As of 2014, the Nike Air Mag self-lacing shoes from "Back the Future: Part II" have not yet been fully realized. Sure, we've gotten someand a Nike designer has said he expects the , but most of us are still tying our shoes just like we always have, with big floppy loops hanging off the top.
That could be about to change for the Kickstarter backers of the Zubits project. Instead of power laces like Marty McFly had, these are magnetic laces. The magnetic closures work with your existing laces. You thread them on, stick your foot in the shoe, adjust the laces to your liking, and then knot up or cut off the excess material. The magnets click together to hold your shoe in place or you can push your foot forward to break the connection and step out of the shoes.
The Zubits come in three sizes, the smallest being suitable for children's shoes and the biggest being designed for "high activity by large individuals." The campaign has 35 days to go and is currently up over $8,700 in pledges toward a $29,000 goal. A set of Zubits for one pair of shoes is going for a $20 (£12, AU$23) pledge.
There are a few questions floating around the project, like how well the lace closure would hold up to vigorous sports activities. Zubits acknowledges it can't possibly test every shoe on the market and that heavy or stiff-soled boots could cause the magnetic closure to pop open, but it looks like a pretty solid solution for everyday activities.
Some people will tell you to just quit being lazy and tie your laces like normal, but other folks will appreciate the clean look, easy access and lack of laces flopping around. While $20 may sound like a high price for fancy laces, the Zubits will travel with you from shoe to shoe as your wardrobe evolves. It should at least tide you over until Air Mag power laces become reality.