Self-Tying Shoes a Reality

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Gadgets, Sports

The flux capacitor, hoverboard, and self-tying shoes were all fantastic ideas stemming from the 1980′s silver screen trilogy ‘Back To The Future’. While it looks like we’re still a little ways away from time-travel, and are still working out the kinks on the hoverboard, the latter of the three aforementioned inventions has been kick-started into reality.

back to the future

Several patents for auto-strapping shoes exist, with one patent for a self-tightening shoe actually being filed as far back as 1994. That patent application points out the nuissance that is tying shoes, and their ‘propensity to become untied’. This particular invention looks to target the eldery or handicapped; those incapable of bending over to constantly tie shoes, but also needing more support that slip-ons can’t provide.

The first prototype ran on ‘chargeable’ elastic bands. The feasibility of the technology evolved, and concepts have arisen with a foot sensing technology in the heel that lets the shoe know when to close in, as well as footwear with a weight sensor in the bottom. While all pretty fascinating, the most most accurate version to the ones sported by Marty McFly were recently brought to life in 2010 by who else, but Nike. The Oregon based mega-company was able to secure a patent on the same technology that director Steven Spielberg thought wouldn’t be here until at least 2015.

Back To The Future

With that, the dreams of many Generation Xers and Yers were finally answered. In late 2011, 1,500 Back To The Future replicas coined ‘Nike Mags’ were auctioned off on Ebay to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation to find a cure for Parkinson’s. The digs were identical down to “the upper contours, the glowing LED panel and the electroluminescent NIKE in the strap.” To be one of the lucky few recipients of these, you would’ve had to fork up four to five figures, albeit for a great cause. If you’re depressed that you missed your chance to own a piece of the future, fear not, you can still find a fresh pair relisted on Ebay.

Thinking about buying a pair today? Or will you wait until they release a model that’s a little easier on the wallet? Either way, this is just one of the cool pieces of gear we can expect to soon become a part of our everyday lives. Check back with us later on this week for another invention that will knock your socks off. Until then, enjoy this Nike Mag teaser.



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