Whatever Happened To Nike’s Self-Lacing Patent?

If you happened to be living comfortably under a rock this week, then you obviously didn’t hear the announcement that Nike has released the Back to the Future famed Air Mags. Only 1,500 were made and were put up for auction on ebay. All proceeds for the shoes go directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, to help battle Parkinson’s Disease.

The Air Mag is the first rechargeable footwear from Nike were designed as an identical replica to the originals seen in the Back to the Future II movie. Some of the constant elements include the upper contours, the glowing LED panel and the electroluminescent Nike logo in the strap. The Nike Air Mag actually illuminates with the pinch of the “ear” of the high top, glowing for five hours per charge.

Definitely some fancy footwear you would more than like never actually wear outside because the current going rate for a pair is more than $5,000! Still, it’s for a good cause and it will definitely be a collector’s item that will have all your friends envious of you. Hell, you may even get laid (probably not).

One thing I was hoping was that they would include the self-lacing technology. Not that inner fanboy in me is so delirious that I would think the technology would magically appear overnight, but a while back I did a story about Nike patenting the self-lacing technology.


The shoe tightens as if you just pulled and tightened conventional laces. The switch activates a motor that rolls or unrolls a spool of wire distributed throughout the shoe. When the spool reels in the wire, the shoe tightens along axis supported by various rods.

Naturally, the system requires a power source, and the shoe will have an on-board battery. However, the patent reveals that Nike hasn’t decided whether to go with a USB or a mini-USB port to charge the shoe.

Seems like Nike got the battery down, but forgot about the self-tying mechanism. Oh well. Only the more reason for Nike to release a MAG II a few years from now.

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