nike adapt huarache closer look Nike FitAdapt

The Nike Adapt Huarache was announced earlier this week to much fanfare, representing Nike’s FitAdapt auto-lacing technology’s first foray into lifestyle sneakers. The model, originally designed by Tinker Hatfield and first released in 1991, is a fitting, almost perfect, choice for the move into Nike’s NSW category (Nike Sportswear), due to its game-changing reputation in the early ’90s.

Just as the original Nike Huarache was a pioneer in developing a new type of fit when it was first released, the Nike Adapt Huarache comes full circle in bringing next-gen auto-lacing technology to the masses. While there have been EARL-equipped shoes in the past, namely the Nike Mag, Nike HyperAdapt, and Nike Adapt BB, the Adapt Huarache is the first that is made with the streets and everyday wear in mind.

Ahead of the Nike Adapt Huarache’s release on September 13, we break down everything you need to know about Nike’s first auto-lacing lifestyle sneaker. In addition to the Nike SNKRS app, availability is is being offered through the Highsnobiety Shop raffle, which is open until Wednesday, September 11 at 6PM CEST (Europe only).

How it works

The next-generation Nike Adapt Huarache has been updated with Nike FitAdapt technology that provides auto-lacing functionality. The built-in motor and cables can be toggled via two midfoot buttons, or the multi-faceted Nike Adapt app, which works in conjunction with the Apple Watch and Siri. This latest version of FitAdapt comes with preset fit recommendations, but can easily be adjusted based on personal preferences amid various environments.

It’s the first lifestyle sneaker with FitAdapt technology

Part of the reason the launch of the Nike Adapt Huarache is such a big deal is that it’s FitAdapt’s first venture into lifestyle sneakers. We’ve seen auto-lacing technology used on the Nike Mag and the HyperAdapt, both more proof of concepts than anything else, as well as the Nike Adapt BB, which debuted earlier this year and is the first, and to date only, performance Nike sneaker with self-lacing technology. Lifestyle sneakers are worn everywhere, from the streets, to offices and schools, and even in gyms around the world. Therefore lifestyle sneakers need an adaptable fit, something FitAdapt provides above all else.

The Huarache line comes full circle

When it debuted in 1991, the original Huarache brought with it a new type of fit-focused Nike technology. The model’s neoprene bootie and exoskeleton were the first instance of adaptable fit and the precursor to today’s ultra-adaptable FitAdapt technology. The Huarache made its debut alongside clever advertising materials that posed the question, “Have You Hugged Your Foot Today?” Now that slogan comes full circle with Nike’s FitAdapt technology built into the Huarache.


In addition, Nike pulls inspiration for the design from Hatfield’s water-skiing “aha moment.” As the story goes, Tinker Hatfield came up with the idea for the original Huarache when he was water-skiing, wondering why his running shoes can’t have the same snug fit as his water-ski boots. Both launch colorways are aquatic themed, with the black/white colorway referencing an above-water research vessel, and the yellow/black version inspired by submarines.

Nike’s pursuit of the perfect fit

Much has been made of Nike’s auto-lacing technology, achieving holy grail status following that iconic scene in Back to the Future, before being realized in 2016. What comes down to, is that Nike FitAdapt represents the brand’s latest step in a relentless pursuit for the perfect fit. The original Huarache was the first adaptive fit in a sneaker. The Air Presto introduced S, M, and L sizing instead of conventional numbered sizing. Nike also recently introduced Nike Fit, a new digital solution that aims to determine the perfect size for each individual consumer across the brand’s entire footwear catalogue. These are all attempts at serving consumers with the best-fitting shoe, something FitAdapt technology takes to the next level. Now taking on lifestyle sneakers, the biggest segment in footwear, FitAdapt might be the closest Nike has come to realizing its dream of the “perfect fit.”

How and where to buy it

The Nike Adapt Huarache will be released on September 13 for a retail price of $350 (€350). The sneaker will be available via Nike SNKRS in the United States and SNEAKRS in Europe. Highsnobiety Shop is the exclusive retailer for both launch colorways in Europe.

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