With an expansive list of to-do’s and to-see’s at our visit of Los Angeles, none was as important as the top item – a first look at the new Nike MAG 2011. Its chance introduction on the 1989 film, Back To The Future II., forever enshrined it onto the annal of most desirable sneakers. The movie also christened it with a nickname, the Air McFly. It was obvious then, that the production of such a high-tech footwear was extreme costly if not impossible. Yet, fans drummed up for Nike to take the initiative. After years of countless petitions by sneakerheads, movie buffs, even tech gurus, things came to ahead some 20 years after the movie, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Nike a series of patents on November 5th, 2009. The document highlighted 2 innovations – a step-in automatic lacing system plus a 3-component lighting element around the heel and tongue. The ground work for Nike MAG 2011 was set.
Remarkably, the Nike MAG 2011 is identical to the movie prop developed by Tinker Hatfield all those years ago. All the details right down to the lighting components, a series of LED lights embedded in the outsole and heel panels, as well as an electroluminescent Nike logo on the oversized ankle strap. In this the first rechargeable footwear from Nike, power is not by a large battery pack, which Michael J. Fox, the actor who portrayed the film’s protagonist Marty McFly, wore in his back pack. Instead, a slim power pack built within that will last up to 5 hours for each charge. A plug-in power port is hidden underneath the cuff of the shoe, well out of sight. One notable attribute missing though was the Automatic Lacing System. Despite the patent, current existing technology simply would not facilitate the mechanical act of tying a shoelace. At least, not within a size less than the shoes themselves. But Hatfield answered during the Q&A session with a prognosticate response, “”It’s not 2015, yet”, when asked. Perhaps that will be another Nike MAG in the near future?
Photography: Dan for Freshness