Nike unveils self-lacing 'Back to the Future' trainers

by Jak Phillips | 22 Oct 2015

Amid the endless memes and awful puns, the standout feature of ‘Back to the Future Day’ was without doubt Nike fulfilling the film’s prophecy of self-lacing trainers.

Yesterday was October 21, 2015 – the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived from the past in the 1989 film Back to the Future II. And while the flying cars and pizza hydrators featured in the film are still a long way off, Nike made sure the film nailed one key detail yesterday, by unveiling the futuristic sneakers Marty McFly uses to ride his hoverboard – modelled by none other than the film’s star Michael J. Fox.

The trainers, dubbed ‘Nike Mag’, are perhaps an inevitable extension of the growing popularity of wearable tech to facilitate physical activity. Nike's website describes the self-lacing mechanisms as an "individually responsive system that senses the wearer’s motion to provide adaptive on-demand comfort and support. But this is just the first iteration."

The announcement from Nike didn’t indicate when or whether the shoes will go on public sale, however it did say that the shoe is a limited edition model that will first be sold via auction with all the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Further details are expected in “Spring 2016.”

"By imagining the future, we create it," said the Nike statement. "Product that comes alive, with on-demand comfort and support when you need, product that senses you and adapts to you is right around the corner.”

Speculation is mounting that the prototype could become a standard in future versions of Nike trainers used for sport and exercise, with the continual adjustment of the laces heralding a significant leap forward for optimising comfort and performance. Shoes have been somewhat eschewed so far by wearable tech firms in favour of wrist-worn devices, however tech company Ducere made waves last year with its ‘talking trainers’, which are bluetooth-connected and provide navigation for runners through vibrations in the sole of each foot.

Amid the endless memes and awful puns, the standout feature of ‘Back to the Future Day’ was without doubt Nike fulfilling the film’s prophecy of self-lacing trainers. Yesterday was October 21, 2015 – the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived from the past in the 1989 film Back to the Future II. And while the flying cars and pizza hydrators featured in the film are still a long
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The trainers, dubbed ‘Nike Mag’, could herald a significant leap forward for optimising comfort and performance / Nike
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