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


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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.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

MK Manoylov has been a reporter for The Block since 2020 — joining just before bitcoin surpassed $20,000 for the first time. Since then, MK has written nearly 1,000 articles for the publication, covering any and all crypto news but with a penchant toward NFT, metaverse, web3 gaming, funding, crime, hack and crypto ecosystem stories. MK holds a graduate degree from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) and has also covered health topics for WebMD and Insider. You can follow MK on X @MManoylov and on LinkedIn.


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