By G9ija

Puma has jumped on the self-lacing shoe bandwagon with the announcement of its new FI (Fit Intelligence) sneakers.

The company is taking aim at rival Nike, which has recently been showing off its own pair of hands-free, self-tying kicks.

On the Pumas, where you’d expect the laces to criss-cross on the front sits a grey block.

Inside it lies the company’s self-lacing tech. A motor that operates the laces, and a control panel on the top lets you slide upwards to tighten and downwards to loosen the footwear.

Puma may be trailing Nike on this occasion, but it’s got a good history of footwear innovation.

It was the first to create a laceless sports shoe with Velcro straps in 1968, the first to put a computer inside a shoe in 1986 and the first to introduce a wirelessly connected adaptive fit shoe called AutoDisc in 2016.

Puma says the shoe comes with a breathable upper that allows it to be worn in most active scenarios, and an industrial grade fiber replaces the laces, wrapping around the sides of the shoe, tightening it effectively.

The FIs are set to launch as early as 2020, and will come with an app that lets you remotely tighten or loosen the shoe.

The only downside, as far as we can tell, is you may have to remember to plug your shoes in to charge each night alongside your phone and other gadgetry.

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