Nike users are experiencing some technical difficulties in the wild world of connected footwear. Nike’s $ 350 “Adapt BB” sneakers are the latest in the company’s line of self-lacing shoes, and they come with the “Nike Adapt” app for Android and iOS. The app pairs with the shoes and lets you adjust the tightness of the laces, customize the lights (yeah, there are lights), and see, uh, how much battery life your shoes have left. The only problem: Nike’s Android app doesn’t work.
Android users report that their new kicks aren’t pairing with the app properly, and some customers report failed firmware updates for the shoes, which render them unable to pair with the app at all. Nike’s app on Google Play has been flooded with 1-star reviews in response to the faulty update.
One user writes, “The first software update for the shoe threw an error while updating, bricking the right shoe.” Another says, “App will only sync with left shoe and then fails every time. Also, app says left shoe is already connected to another device whenever I try to reinstall and start over.”
“My left shoe won’t even reboot.” writes another. One user offers a possible solution, saying, “You need to do a manual reset of both shoes per the instructions.”
Calling a smart shoe that can’t use its smart features a “brick” might seem a little extreme, but keep in mind, with no manual laces, you need to trigger the self lacing feature to tighten the shoes around your feet. If the firmware update fails and you can’t lace up your shoes anymore, they are kind of useless as shoes.
In response to the reports on Google Play, Nike said, “We are aware of the issue and are actively working on a solution.”
Back in my day, if you didn’t want to lace your sneakers, you just used velcro.