The iconic self-lacing sneakers worn by the character Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2 could become a reality as early as next year. Should the Nike athletic shoe arrive on time, it would also overlap with the movie’s internal chronology, which contains some scenes set in 2015.
The buzz around the product started when website Sole Collector asked Nike designer Tinker Hatfield if those sneakers made famous in the film would ever come to life and be made available to the general public. His response was unequivocal: “Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say yes.”
The sneakers were revealed to the world in the 1989 Back to the Future sequel by Marty, who was played by Michael J. Fox in the series. However, the planned introduction of the sneakers may not come as a massive surprise to fans of Nike products, who got a hint that the sports clothing giant was looking into power laces in 2009. It was between then and 2010 that it filed and secured a patent for an “automatic lacing system” and “automatic ankle cinching system.” So, to some it was more a case of when it would happen than if.
Although most of the potential buyers were not even born when the sneakers were first unveiled on the big screen, high street analysts have predicted a lot of interest in the product, if only for the novelty factor. Some also said if plans to launch the product did go ahead in 2015, then Christmas would be an ideal time to reap max benefit from the launch.
However, 2015 will not mark the first time a shoe anything like Marty’s from Back to the Future 2 has been realized. In 2011, Nike created the Air Mag, a limited edition of the sneakers. It resulted in some 1,500 pairs being put on auction website eBay and raised in excess of $5 million dollars – all of which went to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Fox is a Parkinson’s sufferer himself and it is an illness he has been very open about in recent years.
UK rapper Tinie Tempah spent a reported $40,000 for the first available pair. Other musicians such as Kanye West and Kid Cudi also purchased pairs of the novelty sneakers. There has been no hint as to what the sneakers would cost when they finally hit the stores.
Right now, shoppers and collectors are excited at the prospect that the Back to the Future 2 sneakers could become reality in 2015. The Back to the Future series, directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a about a young boy who teams up with a wacky scientist to time travel in order to change events. Other futuristic technology features in the three films, include hoverboards (flying skateboards) and a flying DeLorean car. However, there has been no suggestion either of those will be available for purchase any time soon.
Nevertheless, as shoppers brace themselves for 2015 and the fact the Back to the Future 2 sneakers could become reality, many will be thinking that hoverboards and flying cars might not be as far off into the future as one might have originally thought.
By Robert Shepherd