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Power Laces coming in 2015
March 8, 2014 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Nike's 23-Year Journey to make McFly's Shoes Real
In 2007, a group of fans launched a grassroots campaign named McFly2015, begging Nike to make the shoes. Nike listened, kinda, releasing a special edition series of Nike Hyperdunks with the distinctive teal-and-gray coloring and Back to the Future-inspired typography. But that didn’t satiate the masses, who wanted a shoe that was 100% true to the concept. They also wanted power laces, especially when it was discovered that Nike had pulled a patent for an "automatic lacing system" in 2009.

That same year, Hatfield’s team at Nike began working closely with Universal on the MAG (that’s "Magnetic Anti Gravity" technology, a term used in the film)--a unique collaboration that would intertwine both of their creative legacies into a singular product. Negotiating the vast field of both companies’ intellectual property was tricky, but when the team introduced the concept that funds from the shoe would benefit Fox’s work, the deal clicked into place, says Hatfield. "It was all because of this idea that we’d be giving back to the foundation."
And, since that article is from 2011, an update, just in time for the fictitious release date of the Nike MAG: Nike Designer Says Marty McFly's Power Laces Are Coming Next Year.
posted by Elementary Penguin (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks to XhaustedProphet in the hoverboard thread.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:40 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

It's like we went back to 2010....
posted by HuronBob at 6:44 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

What about jetpacks? We were promised jetpacks.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:55 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I know that ideas about fashion change fairly rapidly, and I will be the first to admit that I was wearing Z Cavariccis in middle school, but those shoes are U-G-L-Y. Then again, maybe it is just me because I regularly see people wearing certain styles of Jordans and thinking you paid 200$ for that!?

Oh wowsers, that Cavaricci link hurt in ways that I didn't expect.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:21 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

Oh, and if we are going reductionist, may I lay claim t the flying cars we have been promised since the 50s?
posted by Literaryhero at 7:23 AM on March 8

Various shoe companies have been really close to this for a few years. You can already get climbing and bike shoes with "laces" that are actually wires threaded through loops that tighten with a winding spool and loosen with a quick release.

The hard problem is to motorize that winding spool without the mechanism getting too bulky (or power-hungry, or going haywire).
posted by ardgedee at 7:31 AM on March 8

What about jetpacks? We were promised jetpacks.

From a tweet on my timeline earlier this year:
Unless you're over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.
posted by Fizz at 7:46 AM on March 8 [37 favorites]

I'm pretty sure that one guy has kept on promising flying cars, so the youth of recent years have not been disadvantaged vis-à-vis flying car promises, and MetaFilter should yet be able to look forward to many more decades of the same joke.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:01 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

Fizz: "Unless you're over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go."

To be fair, Blade Runner had both.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:01 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]

Now about that self-drying jacket...
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:05 AM on March 8

And the Mr. Fusion.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:05 AM on March 8

I haven't bought a Nike product in over 10 years. However, they appear to continue to thrive as a company, despite the fact that I can't even tell if they make actual products any more....

There's a huge 3-story Nike is store near my office (that replaced a lovely Barnes & Noble). I went in a few weeks ago, and I'm still not convinced that Nike sells actual products that people can buy. There were exhibits, huge advertisements, and a yoga class.... Couldn't find socks, and I left bewildered.

It's almost as if Nike is a huge money laundering scheme being orchestrated by the advertising industry....
posted by schmod at 8:22 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]

Laces are great and all, but I still want those tiny dehydrated pizzas. It's much too difficult to carry an entire pizza in my pocket the current way.
posted by fishmasta at 8:27 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]

So that's what the stupid hover board video that keeps popping up all over my social media is about.
posted by photoslob at 8:38 AM on March 8

And not a moment too soon!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:55 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I'm with T. D. Strange, I want the self drying jacket. I can tie my own damn shoelaces.
posted by arcticseal at 9:00 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I'm still hopeful about the future, which is why I write in Max Headroom every election year.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:13 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I haven't bought a Nintendo product since the SNES and I am shocked (SHOCKED!) that they continue to thrive as a company.
posted by bpm140 at 9:34 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I'd love power laces, depending on how they were done. I do a good amount of running and jumping and walking. It would be neat to have the shoes adjust easier. It is not that big of a deal to loosen, squiggle, tighten, and so forth, but it would be interesting to see how power laces worked. This would also save the backs of my shoes since I smash my feet into them from time to time (sorry mom) because it's a pain to constantly search for that perfect equilibrium.

Now where it would get awesome is if eventually it turned into an internet-of-things product. So around the time I know I am supposed to be walking, the clock sends a message to my shoes to go to the walking tightness. Or if I'm going to go for a run, I hear my shoes in the other room beeping, then when I get my gear on, they tighten into the running setting. And then maybe there's a random setting so I just hear beeping in the other room and when I go in I see which pair of shoes it is (walking/running, basketball), and then I step into the pair and it laces up and off I go.
posted by cashman at 10:00 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

I used to be mad that we're getting the shitty part of the cyberpunk dystopia without all the cool in-brain computers and all that, and then I realized that I don't want a BSOD or endless malware in my brain.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:03 AM on March 8

I'm still hopeful about the future, which is why I write in Max Headroom every election year.

I have met Max Headroom, and as you are hopeful for the future, he's getting older every day.... (but he's lost that damn stutter).
posted by HuronBob at 10:08 AM on March 8

The parent safety groups are going to stop us from getting these after some stupid kid loses his foot when a pair of these malfunction.
posted by vorpal bunny at 1:02 PM on March 8

posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:55 PM on March 8

Still waiting for clothes washing enabled by sound waves.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:51 PM on March 8

Is this the place where I request a wall-mounted under-cabinet fax machine?
posted by Wild_Eep at 5:50 PM on March 9

Screw all that noise. I want a hockey puck sized dehydrated Pizza Hut™ pizza and Black & Decker™ food rehydrator.
posted by stenseng at 12:42 PM on March 10

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