See the top footwear technologies of 2020, including self-lacing capability, connected shoes, new kinds of sustainability and more.

Top Footwear Technologies of 2020

Self-Lacing Capabilities

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Self-lacing shoes are no longer just a movie version of the future. Nike Adapt is “a breakthrough lacing system that electronically adjusts to the shape of your foot.” The shoes are powered by the Nike Adapt App, which also customize light colors and check battery levels.

100% Recyclable Materials

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adidas FUTURECRAFT.LOOP Gen 2 shoes represent the second step in a new kind of footwear sustainability. The shoes are made from components of the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP Gen 1 shoes, the company’s “first 100% recyclable performance running shoe.” And this sustainable journey doesn’t stop; the first commercial release of FUTURECRAFT is planned for Spring/Summer 2021.

Additionally, a QR code on the tongue of each FUTURECRAFT.LOOP launches a Blue Bite-powered experience that allows users to register their shoes and peruse additional information.

VaporWeave Materials

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Combining innovative foam and lightweight VaporWeave material, Nike says the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% is the fastest shoe its ever made.

Connected Smart Shoes

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Under Armour’s HOVR Machina features some material advancements similar to the Nike Next%, and then goes a step further as a connected shoe. The shoes can be paired to an app that provides “personalized guidance on your running form as you run,” according to Men’s Journal. “In addition, the Machina will feed data on foot strike angle and ground contact time to the app-as well as the usual stats like pace and distance-for you to analyze once you finish your run.”

Peer-to-Peer Selling, Authentication and more

Taking connectivity to the next level, the adidas Rivalry Lo “The 5” created an entirely new kind of selling experience for adidas.

While exclusive shoe drops today are known as much for long lines and bots as for the shoes themselves, adidas eliminated both these issues: “adidas has elected five advocates in each [New York City] borough, and to get your hands on one of these limited pairs, you’ll need to slide in the DMs, and arrange a face-to-face meetup. No lineups, no sneaker bots,” according to High Snobiety. In other words, adidas introduced peer-to-peer selling.

When buyers met with sellers, they tapped the NFC tag embedded in the tongue of the shoe to launch a Blue Bite-powered experience that allowed them to purchase the shoes. When their own shoes arrived, tapping the NFC tag provided authentication of the shoes, along with additional information about the exclusive sneakers.

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