“I can’t believe this is happening,” said sneakerhead Rob Mies this month after receiving the ultimate birthday surprise from Nike.
Mies, who had his heart set on Nike’s self-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers since they were announced in early 2016, had all but given up hope on getting a pair of the futuristic kicks before the Swoosh’s gift arrived. The shoes, which make use of the same adaptive lacing technology found in the 2016 Nike Mag “Back to the Future” sneakers, were far from a normal sneaker release.
They were made available exclusively through the Nike+ app and in-store reservations in select cities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and sneakerheads who were unable to acquire the shoes through these methods were forced to turn to the secondary resell market — where the kicks are now selling for as much as $7,500 at consignment stores such as Stadium Goods.
“Nike was extremely selective of releasing information leading me to check the blogs and message boards on a daily basis to get any information that I could … I was prepared to do anything I could to get hands on this dream concept,” Mies told Footwear News. After considering making a drive to New York, Mies decided that Chicago would be the most sensible scenario and packed his car in preparation for a 10-plus hour trek from his hometown of Wichita, Kan., to the Windy City. Much to his dismay, the reservations sold out instantly on Dec. 17.
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“I got online and saw how much these shoes were going for, and it made me so mad because while Nike and any other company can’t control what people do with their products, it was disappointing that the thousands of people like me couldn’t get their hands on a pair,” Mies said, echoing the frustrations of many sneakerheads who’ve been forced to turn to aftermarket prices.
Instead of giving up on his search, Mies decided to contact Nike directly in a last-ditch effort to obtain the prized sneakers. “When I didn’t [get a pair], I reached out to Nike and told them the story of my passion, which then got passed around,” Mies said. After receiving a reply thanking him for his feedback, Mies was ready to throw in the towel and give up. Then, for his birthday on Jan. 3, Nike surprised Mies with his very own Nike+ app reservation for the prized sneakers.
As it turns out, Mies interest in the self-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0 goes far beyond the hype and carries a deeper meaning than ordinary shoes. His passion for laceless footwear was inspired by his late brother Tim’s fascination with the Jordan Trunner model. Tim died in a car wreck in 2003, leaving behind the Jordan Trunner shoes, which Mies quickly became enamored with. “To me, this was my first experience of innovation because Nike developed a shoe that was intended for a 9.5, [but] my little feet still somehow managed to stay in them.”
Watch Mies’ heartwarming HyperAdapt 1.0 unboxing and thank you to Nike below.