Nike’s RTFKT unveils web3 sneakers, angers some with U.S.-only drop

Quick Take

  • RTFKT will drop a phygital NFT mint of Nike-inspired shoes with web3 functionality. 
  • The shoes are only available to those in the U.S., angering some interested buyers abroad. 

RTFKT, a digital fashion and collectibles firm owned by Nike, unveiled what it said is the first native web3 sneaker.

Dubbed "Cryptokicks iRL," the shoes have advanced features such as auto-lacing, enhanced lighting, haptic feedback, gesture control, walk detection and app connectivity. The sneakers will support NFC-NFT linking and NFC-NFT authentication with a special chip.

Credit: RTFKT

In a Monday tweet, RTFKT hinted that the sneakers might have a move-to-earn system, perhaps comparable to the Solana-based game Stepn that rewards users for walking or running. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for more information from The Block.

Public mints for the shoes start on Dec. 14, and the drop is only available to users in the U.S. in a move that irritated some based elsewhere who expressed their displeasure on Twitter. The company said the geographic limitation was "due to advanced tech and product regulation."

RTFKT raised $8 million in seed funding led by the crypto investment firm a16z in May of last year. Nike acquired the company in December 2021.

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