By Casey Tomchek
When Back to the Future Part II hit theatres in 1989, Marty McFly’s self-lacing Nike sneakers were only a work of science fiction. Twenty-seven years later, just over a year after McFly landed in the futuristic world of 2015, Nike finally made them a reality.
At Nike’s Innovation Convention in March, the company unveiled their plans to sell self-lacing shoes to the public. The release date for the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 is Nov. 28, but the shoes have been in the works for a while.
Nike filed a patent for an automatic lacing system back in 2008. The world got its first glimpse of the futuristic technology last year when Nike gave Michael J. Fox, the star of the Back to the Future franchise, a pair of self-lacing Nike Mags modeled after the sneakers seen in the movie. They were given to the actor on Oct. 21, 2015, the day to which Marty McFly time travels.
In October, Nike auctioned off a very limited supply of Nike Mags to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation in an effort to help the search for a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a disease from which Fox suffers.
The HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes will provide a more accessible, practical, and affordable option for the public.
Tiffany Beers, senior innovator at Nike, described the shoe as “a myth turned into reality.”
The sneakers use a system called EARL, or electro adaptive reactive lacing. After putting on the shoe, the laces automatically tighten using a sensor in the heel, which users can then adjust by pressing buttons on the side. The technology is meant to allow people to quickly tighten and loosen their shoes. The sneakers are battery powered and come with a charger.
“There’s nothing about this shoe that isn’t purposeful,” Tinker Hatfield, the designer of the shoe, said.
A set of lights on the back of the shoe turn on to signal that the motor is running, and change colors depending on the battery life.
The new sneakers aren’t just a trendy fad. They also provide an accessible sneaker option for people who are unable to tie their own shoes.
The shoes will be available in white, grey or black, exclusively for Nike+ members to purchase on Nov. 28, although the price is still unknown. If you want to get your hands on a pair, you can sign up for the Nike+ program on the company’s website.