In the run up to Back to the Future day in 2015, Nike went all-in on the promise of self-lacing sneakers. They started off with a faithful recreation of the Nikes from Back to the Future II, but only Michael J. Fox got hooked up. After that, Nike had the tech and figured hey, why not make a sneaker for the masses?
The result was the HyperAdapt 1.0, although it wasn’t exactly for the masses at $720. That’s a lot of money! Lego bricks, some cheap motors, and a hot glue gun are a lot cheaper, as one Vimal Patel noted.
Patel is a consummate Lego designer — his blog has tons of goodies, including a robot Lego R2-D2. His latest design is for a self-lacing shoe system that can be used with any sneakers. In a beautifully appropriate touch, Patel used a pair of ancient black Nikes to demonstrate his creation, which uses a motor to pull the laces tight.
Let’s call it a rough draft. The Lego bricks have been fixed together with the use of a dremel and a hot glue gun, and, well, it’s got a bit of bulk to it. My favorite part is how the rod tasked with pulling the laces bends gradually and more precariously as the laces get tighter.
But hey, $720? Sorry Nike, but I’m willing to put up with a lot to not pay that kind of cash.