Where we’re going, we don’t need to tie laces. Nike has long promised that they’ll release a self-tying pair of trainers like those used by Marty McFly in Back To The Future Part II. Over the years we’ve seen glimpses of their progress with a few demos shown here and there. On Back To The Future Day, 21st October 2015 – (the day to which Marty travels forward in time), Nike presented Michael J. Fox with his own self-tying Mags:
— michaeljfox.org (@MichaelJFoxOrg) October 21, 2015
Now Nike is preparing to introduce the technology to the rest of us with Nike HyperAdapt 1.0. The shoelaces tighten themselves when your heel hits a sensor inside. Apparently it will tighten the correct amount thanks to sensors that read the dimensions of your foot. There are two buttons on either side that let you tighten and loosen the laces manually to find that perfect fit. We’re going to keep calling them self-tying but really they’re self-tightening. Here’s the HyperAdapt 1.0 in action:
I try on Nike's first power lacing shoe, which will be available later this yearhttps://t.co/7QJIj5tXBR
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 16, 2016
Some have argued it’s just a gimmick. Sure, in many ways it’s a geeky homage to a popular film and probably won’t change the lives of most people. However, some people with disabilities might tell you otherwise. And Nike sees these trainers as just a stepping stone into a world where athlete’s clothes change as they do. Right now the laces tighten themselves when you put them on and that’s about it. In the future, Nike wants the laces to automatically tighten and loosen to match the athlete’s movements during performances.
There’s no information on the price of the HyperAdapt 1.0 trainers yet but we assume they will be quite expensive as a first run. In a smart business move they’re launching the trainers exclusively to Nike+ members at the end of the year. It’s a good way to get more people to sign up to their service. If they are expensive, a smaller launch like this will be good for publicity and they’ll be able to gauge how popular the self-tying shoes will be.
Main image © Universal Pictures