Nike Announces Mass Market Self-Lacing Shoes For Wannabe Marty McFlys

Robert Zemeckis and everyone else involved in the Back to the Future series probably never envisioned that the sci-fi comedy flicks would become cult classics that are still enjoyed and frequently referenced three decades later. But here we are as Nike introduces a pair of self-tying shoes that are somewhat similar to the kicks Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future II.

Nike HyperAdapt 1.0

Nike unveiled its newest footwear at a New York event earlier this week. Called Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the new shoes feature what Nike calls adaptive lacing born out of deep research in digital, electrical, and mechanical engineering. What's interesting about these shoes is that Nike isn't playing on the Back to the Future theme with a novelty pair of kicks, as it's done before, but is sort of reinventing footwear for a modern era.

In this case, adaptive lacing is Nike's solution to individual idiosyncrasies in lacing and tension preference.

"When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten," explains Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator, Nike, Inc., and the project’s technical lead. "Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect."

Prominent Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield also lauds the HyperAdapt 1.0's ability to accommodate swift micro-adjustments. This is important for athletes, as overly tight laces can cause undue pressure while loosing laces can cause a shoe to slip off, which isn't a rare occurrence when watching basketball games.

"That’s an important step, because feet undergo an incredible amount of stress during competition," Hatfield says.

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 is an introductory product in what Nike sees as an emerging market for adaptive performance. It will be available only to members of Nike+ this holiday season.
Tags:  Nike, Marty McFly, shoes