It’s finally upon us. The day fans of pop culture and sneakers have been waiting for, October 21, 2015. At exactly 4:29 pm at the Hill Valley Mall parking lot, Marty McFly arrives from the future in a time-traveling DeLorean with Doc Brown and his girlfriend Jennifer to save their future kids. When he arrives, Doc knocks out his girlfriend and gives him some gear from the future; an auto-adjusting, self-drying jacket, and a pair of self-lacing hightop sneaks named the Nike MAG. Here are 15 Nike MAG facts you may, or may not know about the now-iconic Nike shoe that Michael J. Fox made famous.
1.) You can sorta thank the Nike Bruin for the creation of the Nike MAG. The reason Nike was asked to create a sneaker (and more) for the second movie was thanks to the relationship the studio and brand had after outfitting Marty in the first movie with Bruins.
2.) The Nike MAG is the first sneaker the company designed specifically for a movie. Although they seeded and placed their products into films and tv shows, this was their first foray into designing something specifically as a prop.
3.) Bob Gale, one of the movie’s creators, didn’t think the MAGs would be a big deal and just part of the futuristic picture. It wasn’t until the movie’s premier and feedback afterward that he realized they were an important part of the movie’s history.
4.) Both Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker traveled to Universal to get an idea on what the director and producers wanted from Nike. Comparing both their notes from the meeting, Tinker did all the heavy lifting in the actual design. He designed them imagining what he thought the future would be like along with the story. Electronics and a seamless design were key components of his design.
5.) The name MAG is derived from the word “magnetic.” Some ideas that were thrown around was having the sneaker magnetic abilities allow for people to walk up walls and even onto the ceiling.
6.) Michael J. Fox is only 5′ 5″ and wears a size 7 so most of the originals were his size. However multiple sizes had to be made to accommodate the stuntman who filled in for him. By the way, Christopher Lloyd is 6′ 1″ so that is why he is hunched over during most of the trilogies.
7.) The idea and beginning of the redesign of the Nike MAG started back in 2005. Thanks to online petitions that caught his eye, Tinker asked a then-relatively new Tiffany Beers if she wanted to work on a special project.
8.) The original goal was to be able to make the sneaker available in time for the 20th anniversary of Back to the Future II in 2009. Obviously that didn’t happen and we got an almost complete version of the Nike MAG in 2011.
9.) Sadly, like so many cool things we see happen on the big screen, “movie magic” was used to make the MAG come to life during the movie. The lighting system was a large and cumbersome unit that was hidden from view. And the power laces weren’t real, but instead done with the help of wires and prop guys.