CLEVELAND, Ohio — Remember that scene in “Back to the Future Part II” when Marty McFly puts on a pair of futuristic Nikes? “Power laces!” he says in amazement.
Well, self, or “adaptive” lacing shoes as Nike calls it, are about to become a reality as the company will release its HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers in time for the holiday season. The 2016 release is just one year after the time in which “Back to the Future Part II” is set.
Nike’s power-lacing shoes first appeared onscreen in 1989’s “Back to the Future Part II.”Universal Home Video
“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator at Nike, said in a release. “Then there are two buttons on the side to tighten and loosen. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”
The self-lacing shoes weren’t invented for people who are simply lazy, however. Nike says the sneakers will give athletes an edge by making it possible for them to make quick, manual adjustments on the fly.
“That’s an important step, because feet undergo an incredible amount of stress during competition,” shoe designer Tinker Hatfield said.
So, how does it work?
According to Wired, stepping into the shoe activates sensors that turn on a series of pulleys that lace the shoe. The pulleys are powered by a battery that requires charging about every two weeks.
Hatfield, the lead designer behind the Air Jordan line, says the potential of adaptive lacing could be a game-changer. “It is amazing to consider a shoe that senses what the body needs in real-time. That eliminates a multitude of distractions, including mental attrition, and thus truly benefits performance.”
The HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available in three colors to Nike+ members only around Christmas time. No price has been announced.