Nike’s self-lacing Adapt BB sneakers are losing their remote control mobile app

2024-07-04 11:29


The Nike Adapt BB self-lacing basketball sneakers on a bench.
After August 6, Nike Adapt owners won’t be able to download the accompanying mobile app any longer. | Photo by Felicia Shivakumar / The Verge

Despite the ongoing popularity of the Back to the Future trilogy that inspired the self-lacing tech found in the HyperAdapt 1.0 and Air Mags, Nike has announced that it’s “no longer creating new versions of Adapt shoes.” Now, the Adapt BB mobile app used to control the $350 third iteration of Nike’s self-lacing sneakers will disappear from Google Play and the iPhone App Store next month.

Without the app, owners can use the physical buttons on the sneakers to power them on and off, check battery status, tighten or loosen the laces, and save a single preset, but there will be no way to adjust the shoe’s lighting.

The power laces on the Nike Adapt BB basketball shoes, which were worn by athletes like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic, were adjustable using buttons on the sneakers themselves or over Bluetooth. The app also allowed users to configure three tightness presets and adjust the color of LED lights on the shoes — features that will continue to function for Adapt BB users who already have the app installed on their phones.

After August 6th, however, Nike warns users that they “won’t be able to move the app to a new device, and future iOS updates may limit or end functionality, or may completely remove the app from your device.”

Nike’s decision to retire the app is another reminder of the challenges of designing smart apparel. Most consumers might be used to the idea of upgrading a smartphone every few years, but an electronic pair of shoes or a smart denim jacket can remain in someone’s wardrobe for decades, long after a company stops selling the product.

It’s not entirely surprising when a company chooses to stop paying for the upkeep and continued development of an app for a product it’s no longer making money on, but that doesn’t take the sting out of losing functionality on your five-year-old kicks.

Our 2019 hands-on with the Nike Adapt BBs.