Nike’s Self-Tying Shoes for Michael J. Fox

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Nike has always been at the helm of some pretty amazing creations and they always know how to create a buzz. Their shoe designs define the careers of certain athletes and, sometimes, they what people associate most with a person. Imagine if Michael Jordan would have worn a pair of Adidas or Reeboks; things just wouldn’t be the same. Another pair of shoes that Nike is known for is the infamous self-tying shoes from Back to the Future II. The high top, washed out grey and white sneakers that Marty McFly wore on his hoverboard defined the film and have been the desire of every sneaker junkie out there.

In 2009, Nike filed a patent for what it called an “Automatic Lacing System,” but a year later, an amateur investor created self-tightening laces, that were originally intended to help the elderly or disabled, through Kickstarter. In 2011, Nike created 1,500 pairs of the self-tying Nike Mag shoes on eBay and made a grand total of $4.7 million which was donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.

Earlier this year, Nike filed a patent for a “power lace,” a mechanism that is housed in the midsole of the shoes and is activated by using a button on the outside, which sets of a kind of cog and pulley system.

Now, with the patent filed and 2015 being the year that McFly and Doc Brown were sent to in the film, it’s time that one of the more deserving recipients get their pair. Michael J. Fox was presented with the first full self-tying pair of Nike Mag shoes last month in what seemed to be a very surreal experience.

Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield sent Fox a letter that stated, “As the first, most celebrated wearer of the Nike Mag, we wanted you to be the first to receive a living pair” according to a letter that Fox received and displayed via Twitter.

Nike said that it “reinvented the conventional lacing system, integrating it into an inimitable design that became an enduring beacon of popular culture.”

“We started creating something for fiction and we turned it into fact, inventing a new technology that will benefit all athletes,” Nike president and CEO Mark Parker said in a statement. the company said the 2015 Nike Mag is a limited edition release and will only be available via auction, with all the proceeds, once again, going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The fact that Nike is able to create something that was merely imagined for a fictional movie says so much for their ability to create and adapt to the ever changing world. These shoes are not only stylish and a reference to the film, but they will most certainly aid Fox in his day to day as he battles with Parkinson’s Disease. If Nike can create a pair of shoes that are capable of tying themselves, the possibilities for innovation and accommodation are limitless as we move forward.


Image belongs to Nike