Nike’s Future Is Now



Last night at The Montalbán in Hollywood, Nike unveiled a product that, for many, was the realization of a fantasy a long time in the making. The NIKE MAG, the futuristic light-up high-tops rocked by Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly in 1989 sci-fi comedy Back to the Future II, have landed in 2011’s reality.

With the help of Doc Brown, a replica of the DeLorean Time Machine, and creative mastermind Tinker Hatfield, the NIKE team revealed the sleek grey shoes that achieved mythical status when they captured viewers’ imaginations. The MAG’s aesthetic is a nearly exact replica of the original’s: from the wave-like contours of the upper, LED panel and the electroluminescent NIKE that glows from the ankle strap.

Demonstrating how the kicks light up with a pinch of the ear—one charge lasts for four to five hours—Hatfield gave some insight into the feat of shoe engineering achieved in the Mag. “Michael’s legs were strung with cables, and he flicked a switch in his back pocket each time the shoes lit up,” Hatfield said.

Though the 2011 NIKE MAG doesn’t auto-lace—and a hoverboard is not included—the shoe’s proceeds benefit a vital cause: The Michael J. Fox Foundation and its efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  Through September 18, 1,500 pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG will be auctioned via eBay’s Fashion Vault. Google cofounder Sergey Brin’s donation to the Foundation will match every bid, up to $50 million effectively doubling all contributions.

Asked why the MAG was released in 2011, rather than in 2015, when Back to the Future II takes place, Hatfield’s response was irrefutable.  “There’s no time like the present to work towards a cure for Parkinson’s disease.”