With wearable technology trending heavily these days, it’s only a matter of time before activity trackers like Apple Watches and Fitbits come together in perfect union with sneakers. Technology might not be the first thing you think about when choosing your sneakers but the industry is innovating at a rapid pace. Here are 7 Sneaker Technologies To Try in 2017.
Introduced on the Nike HyperAdapt, E.A.R.L. is short for “Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing.” This is the future, as in the technology we saw in Back To The Future II with Nike MAGs, where your shoes lace themselves automatically when you put them on. If you prefer a tighter or looser fit, you can press a button on the side of the shoe to adjust to your liking. The HyperAdapt is the first self-lacing sneaker to be available to the public and it was issued in black, silver, and white. That said, they’re rare—eBay is one of the only places you’ll find the Nike HyperAdapt.
adidas developed Boost cushioning within the last couple of years and has been consistently refining it along the way. Boost is basically a bunch of little energy capsules designed to provide responsive energy return cushioning. Some of adidas’ latest sneakers have up to 3,000 capsules of Boost energy return. What’s even crazier is that adidas uses an ARAMIS testing system to ensure that their Boost technology is up to standard. That’s the same testing system that companies like NASA, Boeing and Audi use. Clearly, this is serious stuff!
If you ask your favorite sneakerhead about adidas Boost, they will tell you it’s the most comfortable thing. A few of the models that include adidas Boost cushioning are the adidas Ultra Boost, Pure Boost, NMD and Kanye West’s Yeezy Boosts.
Under Armour is pushing the “wearable tech” envelope with both their apparel and footwear. As of this year, their line of “Record Equipped” styles is bolstered by an increased number of sensors to ensure an accurate read on your workout so you don’t need a watch or an activity tracker. Record Equipped styles use Under Armour’s MapMyRun app to track the time and distance of your run, and also the cadence, real-time pacing, muscle fatigue, and the life of your shoe.
3D printing is the future of many things—including sneakers. New Balance became the first sneaker brand to release a shoe made through 3D printing with their Zante Generate style. Under Armour also launched a 3D printed sneaker called the Architech. But adidas created something next level with the adidas 3D Runner. The perforations on the knit upper, the heel counter, and the midsole cushioning were all created using 3D printing. In short, the 3D Runner is adidas’ pinnacle running shoe, the Ultra Boost, reinvented with the latest technology. This is one shoe you just have to see in person!
Boost isn’t the only cushioning helping to move adidas to the forefront of the sneaker world. Bounce cushioning is another support technology to try in 2017. Bounce is more responsive, a bit more firm, and envelopes your foot more than traditional cushioning. If you’re a runner, or just looking for a fresh looking casual shoe, the adidas AlphaBounce is the way to go. If basketball is your sport of choice, the adidas Dame 3 is the perfect way to test this technology in your next pickup game.
Now you might think all “sneaker tech” is nerdy, but you’d be mistaken. Sneakers have traditionally made from rubber outsoles and leather, canvas, suede or mesh uppers but that is changing quickly thanks to knitting technology. We’re not talking about grandma-in-the-rocking-chair knitting, bless her heart. We’re talking about knitting that allows the entire upper of the shoe to be made of one piece for a sock-like fit and feel, with the ability to weave beautiful combinations of colors that weren’t possible before. Nearly every major footwear brand has unveiled an advanced knit technology but Nike’s Flyknit, adidas’ Primeknit, and Puma’s Evoknit are leading the charge with multi-color designs that are as much a fashion statement as a technological win.
adidas and Parley, a group that works to improve and clean up our oceans, created what could be one of the most important sneakers ever created, at least for the environment. The Parley x adidas Ultra Boost is made from recycled plastics collected from oceans around the globe. And no, the shoe doesn’t feel like a water bottle. It’s so well done that if you didn’t know it was made of recycled ocean plastics, you couldn’t tell by looking. By using this eco-friendly technology, adidas is promoting environmental awareness which is something we can get behind. Grab any size of the Parley x adidas Ultra Boost on eBay today.
For more on sneakers, see all our latest articles.