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For athletes playing on the court or greens, a lot of features matter in a shoe: traction, cushioning, overall feel underfoot. But regardless of a player’s personal preferences, there is one deal-breaking detail — fit. For peak performance a shoe has to fit well immediately, and keep that secure, locked-in feeling.

What's more, even a perfect fit while stationary can loosen during play; that's because feet naturally expand as an athlete moves and strikes the ground. Look at basketball players during a game — they’re regularly re-tying shoes, tugging laces tighter and adjusting fit on the bench. 

To find a solution for better fit and sustained containment, Nike asked how it could simplify the process. Previous work done on HyperAdapt, an innovation developed for Nike’s self-lacing shoes, informed the team as they looked to create a universal, accessible model. The answer is FastFit, a manual system that instantly secures the entire foot. How it works:

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Tightening with FastFit occurs when the system's cables are activated via a forefoot strap, seen here on the Nike Golf Tour Premier.

  1.  Loops on the tongue and heel allow easier entry 
  2.  The tightening system (which is contained at the instep) activates its cables with a single tug of a forefoot strap, creating a full 360-lockdown from heel to ankle to forefoot
  3.  Eject by pulling the side loops to release the cables
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Side loops, like those on the Air Jordan XXXIII, release tension in the FastFit system.

The innovation has myriad benefits. First, it eliminates adjustments and readjustments to laces and replaces those interactions with a single, efficient pull. Because the tightening system can withstand the equivalent of at least 60 pounds of tension with every turn of the mechanism, the shoe stays cinched throughout a player’s movements. FastFit also delivers equal pressure across the top of the foot to prevents hot spots. And the instep strap, or “lace,” is similar to the cords made for parachutes, which ensures the tightening system is incredibly durable too. Finally, there’s a style factor — FastFit’s sleek, minimalist system just looks cool.

Where You’ll See It First

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Maya Moore in the Air Jordan XXXIII

FastFit has been a fixture in premium Nike golf shoes, such as the Nike Golf Tour Premiere, and it now arrives in the new Air Jordan XXXIII, available October 18 at select global retailers and on

With all the benefits the technology offers these particular athletes, look for it to be added to more performance shoes in the future.

Read More: Design