Dream On: Shoes for the FutureBoy thanks to Marty McFly
I can still remember like it was yesterday. 1980’s me, sitting at the local Paramount as Back to the Future unspooled (that’s what movies did then...only some do now). My eyes were wide the entire time as the unbelievable adventures of Marty McFly captivated my senses like nothing else had since Star Wars happened years earlier. My smile was permanent and as the picture finally drew to a close I was certain absolutely nothing could eclipse the bliss I was experiencing. I was wrong. A tiny message appeared in the credits just after Doc and Marty shot off one last time – Part II coming soon. OMG! That was it! I mean, I was so excited I think I exploded out of the theatre. Not only had I just witnessed the greatest movie ever but another one was on its way too. Life was a dream.
Eventually, Back to the Future II came and went. It was okay, as movies go. Nothing like the first by way of impact but it was attempting an impossible task: how do you eclipse the original amazement chuckleheads like me had? They tried their best – all the right elements were there – but it would never again be the first time. Still, there were moments that stood out – The now flying time machine (of course), the good ol’ flux capacitor, the all-new hoverboard and those hi-top shoes......
Do you remember the Nike shoes Marty McFly stepped into? The high tops with the cool lights and self-lacing buttons for a quick in and out? They were a literal marvel and for a group of materially-obsessed teens they represented the ultimate in aspirational accumulation for the future. Someday I want to own shoes like Marty had......2015 cannot come soon enough.
2011 did though. We’re here already and even though it’s not quite 2015 the folks at Nike have a surprise for everyone. In fact, they just went on sale a few days ago on eBay. No, I’m not kidding.
Thanks to a partnership between Nike and Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson Foundation, the shoes that exemplified life in 2015 for Marty McFly (and us) have been created to raise money in an attempt to cure Parkinson’s disease. The plan was to create 1500 pairs of the Back to the Future Air Mags and then auction them off, using the proceeds to fund the foundation. The shoes they made look exactly the same and truly do answer an eighties geek’s dream to own the (at one time) un-ownable. Marty’s shoes are now real.
The commercial promoting them features Bill Hader of SNL (he of the insanely creepy eyes) and NBA star Kevin Durant. Even Christopher Lloyd makes an appearance doing his Doc Brown schtick like no time had passed. All the right notes are hit as we drift into the familiar mall on a familiar night for a secret look at a shoe that used to exist only in our movie-fied imaginations.
The shoes are being sold daily on eBay and appear to go for about $2500 a pair, proceeds going to the Fox Foundation. The shoes are not quite “all that” as the self-lacing part does not exist (yet – they say wait until 2015) but they are actually better than the original in at least one way. The shoes in the film only lit up due to a battery being stuffed in Fox’s back pocket during filming. These kicks actually have a rechargeable one built in
The fact that these shoes exist at all is a testament to the strength and power of dreams. Everything starts with a dream – it has to. Without some far-fetched, ridiculous idea whatever would posses someone to create...well, anything? How many devices do we use today that exist solely because some technical nerd adored Star Trek and used all his brainpower to invent a communicator that looked like what Captain Kirk used? The power of dreams – unstoppable. Dreams can move you to decisions and plans and actions and goals you never thought possible, sending you off in directions you never imagined.
I appreciate the gentle irony of a dream shoe raising money for Fox’s dream to cure a disease that has crippled him and many others. There’s something inherently right about that. I hope they have much success.