Nike’s latest futuristic sneakers will massage your feet while you’re wearing them

 The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots .
Credit: Nike x Hyperice

In the 1980s, Mart McFly zipped back to the future (2015) and slipped into a pair of self-tying Nike sneakers. Now it’s 2024, and Nike’s newest shoes do far more than tighten on demand.

The brand has teamed up with Hyperice, creators of some of the best massage guns, to create a pair of high-tops that massage athletes’ feet while they’re wearing them, with the help of heat and dynamic air compression.

The shoe contains a series of dual-air Normatec bladders (air-filled pockets) connected to warming elements, which are powered by battery packs in the insole. These are designed to “drive heat into the muscles and tissues of the foot and ankle”, with the aim of improving the wearer’s performance and recovery.

They’re controlled using four small buttons on the heel of the shoe (pictured below).

The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots
The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots

Hyperice says athlete testers have reported how their feet and ankles feel “freer and lighter” after wearing them, “as if they’ve already completed their warm-up before actually starting their usual routine”.

“Recovery is an important part of any athlete’s journey, but we’re hearing from athletes that this concept of ‘pre-covery’ is equally as important,” says Tobie Hatfield, senior director of Nike Athlete Innovation. “The footwear that we’ve developed with Hyperice help get the body ready for activity, whether you’re playing for a title or you’re on your feet a lot at work.”

Recovery has long been a guiding element of fitness tools like the best running watches, using tools like Garmin's Training Readiness score to make sure athletes take enough time away from training. But stretching your whole body and using percussive massage can help bulletproof your body before training begins.

Athletes including long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, footballer Ada Hegerberg, basketball player Lebron James and golfer Tom Kim are already putting the futuristic gear to the test.

"I could tell the difference immediately,” says Kim. “I'm so much lighter on my feet after wearing the Nike x Hyperice boot in the morning."

Kipchoge adds: "I have used the Nike x Hyperice boots before and after many key sessions in my training for the Olympic marathon. When using them before a warm-up for a fartlek or hill session, it makes my legs feel light during the workout. I also use them post-run as a key part of recovering my muscles."

The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots
The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots

The shoes aren’t commercially available yet, with Nike and Hyperice planning to release them at a later date after gathering more feedback from athletes. The brands have also collaborated on a vest which contains thermoelectric coolers, allowing athletes to adjust their body temperature.

“Since the inception of Hyperice, we have taken a lot of inspiration from Nike, from the care and innovation we put into our products, to how we connect with the athlete,” says Hyperice founder and president Anthony Katz.

“This collaboration is the culmination of years of work between our two brands, to deliver innovative footwear and apparel for the athlete with the goal of enhancing their performance and recovery. And this is just the start.”

The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots
The Nike x Hyperice tech-enabled boots

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