When Back to the Future II laid out its vision of the year 2015, one of its outlandish predictions was the invention of a self-tying shoe. On Tuesday, that vision came one step closer to reality, with Nike revealing that its self-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers will go on sale November 28 for an as-yet unknown price tag. Okay, so they missed the release window for the 2015 “Air Mags” featured in the film, but hey, good things come to those who wait.
“The HyperAdapt is a myth turned into reality,” Tiffany Beers, senior innovator at Nike, told Wired. “It’s so cool! You have no idea how cool it is to step in a shoe that automatically tightens.”
The design seems simple, but there’s a lot going on: When you slip your foot in, a pressure sensor relays data to an algorithm that works out how much to tighten the laces. On each shoe, there are two buttons, with one tightening and the other loosening to adjust fit after putting on the shoe.
Okay, so they’re not quite as fast at tying up as Michael J. Fox’s pair. Still, Nike’s offering comes impressively close, with even its motor sounds evoking the memory of Marty McFly.
Unfortunately, these will need charging, a process that takes around three hours. A magnetic charging puck attaches to the sole, looking rather similar to the Apple Watch charger design. You won’t need to charge it as often as the watch, though: battery life is tipped at roughly two weeks, a figure that’s probably not helped by the array of (admittedly cool) lights adorning the sole and rear.
The lights show the shoe’s current status: the sole will glow blue when fully charged, amber when the power’s starting to fade, and red when it’s time to recharge. The rear lights indicate when the motor’s in action, in case you were worried people might not notice your shoes.
Watch the new sneakers in action here: