In Brief

Nike Air Jordan XXXIII: the $175 self-lacing shoe

Back to the Future II-style trainer is inspired by spacesuits

The release of Back to the Future II in 1989 left many moviegoers lusting after the self-lacing Nike Mag trainers that Marty McFly wears to hop on his hover board. Now the dream is about to become a reality.

Although we’re still some years away from floating skateboards, the self-lacing sneakers have arrived in the form of Nike’s Air Jordan XXXIII trainers.

The futuristic-looking new shoes are equipped with the firm’s FastFit self-lacing technology, which is activated by pulling a thin elastic cord just above the shoe’s tongue. This tightens a series of elastic cables inside the trainer, allowing it to tightly grip the wearer’s foot. To untie the laces, the wearer simply pulls a small yellow cord located next to the tongue.

Air Jordan designer Tate Kuerbis says: “We were inspired by how spacesuits look and function. It's all very utilitarian, and the various elements and what they do are all clearly called out.

“Thinking about this led us to highlight the pull cord, eject cord and the inner workings of FastFit, and make the function integral to the aesthetic and graphic integrity of the design.”

The new Nikes don’t feature quite the same hi-tech system as that envisioned in Back to the Future II, says Engadget. There are no electronic motors pulling the laces around the wearer’s foot - or glowing Nike logos.

That said, using a series of elastic cords “makes more sense than adding anything motorised”, the tech news site concludes.

A similar system features on Nike’s Golf Tour Premiere, which arrived in June, but this is the first time that the FastFit tech has featured on a basketball-style trainer. 

The Air Jordans are available to order in the US from 18 October, priced at $175 (£134). A UK release is expected to follow.

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