Three pieces of technology from the Back to the Future franchise have left an indelible mark in our minds: DeLoreans, hoverboards, and self-lacing shoes. And three decades later, we’re still not only talking about them, but seeing them become actual products.
OK, so maybe the new DeLoreans don’t fly and most hoverboards don’t really hover (and have occasional incendiary problems), but now both Nike and Puma have both come out with self-lacing sneakers. And they’re each kinda cool, in their own way.
Whereas the curvy high-topped Nike MAG still looks pretty next-gen, with space grey coloring and an array of fancy color LEDs, the Puma Autodisc—as recently reviewed hands-on by Engadget in Hong Kong—go for a slightly more subtle and contemporary look than the modern kicks we all wear today.
Other than their looks, they differ greatly in their functionality as well. The Nike version automatically laces up to fit your foot using motion-sensitive Hyper Adapt system based at the heel. Whereas you need to manually press a button on the tongue of the Puma iteration or adjust their tension via Bluetooth through the app to get them to lace up on their own.
Putting the motors in the tongue means that they can actually be used for real running, as in with world-class athletes, as opposed to just being a novel collector’s item from a classic movie franchise. But we’ll see how all this technology plays out… in the future.