Back to the Future fans and sneakerheads, listen here. Nike is about to drop some major news: the Air Mag sneaker, as featured and worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II, is set to slip into reality. The glowing, auto-lacing sneaker from the future will hit the market today (well maybe not precisely today, but you know what I mean).
So here’s the relatively short story. Ever since these shoes made an appearance in the movie, BBTF buffs and sneaker collectors alike have been praying for this very day to come. In May 2009 Nike filed a patent describing “an article of footwear with an automatic lacing system.” Late last night Nike sent out urgent invitations inviting guests to attend a product unveiling. The invitation was in the form of a black box and enclosed was an iPod shuffle and a written invitation. The audible notice was a personal message from Dr. Emmett Brown stating, “Welcome to Los Angeles. If my calculations are correct, over the next 24 hours you are about to see some SERIOUS SH*T!” The card said, “IT’S ABOUT TIME. Tinker Hatfield, VP of Design and Innovation at Nike, cordially invites you to an unveiling that could change the course of time.” Other BTTF related goodies came inside, including a sleek pair of metal shield glasses.
And that brings us to right now. Moments ago a teaser video was uploaded to YouTube by one DocEmmettBrown88 glimpsing us inside “McFly’s Closet.” This sneaker is real people, and it’s coming soon. Park here, and as soon as official word comes from Nike following the announcement event I’ll update this post and splay all the release and pricing details for you. While you’re waiting, drool in anticipation by replaying the teaser
above (now after the break) and then jump after the break to watch the Air Mag in action, circa 2015.
Update: Here’s the official launch info straight from Nike: “1500 pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG will be auctioned on eBay with all net proceeds going directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Each day for the duration of the ten-day auction, one hundred and fifty pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG shoes will be made available via eBay’s Fashion Vault. The auction starts September 8, 8:30PM PST, and will end September 18. Thanks to a previous 50 million dollar match given to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, all donations will be matched, effectively doubling the contributions from the auction.”
Nike goes on to describe the shoe’s aesthetic: “The first rechargeable footwear from Nike, the 2011 NIKE MAG shoes were designed to be precise replicas of the originals from Back to the Future II. The aesthetic is an exact match, down to the contours of the upper, the glowing LED panel and the electroluminescent NIKE in the strap. The only deviation from the original is additional foam support in the ankle and toe box for increased comfort. The 2011 NIKE MAG illuminates with the pinch of the “ear” of the high top, glowing for five hours per charge.” Not a single word about the auto-lacing feature. Bummer!
Nike CEO Mark Parker said this at the launch event: “We wanted to translate the excitement people have for the ‘greatest shoe never made’ and for the Back to the Future into positive action. But the long term objective is to raise awareness so the Foundation can achieve their goal of eradicating Parkinson’s disease.” Fox, the actor who played Marty McFly back in 1989, added: “This project is exciting to me because it brings together three very passionate audiences: the Parkinson’s community, the sneakerheads and Back to the Future fans. With their support we can accelerate our objective of finding a cure for Parkinson’s.” He is the featured guest on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight on CBS; he’s expected to detail the Air Mag during his interview.
An astute Nice Kicks commenter posted, “Shitttt. You cant camp outside of eBay!” That’s right–this item is certainly going to be a hot commodity when it hits the auction site and it’ll be extremely hard to get if you’re not extremely rich. At least all the money is going to a great cause. Ah well, a boy can still dream of a future where everyone sports super cool auto-lacing sneaks. Perhaps that day will come when it’s supposed to–in 2015. Get a closer look at the shoe in the gallery below, and after the break you’ll a find a third related video.