Self-tying sneakers


Alex Young, Author

On July 3rd, 1985, the first Back To The Future movie hit the box office. Making a whopping 389 million dollars in theaters, the movie was an instant hit featuring Marty McFly, a teenager out of California who went back in time to meet his younger parents.

In 1989, a few months before the release of Back To The Future Part II, a Nike.Inc designer named Tinker Hatfield was asked to design a sneaker to be used in the upcoming film. Hatfield hit the drawing board and came up with a high-top sneaker later to be known as the Nike Air Mag. The “Mags,” a nickname given to the sneakers by many fans, were worn by Marty McFly in the sequel. In the movie, the gray, futuristic sneakers were able to tie themselves.

In 2011, Nike and the Back To The Future team decided to bring back the old series in an interesting way. Nike manufactured 1,600 pairs of actual Nike Air Mags just like the ones from the second film and put them up for auction. Although the sneakers could not tie themselves in real life, they were exact replicas of the original sneaker and even included the iconic blue light on the sole that fans loved. The auction of the sneakers raised 4.7 million dollars, and Nike donated all of it to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease. Years later in 2015, Nike released the sneaker yet again, but this time they could actually tie themselves.

Although all of the sneakers were auctioned off in 2011 or bought in 2015, in March 2016, Nike began to remake the sneaker, and it is now up for auction again by private retailers such as FlightClub. With the massive amount of sales, Nike added to the reboot of “The Mags” when they announced that a new version of the shoes would release on November 28, 2016, but this time, they would be low-top, and come in more than one color.

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0’s are to be the first-ever pair of self-tying shoes. When asked about the actual “science” behind the sneakers, Nike’s Senior Innovation Chief, Tiffany Beers said, “When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten.” The sneakers do not have a set retail price as of yet, but Nike announced that the shoes would be released to the open market on November 28th.

When students at Battlefield were asked about Nike’s “self-tying sneakers,” opinions were varied. Senior Jed Osei was excited about the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0’s when he said “I love how Nike is innovating the shoe market. Nobody else has done this before and now it shows that we’re moving into a new direction.” On the other hand, Sophomore Mia Buffington says “I think it’s a great idea, but it’s not really necessary considering tying your shoes isn’t a big problem.”

Whether or not you are going to purchase Nike’s new sneakers, it is most certainly something new and unique to the sneaker industry. So the question is, why tie?