SneakersSad News: Nike's Self-Lacing Mags Don't Seem Like They're Going to Happen
The self-lacing HyperAdapt, however, is a very real thing.
In March, Nike unveiled its latest game-changing innovation with a new, self-lacing sneaker, the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0. It came with the promise of a late 2016 release, which sneaker site Sole Collector confirmed to be true (appointment-only slots will start on November 28). But the closest look we've gotten at Nike's newest innovation comes from this just-published Wired that tracks the HyperAdapt's evolution from idea to for-purchase product.
The oh-so-rare look inside Nike's innovation labs and processes is engrossing, but there's one omission we couldn't help but notice: there's no mention of Nike Mags. The sneakers that birthed the magic of self-lacing sneakers, as worn by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II, are never once discussed. Even if they were a movie prop and the self-lacing was just movie magic at the time, there's no denying the imagined kicks laid the groundwork for the sportswear giant's latest innovation. The 2011 iteration of the Mag (Nike produced replicas which did not lace themselves to be sold for charity) go undiscussed, as does the 2015 self-lacing version Fox sported on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Despite Nike's promise of a 2016 release (again, for charity) of the self-lacing model, there's no update to be found in the piece. Is it possible that Nike scrapped the idea altogether to focus resources on the HyperAdapt 1.0 (and presumably the 2.0, 3.0, and beyond)?
It wouldn't surprise us. After all, Nike is a brand built on pushing forward despite its insanely large collection of nostalgia-inducing styles and nostalgia-seeking customers. But classics can only become classics after they've been game-changers. Scott Eden, author of the article in Wired, explains how Nike only chased HyperAdapt's sci-fi design because of its enormous athlete potential. Though the wearer must use buttons to adjust the shoes in their current form, in the future, Nike senior innovator Tiffany Beers hopes the shoes will adjust on the go, using real-time data to achieve the best fit 100% of the time. That means no more re-lacing your kicks mid-workout, mid-run, or mid-game. Additionally, self-lacing shoes have enormous practical applications for those with disabilities. So, if Nike's Back to the Future shoes never become a reality, it's because the actual future seems way cooler, anyway.