BUSINESS

The 'Back to the Future’ shoe, maybe

KATE LUNAU July 21 2008
BUSINESS

The 'Back to the Future’ shoe, maybe

KATE LUNAU July 21 2008

The 'Back to the Future’ shoe, maybe

BUSINESS

KATE LUNAU

In the year 2015, people will ride hoverboards, drive flying cars, and wear really cool shoes—at least that’s the future envisioned in the 1989 film Back to the Future 2. Sneaker fans, who have long lobbied Nike to actually produce the futuristic high-tops worn by the film’s Marty McFly character, may finally get to live part of that dream. The athletics company has just launched a line of basketball shoes that look a lot like the ones Marty was wearing. But there’s a bizarre twist: Nike seems reluctant to admit that these are really McFly’s shoes.

Last week, the company released the limited edition Hyperdunk 2015 in the same colours as Marty’s originals with “2015” emblazoned on the tongue. Kobe Bryant even showed up in a DeLorean for the launch. With only about 100 available at the event, the Hyperdunk 2015 sold out fast—and was soon going for over $2,000 on eBay.

Meanwhile, the regular Hyperdunk sneaker recently went on sale in Canada. But when asked if the Hyperdunk is based on McFly’s shoe, Nike Canada’s Mark Cowlin first said “there’s no design inspiration from the Back to the Future shoe,” then backtracked through a spokesperson who admitted the film provided some “design insight.”

Why all the confusion? Why not simply market it as the shoe from Back to the Future} “Conceivably because the movie studio would want a say,” says Max Valiquette, president of the youth marketing firm Youthography, and Nike doesn’t seem to have a deal with Universal, the film’s production company.

Whatever the reason, Nike’s “tribute to the original concept shoe” isn’t enough for hardcore fans. “Nike Hyperdunks might be inspired by the McFly 2015s, but the Nike Hyperdunks are not the McFly 2015s,” complains Montrealer Mickey Maloof,who has amassed 41,000 signatures to convince Nike to sell the real deal. He may just have to make do—after all, 2015 is now only seven years away. M