Nike has finally announced when it will begin selling its self-lacing sneakers inspired by the shoes worn by Michael J. Fox in Back to The Future II. According to a tweet from the company’s Heidi Burgett, the HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available for “experience & purchase” starting on the 28th of November, but only in select Nike locations in the US. Pricing is still unknown, but expect a “high price tag,” according to a Wired feature on the shoe’s development.
You can check out the full story from Wired for a more detailed look at how the sneakers were made, but here are the key points. Each shoe has an internal cable system made from fishing line and a pressure sensor in the sole. When you put your foot in, the cables tighten based on “an algorithmic pressure equation,” and this fit can be adjusted throughout the day with a pair of buttons near the tongue.
LEDs in the heel light up when the shoes are tightening and when it’s on low battery, and all the internal electronics mean that yes, you do have to charge these shoes. It takes three hours for a full charge and each charge last about two weeks, with Nike providing a magnetic clip-on charger similar to that used by Apple for the Apple Watch. It’s also worth noting that the thick nylon laces you see on the top of the sneaker are just “visual aids” — they tighten, but they’re not what’s keeping the shoe hugged to your foot. You can watch the video below from Wired for a closer look:
Nike has been teasing these shoes for years now, first auctioning off a non-functional pair that were replicas of the Back to The Future props in 2011. (Side-note: these props were placed on a platform with crewmembers underneath that pulled on wires to tighten the laces by hand.) Then, last October, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield sent a working prototype to Fox himself. In March this year, the company announced a more streamlined-looking consumer version actually intended for the mass market, and these are the HyperAdapts that go on sale in November.