBs powered on. (Eli Weitzman ('20))
The Nike Adapt BBs powered on.

Eli Weitzman ('20)

Review: The Nike Adapt BB Self-Lacing Shoes

February 22, 2019

Full disclosure: I’m not a sneakerhead. I don’t casually wear shoes that cost more than a typical trip to the grocery store. But somehow, the new Nike Adapt BBs were an exception. And wow, they’re interesting.

The whole story started around October 2015, also known as when they travelled through time to the popular movie Back to the Future. Nike, in honor of the timing, released a limited run of functional Nike Mag sneakers, the self-lacing ones featured in the film. Flash forward a few months, and Nike now has released its first, consumer-oriented and publicly available version, the Nike Adapt BB.

These shoes are quite a step up from the ones released in 2015. Now, the shoes feature Nike’s new FitAdapt technology, which instead of focusing on laces, instead secures the shoe by tightening the material around the wearer’s foot. It’s an interesting concept, and I put it to the test. Here’s my findings:

The Good

The Adapt BBs are extremely comfortable. From when a user first puts them on,

Eli Weitzman (’20)
The Nike Adapt BBs don’t totally fit with my style…

an overall snug fit starts to take over, which is typical in basketball shoes. However, the shoes have other functions that are quite interesting. The shoes, once tightened to a comfortable level, fit perfectly, and provide a satisfying fit. And if the shoes feel too tight at one point or another, all you must do is simply press a button to release them.

Another nice feature is the software support. Nike has promised firmware updates to your shoes (a quite absurd, but reasonable thought) to help them run smoothly. This ensures continual development of this new technology, and as well shows potential growth for the future of this concept.

The Bad

Eli Weitzman (’20)
An overhead view of the shoes.

While these shoes most definitely are a wonderful concept, that’s all they are: a concept. Shoes like these have potential to move forward, but at the same time, they cause their own problems. Exclusivity, for one. The 2015 concepts were extremely limited, and the Adapt BBs are no different in this area. An initial run of these shoes completely sold out on day one, and Nike has no plans of releasing or making any more.

In addition, another issue for these shoes is the price. They cost $350. That’s a lot of money, especially for a pair of shoes that you’ll eventually outgrow. And I wouldn’t consider selling these, at least from my perspective, since I personally find that trade distasteful, and they most likely won’t sell if you’ve worn them. I didn’t even spend $350. Thankfully, my brother did instead (though I still disapprove) and I had the opportunity to try them.


Overall, the Adapt BBs are great shoes. They do their main job quite well: protect the wearer’s feet. But they still face the same issue as all early electronic concepts. They aren’t very accessible, and they cost a bit too much. Hopefully, future versions of these shoes will be able to be more available for all, and less of a limited concept. In the meantime, these shoes are what we’ve got, and they’re good for what they’re worth.


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