Is Power Lacing Prime for the 2016 Summer Olympics?

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Yesterday, news broke that the Nike MAG will be releasing in OG or rather futuristic form in Spring 2016. Like the 2011 launch, the shoe will be released via auction to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the fight against Parkinson’s Disease. Unlike 2011, the shoe will come equipped with power laces.

In the press release from Nike, it’s more than foreshadowed that the power lacing seen on the MAG is much more than just nostalgia and novelty, but rather the inspiration for new athlete driven innovation. Nike’s press release refers to power lacing technology as “an individually responsive system that senses the wearer’s motion to provide adaptive on-demand comfort and support.” The power lacing tech used on the 2015 MAGs “is just the first iteration” as “Nike continues to test this technology across multiple sports.”

At this moment in time, it’s hard to tell just how far out power lacing technology in performance footwear across multiple sports is. However, with a Spring 2016 launch for the MAGs the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio certainly makes a lot of sense.

Historically, the Summer Olympics have served as a platform for Nike’s biggest technological innovations. In 2012, Nike+ technology was put on a pedestal, introducing in-shoe/in-game analytics to the footwear world, namely on the Nike Hyperdunk 2012+ and Nike LeBron X+. Four years before in 2008, there was the introduction of Flywire and Lunar Foam on the Nike Hyperdunk and Nike Lunaracer, respectively. Dating back even further in 2000, Nike Shox hit the highlight reel in the form of Vince Carter’s BB4s.

photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters via NY Daily News

While it would be odd for Nike to debut a ‘performance innovation’ via a ‘lifestyle shoe,’ the MAG is an outlier if there ever was one. Old school in origin but ahead of its time in inspiration, the MAG occupies an odd space that spans three decades on a timeline. Just the same, it’s simply ‘bigger’ than any other shoe they (or really anyone for that matter) could have in their catalog.

Could power lacing be the next great innovation in performance footwear? The future could be sooner than we think.

Olympic Rings via Wikimedia Commons

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