The reissued Nike Mag’s are the ultimate futuristic trainer with self-lacing technology.
Most limited edition trainers don’t come so limited that there are only 89 pairs in the world, only available by a global online draw, but the brand new Nike Mags aren’t ordinary trainers. Nike, in partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation (who receive all the proceeds to help fund vital research into Parkinson’s) have reissued their classic Nike Mag trainers with innovative technology and a retro-futuristic look.
The Hyper Adapt technology of the Nike Mag is one of Nike’s most promising recent technological advancements. Your trainers now lace themselves! Using sensors to detect the volume of your feet and start to tighten until it gets to the pre-set that’s perfect for you. It isn’t just automatic, Nike have made sure that you can adjust the hyper adapt yourself. With a super-minimal silhouette that wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi box office hit, the Nike Mag is both a design and technology feat, but it is also raising money for an incredibly important cause.
How did the reissuing of the Nike Mag come about?
We developed the technology for the hyper adapt auto lacing which was inspired by Tinker’s original vision in the 80’s and once we had it actually working, coincidentally it was in 2015, Tinker and Mark Parker said “hey put it in the Mag if it’s working, let’s get it in the Mag and see” and so we put it in the Mag and it worked well and it looked good. It was really interesting so we decided to basically re-launch it. We gave one to Michael J. Fox on October 21st 2015 and then it was such a huge hit that we decided to go ahead and make some more.
What was the reasoning behind making such a limited edition trainer?
The Mag is very difficult to make, how it’s constructed and everything. It’s different because you’re taking a shoe that exists and you’re trying to fit a technology into it, whereas in the hyper adapt we built a shoe around the technology and it’s very difficult to apply that technology into the Nike silhouette because it’s very minimal. We’re really, really focused on the performance of it and really focused on the hyper adapt.
How does the new style differ from the original Nike Mag?
The auto lacing is new, but otherwise the materials are kept. The intention is that it’s very exact to the original in the movie, we thought that was more important than putting in more advanced materials, we could have put in lighter weight foams and different materials but it would change the aesthetic and we felt like the consumer really wanted an exact replica.
How did you mix archive Nike innovation with new technologies?
Tinker always led the direction aesthetically and what kind of technologies kind of merge together, and also it was challenging using some of the older technologies to put the new in. It probably would have been easier with some of the new technologies like in the hyper adapt we use fly wear and fly weave. That would have made the Mag a bit easier to construct probably, but you know we lean heavily on working with Tinker and kind of his suggestions in that and it again went back to the keeping it very much like the original.
Why did Nike choose to release the trainers through a global online draw?
In 2011 when we launched them via auction there was a lot of feedback that it wasn’t accessible to everyone, and everyone wanted a chance. It was if you had the money you could get a pair, and for us it’s more important that we raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and raising funds for the Michael J. Fox foundation and so we thought this was a good democratic way to give everyone a chance to get a pair and experience auto lacing.
How does the adapted lace work?
Basically in both the hyper adapt and the Nike Mag you step in and a sensor feels your foot and it starts to auto lace and as its auto lacing the system is also feeling for the volume of your foot and once it gets to a certain pre-set that we’ve put in there, a comfort setting if you will, it’ll stop the lacing. Then you have buttons to tighten it and loosen it and then in the hyper adapt the lights only show you an indication of what’s going on, in the Mag you can obviously turn the lights on and leave them on.
Are there any other special design features in the 2016 Mag?
No, the charging system is the exact same as the 2011, you plug it in to the wall and charge it and it takes about three hours but most of it is about the technology that’s inside, the struggle was really about keeping the aesthetics as exact as we could. One thing to note is the buttons, the button indicators are actually on the inside of the shoe, if you hold the upper white part of it open you can see them, we chose to put those on the inside so that we didn’t mess with the aesthetic of the outside, and so I guess that could be a design feature of how we made those and how we indicated them.
How has the Michael J Fox Foundation been involved?
Since Tinker came up with the idea of donating all the proceeds to them in 2007 it was very early on, we’ve stayed in contact through our entertainment marketing team. We’ve had a few moments where we’ve taken prototypes to them and we’ve tried them on them and everything. Its been a great relationship, we’ve learned so much. They’re doing a similar type of innovation; they’re trying to come up with a solution for a disease right? There’s all kinds of solutions there, maybe just intermediate but also maybe cures eventually which is just fascinating for me to hear about that and how they look at that and how they go about that because when we innovate our product for athletes, it’s a very similar process. It’s just a different mindset and so that’s been awesome to learn and see from them.