I used to get annoyed when I’d hear that many schools had stopped teaching kids how to write cursive. How could kids grow up not knowing what it is to write in script? Then my older daughter lost her first tooth, and when the Tooth Fairy went to pen her note in cursive, she realized how awful her own writing looked because she was so out of practice. At that moment, I realized the time-honored tradition had bit the dust.
C’est la vie, right? Just as rotary phones went by the wayside, apparently so has handwriting.
And soon, shoe-tying may also be a thing of the past. (Is nothing sacred?!) On Wednesday, Nike unveiled the first-ever self-tying sneaker. According to the Associated Press, the sneaker — which is being called the HyperAdapt 1.0 — is designed with a “power-lacer,” which means the user can make the shoe tighter or looser via a button on the side of the shoe.
Of course, the self-tying shoe isn’t exactly a new concept — it was first introduced in 1989’s Back to the Future II, which, if you recall, took place in 2015. So basically, Nike is a year late (or 27 years late, depending on how you look at it). But still, did you ever really think you’d live to see a day where you didn’t even need to tie your own shoes?
Neither did I.
Sure, it’s pretty cool and all, but I can’t help getting just a bit nostalgic here. I mean, isn’t learning to tie your shoes a right of passage? Isn’t it a good test of a child’s motor skills, patience, and perseverance? Furthermore, how else will parents learn to articulate just how awful parenting can be if they don’t go through the learning-to-tie-the-shoe battle complete with their kids? You know the one — complete with alligator tears, door slamming, and epic meltdowns (ours, not theirs).
Time marches on, though, and it remains to be seen if the self-tying sneaker will really take off, or if it’ll be another futuristic flop like the DeLorean. And who knows, maybe at some point, where we’re going, we won’t need sneakers at all.
One thing’s for sure, though: By unveiling this new sneaker of the future, Nike will ensure that at least one time-honored tradition will endure, which is that kids will be begging their parents for the news gadget they just have to have. (So, there’s that.)
But here’s the part about these sneakers that I actually really do love: Cool factor aside, self-lacing sneakers will surely be a godsend for people with disabilities and limited mobility; which is a huge win in and of itself. Nike, FTW.