The utilization of recycled materials and 3D-printed soles are currently what footwear brands are prioritizing to define the next generation of sneakers, but Nike is looking to push the envelope even further.
In a recent patent filed in early May with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Swoosh is planning to implement a “rotatable conveyor element” in the sole of a sneaker to essentially assist you in putting your shoes on and/or taking them off.
According to the patent, the concept features an “insole, an upper configured to form a space between the upper and the insole,” which is then “configured to admit and secure a foot of a wearer.” Additionally, the application of the rotatble conveyer belt, or simply a mini treadmill, is “configured to rotatably engage a body part of the wearer as the foot enters the space and draw the foot into the space,” which will essentially lets your foot slide in more easily.
Furthermore, the patent suggests that the mechanism will be controlled, via a switch either inside or outside of the shoes. Nike describes a controller that is “coupled to an activation mechanism, such as a switch or mechanism to detect the presence of a foot.”
While Nike’s patent filing does not indicate or confirm that this invention will actually come to fruition, as with many types of patents — it does provide insight into what the Swoosh is experimenting with for future footwear. Stay tuned for more updates.
Next up, Tristan Thompson proves you can wear sneakers with a suit.
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