It’s December and that means it’s time for our annual #KoFBestOf2016 features, where we look back on the year that was in sneakers. Today is the launch of the Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 and while we are excited for the potential of the shoe and how it change the lives of people, we’re not handing over our $700 quite yet.

Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 9 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 6 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 5 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 8 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 7 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 4 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 3 Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 2

If there’s one thing technology has taught me through years is that being an early adopter is kind of a foolish endeavor. My closet is filled with gadgets that constantly make me wonder what was I thinking at the time. I have multiple Xbox 360s that gave me the red ring of death, a $350 paperweight called the Nintendo Wii U (until Super Mario Maker showed up) and a “smartphone” that looked cooler than it functioned in the Motorola Q. This also at times extends to sneakers because few things suck more than buying kicks at full price on Day 1 and then watching that number drop precipitously in a few weeks. I have gotten better at not buying impulsively; I did not have an iPhone until the 4S, I just got a MacBook Pro last year, I still don’t have an Apple Watch, and the Playstation VR with my name on it is a big price drop and a home remodeling away from invading my living room. So don’t expect me fork over $700 for a Nike Hyperadapt just yet. At least until they upgrade the hardware…

Ever since it was revealed earlier this year I have sung the praises of the Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 and its potential benefits to not just athletes of the regular kind but those who are disabled and cannot take care of themselves and assistance from time to time. The Nike co-sign gives that movement a legitimacy that it did not have before. To see a billion corporation take this step into creating product that everybody can use is a heartwarming thing that really gave me the feels and hope that other brands will step forward with their own take on the Hyperadapt, pushing and driving Nike to refresh their shoe, getting better each time.

It is amazing how far we have come ever since the famous Matthew Walzer letter that was a catalyst in the creation of the Nike LeBron Soldier 8 Flyease (our pick for 2015 Sneaker Of The Year). While the Hyperadapt was born from the future (aka the Nike Mag), it’s hard not to see the connection between that and Nike’s efforts to helping the disabled. I welcome a future when people are able to wear shoes that use the Hyperadapt’s technology with the same ease that Marty McFly was able to put on the Mags in Back To The Future.

However, when I put on my geek glasses, I see a past and a present that is littered many first editions of new and exciting products pushed out to the market that are basically beta tests and consumers are paying for it. I hesitate to put my money down on the Hyperadapt at the moment because I know something better is coming down the line.

Some people who can afford the $700 for the Hyperadapt are passing because they’re not hype or fire enough for their fit. That’s fine, but that’s not me at all; despite having a dad shoe vibe, I would buy a Hyperadapt right now if I thought the tech was there, or if waiting years just meant diminishing returns when I did finally get it. My concern is with durability, sustainability, and Nike’s willingness to support the Hyperadapt and future iterations once it is out on the market. The reason I say that is because I have no less than four Nike+ FuelBands – either from seeding from Nike or ones I paid for – that tells me the swoosh will cut bait and go in a different direction if it’s in their best interest to do so.

While I don’t think Nike will ever abandon building on the Hyperadapt, I don’t think it’s wise to spend the $700 on the first edition when you know that the second and the third and the fourth editions will be cheaper, more efficient and sleeker than the first. See Kobe Bryant and his dogged insistence on making the perfect low-cut basketball shoe. To someone on the outside looking in, you might not see a big aesthetic difference from the Nike Zoom Kobe 4 to the Nike Kobe 8, but anybody who plays basketball knows it was a fine-tuned machine that got better and better with each passing year. I can see the Hyperadapt following in those footsteps when we get the 2.0 and the 3.0 and so on…

“A lot of these technologies are still in their infancy and we need to let them develop.”

Tiffany Beers, Nike Senior Innovator

It’s 2016 and true to Tinker Hatfield’s promise, we now live in a world where power-lacing shoes are a reality. Now we just need to refine and create to adapt – pun intended – the Hyperadapt to our reality and not Marty McFly’s and we will be on our way. Hopefully that future includes a hoverboard that’s actually hoverboard and not this garbage.

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