Puma Debuts $330 iPhone-Connected Self-Lacing Sneakers to Compete With Nike

Nike in January announced the launch of iPhone-controlled self-adjusting basketball shoes, and now another popular shoe brand, Puma, is set to launch its own self-lacing sneaker.

The upcoming Puma Fi, which was able to be tested by Engadget's Richard Lai, has been in development for three years. Puma has experimented with automatic shoe technology before with the laceless Autodisc, and is building on that experience with the new model.

pumafi1
Fi is an all-black shoe with a cordless motor at the top that's designed to fit the shoe around the foot, replacing traditional laces. The motor is attached to blue Dyneema strings (a material used in the fishing industry) that tightens when the motor is activated.

The Fi is powered by a removable battery hidden in a water resistant pocket inside of the shoe, and it can be charged by putting the heel of the shoe on an included Qi wireless charging mat or through a charging case.

There are a series of blue LED lights around the tongue of the Fi that light up when the motor is operational and display battery life. The battery lasts for five to seven days before it needs to be recharged, a process that takes 90 to 120 minutes.

According to Lai, the Fi is comfortable and looks and feels like an ordinary sneaker when in use. You can adjust the fit of the Fi with a touch module on the front that supports swipes for tightening the shoe.

The Fi can also be controlled via an iPhone, and there is included Apple Watch support. Using the ‌iPhone‌ controls, you can change the tightness, see battery life, and make small micro adjustments not possible with the on-shoe controls.

pumafi2
With the motor inside, the Fi weighs 428 grams, but Lai said that the weight "wasn't that noticeable" when wearing the shoe. There is a noticeable mechanical noise when operating the shoe, which Lai said "sounds cool."

There are no activity tracking and GPS tracking features in the Fi, but both the Fi and Nike's smart sneaker are just some of the first smartphone-controlled shoes. If the trend catches on, we could see more capable, feature rich iPhone-connected sneakers in the future.

Puma Fi will launch in spring 2020 and it will be priced at $330. Puma plans to launch an open beta program in the future to allow customers to use the sneakers in exchange for product feedback. Those interested should download Puma's PUMATRAC app, where Puma will announce Fi availability. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

ilikewhey Avatar
39 months ago
thanks but ill save 250 and tie my own shoe lace
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nepalisherpa Avatar
39 months ago
Soon in the future...

Friend: "Hey, wanna go out for drinks?"

Me: "In a bit, my shoes are being updated right now."
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
39 months ago
The Back to the Future fan in me is immensely pleased; the pragmatist is in the ER, having their palm removed from their face.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
39 months ago
*Actual genuine mac-based joke alert*

Puma? I’ll wait for Jaguar!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
york2600 Avatar
39 months ago
Those look like something you'd buy at Payless Shoes
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QuarterSwede Avatar
39 months ago
“I’ve got an idea! Let’s make some self lacing shoes that are all black so everyone looks like they work in a restaurant.”

/s
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...