Nike may have started the self-lacing sneakers hype but it’s not the only company that wants to see you shoes that can lace themselves up.
PUMA has officially revealed their new technology, “Fit Intelligence” – the successor of AutoDisc, which launched two years ago. Fi serves as a launch for a new technology platform, but also a statement for the brand. It is designed to automate, finetune and adjust performance fit for PUMA footwear.
This is actually not the company’s very first product of this kind. That title would go to the Puma Autodisc which was revealed in 2015.
The first Fi footwear style to be launched is a training shoe that is made for workouts and light running. It employs a micromotor to power a uniquely configured cable system that “laces” the shoe, either through simply swiping on the Fi module up or down. It comes with a smart sensing capability that learns the shape of the foot of each user and adapts the fit of the shoe to the individual. Much like the Nike Adapt BB, athletes can also monitor, adjust and finetune fit through a smartphone app.
We’re on the ten-yard line,” says Charles Johnson, Puma’s global director of innovation. “The product is working, we’ve got it functional but we really want to have some additional learning before we bring it to market.”
PUMA has a 70-year history of being a leader in sports and innovation. In 1968, the brand crafted the first laceless sports shoe with Velcro™ straps, in 1991 the first cable closure with the PUMA Disc and in 2016 the first ever wirelessly connected adaptive fit shoe called AutoDisc. The AutoDisc was the predecessor to Fit Intelligence and since then, the company has been working tirelessly on improving functionality, user interface, and durability.
As you can probably imagine, these sneakers won’t come cheap. The expected price tag is $330 and it’s going to be a long wait to get them as Puma is going to release them early next year.
Puma Fit Intelligence Release Date
Yes, we’re apparently at a point in 2019 when 2020 doesn’t feel that far off anymore.
Look for the PUMA Fit Intelligence training shoe to officially become available for consumers in 2020. But before then, PUMA is offering beta testing through its Pumatrac app. More details on how to sign-up will be available soon via the app and Puma.com.
IDK guys, smart laces? Do we really need ’em? Of course, the answer is no. But that is so, so not the point.
Image: Courtesy of PUMA