A History of Back to the Future-Inspired Sneaker Releases

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With the news of the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 “Air MAG” releasing soon, we take a deep dive into the vault and document the history of the self-lacing shoe and the colorway that emeted its place in history.

Referencing the OG Nike Air Mag from Back to the Future II, the new Adapt BB 2.0 feature self-lacing technology like the shoe from the Michael J. Fox classic while also sporting the grey and blue shades seen on the time-traveler’s signature shoes.

While the Nike MAG has come back in replica and self-lacing form over the years, it’s inspired many releases in both colorway and composition. Showing love to the pairs that released at retail, check out a list of the McFly sneakers that have hit shelves and hit hover boards.

Shoe: Nike Hyperdunk “2015”
Year: 2008

The first sneaker to sport the Air Mag colorway was the famed Nike Hyperdunk. McFly inspiration touched the already futuristic model with Universal Studios allowing Nike to use the grey colorway and teal speckled midsole. A glow in the dark outsole and ‘2015’ tagging on the tongue added nostalgia to the design. Kobe Bryant arriving at the UNDFTD release event in the DeLorean car from the movie provided bonus recall for the big screen sneaker.

Shoe: Nike SB Zoom Tre AD
Year: 2009

Capitalizing off the success of the Hyperdunk, the Nike SB Zoom Tre AD “Marty McFly” released shortly after. While some may have preferred to see the colorway lent to another high top hoop shoe, the SB Zoom Tre brought the McFly inspiration back to its roots as Marty wore the Air Mag on his skateboard inspired hover-board. Much like the Hyperdunk, the Zoom Tre featured glow in the dark accents, this time on the Swoosh. The shoe was a successful release and was far more available than its predecessor.

Nike Hypermax NFW “McFly”
Shoe: Nike Hypermax “McFly”
Year: 2009

Fans rejoiced when Nike unveiled the big man evolution of the Hyperdunk in an Air Mag inspired colorway. The Nike Hypermax “McFly” borrowed the look from its Flight camp brother and took it to another level adding straps, hot pink lining, and dropping the Flywire. Unfortunately the Flywire wasn’t the only thing dropped as Nike ultimately cancelled the colorway in the US with only accounts in Asia and Australia receiving the shoe. While it was speculated that this makeup resembled the Air Mag “too closely” an official reason was never disclosed by Nike or Universal Studios for the lack of US distribution.

Nike Hyperdunk Low “Marty McFly”
Shoe: Nike Hyperdunk Low
Year: 2010

Lower, simpler, and cheaper, the Nike Hyperdunk Low “Marty McFly” was supposed to fill the void for those that could not find or afford its midtop counterpart. The shoe featured the exact same colorway minus the 2015 branding. While low top performance basketball shoes rarely have casual cross over appeal fans were eager to scoop the new McFly pair at a reasonable $90. Similar to the Hypermax, the shoe was eventually scrapped and thus unreleased.

Nike Hyperdunk 2010 “McFly” (photo via Flight Club)
Shoe: Nike Hyperdunk 2010
Year: 2010

Proving a promo sample, the Nike Hyperdunk 2010 “McFly” looked to recapture the magic created on the OG Hyperdunk. Styling was on point as this could’ve been a more accessible follow-up to the Kobe favorite but alas these never released.

Shoe: Women’s Nike LunarRacer
Year: 2010

Along the lines of the Hyperdunk Low and the Hypermax, the Nike LunarRacer “McFly” too went unreleased. Though the LunarRacer had enough success of its own without McFly co-signing, this colorway marked one of the best. Ladies were not forgotten in the Back to the Future craze as this model was a women’s LunarRacer. An all-grey mesh upper was complimented by teal and pink Flywire atop a silver Lunar Foam midsole. Samples have hit eBay but this pair was never put into production.

Radii Noble’s “Back to the Future”
Shoe: Radii Noble “Kicks From The Future”
Year: 2011

Independent sneaker brand Radii got the bug and dropped a pair of McFly inspired sneakers with the “Kicks From The Future” Radii Noble. These released in the summer of 2011 ahead of the announcement of a return of the Nike MAG.

Nike MAG (2011)
Shoe: Nike MAG
Year: 2011

At last, it was official!

Nike put on one of the most incredible events that we have ever been a part of to unveil the bring-back of the Nike MAG. The shoes were extremely limited and were all sold on eBay to the highest bidders to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation. It was so great to not only see the shoes return, but to be done in a way that would benefit such a great organization and cause.

Shoe: Back To The Future II Shoes
Year: 2014

Despite the announcement of the Nike MAG returning in 2015, Universal Studios licensed knockoff versions of the Nike MAG to be sold by a Halloween costume group as the Back To The Future II Shoes. The move is still considered very controversial as how can one wear a “licensed” shoe that isn’t “licensed” by the company that designed and produced the shoes in the film. Said shoes didn’t stop Nike from doing their own thing but did make for a nice costume compliment.

Nike MAG 2015
Shoe: Nike MAG 2015
Year: 2015

Confirmed first by Tinker Hatfield, the Nike MAG 2015 with Power Laces introduced said tech to the world of sports. While pairs were incredibly limited and launched as a fund-raiser to fight Parkinson’s Disease, this innovation kicked open the door for the modern runner it inspired: the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0.

Nike SB Eric Koston Mid “McFly”
Shoe: Nike SB Eric Koston Mid “McFly”
Year: 2015

The seldom-seen Nike SB Eric Koston Mid might be best known for its “McFly” makeover. Both simplistic and futuristic, the skate-shoe made into a mid top sported a mid foot strap of the transparent variety scored with SB branding across in the blue hue associated with Marty’s famed footwear.

Nike SB Dunk Low “McFly”
Shoe: Nike SB Dunk Low “McFly”
Year: 2015

The year 2015 was major for the MAG. With the actual self-lacing launch and many a tribute, the Nike SB Dunk Low may have been out of season in regards to popularity but has certainly aged well since. Would these have crushed even harder if launched in 2020? We’re gonna say yes.

Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max “McFly” (photo via Flight Club)
Shoe: Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max “McFly”
Year: 2015

Stephan Janoski’s signature shoe received not just an Air Max update from its regular boat build but also a McFly tribute. Sporting the standard shades associated with the MAG, the Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max “McFly” lacked the speckling or light-up details associated with the OG but still catered to those looking for some Marty-inspired swag.

Shoe: Nike LeBron 14 “McFly”
Year: 2017

King James got in on the McFly madness during his return to Cleveland, rocking the Nike LeBron 14 in a BTTF-inspired colorway. Already a tech-heavy shoe, the LeBron 14 took well to the theme with bright blue illuminating the visible Zoom sole and speckling the midsole on the otherwise grey upper.

Shoe: Nike Adapt BB “Air Mag”
Year: 2019

Best in show? Probably the most MAG-like release since the actual shoe itself and the Hyperdunk that started it all, the Nike Adapt BB showcases power-lacing tech similar to the OG with a color palette that’s right-on the money. These will for sure be easier to get than say the first Hyperdunks or either of the actual MAG releases, but will still be a chased shoe.

What’s better than one MAG colorway? Two. The Swoosh continues to add to the legacy of MAG colorways as the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 is the latest silhouette to don the iconic color combination. In addition to the classic wolf grey pair, a black alternate version is also in the works.

This certainly won’t be the last time we see the futuristic hue and its self-lacing design meet on the hardwood. Much like its predecessor, this MAG-version will more than likely easier to get your hands on.

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