In 2011, when Nike released a limited edition, 1,500-pair run of the Air Mag shoes — the famed high-top from “Back to the Future Part II” — sneakerheads and collectors went berserk. Though the shoes lit up and replicated the original design, they were missing one major detail: power laces. If you don’t recall, these were the Air Mag’s prime feature — straps that self-tightened once a foot was slipped inside.
Fans who felt they got short changed received some exciting news recently. During an appearance last week in New Orleans, Nike designer Tim Hatfield — the man responsible for most of the Air Jordan series — said power laces could be arriving as soon as next year.
“Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!” said Hatfield, according to Solecollector.
Just how the real power laces would be achieved is anybody’s guess. However, I could see an innovative system of sensors linked to a network of motorized wires pulling it all off. The sensors would detect a wearer’s foot, which triggers a small motor, tightening the wires embedded in the straps or laces. Here’s a DIY video a someone tinkering with a similar idea. Though hopefully Nike could find a way to shrink that huge motor.
No word yet on whether the power laces will grace a new edition of Air Mags or a new shoe model altogether. Regardless, news of such magnitude can’t be underestimated, at least in the sneakerhead community. Though not a full-blown member of this society, I definitely consider myself a window-shopping connoisseur. The Air Mags are a bit too clodhopper for my tastes, but the advent of power laces rekindles that same kick I got from other non-lace trailblazers like the Reebok Pumps and Puma Discs.
Credit: Nike Kicks