Nike teased its much-awaited self-lacing shoes on Monday. The unique thing about these shoes is that they can be controlled using a smartphone. The company will officially announce the shoes today at 8 a.m. Eastern time.
App to control self-lacing shoes
Nike first launched its self-lacing sneakers – HyperAdapt 1.0 – in 2016. The original version, however, lacked the wireless connectivity, meaning a user couldn’t use an app to lace them up. Instead, the shoes had a button, which you needed to press every time you wanted to activate the self-lacing feature.
With its upcoming self-lacing basketball shoes, Nike is addressing this limitation by allowing wearers to control the shoes with their smartphone. Though Nike hasn’t yet shown the shoes, it teased them in a video showing the reactions of different NBA athletes – including Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler, Breanna Stewart, Luka Doncic and De’Aaron Fox – using the smartphone controlled self-lacing shoes. However, the teaser doesn’t actually show what the shoes look like.
The game will never be the same.
— Nike (@Nike) January 14, 2019
As of now, not many details are known about these shoes, but reports are that the upcoming shoes will cost around $350, much less than the original version at $720. Though still expensive, they will now be within reach of many more buyers.
Nike’s HyperAdapt seems to be inspired from 1989’s “Back to the Future Part II.” The movie at the time talked of self-lacing Nikes along with products like hoverboards and flying cars.
Another innovation from Nike
Nike will officially unveil the self-lacing shoes at an event today. The event comes just weeks after the company confirmed that its HyperAdapt self-lacing sneakers would make a comeback in 2019. Nike even hinted of a much lower price than the $720-a-pair first-gen HyperAdapt.
During the latest earnings call, CEO Mark Parker suggested that their next-gen basketball shoe would cost about $350. “I’m excited to announce that in the new year we’ll launch a new adaptive performance platform in basketball at the $350 price point. We have a smart shoe designed for the perfect fit, and it’s a major step in advancing and connecting our digital transformation to product,” he said.
Nike’s self-lacing shoes are not the only innovative sneakers that the company is coming up with. The company recently announced that it will launch a new version of its Air Max 1 golf sneakers. These new shoes are claimed to be inspired by golf courses themselves and reports are that the shoes upper part is made of grass turf-like material.
Nike Air Max 1 Golf “Grass” official images 😳 pic.twitter.com/txRXkApZl8
— J23 iPhone App (@J23app) January 12, 2019
A picture of the shoe also leaked on Instagram, showing a Zoom Air midsole and a gum rubber outsole. Complementing the green part are the green laces and a white Nike swoosh on either side. However, the Nike branding usually seen on Air Max 1s is absent from this variant.
Other details of these green golfing sneakers are not known, including the release date. But, it is expected to be priced at $140.
Strong financial numbers
Nike revealed its quarterly earnings last month posting profits and revenue that beat analysts’ expectations. The strong quarter was the result of robust global sales and better performance of the digital business. The company reported earnings of 52 cents a share, beating the analysts’ expectation of 46 cents. The revenue came in at $9.37 billion, compared to the expectations of $9.18 billion.
Nike said that they didn’t witness any slowdown due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. During Singles’ Day, which is China’s biggest online shopping event, Nike posted record sales, which were up 40% from last year. Overall, sales in China jumped by 26% to $1.54 billion.
According to the company, it witnessed revenue growth in almost every category. And, footwear and apparel witnessed double digits growth. Moreover, digital sales helped push growth across both the Nike and Converse brands.
Even sales for the Jordan brand, which sells footwear and apparel, posted positive growth in the quarter. The company credited new designs and collaborations for the revenue growth of this brand.
“We saw it over the Thanksgiving shopping week, fueling more than 30 percent increase in our digital business in North America for the quarter,” CEO Mark Parker said during the earnings call.
Net income for the company was up 10% to $847 million from $767 million last year. Revenue was up 10% to $9.37 billion, while after adjusting for currency fluctuations, revenue increased by 14%.