I'm super excited today because I finally got my hands on a pair of self-lacing shoes - its been a while but here's a review of the incredibly awesome Nike Adapt BB 2.0.
When I was a kid and I saw Marty McFly put on those self-lacing sneakers in Back to the Future, honestly I thought to myself, daaaayum that's a pretty sweet pair of shoes. And honestly when Nike announced they were actually going to make them, the nerd in me was just generally super excited about them. But the original Nike Mags were super limited, I think only about 89 pairs were made? And I've seen a few of them around, especially on resellers sites and eeehhh the resale price on those is insane and there's no way I'm ever going to be able to afford them in this lifetime. So when Nike announced that they're going to make a version meant for a more general audience, I was super excited again. The original Nike Adapt BB dropped last year, and it was an exciting time, they even had a Back to the Future colorway version that looked pretty sweet. But again, I couldn't really afford them last year because they didn't really drop where I was, and I just couldn't afford the reseller prices. I mean come on these retail at about $400 which is more than the reseller prices of some Yeezys and Air Jordan Ones right now so you can imagine what the reseller prices on those were. But hey luckily a couple weeks ago, I saw them pop up on Footlocker here in Malaysia and I thought, y'know what? It's about time I got these. They still cost way too much but I mean, I'm a nerd, and I had a little bit of expendable income around. Of Course this was before the world was ending so, it's a different time right now. So I copped them, they got delivered, and here they are.
Now you might have seen a couple of these on BasketBall courts, and Nike's reasoning behind the existence of these shoes is pretty simple - Athletes can adjust the lacing and fit of these, on the fly. So during time-out in Basketball, you can loosen the laces and let the blood flow go back to your feet, or while you're on a run if the shoe gets wet or your foot is swelling during a marathon, you can just loosen the lacing and adjust the fit again. So that's the reasoning behind these. But honestly, as cool as they are, this is still a luxury purchase - you don't need these because most people aren't really that lazy - You can adjust your lacing yourself lol. But this is just way more convenient. And admittedly, much faster. Also really really really cool, especially when you hear that self-lacing sound. The Nike Adapt BB 2.0 is an interesting design that you’ll either love or hate. I do feel like the first Adapt BB design looked cleaner.
The BB 2.0 is basically a redesigned Hyperrev 2016 but with an auto-lacing system, Zoom Turbo & Full Length Cushioning. Nonetheless, it seems like Nike really spent a lot of time focusing on the overall design of this shoe and it really has a vibe to it. I mean it kinda looks like a shoe Batman would wear - you could totally picture Batman coming out of the Batmobile, and he has his Batsuit on and then you look down and you see these. Starting with the upper, the entire front of the shoe is covered in a thin synthetic fabric. Nike has said that an area of focus with the BB2 was easier entry into the shoe. Because of that, they removed the Flyknit shroud, opened up the collar a little more, and integrated a stretchable ballistic mesh throughout the upper, designers made putting on the shoe simpler. I’m not entirely sure this is valid for me because I have pretty wide feet and I still struggled a little to put these on, but I’ll talk more about this later on. Another obvious new visual tweak is the huge Nike Swoosh across the top, which looks really cool as you turn the shoe. The way they made the swoosh is actually pretty cool, it's a combination of pixelated textures, which Nike says is a deliberate choice by the designers to balance out the shoe’s über-tech performance ideal. I think the white of the Nike swoosh, along with whatever is going on in the back of this sneaker, might be the reason why I’m getting such Batman vibes out of this thing. Moving on, the synthetic TPU material also protects the lacing wires that tie the sneaker together, and have a pretty rough texture to it.
It’s also a more stiff material vs the flyknit used before, but thankfully you dont feel any of this on your foot. There seems to be enough padding and the ballistic mesh all around, so that you feel like you’re wearing a regular pair of Nike Basketball shoes.
Towards the bottom you’ll also find a lateral clip where the tightening and loosening buttons are surrounded by an inset into a black plastic casing. This black plastic does seem like it will scratch easily over time, so it's not my favourite detail about this shoe, but it's probably there to keep the buttons and the motor of the lacing system inside all protected.
The buttons are positioned in such a way that they have a concave geometry which means the lights better reflect off the midsole’s surface area, which gives the show a really cool look for those 2 seconds that the lights stay on for.
The tongue of the shoe is all 3M, with a black pull-tab with this little red circle that tells you which is the left shoe and the right shoe. Which is totally unnecessary but I guess why not. Coming to the medial side of the shoe, you just have the white swoosh outline, which extends into the midfoot area.
And then coming to the heel of the shoe, you have this sculpted black plastic or hard rubber pull-tab thing which is also a heel counter. This thing is really weird but looks kinda cool depending on how you feel about this sneaker, and allows for good heel lockdown while wearing these shoes.
You’d think that’s it to the upper but like I said before, these arent any ordinary shoes. What you’re seeing is just the outer layer of the upper, and underneath that, is where all the cool tech bits actually lie, that make up the power lacing system. Obviously this self-lacing technology is the main reason why you’d want to buy these shoes, and it's understandably pretty similar to the Adapt BB 1.0 which dropped last year. There doesn't really seem to be any internal changes to the mechanism, or atleast Nike hasn't said anything about it, but according to other reviews out there, the way it wraps around your foot feels exactly the same as previous versions. Now you activate the lacing system in two really cool ways - 1 - you can use the two buttons at the bottom to tighten or loosen the lacing which is cool because the buttons briefly light up and there’s that cool auto-lacing sound. I wish there was a way to keep the light switch on for longer tho, but admittedly that would take a huge toll on battery life.
And then there’s option 2 - using the shoe along with the Nike Adapt app for iOS or Android. Setting it up is pretty easy; you just make sure to charge the shoes, and then hold the phone with the app opened next to the shoes, and you’ll be able to pair them. You can tighten or loosen the lacing on each sneaker right from the app itself, and you can even set the shoe to automatically tighten it to a default “perfect fit” preference as soon as you put your feet inside, which is pretty cool. You can also check the battery life on both shoes, you can change the color of the light on the buttons on the side of the shoe, and yup you can even update the firmware. One thing I should point out is that the motor noise is quite loud. This wont be a problem on a noisy street or on-court, but if you’re wearing the Adapt BB in a quiet office environment or a sensitive area like the airport, well then be prepared for people looking at you funny. But hey, that’s just all part of the flex here. Alright coming back to the shoe, apart from everyone going on with the upper, inside the shoe you have this neat little padded black sockliner which feels great.
You also have this black insole with a rainbow Nike swoosh logo, another indicator of which foot it belongs to - left or right, and you have this outline of the lacing button layout. Which looks okay. Moving towards the bottom, there’s the black cushlong foam midsole which isn't the softest cushioning out there unfortunately but it is housing a lacing motor and a battery inside so that's not a huge surprise. Still you can’t really feel the battery or motor undearneath your feet, and that’s thanks to the cushioning and also because of the outsole used here. Nike said that players wanted a more noticeable bounce underfoot so just having cushioning wasnt enough. As a result Nike added Air Zoom Turbo to the forefoot of the 2.0. That’s the red circle you see. It definitely makes the forefoot area a bit more bouncey, and according to Nike is the same one used on the Nike Kyrie line if you want to test out what this feels like.
Apart from that, you have this blue translucent rubber outsole, which has a herringbone pattern that seems to have a decent amount of grip and traction but I’m assuming these are more meant to be used on basketball courts indoors or outdoors on street courts so they’re not meant for anything near off-road. All in all, the Nike Adapt BB2 a really cool looking shoe, but there’s definitely a lot of plastic all around. Coming to fit and sizing, honestly I’ve been quite impressed with how these shoes feel. There’s a lot of padding on the upper so that definitely helps with comfort, plus you can wear them as snug or as loose as you’d want to. In terms of sizing, they seem to fit pretty true to size but they are basketball sneakers so they are a little snug. I have pretty wide feet so if you’re like me I’d advise maybe going up half a size or even a full size up if you have that option, because if they’re slightly too big, you can still adjust the fit on these shoes. Usually I’d advise trying these out in a store if you can, but since these really are hard to find in stores, you’ll want to do a little research on sizing with these. All in all, Nike has done a great job with improving the Adapt BB line with the 2.0s, and I’m quite happy with the shoe. If you werent a fan of the concept of the original shoe, you probably wont like these either but if you’re just a nerd like me who wanted a pair of self lacing shoes, and you have the extra expendable income lying around, you could totally pick these up. Honestly for me, the fact that these shoes auto-lace totally makes them worth the price tag, I mean thats just so freakking cool.
Granted the price point most definitely is expensive. But if you’re looking for a comfortable lifestyle shoe with futuristic, cutting edge tech, that you want to flex, well the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 is definitely a sneaker worth checking out.
I’m actually looking forward to wearing these as an everyday shoe, because I just cant get over how cool these are, and they go really well with my whole nerdy tech guy aesthetic.
I also really can’t wait for Nike to take this further and maybe make this a smart shoe. Like imagine a Nike Adapt running shoe that can also measure your running ability like we’ve seen with the new Under Armour shoes. Now that would be a real smart shoe.
Alrighy guys that's what I think about the Nike Adapt BB 2.0s. I want to know what do you guys think about these shoes - are you thinking about getting a pair yourself, or do you think these are a hard pass?
If you have any questions about these shoes you can let me know in the comments section below, or right over on instagram or twitter @ClintonJeff.