The classic 1980s movie Back to the Future Part II, which takes its hero to 2015, got a few things wrong with the here-and-now, but it got a few things right. Though we don’t have flying cars, don’t wear two ties simultaneously, and haven’t had a female president yet, we do have wireless video games, wall-mounted TVs, and handheld tablet computers.
However, it seems the movie might get one more thing right. Nike is working on Marty McFly’s powerlace shoes, which could automatic lace themselves, and might possibly release a version of them later this year.
According to shoe blog Nice Kicks, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield confirmed that the popular brand was working on the shoes at a conference in Long Beach, California on January 5. To many in attendance, the announcement came with little surprise, as the designer has been promising that the shoes would be released to the general public since about this time last year.
Despite his assurances, though, it seems that Nike may not release the sneakers for several months, as Hatfield was sure to remind the conference audience that there’s “11 and two-thirds months left in 2015.”
Of course, the promised sneakers will not be the first reproductions — official or unofficial — to debut in the 24 years since the film was first released, but what will hopefully separate these latest shoes from their predecessors is the powerlaces. As to whether or not the shoes will actually be able to fasten themselves, is not necessarily certain, but Nike at least hopes they will.
The problem with powerlace technology, it seems, is the power. A battery with enough juice to make a pair of sneakers lace themselves would likely be both cost-ineffective, and unaesthetic.
However, if Nike can pull it off, the sneakers might be one of the hottest commodities around.
“Much of what enables the Mag to tie themselves is built into the bottom of the shoes, using a series of wheels and motors,” says Tom Ajello, Co-Founder of Makeable “This means there will be quite a bit of trial and error required to get them working flawlessly before delivery. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more delays. But when the delays are over, I’m a size 12.”
But as Hetfield said, 2015 is just weeks old. There’s still plenty of time to work out the kinks. Hopefully.