Who needs self-driving cars?

by on December 3, 2016 at 3:42 am in Science, Web/Tech | Permalink

Nike Inc. this week begins selling a pricey sneaker with self-tying laces, a high-stakes test of the company’s technology investments and efforts to sell more products directly to consumers.

Since its founding, Nike has predominantly been a wholesaler. But as shopping shifts online, Nike is moving to lessen its reliance on retailers. It wants to double its direct sales to consumers to $16 billion by 2020, particularly as rivals Adidas AG and Under Armour Inc. have become more competitive in recent years.

That is where the self-lacing $720 HyperAdapt sneakers play a role. The company is offering the shoes exclusively on its relaunched Nike+ app and at a new retail store in New York City, beginning on Thursday. The idea is to hook consumers into buying via its app or visiting Nike stores for limited-edition sneaker releases, which to date has been a near-weekly phenomenon at Foot Locker and other retailers.

You might laugh, but this is actually an advance of real value, though ideally the price could come down a bit.  Here is one article, here is the WSJ, for pointers I thank the excellencies of Daniel Lippman and Samir Varma.

1 Bill December 3, 2016 at 6:27 am

Only the effete east coast establishment types and those Ivy educated intellectuals sitting in their academic offices wear footwear.

Barefoodetedness is where it’s at. From Wikipedia:

“Barefootedness is not regarded as unusual in many domestic environments, but is subject to criticism in public spaces in many urban environments…..However, shoes can limit the flexibility and mobility of the foot and can lead to higher incidences of flexible flat foot, bunions, hammer toe and Morton’s neuroma. Walking barefoot results in a more natural gait, allowing for a more rocking motion of the foot, eliminating the hard heel strike and therefore generating less collision force in the foot and lower leg.[citation needed]

There are many sports that are performed barefoot, most notably gymnastics and martial arts, but also beach volleyball, barefoot running and water skiing. In modern language, someone who tends not to wear shoes in public or is participating in the aforementioned sports may be described as a barefooter.[1][2]”

When Nike figures out the advantages of barefootedness they will manufacture a Nike swoosh decal that can be applied to your foot and sell it for $500 and cause you to believe that because other athletes have the swoosh you too are aided by it.

2 dan1111 December 3, 2016 at 7:10 am

Haha. I like the idea of Nike focusing on their core business and just selling brand markup.

3 Axa December 3, 2016 at 7:22 am

There are sometimes you learn more from watching t.v. than reading Wikipedia. In gymnastics there are apparatus or vault shoes. Pay attention, it may not be an stereotypical shoe but there is something prorectecting gymnast’s feet.

4 chuck martel December 3, 2016 at 8:24 am

Nike and $720 sneakers, Starbucks and a $12 cup of joe. The Great Recession is so yesterday.

5 mulp December 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Voodoo economics writ large.

Low labor costs but high prices.

If Nike were in the coal business, they would sell steam coal for $2000 a ton after getting Trump to eliminate all regulations preventing just bulldozing towns, houses, etc to get to the easiest coal, in exchange for not selling imported coal from Australia, and then encasing it in plastic for collectors, and speculators, based on liberals banning coal making coal very scarce in the future.

At least with food, after decades of making it cheaper and cheaper with a war on workers, and massive government subsidies targeting workers and corporations to ensure that workers do not die of starvation producing food, and to keep corporations profitable producing ever more of a food with price in elasticity, the Trump brand is applied to tiny food dishes that have both high labor costs, but exponentially higher profits and thus meal prices of thousands that must be destroyed by consumption.

No one can buy a Trump brand entree and store it in a storage locker in expectation of selling it for a higher price in 5 to 10 years.

6 Jeff R December 3, 2016 at 8:26 am

People with back problems would be happy to have such a product, actually.

7 teppen December 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

… but not happy at $720 for shoes

Most six year olds can tie their own shoes; handicapped persons who can’t… are a small minority, who already have much better options.

Velcro shoe fasteners work great on all counts, but are considered un-cool and unfashionable. Ever hear of ‘Loafers’ with no laces/fasteners at all?

And the idea of a product manufacturer selling directly to end consumers online or via directly owned outlet stores … is not even remotely a new or important innovation.

8 karl December 3, 2016 at 10:06 am

Are you sure this isn’t a parody?

9 dearieme December 3, 2016 at 10:13 am

“a pricey sneaker with self-tying laces”: it’s designed to appeal to the velcro generation perhaps?

10 derek December 3, 2016 at 10:24 am

All those people who think they are smart enough to run the country but not smart enough to know how to tie their shoes have an alternative to velcro straps.

11 Hwite December 3, 2016 at 10:58 am

Or you could just buy shoes that don’t need laces. I use slip-ons.

12 ant1900 December 3, 2016 at 12:31 pm

+1 for a nice pair of loafers. And most women’s shoes don’t have laces either.

13 bluto December 3, 2016 at 11:23 am

Cubs winning the world series, president Trump, self tying Nikes… So the lesson is Back to the Future was a year off and everything happens in 2016.

14 msgkings December 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Thread winner.

15 athEIst December 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I’m waiting for the next advance—-shoes that not only tie themselves but go for the jog for you*. Do they untie themselves as well?
At $720 they may not come back.

16 Jeffery Mewtamer December 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm

I have never spent more than 50USD for a pair of shoes, and the only reason I’ve ever paid that much is because slip-on sneakers in a US men’s 15 are somewhat hard to come by(and even lace-ups in that size aren’t cheap).

That said, ever since I made the decision a few months ago to say “screw social norms” and start going barefoot in public, I feel much better. My feet no longer get hot and sweaty while I’m sitting in class, they don’t feel so cramped, being able to feel what I’m walking on makes me feel like I was wearing a blindfold for years, and while I’ll admit there might be some placebo effect at play, I’m pretty sure my knees and ankles don’t hurt me as much as they use to.

My dad says I look like a fool walking around barefoot, but I feel like a fool for not ditching my foot prisons years ago.

17 Scoop December 3, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Can anyone who actually knows something about the athletic footwear industry tell me if Velcro failed entirely for aesthetic/coolness reasons or whether it has practical shortcomings: doesn’t secure the feet as well, doesn’t last as long, etc.?

18 Bill December 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Self-lacing shoe $720

Self untying shoe $100 extra.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: