Anyone who has seen Back to the Future Part II wants two things.
The first is a hoverboard. In recent years, that dream kind of came true. Unfortunately, those hoverboards don’t really hover – they have wheels. Boo.
The second is a pair of self-lacing sneakers. These are also now a reality and there is no compromise: they really do self-lace.
The HyperAdapt 1.0’s were designed by Nike’s Tinker Hatfield (what. a. name.) and senior innovator Tiffany Beers. Together they have spent over a decade making the self-lacing sneakers a reality.
When a foot is placed inside the sneaker it automatically turns on and begins tightening using a combination of a sensor, battery and motor. It will naturally adjust to a standard preset fit around the foot but there are two buttons that can tighten or loosen if necessary. The sneaker can also be taught to remember a new preset and pressing both buttons will allow a hard reset.
At the moment, these beauties are only available in America and go for $720 bucks. That would make them about $950 in Aussie dollars which is some serious sneaker money.
“At the time they wanted a replica of the shoes from Back to the Future and I knew Nike had built a pair that was sitting in an archive, so I set about studying it,” Beers told news.com.au.
She also explained why Aussies would have to wait until next year before they could ditch their old-fashioned lace up sneakers. “When you have electronics in products there are various certifications and processes you have to go through,” she said.
Those who really can’t wait could try buying them off eBay, but it could be risky. They also tend to go for a pretty high price too, for example, these HyperAdapts will set you back $USD 1,099 (AUD $1,405).
Earlier in 2016, Nike did also release the Nike Mags, which were more directly inspired by the sneakers seen in Back to the Future II. However, there were only 89 pairs of those made and the proceeds of their sales went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s research on Parkinson’s disease.
Unlike the Mags, the HyperAdapts are for the mass market, so anyone with a thousand bucks to spend on sneakers can stop doing up laces like a peasant.
Another item shown off in the movie was a self-drying jacket. Although many people aren’t crying out for one of those, a Kickstarter did have a go at it and manage to raise over $USD 15,000 for the project.
The Black/White-Blue Lagoon and Black/White-Red Lagoon HyperAdapts will be available in North America followed by Japan, China, London, Berlin, Milan and Paris as of August 30th. The Sport Royal/White colourway will launch in North America on September 30th. New colourways will be available for the Australian drop in February 2018.